Dean's Message

Dear Friends of the College of Pharmacy,
I have had the privilege to serve as the dean of the UNMC College of Pharmacy since November 2007 and doing so has been a highlight of my professional career.  The long list of accomplishments and cultural and physical transformation that has happened over these 10 years is remarkable.  They are achievements that you, the faculty, staff, students, alumni and all friends of the College of Pharmacy have made possible, through your willingness to embrace change, hard work and support.  My ten years as dean have been challenging and rewarding - and enough.  This is simply the right time for me to step aside and for the College of Pharmacy and UNMC to recruit new leadership.  I shall step down as dean effective
July 1, 2018, and will look forward to making continuing contributions, as a professor, to our College. 
With my deepest gratitude for the support you have provided and with my warmest personal regards. 
Dr. Fletcher to step down as dean of College of Pharmacy

After serving as dean of the UNMC College of Pharmacy for more than a decade, Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., has announced that he has decided to step down effective July 1.  

"It has truly been an amazing decade for the College of Pharmacy," said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. "We can't thank Dr. Fletcher enough for his outstanding leadership. He has elevated the college to an elite level, and we couldn't be more proud of what they've accomplished."  Read more.
Battreall named a National Immunization Champion

At the end of the phone call, Kim Battreall said thank you, hung up, and then: "I literally dropped the phone, pushed myself away from my desk and started crying.
"My co-workers thought somebody died," she said.

Instead, she had been named an American Pharmacists Association 2018 National Immunization Champion, Friend of Pharmacy. She'll be honored in March in Nashville, at the pharmacists organization's national meeting.

But there's a reason the honor affected her so deeply.

"Operation Immunization" is a collaboration between the College of Pharmacy, student health and the UNMC chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), in which pharmacist interns -- College of Pharmacy students -- administer flu shots for their fellow students and some faculty on UNMC's Omaha campus.
It has been a rousing success. Over the last three years, it has significantly improved both student immunization rates and cost savings, while providing the pharmacy students with invaluable experience.

Battreall, a nurse with Nebraska Medicine and student health, and adjunct pharmacy faculty, said this work with students is what made the honor so humbling. "I feel very validated by it," she said, "in a sense that the students are what make me come in to work every day. I listen to their stories and it inspires me to do better at my job."

"The students love her," said Ally Dering-Anderson, Pharm.D., clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice.

She worked many unpaid hours with the students to help get the project off the ground. Now being "Operation Immunization" nurse is part of her official duties.

"The Pharmacist Intern Clinics have been a collaborative effort, but someone had to have the initial idea and someone had to do the legwork to make it all possible. Kim Battreall is that person," her nomination read.

Tere Batt, student health's coordinator, Cristin Kohlscheen, student health program associate, and Priscilla Debro, student health office assistant, also played key roles. Dr. Dering-Anderson, Charles Krobot, Pharm.D., Daren Knoell, Pharm.D., and John Ridgway supervised clinics. Dean Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., and the college, provided infrastructure and support.

"It all fell into place and I love how it worked out," Battreall said.

Though she officially works for Nebraska Medicine, Battreall said she appreciates how, at an academic medical center, education is part of the job.

"I've worked in different environments before where education wasn't at the forefront. I didn't like it," she said. "This feels more right."
Faculty News

Four College of Pharmacy faculty were recognized at a campus ceremony on February 13 for their contributions to research.

New investigator: Aaron Mohs, Ph.D.

Aaron Mohs, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, has been named New Investigator.

New Investigator Awards go to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New Investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.   Read more
Distinguished Scientist: Corey Hopkins, Ph.D.

Dr. Corey Hopkins, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, has been named one of nine Distinguished Scientists.

The Distinguished Scientist Award -- which is sponsored by the chancellor -- recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists in the country during the past five years. 
Read more
Distinguished Scientist: Joseph Vetro, Ph.D.
Dr. Joseph Vetro, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, has been named one of nine Distinguished Scientists.

Dr. Vetro's research focuses on drug delivery with the goal to greatly improve cancer treatments and vaccines through the development of nanoscale-sized dosage forms that increase the localization of conventional and unconventional drugs to their sites of action in the body.  Read more
Distinguished Scientist: Sam Sanderson, Ph.D.

Exuberant biochemist. Collaborative scholar. Eternal optimist. Posthumous Distinguished Scientist.

Sam Sanderson, Ph.D., would have said the latter -- among the highest recognition UNMC bestows on its researchers - - was "the cat's pajamas," an oft-used catchphrase of his.

Dr. Sanderson, who died Aug. 8, 2017, at age 63, was recognized posthumously as one of UNMC's Distinguished Scientists for 2017. Dr. Sanderson worked 27 years at the medical center, most recently as Research Associate Professor in the UNMC College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and founded the startup company, Prommune, Inc., in 2002, based on his research.   Read more
Dr. Sobeski contributes to UNMC's E Learning Program

A story on UNMC's E Learning program entitled When Students Teach Students was featured in the January 24 digital issue of Inside Higher Ed.

Linda Sobeski, Pharm.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice, contributed greatly to this endeavor, working to establish E Learning modules that improve course materials while engaging students with more relatable information.

"The idea is that some students learn differently," said Linda Sobeski, clinical assistant professor in the institution's College of Pharmacy. "If we can offer them options for learning in different ways, that enhances the student learning experience."  Read more
Student News

UNMC student picked as Pipeline Spotlight Entrepreneur

William Payne, a doctoral student of pharmaceutical sciences at UNMC, was selected as the University of Nebraska's top choice to present his business plan at the largest entrepreneurial conference in the region.

Payne's business plan rose to the top of a selection process that pulled the best proposals from all University of Nebraska campuses. He will joined three other "Pipeline Spotlight Entrepreneurs" who pitched their ideas during Pipeline's annual Innovation Awards on January 25 in Kansas City. Other Spotlight Entrepreneurs represented the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri and Washington University in St. Louis.  Read more
Kappa Psi takes the Polar Plunge

On a frigid February in Nebraska, 24 Kappa Sci members took the plunge into icy waters at Lake Cunningham to support the Special Olympics of Nebraska.

Kappa Psi raised $2,325 for the Special Olympics which was almost double of what they raised last year. Organizers had to cut the ice just so the group could jump in together. Omaha raised $100,321 in fundraising for the Special Olympics.  View photo album
Hawk receives Silver U Award

Amber Hawk, Recruitment  and Admissions Associate in the Dean's Office, has been awarded the January Silver U for the College of Pharmacy.   The Silver U Award is given annually to employees whose overall performance is above and beyond the scope of their position.  Nominations included the following:

I believe she should be recognized via Silver U for all her work and efforts to increase the applicant pool. She is always very willing to assist and provide information that anyone needs. She is a team player that I truly appreciate!

Amber is exceptionally talented and cares about doing the right thing for the College. She has improved policies and procedures related to admissions and has a desire to learn other duties so that she may help faculty, students and staff. Her ability to multi-task and to accommodate requests is excellent. Her compassionate nature for the prospective students is noticed, and they are so happy to see her face-to-face on campus visits or when they arrive for an interview. She is their cheerleader and wants to help them be successful. It is a pleasure working with her because of her compassionate nature and her willingness to lend a hand. She exemplifies the UNMC qualities below and is an asset to UNMC and the College of Pharmacy.
  1. Innovation - searches for a better way; seek and implement ideas and approaches; drives transformational change
  2. Teamwork - Respect diversity + one another; communicates effectively and listens well
  3. Excellence - Strives for highest standards; works to achieve exceptional results
  4. Accountability - Takes ownership. Is transparent. Do the right thing
  5. Courage - Makes tough decisions; pursuit of excellence; admits mistakes and learns
  6. Healing - Shows empathy. Selfless in caring for patients, one another and the community.
Amber is an incredibly hard worker and efficient in all she does. She is always pleasant and willing to help out no matter what she is asked to do. She has taken the recruitment area and has improved the process and taken it to the next level!

Congratulations, Amber!
UNMC College of Pharmacy |