Alpha Omega Alpha

Faculty Councilor

David Kaelber, MD, PhD, MPH, FAAP, FACP, FACMI, FAMIA 

AOA Faculty Councilor
Chief Medical Informatics Officer/VP of Health Informatics and Patient Engagement Technologies 
MetroHealth Medical Center 

Debra Leizman, MD, FACP

AOA Faculty Councilor
Director Medical Student Education 
Internal Medicine Clerkship Director 
Division General Internal Medicine, Depart of Medicine 
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center 

Sofya Asfaw, MD 

AOA Faculty Councilor
General Surgery 
Cleveland Clinic 

Alpha of Ohio Chapter

Alpha Omega Alpha is the honor society for medical students. The CWRU chapter was the first established chapter in the state and is known as the Alpha of Ohio Chapter. The school's chapter is managed by the SOM Office of Student Affairs. NOTE: The CWRU Chapter of AOA has suspended student induction as of October 15, 2020 until further notice.  

All questions should be directed to the chapter email at

Chapter Elections

CWRU students are elected into AOA by a committee of CWRU faculty who are themselves members of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Selection Committee members are given de-identified packets of information on the top honors students in the graduating class. Consideration is given to academic excellence, leadership, service to the community and to the school, faculty nominations, research publications and presentations, and other awards and accomplishments. 

Once inducted, the new AOA students elect several faculty and residents into AOA. The students conduct the entire nomination/election process independently among themselves, giving consideration to qualities such as leadership, professionalism and service and, particularly, to commitment and excellence in medical student teaching and mentorship.

National AOA Student Award and Fellowship Programs

Because the CWRU School of Medicine has an active AOA chapter, the national AOA Awards and Fellowships are available to all medical students in both University and College Programs (within eligibility guidelines). Announcements and information about the awards will be sent out to students in late August/early September through the SOM's administrative listservs. Awards include the MSSLP (Medical Student Leadership Project Award), Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship, Helen H. Glaser Student Essay Award, and Student Poetry Competition. These are very competitive programs; participating schools are not guaranteed to have awarded programs every year. Please direct any questions to the Chapter email only:

CWRU AOA Chapter Registry

In accordance with the national Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (AOA) Constitution, all CWRU faculty who are AOA members (even if elected elsewhere) automatically receive reciprocity of membership to our CWRU Alpha of Ohio Chapter. However, we may not know who you are! If you are AOA and have not been contacted directly by our chapter yet, please email us at with the subject line "Registry," and we will send you the link to our Chapter Registry. Thank you!