Newsletter: May 1, 2020
April Update
From the Dean's Desk
Hello UCSOP Community,

The School of Pharmacy has much to celebrate and be thankful for at this time. There have been many exciting announcements and graduation is tomorrow! Although we cannot celebrate the Class of 2020 how we originally planned, our virtual ceremonies give us the opportunity to share this special moment with everyone near and far.

Several School of Pharmacy students have achieved prestigious accomplishments over the last month. Congratulations to Rija Saleem on being named the grand champion of UC’s i3 Innovation Competition with her project “Revival” and also for securing a fellowship at Rutgers University. Emma Hyson was also awarded second place in the Product, Process, or Service Category with her project “Bundle of Hope”. Glenn Schiotis was named a top ten recipient of the United States Public Health Award and President Roth recently granted him the 2020 Graduate/Professional Student of the Year. Congratulations and we are eager to hear your address at commencement!

The SOP also had nine students and alumni match to residencies across the East Coast. Students and alumni awarded PGY1 residencies include: Cristin Creedon, Danielle Hoff, Tyler Leroy, Logan White, and Sheldon Wolfson. Individuals awarded PGY2 residencies include: Amber Gross, Ashley Hendje, Rachel Peaytt, and Sara Yagodich. We wish you the best as you embark on a new journey. We are very proud. 

Multiple students and faculty have taken action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through various volunteer activities. This is a testament to our community and the quality of students, staff, and teachers we have at our institution. Keep up the great work! 

Drs. Gannett Monk, Aymen Shatnawi, and Stephen Cook have been awarded the rank of associate professor here at UC. I would like to congratulate each of you for this achievement and thank you for the dedication you have for your profession, students, and this University. 

All the best, 

Md Omar Faruk Khan , BPharm, MPharm, MBA, PhD
Interim Dean
UC Virtual Commencement
Click above to watch UC's Virtual Commencement and celebrate
our graduates with us!
Saleem Wins i3 Competition
Congratulations to student pharmacist, Rija Saleem (P4) on winning grand champion in the UC Innovation Competition! Saleem's project "Revival" circles around the importance of slowing down and doing activities that take time. Saleem describes how she quit using all social media platforms and her concentration and patience improved. Watch Saleem's submission and the announcement of winners at the video to the right.
I3 Winners Announcement

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UC Student Accepts Rutgers Fellowship - University of...

UC Student Accepts Rutgers Fellowship For Immediate Release Charleston, WV - University of Charleston School of Pharmacy student pharmacist, Rija Saleem (P4) was accepted into the Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship Program. Fellows from...

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Rija Saleem
P4 Student Pharmacist

What made you choose pharmacy as a career?
When I was 11 years old, back in Pakistan, I got sick and was prescribed the wrong amount of a drug by a local clinic. It started affecting my liver, and I had severe jaundice and was in the hospital for weeks. The pharmacist at that hospital practically saved my life and ever since then I was interested in pharmacy.
What does your experiential education consist of during this time?
I am currently at Thomas Health in the inpatient pharmacy. Due to COVID, there isn’t much going on. All elective procedures have been cancelled, so I am mostly researching on new developments in COVID-19 treatments and helping the pharmacist prepare for the expected surge in Charleston.
You were just accepted into a fellowship at Rutgers University. What will that entail and what advice would you give to other students who are interested in fellowships?
I will be working with the medical information and medical affairs strategy team in the cardiovascular department. The first year will mostly consist of researching medical literature to provide standard responses to DI questions, collaborating with the advertising and promotions team to develop scientific content and probably lots and lots of meetings. My advice would be to stay involved and take on a leadership in something you are interested in. During interviews, you will be asked over and over again to talk about different activities and experiences you have been a part of during school, so it is important to make them worthy of mentioning. (Read more about Saleem's fellowship at the link above.)

Why did you decide to pursue your pharmacy education at the University of Charleston?
I was looking for a smaller school experience, and I really enjoyed my time here during my interview.
What have you been doing in your spare time to keep you busy?
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
New Zealand
Schiotis Named Outstanding
Graduate Student and Top Ten Awardee
School of Pharmacy Student in Top Ten - University of...

UC SCHOOL OF PHARMACY STUDENT PLACES IN TOP TEN FOR UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH PHARMACY AWARD April, 2020 CHARLESTON, W.VA - University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP) Class of 2020 student, Glenn Schiotis has been named a recipient for ...

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Glenn Schiotis (P4) was recently named one of the top ten recipients of the United States Public Health Award.  “It is a great honor to be recognized as a top ten recipient for such a prestigious award. I’ve been inspired by a variety of people to use my role as a student pharmacist to have a positive impact in the community, and I am so grateful for all of the opportunities and support I have received from being a part of the UCSOP family. These experiences have shaped the pharmacist I plan to be, and I promise to continue to serve the public throughout my career,” Schiotis said . President Roth has named Schiotis the 2020 Outstanding Graduate/ Professional Student of the Year Award recipient. Schiotis was nominated for this award and then had to submit a commencement address and complete an interview with a selection committee. Schiotis will speak on behalf of the Class of 2020 at the UC Virtual Commencement on May 2, 2020. Congratulations Glenn! Read more about the USPH award at the link above.
Faculty Spotlight
Dr. Sarah Embrey

How long have you been at the UCSOP? 
Five years
Where is your practice site? 
My practice site is at Thomas Memorial Hospital in Charleston. At the hospital, I am designated to a cardiac monitoring floor where we can see a variety of patients. A “typical” day for me includes having patient who are dealing with heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation, new start of chemotherapy, and various infectious disease issues.  

What is your favorite aspect of being a pharmacist? 
My favorite aspect of being a pharmacist is the gratification I feel when I see a patient who came in to the hospital feeling their worst leave the hospital feeling whole again. Not every patient can have that outcome, but it always feels great when they do.  

Tell us something that everyone may not know about you. 
In 2016, my husband eloped in Las Vegas. Any time I tell someone that I got married in Vegas they assume that it was spur of the moment or that I got married to a stranger, but that wasn’t the case! My husband and I had been together for about 8 years, and we planned to do it. Photo proof included! (Below)
What is the last great tv show or movie you watched? 
Lately I have been watching a lot of terrible things on Netflix (Tiger King, anyone?!), so I don’t really remember the greatest right now. I enjoy anything and everything true crime though, and I would say the best series I have seen relatively recently is The Staircase.

Embrey has been working hard treating her patients at Thomas Memorial Hospital. We appreciate your hard work and dedication Dr. Embrey!
Mr. Ron Ramirez

How long have you been at the UCSOP?
14 years. I started July 2006.
What initially got you interested in science and pharmacy?
My parents were both physicians in Montgomery, WV. They studied in the Philippines and did their residency in New York. I am the youngest of three children; which they inspired all of us to pursue a career in science.  Before accepting a position at the University of Charleston, I was a microbiologist for the WV Bureau for Public Health, Office of Laboratory Services. I worked there for over 12 years; my last year, my position was supervisor over the Microbiology Department (bacteriology, virology, parasitology, foodborne pathogens and mycobacteriology). This department identified reportable diseases and aided in monitoring infectious disease outbreaks.I also was an adjunct instructor for Marshall University’s Medical Technology program; teaching the identification of intestinal parasites, mycobacterium species differentiation, and diagnostic fungal species. 
What is your favorite aspect of your career?
I enjoy teaching the Non-Sterile/Sterile Compounding Laboratory. This is where the student can utilize pharmaceutical calculations and apply it to a finished product. This course gives me the opportunity to interact with the students; both in a lecture style setting and with moments of “one on one” instruction. I feel that I get a unique classroom experience with each student.

Tell us something that everyone may not know about you. 
 My parents not only emphasized the importance of education, but encouraged me to integrate music in my life. At the young age of four years old, I began piano lessons. I participated in competitions for classical piano in Michigan and Canada at a young age. I also played the saxophone in high school.
What is your favorite season?
I enjoy the summer months. My wife and my two sons (19 and 22 years of age) live in the northern part of Kanawha county. Our home is close to the Elk River where we like to kayak and fish. My family also vacations at Ocean Isle Beach, NC every year. In the summer, I like the fun activities and festivals that the city of Charleston has to offer. My family regularly attends Live on the Levee. 
Faculty Awarded New Ranks
Several School of Pharmacy faculty members have been granted promotions within the University. Congratulations to Dr. Aymen Shatnawi, Dr. Gannett Monk, and Dr. Stephen Cook (pictured above) who have been granted the title of associate professor. Congratulations!
UCSOP COVID-19 Efforts
It's no surprise that our UCSOP community has been very active in efforts to help others during this time. Take a look at what everyone has been up to. We are proud of you, Eagles!
Logan White (P4) was able to assist Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Whiskey make hand sanitizer. White helped gather supplies, assembles bottles, and add labels for easy identification. For this project, Cleveland Clinic supplied the glycerin, denatonium benzoate, and other resources. Cleveland Whiskey also provided volunteers, bottling site, and 80% ethanol.

Watch a video of the process here .
Cleveland Whiskey whips up another batch of hand...

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Cleveland Whiskey spent Tuesday morning with some employees of the Cleveland Clinic to mix another batch of hand sanitizer in the bottling section of the Cleveland distillery to help gap the low supply due to the coronavirus...

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Emma Hyson (P1) has been crocheting masks and ear savers for people in her community. Eric Constant, senior at UC, has been 3D printing buttons to assists with the project.

Tristan Maynard (P3) has been activated to work as the non-commissioned officer of the Joint Reception Staging Onward Movement and Integration for medical screening and tracking of all military members and government contractors working the COVID-19 relief in West Virginia. His job is to record baseline information regarding symptoms and review medical history to determine if the individual is fit for duty. Thank you for your service Tristan!
Wesley Jones (P1) has been a participant in the Drug-Free-All-Stars basketball team for the past seven years. This grant-funded group is comprised of volunteers who are former collegiate or professional basketball players that put on performing shows along the East Coast. The team spreads the message of a drug-free and bully-free environment. Drug-Free-All-Stars is now focusing on a message of staying healthy and safe at home. Jones created a video for the team's YouTube and social media channels to promote this initiative.
Dr. Gannett Monk, Troop 19 Boy Scouts Master, has been working alongside his scouts for the past month to assist the local food pantry to run food distribution. Several members of their community who are high-risk individuals are unable to perform their usual duties have asked the Boy Scouts for assistance. Food is distributed by curbside pickup at the Sissonville Community Center at Aldersgate United Methodist Church.
Residency Match Results
Congratulations to all of our students that have been awarded residency!

Matched PGY1:
  • Cristin Creedon (Bradley) – VA Medical Center, Beckley, WV
  • Danielle Hoff – Charleston Area Medical Center, Charleston, WV
  • Tyler Leroy – McLeod Regional Medical Center, Florence, SC
  • Logan White – Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster, PA
  • Sheldon Wolfson (Class of 2017) – VA Medical Center, Martinsburg, WV
Matched PGY2:
  • Amber Gross – Charleston Area Medical Center – Geriatrics
  • Ashley Hendje – Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States – Ambulatory Care
  • Rachel Peaytt – Tristar Centennial Medical Center/University of Tennessee – Oncology
  • Sara Yagodich: VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System – Cleveland, OH
Building Information
All UC buildings will be closed until further notice in the interest of protecting our community. Students can access library services online at
Alumni Reception- TBD
This event is going to be rescheduled for a later date to be determined.
Carly Stover
Communications Coordinator
Assistant to the Dean
Phone: (304) 357-4728
Fax: (304) 357-4868