UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences News

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Professional development events available to women in science

By Rebecca Schwan

University of Toledo female students, staff and faculty interested in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) fields are encouraged to take advantage of upcoming Association for Women in Science (AWIS) opportunities.

“The Association for Women in Science is the largest multidisciplinary organization for women working in STEMM,” said Dr. Susanne Nonekowski, associate lecturer in the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry and president of the AWIS Northwestern Ohio Chapter. “These events are designed to support equity and full participation of women in all science-related disciplines and across all employment sectors.”

A workshop for preparing a professional social media profile titled “How to Craft the Perfect LinkedIn Profile in 30 Minutes” will take place Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Martin Conference Room of the Frederick and Mary Wolfe Center on Health Science Campus.

Mary Jo Borden, practicum coordinator in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, will share best practices for creating a presence online and explain how to use LinkedIn’s search functions to build a professional network. A photographer also will be on hand to take professional headshots.

“This workshop will be valuable to students, faculty and staff,” Nonekowski said. “Whether you are new to LinkedIn or if it has been a while since you updated your profile, this event will have you looking your best online.”

The group also is seeking individuals interested in becoming members of its Mentorship Circle.

“We are looking for anyone interested in connecting with other women in the STEMM fields in order to build relationships and learn from those who were once in their shoes,” Nonekowski said. “Mentors can be from any science-related career field, whether academic or professional. We want individuals who are motivated and interested in supporting other women as they grow in STEMM careers.”

Mentors and mentees will be paired according to career interest and meet once a month throughout the academic year.

“The Mentorship Circle is in the planning stages, but we want to be sure that everyone who is interested has the chance to join us before mentoring teams are established,” she said. “There have been several successful Mentorship Circles across the country, and we are excited to bring this program to the Toledo area.”

Nonekowski said UT is an institutional partner with AWIS, which means any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in a STEMM field can register with the organization for free at awis.org/utoledo. When registering, students should be sure to choose the Northwestern Ohio Chapter to be notified of local activities.

“We are grateful to the University for their support of AWIS,” Nonekowski said. “This partnership is instrumental to the support of female science students and professionals across northwest Ohio.”

For more information about AWIS, to join the Mentorship Circle, or to register for the LinkedIn event, call 419.530.1979 or email susanne.nonekowski@utoledo.edu.

April 2015 Refill e-newsletter

The April 2015 issue of Refill, the e-newsletter of The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is now available online.

In this issue:

  • RADM Helena Mishoe to receive honorary doctorate
  • Visit from Steven W. Schierholt, Esq., Executive Director of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy
  • Patient education saves a life by Hanin Chouman
  • Alumnus Alex Adams, PharmD ’09, receives national leadership award
  • Alice H. Skeens Award for Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich
  • Alumna Alison Wery, BSPS ’14, embarks on a career in cosmetic formulation
  • Student awards and presentations
  • OPA Student Legislative Day
  • Meet Dr. Amit K. Tiwari and Angela Lopez, M.Ed.
  • Thank you to donors
  • Calendar of events

September 2014 Refill e-newsletter

The September 2014 issue of Refill, the e-newsletter of The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is now available online.

In this issue:

  • The Full Spectrum: Diversity initiaves that improve the human condition
  • Sister to Sister: Science runs in the family for Yasmine and Samar Ayoub
  • Homecoming: Reasons to come home to UT
  • The Polished Professional: Mary Jo Borden helps students develop professional skills that are valued in the workplace
  • Leadership Lessons: Dr. Early shares advice on effective networking
  • Focused Ambition: Dual-degree programs and residencies offer exciting career paths
  • Legendary: Dean Early to be honored with community award
  • Calendar of Events

The Polished Professional

Mary Jo Borden

Mary Jo Borden

For the past 20 years, Mary Jo Borden has been guiding UT students toward their careers. First in Career Services on the Main Campus and now with the B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences students in the professional division, Borden helps students to polish their professional skills.

Before B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) students can begin their required internships, they spend time with Borden, the BSPS internship coordinator, who prepares them for their entry to the research workplace. As part of the BSPS program’s Institute for Leadership in the Sciences, students are educated on many facets of professionalism and leadership, including the soft skills that make them stand out in research and workplace settings. Throughout the first professional year, students participate in seminars on relevant career topics.

“I love working with students, helping with resumes and CVs, assisting with interview preparation, and researching employment options,” Borden said.

The resume and business card session is first, and those documents are used right away at the Dean’s networking events with employers and alumni and at the annual career fair. Borden truly enjoyshelping students to construct the perfect resume or CV and application letter.

“My Career Services nickname was ‘The Resume Slasher’ because a student claimed I slashed his resume to bits, but he went home, considered my suggestions, reworked his resume, and then landed his dream job,” Borden said.

To prepare for internship interviews and selection, students record a practice interview using the InterviewStream program, and Borden provides feedback on their performance, including tips on how to minimize filler words such as “umm,” “like” and “you know”. Borden also discusses how to navigate phone and Skype interviews, and she gives the students opportunities to practice their skills in face-to-face mock interviews.

Social media is another important dimension of students’ training in the Institute for Leadership in the Sciences. Students learn about networking, personal branding, communications skills, and professional presentations.

Students use the LinkedIn professional networking site and create a profile to enhance their personal brand and reach out to appropriate organizations and employers. Mastering these skills early in their careers can help them to establish a sound professional reputation.

Because they have not only a strong base of knowledge in the sciences but also the skills to navigate the workplace, the students in our BSPS students have an advantage over many of their peers nationwide.

More from Mary Jo:

  • Upon completing my bachelor’s degree at UT, I started my career here by working at the American Language Institute (A.L.I.), an intensive English language-training program. I created a conversation partners program by pairing our international learners with native speakers of English and also planned special events and field trips for students. While working at A.L.I., I completed my master’s degree in counseling and then worked as a career counselor at Penn State for 7 years.
  • I returned to UT in 1994 as an assistant director in Career Services where I worked with students from all colleges, in all majors, and at every degree level for the next 16 years. I met individually with students and alumni and conducted weekly workshops on a wide array of career topics ranging from applying for Federal employment to exploring international careers to conducting an academic job search for Ph.D. candidates, in addition to regular resume, interviewing and job search sessions.
  • One of my favorite roles in Career Services was coordinating the Pharmacy Day career fair each year with a team of staff and student workers. I worked closely with the college’s faculty, staff, administrators and employers to prepare students for the event and to assist them in navigating the range of available employment and residency options. I also assisted BSPS students with resume and job search questions, beginning with the first graduating class in 1998-1999.
  • In 2010, I had an opportunity to create a Career and Life Planning component for adult and non-traditional learners in the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning.
  • Once I completed that challenge, I looked for a chance to work more closely with students and, two years ago, I was happy to find that match in the BSPS Internship Coordinator position. This was such an easy transition for me because of my previous experience with the college—it felt like coming home!
  • I have worked in the career services profession for 27 years, through recessions, difficult times and changing technologies and I’ve never lost my passion for this profession. I am always learning something new in my field, meeting a student who shares his scientific curiosity with me, or talking with an alum about revamping her career path.
  • Over the years, one thing hasn’t changed–the best day for me is hearing from a student: “I got the job!” or “I’ve been admitted!”


Practitioner-Scientists: dual-degree students have double vision

Fernand Bedi in the laboratory of Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich

Fernand Bedi in the laboratory of Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich

The college’s first PharmD/PhD dual-degree student, Ferdinand Bedi, will graduate this summer as a polished practitioner and a skillful scientist. He plans to pursue a career in academia, and his mentor, Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, knows he is fully prepared to pursue his goal.

Dr. Bryant-Friedrich, associate professor of medicinal chemistry, mentors Bedi and another PharmD/PhD student, Shin Cho. She believes it takes a special kind of student to pursue this dual degree.

“As pharmacy practitioners, they enjoy interacting with people and helping to improve people’s health,” said Bryant-Friedrich. “They also have a deep appreciation for the science behind the practice, and they want to contribute to the research that leads to effective treatments.”

In Dr. Bryant-Friedrich’s laboratory, PharmD/PhD students are participating in research that will improve our understanding of the etiology of cancer. Bedi is studying how oxidation begins to damage cellular DNA, the process that leads to the formation of cancer cells. Meanwhile, Cho is studying how cells become cancerous and behave abnormally in the body.

PharmD/PhD students commit to an educational journey that is several years long. They complete the curricular requirements for the PharmD degree and then pursue the research training for the PhD. In total, they spend nearly nine years at The University of Toledo.

Cho was one of four students in the U.S. who earned a scholarship from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Express Scripts Scholars Program. The award supports dual-degree students, who often have increased financial challenges, by providing $10,000 to support their research.

The dedication and academic curiosity of PharmD/PhD students prime them uniquely for careers in academia and in the pharmaceutical industry. As faculty members, they will understand the practice of pharmacy, and they will have significant experience in pharmaceutical science research. They are also capable of working within the pharmaceutical industry to guide the process of creating treatments because they have an in-depth understanding of the way patients will respond to treatment.

The PharmD/PhD dual-degree program is attracting ambitious, research-minded students who are interested in becoming experts at practicing pharmacy and at developing treatments.

New Pharmaceutics Recruitment Video


The B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences program is looking to attract more students to its Pharmaceutics major. The program, led by Dr. Ken Alexander, prepares students to design and analyze drug dosage forms, including creams, tablets, suppositories and aerosols. Dr. Alexander introduces prospective students to the Pharmaceutics major in a new video. Click to watch.


March 2014 Refill e-newsletter

The March 2014 issue of Refill, the e-newsletter of The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy
and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is now available online.

In this issue:

  • Agreement Signing with Al-Zaytoonah Private University of Jordan
  • Cosmetic Science program hosts seminar series
  • The Real World: Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences
  • CD3 Symposium
  • Upcoming Events

Life After: the BSPS degree

Three alumnae of the B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences program and their pursuit of their educational and career goals

jlaw enaddaf bfarm






The B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences program is nearing 20 years old. Over the past two decades, the program has garnered recognition in the pharmacy and pharmaceutical science communities because of its well prepared graduates and its unique offerings. Meet these graduates, in various stages of their careers, who have used their degrees to reach their goals and embark on competitive and fulfilling careers.

Jasmine (Lawrence) McFarland, BSPS ‘11, majored in pharmacology/toxicology as an undergraduate student. Now a research analyst in the pediatric pharmacy department at the University of Toledo Medical Center,  she is using her degree to research drug safety for infants with colic and tuberculosis.

Jasmine’s knowledge of pharmacology and chemistry, gained during her undergraduate coursework, has helped her transition to the important work of creating drug doses in concentrations that are safe for infants.

In addition to her work as a research analyst, Jasmine is completing a master’s degree in pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University. She will earn her degree in May of 2014. After she completes her master’s degree, Jasmine would like to work in the Toledo area as a forensic toxicologist.

Erika (Parker) Naddaf, BSPS ‘06, majored in Pharmacy Administration and entered the pharmaceutical industry after graduation. Her first job, as a territory sales representative at Forest Pharmaceuticals, required her to educate physicians in an outpatient setting. Her outstanding work earned her a promotion.

As an institutional specialty sales representative, Erika was responsible for market share growth of a specific product portfolio in her territory. She educated clinicians, analyzed data and used the business analysis skills she learned as a Pharmacy Administration major.

In 2013, Erika married Dr. Mark Naddaf in Columbus at the Ohio Statehouse. She has returned to Toledo and is continuing to advance her career in pharmaceutical science as a hospital account manager for Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Brandy Farmer, BSPS ’04, who majored in Pharmacology/Toxicology, earned a doctor of pharmacy degree at University of Tennessee in 2009. Farmer is now part of the Pharmacy Specialist Team at Sanofi, the world’s fourth largest pharmaceutical company (based on prescription sales).

The Pharmacy Specialist Team includes pharmacists and clinical experts who support community pharmacies, state associations and colleges of pharmacy to help advance the leadership of pharmacists in patient care – from medication management to resources and programs.

L-R: McFarland, Naddaf and Farmer


Science and the Sister Cities

The Toledo Sister Cities initiative is a project that began in 1931 as a way to promote cultural exchanges and bridge cultural divides. Toledo’s first international partnership was, quite naturally, with Toledo, Spain. The program has grown exponentially since 1931 and includes numerous municipal partnerships with cities around the world.

Photo of UT Main CampusOne unique benefit Toledo Sister Cities International has brought to the city of Toledo is the aspect of economic development through governmental partnerships. The program encourages tourism and educational exchanges with the sister cities. The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has successfully engaged international exchanges with sister cities, including a very productive relationship with the University of Szeged in our sister city of Szeged, Hungary.

Students from the University of Szeged have come to The University of Toledo to study in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences for several years, and students from the college’s Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences program have traveled to Szeged to complete summer research experiences. These students have enriching educational experiences that include not just the challenging scientific work in which they are engaged, but also the opportunity to become submerged in a foreign culture. While they engage in research, they become acquainted with the culture, food and hospitality of their host cities and hopefully gain a global perspective that they can carry into their professional careers in research and the sciences.

Students and faculty members from both institutions participate in mutually beneficial scientific endeavors for a meaningful internship experience. To date, multiple research publications have emanated from the partnership with University of Szeged, and the college’s newest undergraduate major, Cosmetic Science, recruited a faculty member who participated in the exchange from Hungary as a student.

The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has a long-term goal of initiating successful educational and research partnerships with institutions from all Toledo sister cities. These partnerships allow the college to recruit talented and well prepared students from partner institutions, while encouraging UT students to gain scientific knowledge in new settings.

August 2013 Refill e-newsletter

The August 2013 issue of Refill, the e-newsletter of The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is now available online.

In this issue:

  • New CPPS Leadership
  • In Memoriam: Dr. Miles Hacker
  • Dr. Wayne Hoss retires
  • 2013 Students of the Month
  • Meet Dr. Salah Ahmed
  • Alumni and Student Awards
  • Upcoming Events