UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences News

Posts Tagged ‘retention’

Recent changes in recruitment efforts in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Mary F. Powers, BSPharm ’82, PhD ’96
Associate dean for Main Campus Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

In January 2015, Dean Early appointed Dr. Mary Powers as associate dean for Main Campus Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, with oversight of the college’s undergraduate recruitment into the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) programs as part of the duties of this post. Specifically, the Student Affairs team has been working on strategies to address consistent declines in enrollments across all of academic pharmacy that have occurred since 2009. The enrollment management team within the college has implemented numerous initiatives and enhancements to our recruitment efforts to increase the numbers of excellent students we attract.

In spring 2015, the college hired a new enrollment management specialist, Angela Lopez, who had experience in UT’s Office of Admissions. Daniel Fackelman, an alumnus of the BSPS program, was hired in fall 2015 to focus on recruitment for the BSPS majors. Together, Angela and Daniel travel throughout the region to share information about our programs, facilities and faculty. Our UT Experience Days, during which prospective students visit the campus and meet faculty and students, now include a faculty lecture series that allows students to learn about the research occurring in our college and the ways this research affects patient care and the pharmaceutical industry.

Pharmacy Camp continues to be a great avenue for introducing students to pharmacy and to our college. José Trevino, director of transfer services and recruitment, added to his duties the role of Pharmacy Camp director. In addition to the traditional Walgreen’s Pharmacy Pharmacy Practice Camp that focuses on pharmacy practice and the profession of pharmacy, the college has added a camp focused specifically on the pharmaceutical sciences. The Shimadzu Pharmaceutical Science Camp is supported by Amway.

Using web technology, we added Echo Targeting advertising as a way to recruit students into the PharmD program and into the cosmetic science and pre-med majors (medicinal chemistry and pharmacology) of the BSPS programs. By enhancing relationships with community colleges and continuing the fast track program for students in the Toledo Early College High School, we are maintaining a pipeline to the BSPS degree.

The college has multiple pathways to apply to the professional division for transfer students and applicants who have already earned a degree. Literature was developed to explain these pathways to our students and facilitate their successful application to the professional division.
The Pharmacy Ambassadors, a student organization closely tied to recruitment and the student experience, has been instrumental in providing campus tours during prospective student visits and hosting high school students who want to shadow, or immerse themselves in the pharmacy student experience for a defined period of time. The office developed a training manual for Pharmacy Ambassadors and showed appreciation for this enthusiastic group with letters of recognition from the associate dean and a cookout for the ambassadors. As an extension to the Pharmacy Ambassadors, we also formed Pharmacy Ambassadors Leadership Society (PALS), a volunteer network of recruitment ambassadors composed of faculty, staff, alumni, and parents of current students.

With a focus on the areas of the state that are most fruitful for recruitment to our college, the Office of Student Affairs developed purposeful recruitment strategies in northeast Ohio and developed recruitment literature focused on students in the greater Cleveland area. The college also established relationships with the Ohio HOSA Future Health Professional high school student organization. The college’s Office of Student Affairs also engaged UT’s recruiters from the Office of Admissions to highlight the recruitment needs of our academic programs.

The results of these efforts to enhance recruitment are anticipated to begin with modest enrollment increases, starting with the freshman class in fall 2017. Thereafter, benefits to our enrollments are anticipated to be seen annually.


Home away from home: Welcoming and retaining international graduate students

Dr. Amanda after completing her doctoral exam in Heidelberg, Germany, 1997

Dr. Amanda after completing her doctoral exam in Heidelberg, Germany, 1997

Having left the comforts of the United States to explore graduate education abroad, Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich has firsthand knowledge of the complex transition awaiting graduate students who come to the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences from around the globe. Completing her doctorate in Heidelberg, Germany and postdoctoral training in Basel, Switzerland allowed her to grow academically and see the world, but these experiences were often challenging, and missing her home and community at times compounded the challenges. In her new role as Director of International Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Recruitment and Retention, Dr. Bryant-Friedrich is a valuable resource to graduate students experiencing the United States, often for the first time.

“Students who decide to pursue advanced degrees outside their country of origin are often faced with barriers of immigration and matriculation that originate from a lack of knowledge from the perspectives of both the student and the respective institution of higher learning,” Dr. Bryant-Friedrich said.

As the College engages new regions of the world to attract graduate students, Dr. Bryant-Friedrich plans to introduce members of the college community to the educational systems, culture and research enterprise in each region. Her new role also requires a heightened sense of awareness of the political and economic conditions of the countries from which international learners originate to make sure that students receive counseling and support to help them to maintain an exceptional level of academic performance, even when thoughts of home are a distraction.

Another aspect of retaining international students is ensuring their sense of community upon their arrival.

“I intend to maintain strong relationships with community-based organizations that have ties and services important to the needs of our international students. This will include working with the UT Center for International Students and Programs as well as Toledo Sister Cities International and other organizations with a common interest in international relationships,” Dr. Bryant-Friedrich said.

The college is continually increasing the population of graduate students who are well prepared academically for coursework and research. Dr. Bryant-Friedrich sees this as an opportunity to create recruitment pipelines from prestigious institutions abroad.

Dr. Bryant-Friedrich, who has mentored 17 graduate students from 11 countries, feels fortunate for the opportunity to ease the transition for graduate students in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

“The global scientific community relies on the establishment of productive collaborations based on mutual trust and understanding,” Dr. Bryant-Friedrich said.  “What better way to improve the human condition than to bring brilliant students from around the world together to improve what really matters.”