UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences News

Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

Research Excellence Award for Dr. Tiwari

Dr. Amit Tiwari, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, recently spent some time in India as a visiting scientist and professor at Rajiv Gandhi Prodyogik Vishwavidyalaya (RGPV). RGPV is the world’s 28th largest university, with a student population of over 260,000. Dr. Tiwari’s visit was part of a research collaboration in the area of oncology drug discovery, which attracted the attention of the national media and several university and government officials, including the president of the university and the Governor of State, Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary of the State, Education Minister and former Home Minister of the State.

During his time at RGPV, Dr. Tiwari received an Outstanding Scientist award for Excellence in Innovative Research.

Looking Ahead: Support the 65th Annual Fall Formal

Erica A. Sheridan, PharmD/MBA Candidate, 2018

The 63rd annual College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) Fall Formal was held in the University of Toledo’s student union auditorium, on November 21st of 2015. The event is a long-standing tradition within the college, planned collaboratively by Lambda Kappa Sigma pharmaceutical sorority, Kappa Psi pharmaceutical fraternity, and the local student chapter of the American Pharmacists Association. It aims to highlight the successes of both students and faculty over the course of the preceding year.  Traditionally, Fall Formal invites any member of the College of Pharmacy to enjoy catered dinner and dessert, and a chosen keynote speaker.

Last fall’s event, planned and executed by P2 Erica Sheridan, P1 Morgan Krause, and P1 Kevin Kovachick, consisted of a catered Olive Garden Italian restaurant dinner and featured a gourmet doughnut dessert by local Toledo bakery, Holey Toledough. Dr. Aaron Lengel continued the evening as the chosen keynote speaker, with student and faculty awards making up the latter part of the event. The awards presented were:

  • Faculty of the Year: Dr.Kimberly Schmude
  • Kappa Psi Brother of the Year: Kyle Sarahman (P3)
  • Lambda Kappa Sigma Sister of the Year: Jessica Durigon (P3)
  • APhA-ASP Honorary Member of the Year: Erica Sheridan (P2)
  • Lambda Kappa Sigma Sweetheart: William Golnick (P2)
  • Kappa Psi Sweetheart: Sienna Gerdemen (P1)

The Fall Formal planning committee was pleased to have hosted over 300 attendees to this year’s event. We are eager to continue this CPPS tradition and inspire the 2016 committee to go above and beyond in making the 64th annual event even more successful!

Alumni and friends who are interested in supporting the 65th Annual Fall Formal in fall of 2016 are encouraged to contact the vice president of the UT chapter of APhA-ASP, Samantha Campbell, at samantha.campbell@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Rising in the Ranks

Recently, the U.S. News and World Report updated its rankings of pharmacy schools. Always highly regarded, the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was first ranked by this publication in 2012 as a result of concerted efforts by the college to expand external communications and spread the word about our programs and people.

The newest rankings show an improvement for the college, from number 62 among over 80 ranked colleges to number 60 of over 100 ranked schools, indicating the persistently high regard for the program, even in a time of fiscal austerity.

The College continues to engage in the activities that moved it onto the lists of ranked colleges through its learners, faculty and staff and their efforts in academics and service in key roles in state and national pharmacy organizations.  The college’s complex and comprehensive program of twelve curricula pioneered the Pharmacy Summer Camp as a recruitment tool for pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences.  An added offering is the teaching certificate for pharmacy residents.

The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences attracts high achieving learners to its BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences majors in cosmetic science and formulation design, pharmacology and toxicology, pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, and pharmacy administration (with a minor in business).  Future practitioners enroll in the college’s highly competitive PharmD program and study in the clinics and pharmacies of the University of Toledo Medical Center.  Learners who are focused on research continue in the MS and PhD programs, the latter of which include medicinal chemistry and experimental therapeutics.  Students have the opportunity to earn dual-degrees, including the BSPS/MS degree in medicinal chemistry, the PharmD/MS in health outcomes and socioeconomic sciences or the PharmD/PhD in medicinal chemistry.  The PharmD/MBA is the college’s newest dual-degree program. Learners also enhance their clinical skills in the PGY1, PGY2, or Kroger Community Pharmacy residency programs.

Dean Early leads in Leadership Fellows program

Dean Early is currently serving as a Leadership Facilitator for the Academic Leadership Fellows Program (ALFP). He was selected by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy as a result of his highly successful leadership career and his experience and insight into leadership. The role of the Leadership Facilitator is to provide guidance and feedback on the Fellows’ individual personal and professional goals, as well as team projects.

The Academic Leadership Fellows Program is focused on the development of leaders in academic pharmacy and higher education. Fellows build relationships with colleagues from other institutions and from within the college and university. Each ALFP cohort has 30 Fellows, most of whom are mid-level faculty in pharmaceutical science, pharmacy practice, or Social and Administrative Sciences and have some type of current or projected leadership role in their college/school of pharmacy.

This year’s cohort of Fellows includes one UT faculty member, Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, an associate professor of medicinal chemistry and director of the newly established Shimadzu Laboratory for Pharmaceutical Research Excellence. A UT alumnus, Oscar Garza, is also a fellow this year. Dr. Garza earned a BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences at The University of Toledo and is now an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems at University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.

Learning outside the Book

Jeremy Canfield photo

Jeremy Canfield, BSPS ’15, valedictorian of the 2015 B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences class, shares his advice on learning beyond the pages of the textbook.

Throughout my college career, I have learned many valuable lessons, both inside and outside of the classroom. I found it is extremely important to manage your time wisely and discipline yourself because everything you do in college is for your own benefit.

When I first started my journey here at Toledo, I didn’t know what to expect. I was excited, but very nervous to begin this new chapter in my life. It was hard starting over again and meeting new people, but I got through it just as you all did. From our PP1 year all the way to our P2 year, it may have been hard, but we made it. After everything, The College of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences has increased my passion for the pharmaceutical sciences and prepared me for a career. I gained a lot of hands on experience which I found to be more valuable than anything I could’ve read about in a book.

Over the past three years, one thing I found out about college is that in order to have the most enjoyable time, you have to get out of your comfort zone. That wasn’t easy for me, but with the help of some good friends, I started to try more new things. I realized college isn’t just about the courses you take and how you do on exams, it’s also about the people you meet and the experiences you have.

It’s hard to believe that it’s coming to an end already. But just as we began a new chapter when we started here at Toledo, today is the beginning of the next chapter in our lives. Whether we are continuing school or entering into the work force, we are all well prepared for what lies ahead.

Creating your own path

Kevin Omerza, PharmD/MSPS ‘15, discusses the decision to pursue a dual degree and how this decision has opened many new paths for him. Dr. Omerza is currently completing a PGY1 residency at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.


The Past and the Future. These are two important factors in every decision we make. The past holds knowledge and experiences that help to inform your decision. The future includes your goals, how you feel the decision will impact these goals, and how you believe the profession will evolve. Both the past and the future played a large role in my decision to pursue a dual-degree program in Pharmacy and Health Outcomes Research along with the PharmD degree.

My past included experiences and connections that provided the dual-degree opportunity. As a P1 pharmacy student and P2 BSPS Administration student, I took my first foray into the world of research. I worked with Dr. Sharrel Pinto on a literature review as a thesis to complete the requirements of an Honors Degree. In addition to my honors thesis, I was given the opportunity to join the Pharmaceutical Care and Outcomes Research group (PCOR) with Dr. Pinto. Through the PCOR, I was exposed to many areas of pharmacy policy, practice, and research. I was able to assist in reporting to the State Board of Pharmacy on the status of new pharmacy technology as well as assist in the design, implementation, analysis and reporting of a focus group study. These experiences also included interactions and networking with pharmacists, patients and fellow researchers.

As I became more involved in research, and my P2 pharmacy year began to draw to a close, I was approached by Dr. Sharrel Pinto about the potential for helping to establish a dual-degree program. In addition to my knowledge and experiences, I considered where I saw myself and the profession of pharmacy in the coming years. I knew that my goal would be to impact patient care through inpatient clinical practice. I knew that I would need to effectively utilize research in my practice, as well as potentially complete my own research. I could think of no better way to develop these skills than focused coursework and hands-on experience. I also took into account of the perspective of the profession. It is no secret that competition for pharmacy positions is growing, especially among residency programs. The dual-degree program, and associated experiences, would help to diversify my skills and help me to stand out from the applicant pool.

My effort in the dual-degree program was definitely rewarded. I gained valuable experience through helping to develop a multi-site, double-blind research study. I also helped to revive a student organization focused on research. All of these experiences helped to diversify my knowledge and skill set. Through networking and conferences, I was solicited to apply for careers in research as well as PhD programs at various schools. This also speaks volumes to the rigor and prestige of the master’s in Health Outcomes program we have here at UT. While I did not intend at the time to pursue these career paths, I know first-hand the importance of having multiple options, as you never know what the future will hold.

When applying for a residency, I was able to stand out from the crowd and be a competitive candidate. I earned a residency position in the geographic area I wanted, and at a hospital that is very strong in the specialties in which I am interested.

Overall, I have had a fantastic experience both during, and as a result of, the dual-degree program. I was able to participate in multiple research conferences and have built relationships that will last throughout my career and beyond.

The white papers to the state board, the focus group, and the research study have provided cutting-edge practice-based experiences. These unique experiences have given me exposure to a world of pharmacy that a typical hospital or community pharmacy experience does not provide. In the current climate of health care reform, and the focus on outcome-driven care, such exposure is important to truly understand the current roles and future of our profession.

I hope that all pharmacy students take a moment to think about their education and career goals and what will help them to attain these goals. They can then seek out and take advantage of the many opportunities which exist within our college. Regardless of your practice interests, there are organizations and motivated faculty members to help you achieve your goals. I was lucky enough to find an opportunity that fit in with my practice goals.

Have No Fear: Advice for students and recent grads

Drs. Maureen Converse and Carl Buchwald

Drs. Maureen Converse and Carl Buchwald

Maureen Converse and Carl Buchwald, the co-valedictorians of the 2015 PharmD graduating class, jointly offered the following remarks to their classmates at this spring’s commencement.

It is well known that when something is done for the first time, such as the first exam P1 year, or your first day as an intern…it is perfectly normal to feel nervous. Feeling nervous is the best indicator that you care too much to let your goals slip away. If you feel nervous, it usually means you are challenging the status quo, and you are putting yourself on the path to new experiences. Do not be afraid of that feeling. Embrace it, and use it to propel yourself into new directions and experiences.

We have experienced many firsts throughout these years, like the first steps in our professional careers when we walked across the stage for our White Coats. The first time you wore that white coat to compounding lab you probably thought, “How will I ever know as much as these teaching assistants in two years?” Then, before you know it, the time arrives when you become that TA or P3 intern and are expected to be that mentor to the underclassmen.

The first time you did a blood sugar finger stick on a patient at a Kroger Wellness and they didn’t say “ouch”; the first time you gave a patient (or a very nervous fellow-student) a flu shot, and they promised they didn’t feel anything; the first time a family member called you for drug advice; how about your first manual blood pressure reading on a real patient, or the first time you accomplished eight final exams in one week and then felt the need to do it again next semester? Then there was first time you rounded without your preceptor and the attending physician, not just the resident, asked for recommendation and expected a prompt answer without hesitation.

Don’t get us wrong, there were also moments that didn’t make you feel like you just smashed an entire bottle of Gavilyte: the first time we got together P1 year and bonded as a class. The presumed first time you played with coloring books between classes during Pharmacy Recess. The first time you attended the Mr. PharmD Pageant and laughed uncontrollably at your classmates.  The first time you wore that bright orange Dubin’s-inspired WenckeblockeRxs class t-shirt.

It has been said that hindsight is always 20-20. Looking back, it’s easy to remember or see how things could have gone differently, but what about the road that lies ahead? What will you be doing two, five, or even 20 years from now?  We will all be faced with many new challenges and many new first experiences: the first prescription you verify on your license, the first time you call a doctor to make a change and they expect a recommendation, your first time on call as a resident, or when a pressing ethical dilemma forces you to make the decision that isn’t black or white. For the soon to be P3s: that next big exam, working out your ideal APPE schedule, or your first day of rotations.  Remember, those jitters that you feel are only a reminder that you care. Never mistake that feeling for fear.

J.R.R. Tolkien said it best when he wrote, “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”  Fear keeps us in our comfort zone and holds us back from what we can fully achieve. Looking back on these four, six or however many years, I’m sure that we can all identify the times that we have missed our mark, but we can also look upon the great memories we have made.  Whatever the case, remember that our pasts do not define us; they only shape the person we can be.  In the end, we challenge you to not forget what is gone behind you, but also to never fear what lies on the road ahead.

Advice for Women in Science

Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, associate professor of medicinal chemistry and president of the local chapter of the Association for Women in Science, offers tips to women entering science careers.


A career in the sciences can be challenging. If you have a passion for the work, however, you can call upon that passion to remain motivated.


It’s important to have a life plan—not just a career plan or education plan. Knowing what you want your life to look like, and what a successful life means to you, is necessary as you plan your future.


Strong-willed, intelligent women sometimes forget that we all need help sometimes. Ask for help and build relationships that support your goals.


In order to be a well-rounded person, you have to create space for enjoyment. Do what you love, spend time with friends and family, and maintain the joy in your life.


APhA-ASP Mid-Year Regional Meeting

aphaaspP3 Student Deeb Eid discusses the momentum set at the APhA-ASP Mid-Year Regional Meeting

Four years ago, the UT chapter of American Pharmacists Association—Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) was sending approximately 8-10 students to the APhA’s Region 4 Mid-Year Regional Meeting. Of late, the chapter  has seen greater and more consistent student involvement and was able to send 42 students to last fall’s meeting in Lexington, Kentucky. The college’s most prominent student leaders among them, APhA-ASP sent the second largest student body (second to the University of Kentucky) to the meeting this year. At the meeting, the chapter attended leadership workshops, learned about the policy proposal process, and participated in curriculum vitae writing sessions.

Importantly, student pharmacists learned more about the HR4190 bill that is pushing for pharmacist provider status and how they as students can help to shift the profession. In addition, students were pushed to challenge the status quo through the policy proposal process, and the chapter passed its proposal for recommending epinephrine injectors for use in emergency situations in the public school setting, with consent from a physician.  This proposal, the chapters first to pass in the past five years, was aided by the tremendous efforts of P3 student, Tiffany Haddad.

The chapter’s patient care vice president, Laura Macaveiu, earned recognition for her work in building a patient care project board. The chapter is looking to continue the momentum set at the Mid-Year Regional Meeting.

Compounding, It’s Personal

compoundPharmacy students Alexandra Radovic and Marina Stepanski, pictured with UT alumnus Matt Buderer, recount their experiences at the PCCA International Conference.

The Professional Compounding Centers of America International Conference was an opportunity that allowed students to delve into the world of compounding. Alexandra Radovic and Marina Stepanski were the first students in the history of the conference to attend.

Throughout the conference they encountered many new and exciting learning opportunities like the workshops on the liquid protein diet and 12 principles for good customer service. The most exciting concept they learned was about the Compounding, It’s Personal campaign. This campaign is about educating all different groups of people, from legislators to students, about the benefits and need for compounding. The personal stories of the compounders were inspiring, and the students were intrigued by the amount of patient care that goes into each compound.

Radovic and Stepanski were able to make connections with compounders from across the nation and learn about the job of a compounding pharmacist. They also learned about independent compounding retailers and about the current legal issues facing compounding. The other amazing component of attending this conference was how warmly they were welcomed by everyone at the conference. They were able to absorb so much about compounding and all the future opportunities available in this field of pharmacy.