I generally use this column to update you on the happy events involving our school, faculty, students, and alumni, but this time I must begin with a sad note. Just three weeks after he had a chance to thank many of the donors, whose generous support had established the Henry A. Palmer Endowed Professorship in Community Pharmacy, we lost Dr. Palmer in May. Henry’s contributions and impact on our school over more than four decades is rivaled only by the legendary Dean Harold Hewitt. Like Dean Hewitt, Henry’s commitment to our school, the profession of pharmacy, and most importantly, to literally thousands of pharmacy students will not soon be forgotten. As I said in my message to the school community announcing his passing, we will not soon see his like again. To Henry’s incredible wife Janice, his sons, and his entire family, we offer our deep condolences and our heartfelt thanks for Henry’s life of service to others.
In just a few short weeks we will welcome our new professional and graduate students. At a time of unprecedented expansion in both the number of and enrollment in pharmacy schools nationwide, we have stayed true to our mission as a public, research university-based school of pharmacy, keeping professional class size unchanged and continuing to be highly selective in our admission of professional and graduate students.
The professional class that arrives this fall is the first that was required to complete personal interviews as an important part of the admission process. We are confident that these interviews have assisted us in admitting not only the brightest students, but those with a commitment to patient care so exemplified by the life of Dr. Palmer.
In May, we celebrated Commencement weekend with a series of wonderful events and speakers. School of Pharmacy Teacher of the Year (selected by the graduating professional class) Dr. Brian Aneskievich spoke at Friday evening’s Commencement Banquet and Awards Ceremony. On Saturday, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy president Dean Victor Yanchik from Virginia Commonwealth University keynoted our Pharm.D. Commencement and Graduate Convocation Ceremony; alumna Jennifer Osowiecki, R.Ph., Esq. spoke in the afternoon to our P2 professional students receiving their B.S. in pharmacy studies. In between the pharmacy ceremonies on Saturday afternoon, a dozen M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in pharmaceutical sciences were conferred at the university graduate school commencement.
Pharm.D./M.P.H. Dual Degree Program
This spring, the faculty of the School of Pharmacy approved a new dual degree offering: Pharm.D./M.P.H. Similar to our Pharm.D./M.B.A. program, professional pharmacy students will enroll in a year of public health coursework between their P2 and P3 years; internship requirements will be completed in conjunction with advanced pharmacy practice experience rotations. We are very excited to offer this new degree path for our students to compliment our Pharm.D./Ph.D. and Pharm.D./M.B.A. programs.
We were well represented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy in Boston in July, with numerous poster and podium presentations by faculty, students, and staff.
Dr. Effie Kuti was selected to attend the ACCP FIT Program at the University of Utah in July. This program brings together a select group of talented and committed faculty researchers who are seeking to develop a research proposal from pilot data that will be competitive for extramural funding.
Drs. Devra Dang and Philip Hritcko were selected as University of Connecticut Service-Learning Fellows. The fellows are a small group of faculty who are “pioneering” a service-learning component to a new or existing course.
- Our APhA-ASP student chapter was selected as the ASP Region 1 winner of both Project CHANCE and Operation Immunization programs.
- 2009 UConn pharmacy graduate Dr. Leslie Matthews was selected from eight PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents as chief pharmacy resident at West Virginia University Hospitals.
SOTAX Dissolution and Release Testing Laboratory
At their August meeting, the UConn Board of Trustees approved the naming of Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Dr. Diane Burgess’s research lab the SOTAX Dissolution and Release Testing Laboratory. SOTAX has been a generous supporter of Dr. Burgess’s cutting edge research by providing in excess of $100,000 in equipment.
After four decades of distinguished service as professor of pharmacology & toxicology, we are bidding farewell to Dr. Ronald Langner. A dedicated teacher and an accomplished researcher for many years, Dr. Langner recently played a key role in bringing the new Pharmacy/Biology Building into reality as the chair of our Building Committee. His attention to detail and easy demeanor with both our faculty and staff and the professionals responsible for the design and construction of the new building was indispensable in giving us the exceptional new facility we have today. Ron also served as chair of our most recent ACPE accreditation self-study committee that led to a full six-year re-accreditation. All of us in the School of Pharmacy offer him our heartfelt thanks and good health and good times in the years ahead.
Robert L. McCarthy, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor