UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences News

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UT Student Selected for Scholars Program

UT Pharmacy student Angela Simon was selected for the PQA-CVS Health Foundation Scholars Program. The program’s goal is to “support and recognize student excellence in projects centered on quality-related initiatives; encourage, promote, and improve education surrounding quality measures and value-based models of care; and foster student interest and engagement in the development of quality-related initiatives.”

Angela receives a $1,250 scholarship to Scholars to attend the PQA Leadership Summit in November 2017, along with an invitation to present the results of her project at the PQA Annual Meeting in May. Angela’s research will focus on factors that influence the intent of community pharmacists to provide medication therapy management. Her thesis advisors, Dr. Sharrel Pinto, and committee members, Dr. Cindy Puffer and Dr. Sadik Khuder, will advise her during this project.

Source: http://pqaalliance.org/academic/scholars.asp

Celebrating the Class of 2017

Degrees Awarded

This year, the University held the Spring Commencement ceremony in the Glass Bowl to recognize the 2,000 graduates. At commencement, six students received the PhD in Medicinal Chemistry, 86 received the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, 15 received master’s degrees in medicinal chemistry or pharmaceutical sciences, and 132 received bachelor’s degrees in the pharmaceutical sciences.

Of the 132 baccalaureate degrees awarded to students in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 13 were Summa Cum Laude, 28 were Magna Cum Laude, and 33 were Cum Laude. In addition, three students earned departmental honors, one earned college honors and one earned both departmental and college honors.

College Convocation and Awards Ceremony

Dr. Ken Bachmann leads the faculty procession at the college’s Convocation and Awards Ceremony

The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences held a Spring Convocation and Awards Ceremony to recognize the achievements of pharmacy and pharmaceutical science students. In attendance were the college faculty and administration, along with UT administrators, Dr. Dorothea Sawicki, Vice Chancellor and Associate Dean for Graduate Health Science Studies, and Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. Professor Emeritus Kenneth Bachmann, the co-founder and VP for Pharmacoinformatics at CeutiCare, Inc., served as the Grand Marshal.


The valedictorian of the B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences graduating class is Melissa Yamsek. Read Melissa’s remarks to the Class of 2017

Dongjin Kang and Casey Koester share the honor of being valedictorians for the 2017 Doctor of Pharmacy graduating class. In recognition of their accomplishments, each received a gold medal presented by the Beta Eta Chapter of Rho Chi and a valedictorian Louisville Mortar and Pestle. Read Dongjin Kang’s remarks to the Class of 2017


BSPS Valedictorian Melissa Yamsek’s Remarks

Melissa Yamsek, BSPS valedictorian, delivers her remarks

Over the past few years at the University of Toledo, we have each accomplished a lot. We’ve overcome great academic challenges, whether that includes spending hours at either Mulford or Carlson Libraries to do well on an exam, memorizing countless individual drugs and their mechanism of action, or fervently searching the recent literature for incorporation into a research project. But most importantly, we’ve each gathered lifelong friendships and experiences that will carry us into our futures.

Throughout my time here, I have gained valuable experiences that have helped to guide myself into a future career. When I first started at the University of Toledo, I had one clear-cut goal: go in, get my Pharm.D., and become a pharmacist. Not much more than a month into my college career, my organic chemistry lab TA advocated that I join a research lab. To be honest with you, at the time I was completely unacquainted with the notion that undergraduate research was even a thing, and I experienced considerable hesitation to take his advice. I began talking with some of the upperclassmen that I had befriended, who were a bit more familiar with the idea, and each of them presented encouragement and invigoration, in support of the opportunity. Taking my individual skill sets and interests into consideration, I decided that I would be well-suited as a researcher and that it would be a dignified opportunity, so I began talking with professors and became involved in research that next semester. From that moment on, my life had changed. I began spending extensive portions of my spare time in the lab, starting with simply afternoons and then growing to working entire days and even weekends. I’ve had several people come up and ask if I was a graduate student, or even if I actually lived in the lab. I became addicted to producing results and quickly began to realize that research was my true calling and that I need to be stimulated more at the research and discovery level, so I switched my career goals to include the earning of a Ph.D. in biochemistry.

Now I am sitting here at the end of my undergraduate career at the University of Toledo, and I’m about to migrate onto a new journey at The University of Chicago. While I am excited to be encapsulated in a highly academic environment, I’m not afraid to admit that I am also slightly apprehensive; however, I keep on reflecting back to how I felt my freshman year here at UT and what it has taught me about new explorations. Many of us encounter some sort of suspense or presentiments about starting new chapters within our lives, but we need to remember that change is what induces excitement within our lives, and what drives us to improve ourselves and ultimately, excel. It was the result of a great change in my life that allowed me to discover my inner devotion and eagerness towards biochemical research.

My time here at the University of Toledo has granted me invaluable experiences that have motivated me to continue my path to a future career as an independent researcher. My professors, fellow classmates, lab members, and family have served as vital sources of inspiration as I strived for my own self-discovery. Overall, my advice to all of you is to keep on pushing yourselves. Each and every one of you has attained great accomplishments during your time here at The University of Toledo, and while that’s worth undivided praise and celebration, don’t let that stop you from obtaining further aspirations or achievements. I am confident that each of you will make great strides to be greater than you were the previous day, and succeed within your future furthered education or careers. With that, I’d like to wish each of you the best as you venture on to a new point in your lives and express an immense gratitude to all of you who have been by my side this entire time.

PharmD Valedictorian Dongjin Kang’s Remarks

Excerpted from the valedictorian speech of Dongjin Kang

Dongjin Kang and Casey Koester, PharmD valedictorians

Before we graduate, and go on to become leaders in the world of pharmacy, let’s reflect on our past 6 years here at the University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

We’ve been together for 6 years now, and it is hard not to form a close ties to each others, and after 6 years everyone become more less a family.

Out of all the times we spent together, I would never forget our third year, beginning with white coat ceremony, which marked as a transition from pre-professional years to professional years as we read back an Oath of Pharmacist. I would also never forget the seminar presentations we did, tests we took, tuitions we paid, and donation worth over $40,000 we pledged during our P3 years.

It is hard to believe we are sitting amongst families and loved ones here dress like wizards to begin careers as pharmacists by assuring safe and effective use of medications, especially only drugs I knew were Tylenol and Adderall when I first embarked on this journey.

Little did we know after next three years of didactic educations, we will be pouring out treatment guidelines, and conditions like hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes or surviving from caffeine overdose.

We’re very fortunate to have faculty members who take our feedbacks seriously, and use them to continue to innovate our curriculum and promote excellence both academically and professionally, but that’s only a part of story, see the truth is I think what truly drives our success is the decades of our college history and strong alumni support that made our college one of the finest pharmacy school in nation.

So, after 10 or 20 years down the road, when patients or colleagues ask us where we went to pharmacy school, I would say I went to the University of Toledo College of Pharmacy with all the confidence in the world as per Dr. Mauro would say, and continue to contribute to the ongoing legacy of excellence.

As we graduate today, we cross another bridge in our lives, it means it would not only get us out of this wonderful greater Toledo area for most of us, but also it means it separates us from being students to a real life, soon-to-be licensed pharmacist.

A number of us would continue our training through residency or fellowship programs because 8 rotations weren’t just enough, or others obviously little bit SABBY with personal finance would begin working at a community right away, or if you’re little be crazier, you would go on to PhD like I do. But regardless of whatever direction we choose to go, let’s cherish the moment we spent together and dedicate ourselves not only to life-long learning but also life-long bond we established with each other, and look forward to celebrate our successes on the other side. See you there, Cheers.

2017 Outstanding Teacher and Professor Awards

Dr. Gabriella Baki with Dr. Julie Murphy

In addition to the awards presented to students at the Convocation and Awards Ceremony, the Outstanding Teacher and Professor awards were presented. These awards afford students the opportunity to recognize faculty for excellence in teaching and to honor them as models for others.

This year’s Professor of the Year, voted upon by the graduating Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences graduating class, is Dr. Gabriella Baki. Dr. Baki is an assistant professor of pharmaceutics in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and the director of the Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design program. Dr. Baki first came to UT as a student through our international partnership with University of Szeged in Hungary. Dr. Baki is the advisor for the UT chapter of Student Society of Cosmetic Chemists, and she and Dr. Ken Alexander, whom you have already met today, are coauthors of Cosmetic Formulation and Technology, the premier undergraduate-level textbook for cosmetic formulation. Dr. Baki is an ambassador for the cosmetic science program.

Dr. Kim Schmude with Dr. Megan Kaun

The graduating Doctor of Pharmacy P4 class selects the Teacher of the Year, and this class has selected someone who is very deserving of this award. Dr. Kim Schmude is a repeat winner of this award, having received it in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Students repeatedly mention Dr. Schmude’s student-centered teaching practices as the reason for her teaching excellence. Along with several other faculty members and many students, Dr. Schmude is a member of Rho Chi, the pharmacy honor society.

Annual Golf Outing Registration Now Open

The Toledo Academy of Pharmacy/ University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Annual Scholarship Golf Outing is fast approaching.  June 14th is right around the corner and we want to see you out on the greens! As in years past, this will be an 18 hole scramble and you will receive both a boxed lunch and a Shorty’s BBQ dinner.  Registration begins at 10:00with a shotgun start at 11:00. There will be contests, prizes, and an auction as well!  Not a golfer?  Come for the dinner only, sponsor a hole or students to play for the day, or make a donation to the Toledo Academy of Pharmacy Scholarship Fund!  We also have corporate sponsorship opportunities available as well.  Please click here to register today!

Thank you for your support!​

Tole​​do Academy of Pharmacy Golf Outing Committee

Students visit In-Cosmetics Tradeshow in New York

Samantha Parrott, Mark Chandler, and Sienna Gerdeman

Samantha Parrott, Mark Chandler, and Sienna Gerdeman

Samantha Parrott and Sienna Gerdeman, P2 students in the Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design program, attended the In-Cosmetics North America Tradeshow on New York City’s Pier 36. The trade show consists of about 148 different booths of different supplier companies, including Wacker, Sensient, Ashland, Actives, AkzoNobel, Nexeo, and KOBO. They visited each booth at the event, making contacts and networking for jobs in cosmetic science. They were also able to share information about the the Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design at UT with companies looking for new talent.

Ms. Parrott and Ms. Gerdeman learned about the latest innovations in the industry by talking one on one to those in the industry. They were amazed by the latest technologies that were entering the market, such as color-changing lipstick and new methods of quality testing.

The water-based nail polish and skin softening shower gel that Ms. Gerdeman had made during her summer internship at Wacker Chemical Corporation were also featured at the tradeshow. The students also met with Mark Chandler of ACT Solutions, Inc., and he tried Ms. Gerdeman’s nail polish.

TFP-UT Community-based Health Outcomes Fellowship

The Toledo Family Pharmacy and the Health Outcomes and Socioeconomic Sciences (HOSS) program at The University of Toledo embarked on a collaborative partnership last year with a goal of developing the first community-based health outcomes fellowship. With changes in healthcare and the move toward outcomes-driven provision of care, there is currently a workforce deficit of health care practitioners who are trained in designing, implementing, and evaluating community-based programs that can help improve the outcomes of patients while saving costs.

After a nationwide search and a highly competitive pool of 21 applicants from around the country, the inaugural fellow was hired. Dr. Rebekah Panak is a licensed pharmacist and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She currently splits her time between the UTMC pharmacy and UT’s Health Outcomes and Socioeconomic Sciences division. As part of her fellowship, she will be completing a Master of Science in UT’s Health Outcomes and Socioeconomic Sciences. This program is recognized nationally and internationally for its work, and Dr. Panak will be the first fellow to graduate from this program. As part of her fellowship and thesis requirements, Dr. Panak will be working with Dr. Hussein El-Khatib (owner of the Toledo Family Pharmacy and alumnus of UT) and Dr. Sharrel Pinto (Division Head for Health Outcomes and Socioeconomic Sciences), to develop a community-based diabetes center that will provide patients in the community an opportunity to receive interprofessional care under one roof.

Measuring critical thinking and professionalism

Photo of Dr. Michael Peeters

Dr. Peeters

Dr. Michael Peeters (PharmD, MEd, FCCP, BCPS), a clinical senior lecturer in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, is a psychometrician with a research focus is pharmacy education and has a recent stream of papers on the assessment of cognitive development among PharmD students.

After writing a review article a number of years ago [Peeters MJ. Cognitive development of learners in pharmacy education. Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2011; 3(3):224-229], Dr. Peeters helped develop and implement a program to assess UT PharmD students’ development in critical thinking. In preparation, he conducted literature searches and reviews within the pharmacy education and health professions education literature [Reale MC, Witt BA, Riche DM, Baker WL, Peeters MJ. Development of critical thinking among health professions students: a meta-analysis. Am J Pharm Educ. 2015; 79(5):article S4; Peeters MJ, Zitko KL, Vaidya VA. Critical thinking development in pharmacy education: a meta-analysis. Inov Pharm. 2016; 7(1): article 10].

The results of critical thinking development from these classes of PharmD student participants have recently been published [Peeters MJ, Boddu SHS. Assessing development of critical thinking: one institution’s experience. Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2016; 8(3):271-278].

Of note, one critical thinking assessment that was used also measures professionalism. In the most recent Standards for PharmD education, the American Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) has required all PharmD education programs to assess their students’ professional development. Thus, the critical thinking assessment that also measures professionalism was used to help measure this important ACPE outcome as well. Along with documentation from teaching and learning of pharmacist professionalism and ethics (i.e., one of Dr. Peeters’ teaching roles), he presented these findings [Vaidya VA, Peeters MJ. Assessing professional development (Standard 4): the University of Toledo’s experience. Am J Pharm Educ. 2015; 79(5):article S4]—with a publication in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. PharmD students at UTCPPS demonstrated development in their professionalism. Additionally, Dr. Peeters received an honorable mention within the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s 2016 Innovations in Teaching competition.

Dr. Martin Ohlinger receives national recognition

Dr. Ohlinger delivers his talk: “Shock in Atrial Fibrillation: Which Pharmacologic Agent Should I Use?”

Dr. Martin Ohlinger, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and director of both the College Honors Program and the Critical Care Residency in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was recognized at the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Annual Congress. More than 6,000 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other critical care professionals attended the meeting, held Jan 21-25 in Honolulu this year.

Dr. Ohlinger was invited to speak about “Shock in Atrial Fibrillation: Which Pharmacologic Agent Should I Use?”. At the meeting, he was awarded the Presidential Citation for contributions to SCCM, including serving on the American College of Critical Care Medicine Credentials Committee, which selects new fellows each year; he was also recognized at the meeting during the Convocation of Fellows & Society of Critical Care Medicine Awards and Grants Presentation for “SCCM members who have made extraordinary contributions of time, energy, and resources to SCCM during the previous year.”

In addition, Dr. Ohlinger, who is a board certified critical care pharmacist (BCCCP), was selected as one of 15 critical care specialists from across the US to serve on the Board of Pharmacy Specialties’ (BPS) national working group to complete a Role Delineation Study that outlines the standards for being a Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist.