College Connections
An Electronic newsletter from the College of Pharmacy

April 30, 2021
Greetings from the Dean
The spring flowers are blooming in Nebraska, but we are still enjoying our last bout of winter in April with a few snowflakes in the air. With a gradual decrease in COVID cases and increased vaccination rates, we are hopeful of achieving some new normalcy in the near future.
We are excited for an in person convocation and graduation with some limited attendance in just a few weeks. As you recall last year, both of our in person events were cancelled and combined with an on-line program. This past year has brought significant change to academia and many of these changes have brought significant stress and anxiety for our students, faculty and staff. Thus, an in person convocation celebration is just what the pharmacist ordered.
We are thankful for our alumni and friends of the College who have served as preceptors for your continued support of the College. We are excited to announce our 2021 distinguished alumnus, Dr. Susan Highland, '86 (see this newsletter for additional information) who will be honored, along with the 2020 recipient Dr. David Elm at our convocation
Despite all the changes this past year, our students and faculty continue to excel. As reported in a previous newsletter, our 2020 graduating class achieved 100% first-time pass rate on the NAPLEX licensure exam. This is the second year in a row for this achievement. Our P3 students finished first in the Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment (PCOA) following the on-line exam in early February. Our faculty have been extremely successful in procuring extramural funding with multiple grant awards announced during the past 3 months.
Alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students, play a significant role in the accomplishments of the College. Although we don’t know what the future will bring, we do look forward to reconnecting with all of you in the days or months ahead.
Thank you for your continued support of the College. 
Alumni News
2021 Distinguished Alumnus Award Announced
Susanne Hiland, PharmD ’86, MBA, is the College of Pharmacy Alumni Council’s 2021 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient. Dr. Hiland proudly served as an enlisted member of the Nebraska Army National Guard during pharmacy school and upon graduation was commissioned in the U.S. Navy Reserve serving on active duty at Naval Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida. She joined Walmart in 1989 as a part-time pharmacist in San Antonio, Texas. Over her more than 30 years with Walmart, Susanne has served in various roles including store operations leadership, regulatory and compliance, quality improvement and patient safety. Today as Sr. Director, Business Strategy she is responsible for Walmart’s component Patient Safety Organization, Safety Culture PSO. Congratulations Dr. Hiland!
Faculty News
Paul Dobesh and Courtney Fletcher Win Faculty Awards
Paul Dobesh, PharmD, and Courtney Fletcher, PharmD, both took home awards at the Faculty Senate annual meeting. Dr. Fletcher received the Outstanding Faculty Mentor of Junior Faculty Award and Dr. Dobesh received the Outstanding Teacher Award.

When asked how he knows when he's been successful as a teacher, Dr. Dobesh responded, "The feeling of success can be fleeting, so I am not sure how much I have thought about this question. For me, it still goes back to watching a student get that 'light bulb' moment. When they came into your office feeling completely lost, and then you see them literally putting it together right there in front of you, and from there see their understanding and grades continuing to improve. From a different perspective, I also have received emails or letters over the years from students who have left our program, sometime several years ago. In these emails or letters, the former students mention the success they have had in the profession, and take the time to thank me for expecting a lot from them and helping them be the pharmacist they are today. That is a great day."

Dr. Fletcher was asked what the greatest rewards of mentoring are. He responded, "My greatest rewards are celebrating the successes of my mentees - a first-authored paper in a major scientific journal, a funded grant, their graduate student successfully defending his/her thesis, a presentation at a major scientific conference."

Congratulations Drs. Dobesh and Fletcher!
Ally Dering-Anderson Wins Student Senate Distinguished Teaching Award
Dr. Ally Dering-Anderson has received the Student Senate 2021 Distinguished Teacher Award.

Dr. Ally was nominated by P4 students Cory Durbin and Naznaz Majid. In the nomination letter, Cory stated, "Dr. Dering-Anderson demonstrates a 'students first' attitude and always follows through with her promise of, 'if there is anything I can do for you, I will do it with all the resources and power I have.'"

When asked how it felt to win the Student Senate award, Dr. Ally responded, "I don’t believe that any of us who teach do it for an honor or an award, but it surely does feel amazing when it happens. I am so touched to be recognized by the students. The timing is so neat because Paul Dobesh just won the Faculty Senate campus-wide teaching award, so the Student Senate campus-wide award and the Faculty Senate campus-wide award both live in our Department! To be honored along with a friend makes it so much more amazing."

Congratulations Dr. Ally!
Recent Faculty Publications
In vivo evaluation of combination therapy targeting the isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway 
Haney S.L., Varney M.L., Chhonker Y., Talmon G., Smith L.M., Murry D.J., Holstein S.A.
Pharmacol. Res. 2021 167

Opportunities and challenges of fatty acid conjugated therapeutics
Bhat M., Jatyan R., Mittal A., Mahato R.I., Chitkara D.
Chem. Phys. Lipids 2021 236

Nanocarrier vaccines for SARS-CoV-2
Machhi J., Shahjin F., Das S., Patel M., Abdelmoaty M.M., Cohen J.D., Singh P.A., Baldi A., Bajwa N., Kumar R., Vora L.K., Patel T.A., Oleynikov M.D., Soni D., Yeapuri P., Mukadam I., Chakraborty R., Saksena C.G., Herskovitz J., Hasan M., Oupicky D., Das S., Donnelly R.F., Hettie K.S., Chang L., Gendelman H.E., Kevadiya B.D.
Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 2021 171: (215-239)

The pharmacodynamic-toxicodynamic relationship of auc and cmax in vancomycin-induced kidney injury in an animal model
Avedissian S.N., Pais G., Liu J., Nicholas O'Donnell J., Lodise T.P., Neely M., Prozialeck W.C., Lamar P.C., Becher L., Scheetz M.H.
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2021 65:3
Pulmonary siRNA delivery for lung disease: Review of recent progress and challenges
Ding L., Tang S., Wyatt T.A., Knoell D.L., Oupický D.
J. Control. Release 2021 330: (977-991)
Student News
P3 Pinning Ceremony
We celebrated our P3 class with a Pinning Ceremony during their final Professional Development class. The Alumni Council provided College of Pharmacy pins and a reception for the students. Patrick Fuller, Pharm D (’99 alumni), spoke about professionalism and Cory Durbin, P4, gave the class some insight on what to expect during their P4 rotation year. Dean Olsen led the class in the Oath of a Pharmacist. 
Students bring home 2 awards from the APhA Annual Meeting
Forty- eight UNMC College of Pharmacy students attended the APhA Virtual Annual Meeting in March. Students had opportunities to hear keynote speakers like Dan Schneider, PharmD, from Netflix's The Pharmacist and Janet Woodcock, MD, the acting commissioner of the FDA. The chapter also brought home two big awards:

APhA-ASP Outstanding Dean Award- awarded to Dean Olsen: The chapter's nomination noted Dean Olsen's dedication, commitment, and support for student pharmacists and organizations during these difficult times.

Most Humorous PharmFlix Video- P3 and PharmFlix Committee Chair, Samantha Broderson, produced the PharmFlix Video "Pharmacists Are Here For You" that brought home the award for Most Humorous PharmFlix Video. You can view the video here.
College of Pharmacy Spotlight
Highlighting a college alumni, student, and/or faculty member!
This round, we celebrate a P4 student. Naznaz Majid will be graduating next week as a member of our Class of 2021!

Where were you born and where did you go to high school?
I was born in Erbil, Iraq and came to the United States in 1999 with my supportive family. Later, I attended Lincoln High School.

What is your favorite part of pharmacy school?
My favorite parts of pharmacy school were the connections I made and the vast opportunities afforded to me. Mentors such as Dr. Dering-Anderson, Dr. Hitzeman and Dr. Cook, the staff as well as the friends I have made have consistently kept me motivated and inspired. Furthermore, the clinical and volunteering experiences provided at UNMC gave me a sense of greater purpose in serving those around me and within my community. 
Have you decided where you might like to practice when you graduate?
In the future, I want to practice in the community or ambulatory care setting while advocating for my profession. My future goal as a pharmacist is to make healthcare more affordable for my prospective patients. One way I hope to do this is by incorporating more ambulatory care and/or point of care services in the community setting. Another way I hope to accomplish this is by campaigning for provider status for pharmacists in Nebraska.
If you could send a brief message to all of the people who donate to the UNMC College of Pharmacy, what would you say?
I would say thank you for helping the pharmacy profession to thrive despite any odds or circumstances. To assist the profession of pharmacy in its growth, it is imperative to remember those that are beginning to take on the profession. With contributions from donors, the College of Pharmacy at UNMC continues to develop highly skilled and educated pharmacists. I can easily say that I have personally benefited from the consistent support from donors. 
Interested in becoming a Preceptor? Contact Dr. Amy Pick for more information!