UNMC header bar
College Connections

An electronic newsletter from the College of Pharmacy

December  2016
Dean's Message
Dear College of Pharmacy Faculty, Staff and Students, and our Alumni and Friends,

These final days of December are a good time for reflection on the year, and without question, 2016 was an exceptional year for the College of Pharmacy.

The most significant event was the opening and dedication on August 23, of our new home, the UNMC Center for Drug Discovery - Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education. This building is simply transformative for the College and our mission:
to educate pharmacists,
to educate pharmaceutical scientists,
to develop leaders, and
to discover new knowledge, conduct innovative research and apply that knowledge to improve patient care.
And, architecturally, it is magnificent. If you have not had a tour, please come for a visit.

I must take a moment here to thank all of the donors who made this building possible. It was built entirely with private funds. Each gift is testament to your belief in what we do. We are grateful, and will work every day to honor your trust.

Nationally and internationally, we are regarded as a preeminent college of pharmacy. The following are just two of the many accomplishments in 2016 by our faculty and our students, which support this well-earned reputation.

Our faculty received $9 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, achieving a ranking of #12 among all 135 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the US. We rank #3 in terms of NIH research funding per faculty member.

Our graduating class of 2016 continued a now 31 year run of scoring above the national average on the national pharmacy licensing examination. Additionally, the class of 2016 scored a first time pass rate on the boards of 95.1%. This passing rate was the best among all of the Big10 colleges of pharmacy - in other words, we are the conference champions!

Dedication and commitment to excellence. These characteristics define our faculty, staff and students: dedicated to the advancing the profession of pharmacy and to the mission of the College of Pharmacy, and committed to achieving excellence in everything we do.

Thank You - to the faculty of the COP. I am continually impressed by your dedication to providing our students the best pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education anywhere, and your commitment to the discovery and application of new knowledge to advance our profession.
Thank You - to the staff of the COP. You are vital to everything we do.
Thank You - to the students of the COP. You are fine individuals, and the pharmacy profession will be in good hands. It is a special pleasure, and indeed an honor, for me to be a member of this world class community of faculty, staff and students.

All of us at the College of Pharmacy are well aware of the legacy of academic and professional excellence established by our alumni. We are committed and motivated to honor, preserve and advance that legacy. The College of Pharmacy has approximately 450 volunteer preceptors across Nebraska. Many of these preceptors are our alumni and all are our friends. This network of preceptors is what allows us to be a 500 mile campus, and to provide our students the ability to complete their pharmacy practice experiences in Omaha to Kearney to Broken Bow and to Scottsbluff. Thank You - to our alumni and friends. The College of Pharmacy would be a much lesser institution without your support.

I want to extend my personal and deep gratitude to the faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the UNMC College of Pharmacy. Warmest wishes for Christmas and the New Year to you all. May the warmth and joy of this holiday season stay with you throughout 2017.


Courtney V. Fletcher, Pharm.D.
Dean and Professor
Welcome Class of 2020
Sixty-three new students with an average GPA of 3.6 were accepted into the College of Pharmacy's doctor of pharmacy degree program. Ninety percent of the new students are Nebraska residents with 38 percent coming from rural areas. The new students bring the total enrollment in the four-year program to 239 students.
Grand Opening
Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., dean of the UNMC College of Pharmacy, can recall when the dream was all but dashed.

UNMC had planned to build new labs for drug discovery for emerging and neglected infectious diseases when previously-approved federal funding simply fell through.

"We had three choices," Dr. Fletcher said, before a triumphant tent full of well-wishers. "Drop the idea, downsize and try elsewhere, or go big." Read more
Faculty Spotlight
We would like to welcome Daren Knoell, Pharm.D., the new chair in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, to the College of Pharmacy.
  • Name: Daren Knoell, Pharm.D.
  • Hometown: Fremont, Neb.
  • Title and department at UNMC: Chair and Lewis & Antonia Harris Professor, UNMC Department of Pharmacy Practice, UNMC College of Pharmacy
Read more
Distinguished Teacher of the Year
Dr. Vetro with P4 President,
Beau Ehlers
Dr. Joseph Vetro, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was named Distinguished Teacher of Year at the Fall Honors Convocation in October.  Dr. Vetro received this honor because he inspires his students, engages with them and leaves an imprint on them for their lives going forward.

Comments received from students include: Dr. Vetro has an amazing ability of presenting difficult material in a very clear and concise manner which makes it extremely understandable; he goes above and beyond for the students; you could tell Dr. Vetro wanted the students to succeed.  Congratulations, Dr. Vetro!
UNMC Pharmacy Student Shines at New Competition
A national competition for pharmacy students to test expertise in point-of-care patient counseling and collaborative practice, designed by UNMC College of Pharmacy faculty, was conducted for the first time at this year's Next Generation Dx Summit.
Jacob Duncan, a second-year Pharm.D. candidate at UNMC, made the final five.  Read more.

Contact Us
Upcoming Events
Jan 24, 2017
Feb 21, 2017

Spring Honors
May 5, 2017

May 6, 2017
Follow Us
   Like us on Facebook
   Follow us on Twitter