Greetings from the Dean
Dear UNMC College of Pharmacy family and friends:
Since our last newsletter, many things have changed in the College as we transitioned to a virtual campus for the last 6 weeks of the academic year. The faculty and students did an outstanding job in transitioning to remote on-line teaching. Our staff did an amazing job supporting our students and faculty through remote interactions.  The cooperation we have observed from both students and faculty has been remarkable. Although not ideal, everyone embraced the process and we managed to complete the curriculum and keep students on pace for advancing to the next professional year. We were the only college on the UNMC campus to start our APPE and IPPE clinical rotations on time in early May. Thank you to our preceptors for your assistance.  
Our Honors Convocation and Commencement had a different look this year as a result of COVID-19. On May 8th, 2020, we conducted an online ceremony in a similar fashion to our existing celebrations. The virtual experience was new to all of us. We have invited all 2020 graduating pharmacists to participate in the December 2020 or May 2021 convocation and graduation ceremonies.  
The College developed an ad hoc committee made up of faculty and students to plan bringing students to campus for the fall semester. We know classrooms, offices, and other work spaces will need to be cleaned frequently as well as other details that will need to be addressed prior to the start of classes on August 24. Social distancing requirements will result in carefully limiting the number of people in a classroom as well as holding classes in shifts.    
We appreciate the alumni and friends of the College who serve as preceptors for our Advance Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE). Everyone--alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students, play a significant role in the accomplishments of the College. There are many exciting things still happening in the College despite our work at home measures. Although we don't know what the future will bring, we do look forward to reconnecting with all of you in the days ahead.
Thank you for your continued support of the College. UNMC has a central repository of COVID-19 information located here [] , that you may find useful.
Stay safe.
With warm regards,
Keith M. Olsen, Pharm.D. FCCP, FCCM
Dean and Professor

College of Pharmacy and Community mourns loss of Charlie Krobot
by Kalani Simpson, UNMC Public Relations

Charles Krobot, PharmD, who died June 27 at 73, was so beloved within the College of Pharmacy that one of his colleagues thought it was the perfect running joke to refer to Dr. Krobot as his "arch nemesis."

The irony was obvious.

"I have never met a better man," said Joseph Vetro, PhD, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences.

It's a sentiment widely shared within the College of Pharmacy, UNMC community and beyond.

"There are some people who touch your heart just by being who they are," said colleague Ally Dering-Anderson, PharmD.

"A kind and ethical professor and a prince of a human being," said vice chancellor for external relations Bob Bartee.

"He was a mentor without even trying, just by the way he lived his life," said Tom Davis, PharmD, Nebraska Medicine's lead pharmacist, outpatient and oncology.

"A gentleman educator, a professional with integrity and purpose," said Sam Augustine, PharmD, professor of pharmacy practice at Creighton University.

"Charlie was a beloved faculty member and friend who impacted countless students in his role as the associate dean," said dean Keith Olsen, PharmD.

Dr. Krobot died June 27 following a six-month fight against cancer, according to his Omaha World-Herald obituary.

There will be no public services, but memorials in his honor can be made to the Charles Krobot Pharmacy Student Scholarship fund through the University of Nebraska Foundation.

He worked as a pharmacist for 45 years.

Dr. Krobot took a number of bold turns during his career. He already was a registered pharmacist when, at 35, he decided to go back to school and get his doctorate -- his PharmD degree, at UNMC. He then worked "on the floor" at Clarkson Hospital, overseeing a satellite pharmacy that prepared chemotherapy medications for cancer patients. He later became a part-time faculty member at UNMC and earned teaching accolades.

But in 2003, he got the call to become the College of Pharmacy's associate dean for academic affairs. Now-dean emeritus Clarence Ueda, PharmD, PhD, was pleased to have Dr. Krobot at UNMC.

"Charlie was one of the most respected pharmacists in the state," Dr. Ueda said.

Dr. Ueda's successor as dean, Courtney Fletcher, PharmD, agreed, "He was kind, caring and compassionate," Dr. Fletcher said. "He was a fine man; he was my friend -- and the college, our students and I will miss him terribly."

Dr. Krobot was a former president of the Nebraska Pharmacists Association and was instrumental in re-writing the state's pharmacy regulations in the late 1990s. He also was active in merging the old Nebraska Pharmacists Association with the former Nebraska Society of Hospital Pharmacists, Dr. Dering-Anderson said.
Faculty News

College of Pharmacy Faculty Promotions
Congratulations to Don Klepser, Ph.D., M.B.A., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Yazen Alnouti, Ph.D., faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences on their promotions to professor.   Yashpal Chhonker, Ph.D., research faculty member in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science and Denis Svechkarev, Ph.D., research faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences were promoted to Research Assistant Professor.

College faculty awarded Distinguished Scientist Awards  
Kim Scarsi, Pharm.D. and Aaron Mohs , Ph.D. have been awarded the 2019 Distinguished Scientist Awards. The award recognizes them as research leaders at UNMC with a history of significant national funding and recognition based on their scholarly activity. The Distinguished Scientist Awa rds were presented on March 3.
Kim Scarsi, Pharm.D. 
Dr. S carsi's research program works to optimize the pharmacologic treatment of persons living with HIV. Her ongoing projects include both domestic and international sites, with an emphasis on women living with HIV and persons co-infected with HIV and tuberculosis. Dr. Scarsi also serves as an investigator with the AIDS Clinical Trials Group.     
Aaron Mohs, Ph.D.
Dr. Mohs' research is focused on the development of new fluorescent imaging contrast agents to guide surgical removal of tumors. He has developed instruments that could one day be used in th e operating room to see these contrast agents real time. As opposed to a paint by number, this is a cut by color technology. His group has research projects focused on developing new drug delivery systems that target tumor metabolism and pathogen biosensing.
Kristen Cook, Pharm.D. recipient of the Impact in Education for Innovative Practices in Education Award  
Kristen Cook, Pharm.D.
UNMC Clinical Associate Professor, Kristen Cook , Pharm.D., is the
recipient of the Impact in Education for Innovative Practices in Education  
This award recognizes an individual who demonstrates ingenuity, courage and creativity in teaching including innovations in use of educational technology, experiential learning, adoption of simulation and creative use of the classroom, as well as an engaging presentation style. The award was presented at the Impact in Education Awards Ceremony on Feb. 20.
Don Ronning, Ph.D.
Professor Don Ronning joins COP
Don Ronning , Ph.D., joined the College of Pharmacy in January as Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences   Dr. Ronning received his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from University of Minnesota -Twin Cities and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Texas A & M University.
Dr. Ronning's research focuses on structural biology of microbial proteins, discovery and development of antibacterial compounds, and identifying mechanism-of-action of old antibacterial drugs. Dr. Ronning is an active member of American Chemical Society, the American Society of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 
Carrie McAdam  
Marx, Ph.D.
College welcomes Carrie McAdam Marx  
The College is pleased to welcome Carrie McAdam Marx, Ph.D.  Dr. McAdam Marx received her BS in Pharmacy from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in Health Policy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.  Dr. McAdam Marx is a pharmacotherapy health services researcher. Her research helps to establish the effectiveness and value of pharmacist-led comprehensive medication management in primary care, as well as the real-world effectiveness and value of diabetes drug therapies. Her goal is to help improve patient outcomes by generating evidence to support decisions related to access and optimal use of medications and clinical pharmacy services.  
Shelby Bennett, Pharm.D.
Office of Experiential Programs welcomes Shelby Bennett
Shelby Bennett joined the College on June 1st as a Clinical Assistant Professor in both the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science and the Office of Experiential Programs. Her service to the Office of Experiential Programs includes preceptor development, experiential site visits, and management of student introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs).
Dr. Bennett earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Creighton University. She completed a PGY-1 community-based pharmacy residency with the University of Kansas and Balls Food Stores in Overland Park, Kansas. She holds a teaching certificate from The University of Kansas Health System.
Ally Dering-Anderson selected as recipient of the Spirit of Community Service Award
Ally Dering-Anderson, Pharm.D.
Ally Dering-Anderson, Pharm.D., was awarded the Spirit of Community Service Award by the Faculty Senate at the annual faculty meeting on April 14. 

This merit award is presented to a faculty member who , through continuing commitment to the surrounding underserved or isolated communitie s, has used expertise, resources, talent, and time without remuneration (not part of UNMC duties) or has enabled others to provide community service in various community projects.
Student News  
The 2020 College of Pharmacy Scholastic Honors Convocation and Commencement were combined and held virtually on May 8 to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, and family members during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Fifty-six seniors were vested with their doctoral hoods by family or friends and took the Pharmacist's Oath. Senior recognition awards and the 2020 Preceptor, Faculty Preceptor and Site of the Year Awards were also presented during the virtual Convocation.  The 2020 Preceptor of the Year was Josh Hite, Pharm.D. Linda Sobeski, Pharm.D. was chosen as Faculty Preceptor of the Year, and One World Community Health Center was named Site of the Year.

Congratulations to our Graduates as well as Preceptors and Site of the Year!
Tess Lewis, Dean Keith Olsen, Gary Cochran, Pharm.D., Raj Selvaraj and Sarah Stege
College of Pharmacy creates hand sanitizer for campus, community
by Kalani Simpson, UNMC Public Relations

Jennifer Foster, Pharm.D., saw an urgent need for hand sanitizer at her practice at One World Community Health Centers, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. So she and her College of Pharmacy colleague, Gary Cochran, Pharm.D., gathered a few ingredients and put them together using pharmacy drug compounding techniques, under Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines.

Amidst a global shortage of hand sanitizer, the UNMC College of Pharmacy had come through.  Dean Keith Olsen, Pharm.D., had an idea. With hand sanitizer in short supply, shouldn't the College of Pharmacy produce some for UNMC and Nebraska Medicine units that needed it?

In the weeks that followed, pharmacy students produced hand sanitizer for Munroe-Meyer Institute, the College of Dentistry, home care agencies, nursing homes, construction companies, dental offices, homeless shelters, rehabilitation centers, training facilities, and UNMC maintenance facilities.

Brad Nelson and the University of Nebraska Foundation helped organize a fundraiser to produce 100 gallons to be delivered at no cost to shelters throughout the community.
It's made a difference during this pandemic.

"Here at MMI, where we still provide direct patient services, supplies such as these are especially necessary," said Karoly Mirnics, M.D., Ph.D., director of MMI. "MMI's deepest gratitude goes to UNMC's pharmacy students. Their help is essential for our activities as we continue to provide critical services to our families. Without their efforts, we could not operate safely."

The pharmacy students have a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds so the college may provide more free hand sanitizer to organizations that need it. Contributions may be made here. 
High School Alliance shines at COP 
When one thinks about coursework in high school, classes that often come to mind include English or Biology or even PE. But what if one could take a class in gross anatomy, microbiology, or even pharmacy? These are the types of classes offered to select Junior and Seniors enrolled in the UNMC High School Alliance Program.  In partnership with Omaha Public Schools, Millard Public Schools, Westside Public School and other schools in the Omaha-metropolitan area, approximately 60-70 students are chosen each year to participate in this enrichment program. Students meet on the UNMC campus during the afternoons for the entire academic year, taking 2 classes per semester. Classes in medical research, genetics, pathology, behavioral health and pharmacy are a sampling of the opportunities afforded to these students.
The "Introduction to Pharmacy" class was implemented in 2016, with approximately 100 students having completed the program to date. The goal of the class is to expose the students to the variety of options available within the field of pharmacy. The course begins with the field of pharmacognosy, followed by drug design and development, compounding of extemporaneous and aseptic products, and the FDA approval process. The second half of the semester is focused on cardiovascular disease. Students have an opportunity to examine human and porcine hearts, followed by in-depth therapeutic discussions about nutrition, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, stroke, and diabetes. Students are taught pharmacotherapeutics by existing pharmacy students, including the medications, therapeutic endpoints, and potential toxicities. High School Alliance students conclude the semester with pharmacogenomics and pharmacy ethics. 
High school students frequently comment at the end of the semester how pharmacy is much "bigger" than what they initially perceived. The UNMC COP is beginning to see students from the program apply to pharmacy school. In fact, 2 students in this year's P1 class completed the High School Alliance Program. The students who successfully pass the program are guaranteed an interview for pharmacy school. The UNMC COP is excited about this partnership with the High School Alliance, and look forward to training the next generation of pharmacists. Individuals who may have questions about the program can contact Dr. Chris Shaffer at  
Alumni News  
UNMC College of Pharmacy Alumni named CEO/EVP of APhA  
The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) a nnounced that Scott J. Knoer, MS, Pharm.D., FASHP, has been named the 13 th Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice President of APhA.
Dr. Knoer is the Chief Pharmacy Officer of the Cleveland Clinic, overseeing nearly 1,600 pharmacy FTEs at the Clinic's 1,300-bed tertiary care referral hospital, its clinics and cancer center, 18 family health centers and 11 community hospitals in the Cleveland area. He officially assumes his duties July 1, 2020. He succeeds Thomas E. Menighan, who has served as CEO/EVP of APhA for the past 11 years, and last year announced his plans to retire in 2020.
"I am humbled and honored to be named APhA's 13 th Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President," said Dr. Knoer. "I have advocated hard for pharmacy throughout my career, and I'm excited to officially represent the entire profession, helping APhA to empower pharmacists to care for patients.
"Health care is transforming at a staggering pace," Dr. Knoer continued. "While innovative medications are treating diseases once thought incurable, they often come at a price that is unsustainable for society. APhA will not only fight so pharmacists can care for their patients, but we will also fight to ensure that patients have access to affordable drug therapy."
Prior to joining the Cleveland Clinic in 2011, Dr. Knoer held leadership positions in pharmacy at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Fairview, Minn., the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Tex., and the University of Kansas Medical Center.  He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Pharmacy. 

Amy Pick, Pharm.D., Visits Alumni in Scottsdale as part of UNMC Alumni Association's Outreach
In February 2020, the UNMC Alumni Association hosted UNMC in the Desert, where members of UNMC's leadership team visited alumni and donors in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Amy Pick, Pharm.D. '03, assistant dean for Experiential Education in the College of Pharmacy, attended and met with alums from all UNMC colleges. Pictured at left is a group of College of Pharmacy alumni with Dr. Pick.
Alumni Council welcomes new President, Greg Schardt Pharm.D.
This spring, Greg Schardt Pharm.D. '09 was selected as the president of the College of Pharmacy Alumni Council, succeeding Amy Hornig, Pharm.D. '07, who served in the position for five years. He is System Director - Pharmacy Mail Order for CommonSpirit Health, the nation's largest non-profit health system.  

"I would like to thank Amy for her work leading our organization these past few years," Greg said. "She has been an outstanding advocate for us and has brought together alumni and students alike to support the College and instill new programs and priorities. It has been a pleasure working with her!"
Upcoming Events

White Coat Ceremony
August 21, 2020, 3pm
UNMC Truhlsen Event Center
Please note: we are planning an in-person event for faculty and incoming P1s with appropriate social distancing, but unfortunately we will not be hosting a reception after.
Contact Amber Hawk for information

UNMC College of Pharmacy |