College Connections
An electronic newsletter from the College of Pharmacy

December 10, 2021
Greetings from the Dean
As the winter holidays approach, it is a great time to think back upon the year and give thanks to all who have made us an elite College of Pharmacy. From the students, to the faculty and to our alumni, preceptors and friends we could not make this journey without each one of you. The College continues to have fantastic outcomes on the NAPLEX and MJPE exams that reflects on the great job we have all done through this past year. During 2020 and 2021 many changes have occurred on how we educate our future pharmacists and how, as pharmacists, we deliver patient care.
Please accept, on behalf of the College, warm wishes for the holidays and the New Year to you all. May the warmth and joy of this holiday season stay with you throughout 2022.
College News
College Holds Strategic Planning Retreat

Faculty and staff participated in a strategic planning workshop November 4th and 5th. During the two day event, facilitated by Rule of Three, our objectives were to:
  1. Explore the shifting healthcare industry landscape and the dynamics impacting the role of pharmacy and student graduates of pharmacy programs in the evolving care continuum
  2. Consider the critical components of the UNMC College of Pharmacy research agenda and explore the optimal path forward relative to industry trends and innovations
  3. Align on a common sense of purpose for the College of Pharmacy to guide the faculty, staff, and constituents for the near-term future, memorialized via a documented list of goals and objectives
College Welcomes New Staff Members
Sarah Slayton recently joined the Dean’s Office as a Student Services Associate. Prior to joining the College of Pharmacy, Sarah gained valuable experiences while working in higher education, travel, and customer service. When she’s not working, Sarah enjoys reading, travel and trying new foods. Come by and welcome Sarah to the College, feel free to bring snacks!
Sophia Haorei recently joined the College of Pharmacy as an Office Associate for the Pharmacy Practice Department. Sophia worked in real estate for several years prior to joining the College of Pharmacy. In her spare time, Sophia likes to cook/bake, spend time with her family, and watch scary movies so she’s always looking for movie suggestions! Come by and welcome Sophia to the College!
College of Pharmacy participates in annual Adopt a Family Program

As in years past, the College of Pharmacy participated in Nebraska Medicine's Adopt a Family program. The program, run by Nebraska Medicine's Social Work Department, provides support to families in need during the holiday season. Those in need range from families with several children with financial challenges to individuals who are ill and/or alone.

This year, students, faculty, and staff donated more than $450 to support our adopted family!
Faculty News
Distinguished Teaching Award
Ally Dering-Anderson, PharmD, clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice and science, has been awarded the 2021 College of Pharmacy Distinguished Teaching Award, which is voted on by pharmacy students. The students surprised Dr. Dering-Anderson with the award at the conclusion of a recent Legal and Ethical Principles class. The presentation included balloons, flowers and the arrival of her parents, husband, daughter and a close family friend, while pulling up her son on Zoom.

During the lecture, she’d mentioned her father, College of Pharmacy alumnus Jacob Dering. She then later noticed him in the room with, "Hey! That’s my dad!"

Among the accolades in Dr. Dering-Anderson’s nomination for the award was this: "She cares for students like a parent would."
Dr. Bennett honored by Nebraska Pharmacists Association

Shelby Bennett, PharmD, Clinical Assistant Professor, UNMC Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science and Office of Experiential Programs, was honored with the Pharmacists Mutual Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award at the recent annual meeting of the Nebraska Pharmacists Association. The award recognizes individual excellence and outstanding contribution to pharmacy associations and communities.
Recent Faculty Publications
CD4+ effector T cells accelerate Alzheimer’s disease in mice
Machhi J., Yeapuri P., Lu Y., Foster E., Chikhale R., Herskovitz J., Namminga K.L., Olson K.E., Abdelmoaty M.M., Gao J., Quadros R.M., Kiyota T., Jingjing L., Kevadiya B.D., Wang X., Liu Y., Poluektova L.Y., Gurumurthy C.B., Mosley R.L., Gendelman H.E.
J. Neuroinflamm. 2021 18:1
Antibacterial use in the age of SARS-CoV-2
Angell K.E., Lawler J.V., Hewlett A.L., Rupp M.E., Bergman S.J., Van Schooneveld T.C., Broadhurst M.J., Brett-Major D.M.
JAC-Antimicr. Res. 2021 3:2
Intramuscular and subcutaneous administration of antiretroviral drugs, compared with oral, enhances delivery to lymphoid tissues in BALB/c mice
Dyavar S.R., Kumar S., Gautam N., Podany A.T., Winchester L.C., Weinhold J.A., Mykris T.M., Nallasamy P., Alnouti Y., Fletcher C.V.
J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 2021 76:10 (2651-2658)
Colonoscopy-based intramucosal transplantation of cancer cells for mouse modeling of colon cancer and lung metastasis
Ahmad R., Kumar B., Tamang R.L., Xu W., Talmon G.A., Mohs A.M., Dhawan P., Singh A.B.
BioTechniques 2021 71:3
Association between insulin utilization and average out-of-pocket cost in commercially insured patients with diabetes
Ruiz-Negron N., Sullivan J., Tucker J., Mcadam-Marx C.
Diabetes 2021 70:SUPPL 1

Antimicrobial prescribing for treatment of serious infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in pediatrics: an expert review
Avedissian S.N., Rhodes N.J., Shaffer C.L., Tran L., Bradley J.S., Le J.
Expert Rev. Anti-Infect. Ther. 2021 19:9 (1107-1116)
Student News
UNMC Represents at the 2021 ASHP National Clinical Skills Competition
College of Pharmacy students Yufei Shi and Quynh Tran represented UNMC in the ASHP National Clinical Skills Competition.

The duo ranked in the top 11 out of more than 100 teams in the competition, and progressed to the final competition held on December 5th.

"Yufei and I are happy and honored to announce that we are one of the Top 11 Finalists at the 2021 ASHP National Clinical Skills Competition. Although we did not win, we learned a lot and had a ton of fun during the process. We want to give a huge shout out to our professors at UNMC, our pharmacists at Nebraska Medicine, and our preceptors who have guided us through this journey; we cannot do it without all of you!"- Quynh Tran.
Operation Immunization
Operation Immunization, an APhA-ASP collaboration with the College of Pharmacy and UNMC Student Health, completed another successful flu campaign this fall. A total of 837 flu vaccines were administered to students, faculty, and staff on campus over a 2 week period.

Off campus, the team has administered more than 1,500 flu and COVID-19 vaccines at Nebraska Beef, Open Door Mission and area pharmacies.
College of Pharmacy Spotlight
Highlighting a college alumni, student, and/or faculty member!
Today we hear from P4 Minden Huntrods and 2 alumni Cole Seckel, PharmD, BCSCP and Ellina Seckel, PharmD, BCACP, DPLA both from the class of 2013.
Minden Huntrods
PharmD Candidate 2022
Where were you born and where did you go to high school?

Walnut, IA
Harlan Community High School (in Iowa)

Where did you complete your undergraduate requirements for pharmacy school?
Iowa State University
Bachelor of Science – Animal Science
Bachelor of Science – Nutritional Science (health professional and research focus)

What is your favorite part of pharmacy school?
To me, the best part of pharmacy school has been recognizing the wealth of knowledge I’ve obtained throughout my didactic training and applying that to clinical patient care situations at work and through extracurricular opportunities such as Sharing Clinic and the Heart and Vascular Ambulatory Cardiology Clinic.
What is your favorite part of pharmacy school?
To me, the best part of pharmacy school has been recognizing the wealth of knowledge I’ve obtained throughout my didactic training and applying that to clinical patient care situations at work and through extracurricular opportunities such as Sharing Clinic and the Heart and Vascular Ambulatory Cardiology Clinic. I am looking forward to clinical rotations where I can continue to learn clinical information, improve my professional and patient care skills, and have a positive impact on the lives of patients I interact with. 

Have you decided where you might like to practice when you graduate?
I plan to pursue a residency following graduation. I’ve yet to decide if practicing in the inpatient or ambulatory care setting will be the best fit for me, but my professional interests include cardiology, diabetes, and internal medicine/primary care. Regardless of my future practice setting, I plan to incorporate all that I have learned while concurrently pursuing an MPH with my PharmD. I look forward to providing empathetic and equitable care to all patients that I serve in the present and future. 

If you could send a brief message to all of the people who donate to the UNMC College of Pharmacy, what would you say?
Your donations to the College of Pharmacy at UNMC provide students with so many incredible opportunities to learn in a safe environment. Whether your donations go toward scholarships or providing other resources to students within COP, we are better able to focus our energy on learning the material to the best of our ability while simultaneously utilizing the most up-to-date resources and facilities in lecture, lab, and extracurriculars. Your contribution does not go unnoticed and has genuinely made a positive impact in my life. Thank you!
Cole Seckel, PharmD, BCSCP
Ellina Seckel, PharmD, BCACP, DPLA
Class of 2013
Where were you born and where did you go to high school?

Cole: Born in Columbus, Nebraska, High school in Columbus, Nebraska (Scotus Central Catholic)

Ellina: Born in Minsk, Belarus, High school in Omaha, Nebraska (Millard South)
Where did you complete your undergraduate requirements for pharmacy school? 

Cole: Hastings College

Ellina: University of Nebraska at Omaha
What is your favorite memory from pharmacy school?

Cole: After class food and drinks at the Moon with Zach Davis, Matt Egger, Austin Lucht, Jeff Brezina, Dan Lee, and our other classmates. Also remodeling a $500 camper with Tyler Sturgeon and Austin Lucht.
Ellina: Rotation in Belize with Allysa Zoucha, Matt Crotty, Austin, and Dr. Dobesh. Also ordering takeout and studying in Sorrell. One time, Austin Lucht, Tyler Sturgeon, Cole, and I ordered 100 Chicken Nuggets from McDonald’s and the 4 of us ate all of them. Big thanks to Tyler’s now wife Katie for ordering, picking up the food and bringing it to us! McDonald’s must have thought Katie was quite hungry J
I suppose we should also say meeting each other was a pretty good memory too!
Describe your career path since you graduated.

Cole: Worked as a staff pharmacist at a retail chain for one year, then opened a new pharmacy and served as the Pharmacy Manager for one year. Since 2015, have been serving as Pharmacy Operations Supervisor for a home infusion pharmacy (UW Health Care Direct) with a focus on sterile compounding. In 2019, co-led construction of a new clean room facility from design phase to completion.
Ellina: Completed PGY1 Ambulatory Care and PGY2 Health-System Pharmacy Administration residencies at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital (Madison VA). First year post residency, served Primary Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist Program Manager, then in 2016, transitioned to Associate Chief of Pharmacy, Ambulatory and Specialty Care. In 2018, served 8 months as Acting Chief of Primary Care leading interdisciplinary teams with direct supervisory oversight for physicians. In 2015, named national VA Diffusion of Excellence Gold Status Fellow resulting in travel to VA sites across the country to help advance and optimize ambulatory care practice models and clinical pharmacy specialist roles. Recent pharmacy association involvement has included:
Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW)
  • President Elect
  • Region A Board of Director
  • Chair: Provider Status Core Team
  • Co-Chair: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team
  • Chair: Clinical Practice Advancement Section Advisory Group
  • Practice Advancement Initiative Workshop presenter: South Dakota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Idaho
  • ASHP International Clinical Skills Course Instructor

Please list any honors or recognitions you have received during your career.

  • National VA Undersecretary of Health Excellence in Pharmacist Leadership Award (2020)
  • National VA Clinical Pharmacy Practice Office PACT Platinum Practice (2020)
  • PSW Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year (2017)
  • Diffusion of Excellence Gold Status Fellow (2015)
  • Get the Medications Right: Selected Expert Practice (2015)
If you could give 1 message to future pharmacists, what would it be?

Cole: If an opportunity presents itself that you are interested in, go for it! Don’t think that you are underqualified or that you wouldn’t be considered. Work hard to develop the non-pharmacy skills in your areas of interest. I never would have thought that my interests in HVAC and auto mechanics would translate to be so useful in my pharmacy career.

Ellina: Every single one of you is a leader. Not a future leader, a leader now. You have the ability to influence and significantly impact those around you at your work sites, rotation sites, and at the school to advance pharmacy practice and improve patient care. Absorb and learn as much as you can, not only about pharmacy school content but also about yourself. Focus on developing your emotional intelligence, servant leadership skills, and go change the world. 
Interested in becoming a Preceptor? Contact Dr. Amy Pick for more information!