ARI-AHEC Advisory Board

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Erin Lawson, MA

Academic Advisor

Kent State University

Erin has a BA Miami University, an MA Kent State University. She was an Academic Advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences from 2014-2018, and is currently the Pre-Health Academic Program Coordinator in the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State University.

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Suzanne Hobson

Director of Community Relations

Cleveland Clinic Akron General

Suzanne (Sue) Hobson is Director of Community Relations for Cleveland Clinic Akron General and is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships in the community on behalf of the organization. She serves on various work groups to help address community health issues such as infant mortality, opioid addiction and access to medical care. Sue is a Leadership Akron graduate and a member of the board of directors of the Akron Urban League and Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) and member of Akron Public Schools’ College and Career Academies steering committee. She advocates for employee engagement in the community, participation on community boards and volunteerism. Sue holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media Communications from the University of Akron and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Kent State University. She is currently working on a Master in Public Health, with a concentration in health policy and management at Kent State University, where she is also a member of the College’s External Advisory Committee.


Dan Friesner, PhD

Dean of the School of Health and Human Sciences


Dr. Friesner is the current Dean of the School of Health and Human Sciences. He is a health economist and applied econometrician by training. He has over 20 years of experience as a teacher and scholar. He has published and studied in a broad range of fields at the intersection between the provision of health care, business, and economic development.


Michael Appleman, M.A.E.D.

Director of Primary Care Education, Associate Director of Integrated Pathway Programs, Instructor of Family and Community Medicine


Mike is the Director of Primary Care Education and holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM). His higher education career started at Kent State University, then the University of Akron, and now NEOMED. He worked for four years as a manager in a Comprehension, Learning, and Memory research lab at Kent State. During that time, he also served as a practitioner serving students with learning challenges. After working for several years, he decided to pursue my Master of Arts in Education degree and was offered a graduate teaching assistantship at the University of Akron, teaching Educational Psychology. Following the completion of his MA, he joined NEOMED in January 2015 to provide curricular support to medical education initiatives in the College of Medicine (COM), namely the Rural Medical Education (RMED) Pathway. Since then, his role has expanded into a faculty role serving in admissions, diversity, and the curriculum.