Dean's Message, December 2018

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. With confidence, I can report to you that the College of Pharmacy has continued to advance every aspect of our mission of teaching, research and service, and without question, 2018 was another exceptional year for the College of Pharmacy.
Nationally and internationally, we are regarded as a preeminent college of pharmacy. The following are just two of the many accomplishments in 2018 by our faculty and our students, which support this well-earned reputation.

Our faculty received over $12 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health. We have tripled our research funding received over the last 10 years. For this most recent year, we ranked #10 among all 140 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the US. This is an outstanding accomplishment by the faculty, especially considering we have the smallest number of faculty among the top 30 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the US.
Here are links to a YouTube discussion about our research funding and a UNMC news story.

Our students similarly continue to excel. The graduating class of 2018 continued a now 33 year run of scoring above the national average on the national pharmacy licensing examination. The class of 2018 scored a first-time pass rate on the boards of 97%. And despite the academic rigors of pharmacy education, our students make time to serve the community - as just one of many examples, one of our current 4th year pharmacy student raised funds to start his own Foundation and enlisted his fellow pharmacy students to provide needed immunizations to homeless persons in Omaha. That tells you all you need to know about how good of hands our pharmacy profession will be in from this next generation of pharmacists.
We aren't resting on the laurels of the educational excellence of our teaching program - we are continuing to improve and innovate. We now provide all of our students iPads that have, for example, pharmacotherapy books, note taking apps and wellness apps. We continue our move to active learning in the classroom. Our digital learning initiatives are important to meet an objective for our students to be able to learn anytime, anywhere. We expanded our partnership with Nebraska Medicine this year, and added 7 new jointly-funded faculty in the area of ambulatory care. These faculty will provide new experiential rotations for our students and develop innovative models of pharmacy practice.
Dedication and commitment to excellence. These characteristics define our faculty, staff and students: dedicated to advancing the profession of pharmacy and to the mission of the College of Pharmacy, and committed to achieving excellence in everything we do. Let me take this opportunity for some Thank You notes.  
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 is a much stronger institution because of your support.
You all know by now that I will complete my service as the 7th Dean of the College of Pharmacy on January 7, 2019. I have had a heck-of-a great run as dean, and one much smoother because of the collegiality, comradery, and support that I have received from the faculty, staff and students - and all of the alumni and friends of the College of Pharmacy. I want to extend my gratitude to all of you. And, on a personal note, Jean and I can't thank you all enough for the friendship and open arms you have extended to us since our move to Omaha.
Warmest wishes for Christmas and the New Year to you all. May the warmth and joy of this holiday season stay with you throughout 2019.
Courtney V. Fletcher, Pharm.D.
Dean and Professor
Fall Honors Convocation

Dr. Krobot with P4 class President, Byron Korf
The 2018 Annual College of Pharmacy Fall Honors Convocation was held on October 18.  Over $600,000 in scholarships and other leadership awards and prizes were presented.  Dr. Ally Dering-Anderson, Chair of the Scholarship, Honors and Financial Aid Committee, presided at the Convocation. 

The Distinguished Teacher of the Year was presented by Class of 2019 President, Byron Korf, to Dr. Charles Krobot, Assistant Professor Emeritus in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science.  Dr. Krobot, previously received this award in 2002. He was again honored because he exemplifies the profession of pharmacy, his willingness to help students be good stewards of the profession and just being a great person and instructor.
Dr. Krobot is an UNMC alumnus, served as Associate Dean for Student Affairs within the College of Pharmacy for 11 years, Interim Chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice for one year, and has marked 45 years as a pharmacist. He retired from the College in June of this year.
His years of practice prepared him for teaching Legal and Ethical Principles courses and Aseptic Technique to over a thousand students in the professional program.
During his appointment as Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Dr. Krobot was responsible for recruiting and supporting top quality students. He implemented the PharmCAS system and was instrumental in the growth of the RHOP/KHOP program. He was a patient yet firm voice for students who needed support. Throughout it all, Dr. Krobot was truly an advocate for the students within the college.
The Distinguished Teaching Award has been presented annually since 1994 to a College of Pharmacy faculty member to recognize his or her excellence in teaching and dedication to student learning. Each spring, the Student Advisory Committee, a committee consisting of student leaders from the College of Pharmacy, requests nominations from the student body.  The nominators must include an explanation as to why they believe the nominee should be a candidate to receive the Award.  Once all nominations have been received, the Student Advisory Committee meets to consider all nominations.
Congratulations to the scholarship/award recipients and to Dr. Krobot!
New dean of UNMC College of Pharmacy announced

Keith Olsen, Pharm.D., currently the dean of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy, has been named the eighth dean of the UNMC College of Pharmacy.

Dr. Olsen will begin Jan. 7, pending approval of his appointment from the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. An alumnus of the UNMC College of Pharmacy, Dr. Olsen was on the college's faculty from 1993 to 2015. He is a native Nebraskan and graduate of Wayne State College.

"We are confident that the ongoing surge in momentum at our College of Pharmacy will continue under Dr. Olsen, a national leader in pharmacy sciences, practice and education," said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. "We are delighted to welcome him back to UNMC."   Read more
College News

New members join Interprofessional Academy of Educators

Sixteen faculty and staff members were inducted into UNMC's Interprofessional Academy of Educators (IAE) in a Sept. 13 ceremony. In addition, five students and residents were initiated into the group of associate members (learners). Judy Neville, Director of Pharmacy Technician Education in the College of Pharmacy, was a 2018 inductee.  Read more
New editions to the Pharmacy family


Jessica Downes, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Pharmacy Practice and Science department, with her husband, Jimmy, welcomed Mason James in October.

Amber Hawk, Recruitment/Admissions Specialist in the Dean's office, with her husband, Phillip, welcomed Ada June in December.
Laura Weber with Dr. Wang
Student News

Pharmaceutical Sciences December Graduates

Ying Xie with Dr. Oupicky
Graduate Studies hosted an honors convocation on December 13 to celebrate new graduates.  Eight Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate students received their Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD).  

The 2018 graduates are presented below.  

Congratulations graduates!

* Shrey S. Kanvinde, Thane, India
Supervisor: David Oupicky, Ph.D.
*Xin Wei, Changchun City, China
Supervisor: Dong Wang, Ph.D.
Zhihao Mao, Guangzhou, China
Supervisor: Daniel T. Monaghan, Ph.D.
Ying Xie, Pingxiang, China
Supervisor: David Oupicky, Ph.D.
Xiaobei Wang, Nanchang, China
Supervisor: Dong Wang, Ph.D.
*Ruinan Yang, Beijing, China
Supervisor: Ram I. Mahato, Ph.D.
Laura Elizabeth Weber, Omaha, NE
Supervisor: Dong Wang, Ph.D.
Fei Yu, Yantai, China
Supervisor: David Oupicky, Ph.D.

 *denotes an August Graduate
Nebraska Pharmacy Foundation Scholarships

Annually, the  Nebraska Pharmacists Association (NPA), thanks to generous donations from NPA members, awards scholarships to students at Creighton School of Pharmacy and UNMC College of Pharmacy.

Two UNMC COP students were awarded scholarships.  Alexandra Kenney, Class of 2022,  received the Cora Mae Briggs scholarship and  Brandon Heuermann, Class of 2019, received the Rex Higley scholarship.   Read more
UNMC College of Pharmacy |