Pharmacy Perspectives, May 2021 Graduation Edition

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Pharmacy P E R S P E C T I V E S


CLASS OF 2021 A global pandemic. Remote learning. Innovative rotations. There was little that made this a normal year. But then, these are not normal graduates. Read their extraordinary stories inside.

An extraordinary year If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences are more important now, than ever.

Class of 2021 tells their story From making ground-breaking research discoveries, to overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges, our graduating class tells their stories of success.

In This Issue





A year of innovation and vaccinations

Award-winning student research projects


Inspiring graduate feature stories

Commencement content

Student awards

20-21 Preceptor and faculty awards


Alumni Association

G R A D UAT I O N 2 0 2 1


CREATIVITY AND COLLABORATION MAKE FOR A SEMESTER OF IMPACT Congratulations to our 2021 Graduates! As we pause to reflect on the previous year, we cannot do so without acknowledging the impact that the global pandemic has had on us all. From delivery of education to clinical collaboration, from research milestones to vaccination efforts, our faculty, students and alumni have proven that when tested, we respond with unparalleled resilience and innovation. During this academic year, the School received a landmark gift from The ALSAM Foundation that is laying the groundwork for what will become the Center for Drug Discovery. Our faculty and alumni have assumed numerous national leadership positions, most recent of which is Sandra Leal, PharmD ‘99, becoming the new president of the American Pharmacists Association. Our clinicians have developed new ways to treat COVID patients and provide access to health care. Our researchers have discovered ways to enhance drug therapies and create cost-saving strategies. We, as a School, have recommitted ourselves to Diversity, Excellence and Inclusion by creating an internal DEI Committee tasked with leading meaningful efforts to create inclusive and equitable opportunities for all students, faculty and staff. As we look back for perspective, we also look forward in celebration of the newly minted pharmacy graduates. In the pages ahead, you’ll read about graduates preparing for careers in hospital, ambulatory care, and community pharmacy. Some will be entering residencies where they will hone their pharmacotherapy skills in acute care, ambulatory care, community pharmacy, drug information, clinical services, practice leadership and more. Still others will pursue positions with pharmaceutical industries focused on informatics and drug discovery. As unpredictable as the future may be, we can count on our graduates being highly prepared as medication experts who enhance patient-centered care wherever their career paths take them. To our graduates, you made it, you succeeded, congratulations! Sincerely,

Ralph J. Altiere, PhD Dean, University of Colorado, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


f the pandemic taught us anything, it is that pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences are more important now, than ever. We watched as our faculty, students and alumni rose to the occasion, providing both in-person vaccinations and remote telecare sessions.

Innovative Programming Most years, first-year PharmD students complete their service-learning curriculum in local, underserved elementary schools. With K-12 schools in limbo, the School’s Experiential Office got creative – and fulfilled an unmet community mental health need for isolated older adults. Instead of teaching children how to distinguish medicine from candy, P1s practiced their communication skills and developed tele-relationships with older adults through the program known as COAST-IT, Connecting Older Adults to Students through Interprofessional Telecare. Read more about the COAST-IT Program here:

P1s provide telecare to area elderly


Meeting the Need

P4 Eric Hartsfield vaccinates CBS4 health specialist K a t h y Wa l s h

Clinical Trials

Many fourth-year students found themselves on the front lines of historical clinical trials and vaccination efforts. P4 Eric Hartsfield landed an Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotation at the Denver VA where he became part of the Novavax COVID-19 trial going on there. Hartsfield was featured in a television news story administering the vaccine (or placebo) to the station’s Health Specialist reporter.

Watch the news story here:

Competition for a Cause

Anticipating the need for mass vaccinations, the Experiential Office along with a motivated group of pharmacy students, created the “Step Up to Stamp Out COVID-19 Campaign and Competition.” The event pitted first through fourth-year doctor of pharmacy students against each other to see who could prepare and administer the most vaccines by the end of the semester. P4 Jace Archer was an early competition leader, whose efforts received national recognition when he became the recipient of the United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award. As a group, CU pharmacy students gave close to 50,000 COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Native American population was one of the most at-risk groups for COVID19. So, when it was time for tribal elders to get some of the first vaccines in their community, CU Pharmacy was ready to help. Faculty and students vaccinated more than 100 tribal leaders in one day at the Denver Indian Health and Family Services Clinic. Across the state and in rotation sites across the nation, the SSPPS community volunteered countless hours to make sure that high-risk and underserved populations had access to vaccines.

P3 student David Burch prepares t o va cc i n at e a t r i b a l e l d e r.

Watch the news story here:

Campus Collaboration

And, when it came time to set up a vaccination clinic on the Anschutz Medical Campus, it was pharmacy faculty and staff who managed the logistics from vaccine acquisition and storage, to administering and workflow. For several weeks in April and May, the Education 2 building was transformed into the all-hands-on-deck Campus Vaccination Point of Distribution (POD) for faculty, staff, students, and some community organizations – most notable of which was the Denver Rapids professional soccer organization.

Denver Rapids fan favorite Lalas Abubakar prepares to receive his COVID vaccination from associate professor Eric Gilliam, PharmD.

Moving Forward

Students have shown their commitment to service and innovation in countless ways over this past year. It is to them that we dedicate this graduation edition. May your experience during this historic time provide you with a fresh sense of the immense value of the career you have chosen to pursue. See more of the School’s vaccination efforts and coverage here.

Students competed to see who could adminster the most COVID-19 vaccines, including Jace Archer pictured above.


Student Research :

Profe s s o r Pete r An d e rs o n , Ph a r mD

Col in An ders on , PhD



ver the past year, two Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD graduates excelled in their contribution to research. In recognition of their work, Mustafa Ibrahim, PhD, ’20, Clinical Pharmacology, and Colin Anderson, PhD, ‘20 Toxicology, won the annual Harold C. Heim Award for Excellence in Research and Graduate Education. Ibrahim Sheds New Light on HIV Medication During his time at CU Pharmacy, Ibrahim worked under the direction of Peter Anderson, PharmD, Professor and Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program Director, at the School’s Colorado Antiviral Pharmacology Lab (CAVP). Dr. Peter Anderson, already world-renowned in HIV research, mentored Ibrahim in his work with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatments. Most notably, Dr. Peter Anderson’s work led to the development of a blood test for the effectiveness of the HIV prevention drug Truvada, one of the drugs commonly known as PrEP. With the development of this test, Mu s t afa Ib rahi m, PhD


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

researchers now know that when taken daily, PrEP is 99% effective at reducing the spread of HIV. Ibrahim’s task was to review and analyze an extensive amount of patient data on Truvada and the blood spot adherence test, namely blood level concentrations of Truvada. And that, is when he discovered something interesting. “I realized that Truvada is dependent on a patient’s weight,” he said. “Which means, that a smaller person might not have to take Truvada every day. Maybe they can take it every other day, or three times a week, and still maintain the blood concentration needed for it to be 99% effective.” More than 14,000 people are reported to be living with HIV or AIDS in the state of Colorado; a number which has been rising over the last five years. If PrEP does not need to be taken daily, it will break down another barrier to HIV and AIDS prevention. Further study is needed to develop weight-based dosing guidelines. In the meantime, Ibrahim has been hard at work at AbbVie Pharmaceutical as a senior clinical pharmacologist, where he is applying the skills he learned at CU to support drug development programs. He is incredibly grateful for his time at CU under Dr. Peter Anderson, and the feeling is mutual.

“He was an all-around pleasure to have in the lab,” Dr. Peter Anderson said. “He was bright, highly motivated, productive, and a self-learner. He graciously gave of his time to help other students and faculty.” “I think I speak for everyone who knew Mustafa when I say that we all will miss his patience, humility, and kindness.” Anderson’s Research Could Impact Parkinson’s Treatment Colin Anderson was recognized for his contribution to toxicology, specifically an agrochemical, maneb, commonly used in fungicides with impacts on Parkinson’s Disease. He worked under the direction of James Roede, PhD, Associate Director, Toxicology Graduate Program, and a leading researcher at the CU Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome. Exposure to maneb is known to cause symptoms similar to Parkinson’s Disease and is an environmental risk factor to developing Parkinson’s. Anderson worked with the maneb exposure model, which represents certain physiological and chemical aspects of Parkinson’s Disease observable characteristics, such as cell mitochondria dysfunction, metabolic stress, oxidative damage and eventually cell death.

Professor James Roed e, PhD

Persistence Pays Off 4th-year pharmacy student develops a new method to study diabetic kidney disease

Until this point, though the maneb model’s effects were known, how it occurred has not been effectively studied. Anderson's research revealed direct protein modification by the fungicide maneb in cells. Further, he discovered that this interaction is the primary means of mitochondrial toxicity. “The updated model of maneb’s toxic mechanisms will hopefully guide future research into targets for Parkinson’s Disease altering therapeutics,” he said. “It also contributes to the current foundational knowledge of the mechanisms of Parkinson’s Disease pathology.” Anderson is especially thankful to Dr. Roede for taking a chance on a student who did not have a research background. “Dr. Roede took a chance on me as an older student with a history in forensics, not research,” he said. “He gave me the appropriate amount of freedom, enough to feel independent yet he often had to refocus my attention when I strayed down the rabbit hole.” After his graduation in December ’20, Anderson is now a post-doctoral fellow at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in the San Francisco area, which administers a National Institutes of Health sponsored postdoctoral research training program in basic aging research and age-related disease.

According to Kristofer Fritz, PhD, associate professor in the School of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, bench-side research requires a lot of trial and error. Also, according to Dr. Fritz, it takes a certain kind of fortitude and dedication for a PharmD student to undertake an intensive lab-based research project due to the already-demanding academic rigors of a pharmacy degree. Kris tofer Fritz, PhD

However, fourth-year doctor of pharmacy student, Stefanie Schwab, is not one to shy away from a challenge; especially when it comes to research. “During honors welcome week, they said it was our responsibility, that if you want to do research, you have to find your own faculty advisor,” recalls Schwab. “So, the first semester I was looking at different people. Dr. Fritz taught in our biochemistry course, and what he talked about was something I’ve always found fascinating.” Dr. Fritz remembers Schwab’s initial request to work in his research lab. A sample of the diabetic kidney tissue that Schwab used in her research

“(Because of the demanding nature) an analytical research project is not something that I would have set up to be a good project for a PharmD honors student,” reflects Fritz. “But then you meet Stefanie and you say, ‘OK you have the background – you did two years in grad school. Let’s do this’.” Thanks to Fritz’s openness, Schwab soon found herself working as a “wet lab” student researcher studying kidney tissue from “diabetic mice”. Schwab’s big break came when Dr. Fritz used his connections with colleagues at Johns Hopkins to secure human kidney tissue for her research endeavor. The tissue samples that arrived included normal, non-diseased kidney tissue, as well as diabetic kidney tissue. It would be Schwab’s job to examine the two different samples at the molecular level, with the goal of determining what protein changes exist between the healthy and the diabetic kidney tissue.

Stefa n ie Schwa b, P 4

help the kidney recover or prevent the damage occurring in diabetic kidney disease or other consequences of kidney disease?” The potential patient-centered impact of Schwab’s research could have far-reaching implications. But, just how did a doctor of pharmacy student achieve such a breakthrough research result?

Dr. Fritz uses a Christmas tree analogy to describe the research known as proteomics. Visualize a protein molecule like a Christmas tree with ornaments. Researchers have studied the “Christmas tree,” but never the “ornaments” in these preserved tissues – those molecular modifications that occur as a result of disease, in this case, diabetes.

“There wasn’t a clear path getting from point A to point B,” says Schwab, “It took a lot of extra research to bridge the knowledge gap and basically glue together different processes; what’s been done before and what would make the most sense for what we were trying to study.”

No one, that is, until Schwab.

Translation: Trial, error, and, according to Dr. Fritz, hardcore chemistry.

Dr. Fritz finds it hard to contain his enthusiasm as he explains Schwab’s extraordinary accomplishment. “No one in the world has ever been able to extract that protein and look at the changing “ornaments” on them,” he says. “Stefanie extracted them, and is looking at what we call acetylation . . . by her being able to develop this research method, we can now look at how those signals (ornaments) are changing in response to diabetic hyperglycemia or diabetic kidney disease. So, if a protein is inhibited, if you’re shutting down the enzyme activity of it, is there a drug that will activate it? And then will that

Schwab’s 36-month research project recently caught the attention of the 2021 CU Anschutz Student Research Symposium in which she beat out more than 100 students to win a coveted Student Research Award. “My longtime goal would be to do clinical work and clinical research. I’m very interested in psychiatry, mostly because there’s lots of room for discovery, specifically with the pathogenesis of certain conditions like schizophrenia,” says Schwab. “Being able to pursue both research and clinical interests is important to me. That’s the balance I’m looking for.”


Student Research :

Student Researchers Examine Infectious Disease Theory

Findings could debunk the habit of prescribing certain antibiotics


istening to Meghan Jeffres, PharmD, and her students explain their infectious disease work brings to mind the 80’s arcade game Space Invaders, in which an intergalactic battle plays out between defending forces and evil alien elements. The researchers describe an inner world, specifically the large and small intestines, in which tricky bacteria use enzymatic mechanisms to destroy the antibiotic sent to destroy it. Welcome to the front line of the infectious disease battleground.

Me g h an Jef f re s , Ph a rmD

The Infectious Disease Battle Crystal Kim and Lawand Kamal, both fourth-year PharmD students, descended into the world of infectious disease with the guidance of professor Dr. Jeffres, who served as their preceptor for their six-week research rotation. Their mission was to conduct an intensive retrospective clinical data study to prove or disprove a microbiologic theory. “We have this theory, but we don’t have good clinical data that tests the theory,” Dr. Jeffres said. “The general assumption right now is ‘Don’t use antibiotics that aren’t stable, or that get destroyed by a group of Enterobacteriaceae [gut bacteria] that make enzyme that destroy many antibiotics.’ That practice habit means we can’t use a ton of beta-lactams which narrows the treatment options.” Tag Team Research After spending about a hundred hours of literature review, the study required Kim and Kamal to meticulously comb through more than 500 patient records. To accomplish the herculean task within the six-week time frame, the student researchers developed a deep partnership and a nearly round-the-clock data collection protocol. “Sometimes Crystal would wake up really early and I would go to sleep at four or five o’clock in the morning, so I would take the night shift,” Kamal said. “We were just pushing each other to complete the project. Especially during data collection phase because, it’s very, very slow and you have to be methodical and make sure you’re doing the exact same thing for every patient.”


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

“I think what kept me going the whole six weeks was that partnership (with Kamal),” Kim said. “We were always pushing each other and if someone needed help, we were there for each other. Roshambo to the Rescue That selfless partnership would display itself when Kim and Kamal found themselves having to make a decision on who would be the first author of their work. Although the research initially began as a shared project, it soon became evident that it would need to be split into two separate studies to accurately compare the four antibiotics under consideration. What empirical method would the student scientists employ to make their decision? “It was settled by a game of rock-paperscissors!” Dr. Jeffres recalled. “Crystal ended up losing, multiple times. Which meant that Lawand got first pick between two manuscripts. He knew Crystal’s favorite project and picked the other one. That’s the kind of teamwork they had.” The Power of Partnership It would take such teamwork to fuel the student researchers through the often-grinding process of retrospective research projects. “To do a research project from beginning to end is all about perseverance and tenacity. It’s an emotional roller coaster,” Dr. Jeffres said. “A ton of your time is spent gathering data and creating your data base. It’s tedious. It’s pretty boring. And if you’re doing it by yourself, it’s easy to say, ‘I’m outta’ here.’” Fortunately, Kim and Kamal stayed the course and produced research that could have significant impact on patient care Clinical Impact of Research Kamal’s research compared the efficacy of third-generation cephalosporins against carbapenems in the treatment of specific intestinal infections, while Kim’s project studied piperacillin/tazobactam versus cefepime. Both studies provided evidence that, despite current practice, it is safe to prescribe what are considered unstable antibiotics as a first-line treatment option, thereby reducing the chances of developing antibiotic resistant infections caused by overuse of the stable antibiotics.

Kim’s research project was selected as one of this year’s recipients of the Student Research Symposium in which 140 projects vied for honors. Moving forward Kim hopes to pursue a pharmacy career in infectious disease, while Kamal’s plans include internal medicine pharmacy. Both students credit the research experience with making them more confident and prepared for the future.

Cr ys ta l K im, P 4

Lawa n d Ka ma l , P 4

Student Spotlight :




ife in pharmacy school is not easy. As students progress through their doctoral program, studies, rotations, and exams take precedent. For two graduating CU Pharmacy students, the drill is all too familiar – and they added military service to their workload. Sarah Jallen and Jacob King are both in the United States Navy. Lieutenant Jallen is in the Navy Reserves as a Healthcare Administrator in the Medical Services Corps. Upon graduation, Jallen will begin her residency program with a combined PGY1 Pharmacy & PGY2 Health System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania, and continue to serve in the Navy Reserves. King’s service is different. As a U.S Navy Officer Candidate 1 (Health Services Collegiate Program), he did not serve in a traditional sense during his time at CU but will immediately join the Navy upon graduation in a full-time capacity. His first order of business is to complete officer training school and to begin his residency at the Navy Medical Center Portsmouth in Virginia. “I come from a long line of military service in my family,” King said. “I knew I wanted to serve in some way, and being able to combine my interests in pharmacy and the Navy was too good to pass up.” King explained that he never wants to show up to work simply to collect a paycheck. “You spend so much of your life at your job, it needs to be something you’re passionate about, and I feel really fortunate that I am going to be able to do that,” he said. Jallen feels the same way, though her introduction to the military was unique. “My sister is a two-time bronze medalist in the Paralympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014, and many of her teammates were veterans,” she said. “They made an impact on my life, and after that I knew I wanted to join the military.” Her goal had a long-term plan. In order to make herself more marketable for both pharmacy school and the Navy, Jallen got a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration, which was how she was accepted into her Naval position. In her current job, she develops enlisted sailors to ensure readiness and support military operations, analyzes total

Ja co b Kin g, P4

force power, and maintains the status of over 500 medical professional sailors belonging to different detachments in the Navy Medicine West Region under Navy Medicine Readiness & Training Command (NMRTC) Camp Pendleton – all while completing her PharmD. “It has been a balancing act,” she said. “I’ve had both my reserve officer training and finals in the same week. I’ve gotten really good at sleeping in airports, doing work on planes, and managing my time.” King’s time at CU counts toward his military service, but he did not have active duty or reserve training while in school. He has had an internship with King Soopers pharmacy, and very much enjoys the role community pharmacists play in healthcare. “This past year has given me so much experience with patients, and I love the interaction and being able to help someone by explaining what medications they are taking, how the prescriptions metabolize, how it all works together,” he said. “I think with COVID-19, people are taking more of an active role in their health, and they want to know more about their medications.” After officer training, King will oversee a team of healthcare professionals for the Navy, and he hopes patient education will play a major role. Both are looking forward to their future and say they would not change their decision to balance both military and a doctoral degree.

Sa ra h Ja l l e n , P 4

“The Navy has provided me with incredible opportunities and connections,” Jallen said. “I can call my Commanding Officers for support at any time. I built a relationship with a Skaggs alumni in the reserves. My command has been exceedingly supportive throughout this entire process and even helped write letters of recommendation for my residency applications.” King agrees. “Already, the relationships I’ve built have been life changing,” he said. “Through this program, I was able to connect with another CU Pharmacy alum, and he was able to guide me through some parts of this process and support both my education and military career.” To future students, both say to follow your passion. As King said, don’t show up to work to collect a paycheck; make sure you love what you do.

Ja cob K in g s ol u tes h is comma n din g of f icer.


THREE YEARS IN NIGERIA INFORMED ONE STUDENT’S PHARMACY SPECIALTY Sent from the United States to a Nigerian high school to be immersed in her heritage, Opeyemi Ibrahim discovered more about her passion

Op eye m i Ib rahi m, P4


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

“I moved to the United States from Nigeria when I was seven years old, and when I was about to go to high school, my parents decided I needed to go back to Nigeria. So I did. I went to a boarding school in Nigeria for three years, and I noticed that so many diseases can be prevented by access to healthcare.” Opeyemi Ibrahim dove right into explaining her interest in becoming a pharmacist. Ibrahim, although a long-time Colorado resident and CU Denver graduate, can pinpoint her desire to be a pharmacist to three formidable years in Nigeria. “In Nigeria, it seems like anyone can prescribe something, anyone can open a ‘pharmacy’ and many people don’t have access to a good, medically-trained pharmacist,” she said. “There are so many diseases, like heart disease or high blood pressure or diabetes, that have long-term consequences if not treated with the proper medication. But, if someone had access to that medication, they can be okay.” Ibrahim returned to Colorado after her high school graduation with dreams to be a pharmacist. This May, she graduates with a PharmD from CU Pharmacy, a dream encouraged by watching many friends and relatives graduate from the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. “I remember watching them at the Anschutz graduation ceremony and I was in awe of all of it,” she said. “When it came time for me to apply to pharmacy school, I didn’t need to leave Colorado. This school is where I knew I wanted to go.” Already with an interest in preventative care, Ibrahim found a love of managed care and ambulatory care pharmacy while at CU. Managed care pharmacy is the practice of developing and applying evidencebased medication use strategies that enhance member and population health outcomes while optimizing health care resources; ambulatory care practice is the provision of integrated, accessible healthcare services by pharmacists who are accountable for addressing medication needs, developing sustained

partnerships with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community. Helping Ibrahim along the way was CU’s world-class medical campus, with access to clubs, communities, and thought leaders who encouraged her to collaborate with her peers and medical students across campus. “I most enjoyed the access that CU’s campus offered,” she said. “I had so many options to get involved and learn more about a specialty field. I became involved in the school’s Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, I was involved in the National Community Pharmacy Association, I was able to get involved and get experience.” “Dr. [Katy] Trinkley was also so helpful in taking time to talk to me about her work, and helping me explore interests,” Ibrahim said. “I never felt held back at CU, I could always learn more.” Trinkley, PharmD, PhD, is an associate professor whose research focuses on leveraging data and implementation science to create innovative health information technologies to optimize safe and effective medication use, something Ibrahim felt would be important in her goal to practice managed care pharmacy. After graduation, Ibrahim will begin a post-graduate year 1 (PGY1) residency in managed care at Envolve Pharmacy Solutions in Tampa, Florida. Accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists in partnership with the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, this residency is designed to prepare residents for a pharmacy career within a dynamic managed care environment. Eventually, Ibrahim would like to go back to Nigeria and open her own pharmacy. “In many African countries, anyone can say ‘take this, or use this’ and no one would question it,” she said. “I have a passion to help with developing pharmacies that can be accessible and beneficial to people, and now I have a doctoral degree to do it.”



North American-Trained PharmD pathway allowed one Egyptian pharmacist to advance her career in the United States For Omniah ElMorshedy, the path to a PharmD looked a little different than most. A student in our Distance Degree Program, ElMorshedy already had a Bachelor’s of Pharmacy from Egypt and had been practicing pharmacy in her home country, where a doctor of pharmacy is not necessary. She moved permanently to the United States in 2015 where she had a seven-month internship, took and passed the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX), and was able to practice as a licensed Pharmacist – and yet, she wanted more. ElMorshedy grew up in Egypt with a mother who is a physician and medical professor, and saw that patient interaction was a key part in patient health. The clinical setting of pharmacy was an interest to her, and so she started researching distance PharmD programs. By chance, she saw a CU Pharmacy booth at a pharmacy conference and found out about CU Pharmacy’s North American-Trained PharmD (NTPD) program. NTPD was established in 1999, when a Bachelor’s of Pharmacy was the prevalent degree for licensed pharmacists. Since that time, over 600 Registered Pharmacists (RPhs) like ElMorshedy have completed the program giving them the opportunity to advance their education, and career opportunities, into expanding clinical pharmacy roles. “I found out the program was flexible, could be two to six years, depending on if I go full-time or part-time, and I could stay living where I am, which at the time, was Chicago,” she said. She applied for the spring of 2018 and was accepted. This spring, she graduates with her long-awaited PharmD, and is excited to start her postgraduate year one (PGY1) residency at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle this July. “My husband and I made a goal tree, and this was one of them,” she said. “I created the path to become a clinical PharmD, and I am so excited because it is happening.” Not without challenges, and exciting life changes. Last April, in the beginning of the COVID pandemic, she and her family moved to Seattle to be closer to friends. Also in the last year, while balancing work as a licensed pharmacist, doctoral student, and applying for residencies, she and her husband welcomed a baby. “I learned so much over the past few years,” she said. “Time management is important. I had to work, I had rotations, and I had to study. I would not change anything, but it was hard. It got me to my goal and I am so glad that I was able to do it.” “There were times that I was super stressed, where I was studying on my lunch break. But it also was unique because I was working while I was learning, so I could apply my studies in real-time.” Though she had experience as a pharmacist in Egypt, the clinical role is not as developed as it is in the United States. She explained that most pharmacists in Egypt are in hospital settings, and patient interaction is less. With a PharmD, her time is now spent interacting with patients and taking a more active role in their healthcare.

Omn ia h ElMors h e dy, N TP D gra du ate

“One thing this program taught me was how to approach different patient scenarios, how to check and follow guidelines and provide evidence-based recommendations, and how to communicate with my patients,” she said. “It taught me how to be a better provider.” As she finished her last year of school, she saw her life drastically change with the onset of COVID. Rotations changed, one was online, and patient care became more challenging. “It was especially hard communicating with patients, because so many of them are elderly and it is hard to hear or understand them through a mask,” she said. She remains optimistic, and takes everything as a learning opportunity. “This experience makes me better,” she said. “This year has been hard, but I have so much to look forward to. I am so excited for the future.”


Late Nights, Long Hours, and Bus Rides Mark the Academic Journey of First-Generation Graduate Student Graduate part of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences first class of master’s students


aster of Pharmaceutical Sciences student Glenn Harter is ready to take on a PhD in organic chemistry this fall at the University of Southern California (USC), and he views his master’s degree at CU Pharmacy as a necessary step to achieve his considerable dreams. Growing up in a Latino family in Colorado, Harter is a firstgeneration graduate student. As an undergraduate studying biochemistry at the University of Northern Colorado, he was awarded a McNair Scholarship from the U.S. Department of Education, an award designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group that are traditionally underrepresented in graduate education and have demonstrated strong academic potential. “Getting that scholarship opened my eyes to what I can do in this field, and I also was given the opportunity to study models of cancer treatment,” Harter said. “Between this project, and a second project soon after, I was hooked on a career in drug development.” Harter was set to go to CU Denver in the fall of 2019 for his master’s degree, but was accepted into the inaugural Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences class at CU Pharmacy. He decided to change his plans, and today is one of the first graduating students of the program. “I already had my living situation and job secured, thinking I would be in a different part of the city,” he said. Harter had to take a bus two hours each way to commute to the Anschutz Medical Campus. “I always worked through school as a phlebotomist, so I would sometimes get on the bus at 6 a.m. to make it to class at 8 a.m., have school during the day, then go to work, where I would stay until 10 p.m.,” he explained. “If I closed that night, it would be a two-hour bus ride home, and then start again the next day.” Harter made the most of his commute by studying. As a member of the first class of master’s students, all of Harter’s courses included PhD students. The new program integrates coursework where appropriate, something Harter felt was intimidating, but only at first. He started to think about school like soccer. “If you only play against the same skill level, you don’t get any better,” he explained. “I wanted to play against someone better than me. I wanted to learn with someone who knew more, that’s how you keep learning.” On campus, Harter started work under Daniel LaBarbera PhD, Associate Professor and Director of the new Center for Drug Discovery. Dr. LaBarbera’s laboratory is engaged in multidisciplinary cancer drug discovery and development with a focus on translating lead drugs that are effective against metastatic cancers that are resistant to standard of care clinical therapies.” “[Dr. LaBarbera] definitely helped me through the technical side of this program as well as my PhD applications,” Harter said.


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Gl e n n Ha r te r, ma s ter 's gra du ate

Also helpful in his journey was David Kroll, PhD, Professor and Director of Master’s and Certificate Programs in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “I consider myself fortunate to have played a role in [Harter’s] education and pursuit of his dream,” Dr. Kroll said. When COVID became widespread in the spring of 2020, Harter was still taking public transportation to keep up his job and studies, although many of his classes were moved online. “I’m a social person, so that was tough as well,” he said. “My life became the bus ride and the four walls of my house.” It also threw a wrench in his master’s thesis work, with much of the research partially complete but not ready for publication. “I think I am most proud of how my thesis actually turned out,” Harter said. “COVID had some challenges, and I am proud that despite having to move my research to online, I was able to complete this [capstone] paper and I’m proud of making it through.” With an undergraduate degree in biochemistry, a graduate degree in pharmaceutical sciences, and heading off to USC in the fall to study organic chemistry, Harter is acquiring an impressive arsenal of education. “My work with cancer treatment as an undergraduate stuck with me,” he said. Harter’s plans are to develop treatments, organic compounds, and drug therapy to combat cancer. “I want to work for industry, maybe overseas, where I can research and find new ways to prevent and treat cancer,” he said. “I am interested in compound modeling, and documenting small molecules, so I’d like to work for a Pfizer or larger company where I can explore more.”


University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Class of 2021 On behalf of the faculty of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, I extend to each member of the Class of 2021 my enthusiastic congratulations on the occasion of your graduation. You have successfully completed one of the most challenging academic programs in all of higher education under trying circumstances – the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted all of our lives and your education for over a year. You likely learned more than you might have in normal times; you have witnessed rapid change, adaptations and resilience of the health care system and professionals like yourselves; and you contributed to a historic public health effort in our country. Through it all, you succeeded and thrived; you deserve to take great pride in your accomplishments. You are entering into professional practice at a time of extraordinary change in America’s health care system, some brought about by the pandemic, others driven by advances in technologies. With these changes, most certainly will come many challenging and exciting opportunities. We have done our best to prepare you for these opportunities and we urge you to seize upon them whenever and wherever they may arise. We wish you good fortune in the years that lie ahead. If the confidence we have in your abilities is matched by the confidence you have in yourselves, your ultimate success is virtually guaranteed. It has been a pleasure and an honor to have you as part of our Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences family and we welcome you into the ranks of our distinguished alumnae/i.

Ralph J. Altiere, Ph.D. Dean

Convocation Program Welcome, Introductions & Opening Remarks Remarks by the Recipient of the Chancellor’s Teaching Recognition Award Remarks by the Recipient of the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award Remarks by the Representative of the Class of 2021 Remarks by the Representative of the Distance Degrees and Programs, Class of 2021

Ralph J. Altiere, Ph.D., Dean

Introduction of the North American-Trained & International-Trained Pharm.D. Programs Graduating Class

Shaun Gleason, Pharm.D. MGS, Assistant Dean for Distance Degrees and Programs

Robert Scheinman, Ph.D., Associate Professor Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Meghan Jeffres, Pharm.D., Associate Professor Department of Clinical Pharmacy Zaynib Hassan Omniah ElMorshedy

Introduction and hooding of the Doctor of Brian Hemstreet, Pharm.D. Pharmacy Graduating Class of 2021 Associate Dean for Student Affairs Recitation of the Oath of a Pharmacist Megan Thompson, Pharm.D., Assistant Dean of Experiential Programs Concluding Remarks

Convocation Ceremony Ralph J. Altiere, Ph.D. Dean Jason Brunner, Ph.D. Assistant Dean for Assessment Rachel Copeland, M.B.A. Associate Dean for Finance and Budget Douglas N. Fish, Pharm.D. Chair, Department of Clinical Pharmacy Shaun Gleason, Pharm.D, MGS Assistant Dean for Distance Degrees and Programs Brian Hemstreet, Pharm.D. Associate Dean for Student Affairs Gina Moore, Pharm.D., M.B.A. Vice Dean/Chief Operating Officer David Ross, Ph.D. Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies and Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Joseph Saseen, Pharm.D. Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs David C. Thompson, Ph.D. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Megan Thompson, Pharm.D. Assistant Dean for Experiential Programs

Dean Ralph J. Altiere


Graduation :

Recipients of the Degree Doctor of Pharmacy 2021 Connor Aldridge* Selamawit Alemayehu Stephanie Anderson Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Jase Archer* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Sonya Barich* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Sila Bishara Makenna Bishop Delaney Bryant Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Emily Burks Alysa Campuzano Elizabeth Carpenter* Rho Chi Kimberly Carrasco Stacey Chang Virginia Chang* Amanda Charlton Phi Lambda Sigma Steven Chu David Clarke Sarah Coltrinari* Rho Chi Katarina Cornakova** Katelyn Currier* Lily Dang Tanya Daughtry* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Nasim Dehkordi Heather DeWaal* Megha Dhingra Phi Lambda Sigma Catherine Donaldson Rho Chi Joanna Dukes* Phi Lambda Sigma Kathryn Duschean Stephanie Early* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Jasmine Elabed Alexandra Engelmann Hayden Fields Timothy Finnegan* Megan Fischer Jeffrey Forte* Spencer Fosnot* Noah Gallegos Morgan Garlington* Kiet Giang* Jessica Goldsby* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Hailee Griffin* Phi Lambda Sigma Tara Hafner Eric Hartsfield Phi Lambda Sigma Zaynib Hassan* Phi Lambda Sigma Marti Henry Allison Herbst Carmine Hernandez Suan Hong Taylor Hoover* Opeyemi Ibrahim Phi Lambda Sigma

Nassim Ijadi Sarah Jallen Jordan Jenrette* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Andrew Jung Rho Chi Lawand Kamal* Rho Chi Jasvir Kaur Phi Lambda Sigma Katelyn Kennedy Rho Chi Crystal Kim Jacob King Elizabeth Ko Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma, with honors Kelly Koon Phi Lambda Sigma Wuletawbizu Kurfe Kathryn Lamberton Phi Lambda Sigma Alison Lanier* Rho Chi Sydney Leanna Elisabeth Lee Jamie Lee Shinae Lee Susie Lee Won Lee Allison Lewis* Angela Li Rho Chi, with honors Ethan Likes Allison Loi Katharine Lowrey Samuel Maaiah Colin Maehler* Rho Chi Marvis Makori Jenna Markus Meena Mattamana Rica Mbau Courtney McBride Phi Lambda Sigma Clayton Miller* Josephine Mumar Nicholas Munson Sandra Nader* Dana Nguyen Justin Nguyen Lilian Nguyen Tam Nguyen* Phi Lambda Sigma Trang Nguyen** Nitha Odollil Rho Chi Krista Olsen Phi Lambda Sigma Nicole Osbaugh* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma, with honors Jasmine Pare* Rho Chi, with honors Ha Park* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma, with honors Pooja Patel+

*Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment® Top performer ** Graduate Certificate Completion, Integrative Health and Medicine + Graduate Certificate Completion, Cannabis Science and Medicine


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Maria Pearson Phi Lambda Sigma Jay Pendell Michael Petrich My Pham Chau Phan-Backlund Justine Phimmasone Maria Porras Shannon Rademacher* Rho Chi Linssey Ramirez-Henry Jackson Reed Jacob Roberts Heidi Roeder* Jessica Rogers* Rho Chi Samantha Roming* Devin Rose* Sean Russell Alison Saunders Taylor Schieber Stefanie Schwab* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma, with honors Angela Senethong Nicholas Shortridge Jerry Sicalo* Rho Chi, with honors Michael Silverstone Sally Situ Brooke Smith* Phi Lambda Sigma, with honors Fera Soedarsono Eileen Spann* Kyle Stanley* Adrienne Stute Nicholas Szczurek Shasta Tall Bull Phi Lambda Sigma Vasili Tasoulis Peter Tonsits* Rho Chi Christopher Toporek Holly Truong Jevin Tzeng+ Mariah van Waes Rho Chi Tracie VanHorn Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Yvette Velasquez Cameron Welker Raechel White* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Ashley Wiseley Kristina Wright Vincent Wysocki Pengsue Yang* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Kenny Yuan Hao Zhang Phi Lambda Sigma


Recipients of the Degree Doctor of Pharmacy North American-Trained Pharm.D. Program August 2020

Jaspreet Kaur Brian Nelson Marcantel Sevak Olmessekian Laura Marie Penca Rho Chi Islam A Shehab Phi Lambda Sigma Amy Edith Smendik

December 2020

Olugbade Omotoso Bolanle Marc Jason Bralow Louise Brown Jayesh Changela Dahlia Imad Elimairi Kinda Karra

Noha Khalaf Maikhoi Diep Nguyen Abimbola Omobolamle Oyasiji Rho Chi Adelina Tan Uypeckcuat Lara Zakaria

May 2021

Shereen Abdallah Adam Omniah Mohamed ElMorshedy Rho Chi Sunira Jain Dustin Snowden Alan Jones Rho Chi David Matthew Kitley Phuong-Thao Thi Nguyen Rho Chi Janet Marie Reese

International-Trained Pharm.D. Program May 2021

Abdullah Ibrahim Hamdan Al-Ajmi Trusha Patel

Recipients of the Degree Doctor of Philosophy August 2020

Reena Berman Toxicology Mustafa Ibrahim Pharmaceutical Sciences Chong Kim Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research Brian Tooker Toxicology

December 2020

Kimberly Casalvieri

Pharmaceutical Sciences

May 2021

Colin Anderson Toxicology Yue Rachel Gao Toxicology

Recipients of the Degree Master of Science May 2021

Yeba Adje Mark Colbenson Glenn Harter Yue Li

Pharmaceutical Sciences Biomedical Basic Sciences Pharmaceutical Sciences Pharmaceutical Sciences

Recipients of the Graduate Certificate in Cannabis Science and Medicine Tracy Anderson Lindsey Foust Erin Johnson

Tomer Mark Pooja Patel Jevin Tzeng

Recipients of the Graduate Certificate in Integrative Health and Medicine Leslie Baker Meghan Hewitt Stacie Mesec Surabhi Palkimas

Kim Paxton Rhonda Pohlman Breeanna Sailas


Graduation :

Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Connor Aldridge

Selamawit Alemayehu

Stephanie Anderson

Jase Archer

Sonya Barich

Sila Bishara

Makenna Bishop

Delaney Bryant

Emily Burks

Alysa Campuzano

Elizabeth Carpenter

Kimberly Carrasco

Stacey Chang

Virginia Chang

Amanda Charlton

Steven Chu

David Clarke

Sarah Coltrinari

Katarina Cornakova

Katelyn Currier

Lily Dang

Tanya Daughtry

Nasim Dehkordi

Heather DeWaal

Megha Dhingra

Catherine Donaldson

Joanna Dukes

Kathryn Duschean

Stephanie Early

Jasmine Elabed

Alexandra Engelmann

Hayden Fields

Timothy Finnegan

Megan Fischer

Jeffrey Forte

Spencer Fosnot

Noah Gallegos

Morgan Garlington

Kiet Giang

Jessica Goldsby

Hailee Griffin

Tara Hafner

Eric Hartsfield

Zaynib Hassan

Marti Henry

Allison Herbst

Carmine Hernandez

Suan Hong

Taylor Hoover

Nassim Ijadi

Sarah Jallen

Jordan Jenrette

Andrew Jung

Lawand Kamal

Jasvir Kaur

Katelyn Kennedy

Crystal Kim

Jacob King

Elizabeth Ko

Kelly Koon

Kathryn Lamberton

Alison Lanier

Sydney Leanna

Elisabeth Lee

Jamie Lee

Shinae Lee

Susie Lee

Allison Lewis

Angela Li


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Won Lee

Opeyemi Ibrahim


University of Colorado Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 2021

Ethan Likes

Allison Loi

Katharine Lowrey

Samuel Maaiah

Colin Maehler

Marvis Makori

Jenna Markus

Meena Mattamana

Rica Mbau

Courtney McBride

Clayton Miller

Josephine Mumar

Nicholas Munson

Sandra Nader

Dana Nguyen

Justin Nguyen

Lilian Nguyen

Tam Nguyen

Trang Nguyen

Nitha Odollil

Krista Olsen

Nicole Osbaugh

Jasmine Pare

Ha Park

Pooja Patel

Maria Pearson

Jay Pendell

Michael Petrich

My Pham

Chau Phan-Backlund

Justine Phimmasone

Maria Porras

Shannon Rademacher

Linssey Ramirez-Henry

Jackson Reed

Jacob Roberts

Heidi Roeder

Jessica Rogers

Samantha Roming

Devin Rose

Sean Russell

Alison Saunders

Taylor Schieber

Stefanie Schwab

Angela Senethong

Nicholas Shortridge

Jerry Sicalo

Michael Silverstone

Sally Situ

Brooke Smith

Fera Soedarsono

Eileen Spann

Kyle Stanley

Adrienne Stute

Nicholas Szczurek

Shasta Star Tall Bull

Vasili Tasoulis

Peter Tonsits

Christopher Toporek

Holly Truong

Jevin Tzeng

Mariah van Waes

Tracie VanHorn

Yvette Velasquez

Cameron Welker

Raechel White

Ashley Wiseley

Kristina Wright

Pengsue Yang

Kenny Yuan

Hao Zhang

Vincent Wysocki


Graduation :

Academic Dress

Those who are receiving the Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will receive a hood as they cross the stage. The hoods are lined with the University of Colorado school colors, silver and gold. The velvet border of the hood indicates the degree and field of study and usually follows the same code as the color of the tassel. For pharmacy, the color is olive green. Description of Honor Cords and Additional Accomplishments. Graduates wearing cords signify recognition of individual achievement and participation in various honor societies. Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy: Blue/White – These cords recognize active members of the University of Colorado’s AMCP student chapter. These individuals have demonstrated dedication to the practice of managed care pharmacy and leadership within the student chapter and in the community. American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy: Royal blue/Orange – These cords symbolize students’ hard work and dedication to both the Colorado Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists and profession. Eligibility for these cords designates active membership, participation in activities of the local, state, and national organizations of health-systems pharmacists while in school. CU-PediatRx: Student Chapter of the Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPAG): Teal – These cords distinguish pharmacy graduates who have maintained active involvement in or contributed to the establishment of CU-PediatRx, the student chapter of PPAG at the University of Colorado SSPPS. Through hard work and dedication, these students have demonstrated commitment to the practice of pediatric pharmacy and actively engaged in improving the care of children through communication, education, research and advocacy at the local and national levels. National Community Pharmacy Association: Royal blue – These cords designate active members within University of Colorado’s NCPA student chapter. These students have demonstrated dedication to the practice of independent pharmacy and actively participated in community health and outreach events at both local and national levels. Phi Delta Chi Professional Pharmacy Fraternity: Maroon/Gold – These cords designate active brothers within the University of Colorado’s Sigma Chapter of the national organization, founded in 1883. These students have actively contributed to advancing PDC’s mission of promoting leadership, professional and community service, scholarship, and brotherhood. Phi Lambda Sigma Society: Green/Gold – Phi Lambda Sigma Society are individuals who have demonstrated dedicated service and leadership in the advancement of pharmacy, are of high moral and ethical character and are in good academic standing. Rho Chi National Honor Society: Purple/White – These cords designate active graduating members of the Rho Chi Honor Society of Pharmacy. The Alpha Theta chapter of Rho Chi at the University of Colorado inducted these students in recognition of their excellence in intellectual achievement and their potential for lifelong leadership in pharmacy. Student Council: Silver – These cords recognize active members of the School of Pharmacy’s Executive Student Council. Student Council members are class leaders who foster and maintain a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship among the SSPPS (including its student body, faculty and staff) as well as the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Student National Pharmaceutical Association: Black/White – These cords recognize active members of the University of Colorado’s SNPhA student chapter. These members have demonstrated commitment to addressing critical issues affecting healthcare and practice in diverse and underserved communities. The Honors Program offers Pharm.D. students the opportunity to design and execute a research-oriented project. Honors Program students pursue special research interests with a high degree of individual attention from a faculty mentor within the school. Recognition for students completing the Honors Program is noted on their transcript and diploma as having graduated “with honors in research.”

Degree Doctor of Pharmacy North American-Trained Pharm.D. Program

Olugbade Omotoso Bolanle

Marc Jason Bralow

Kinda Karra

Jaspreet Kaur

Noha Khalaf

Omniah Mohamed ElMorshedy

Maikhoi Diep Nguyen

Phuong-Thao Thi Nguyen

Sevak Olmessekian

Abimbola Omobolamle Oyasiji

Laura Marie Penca

Janet Marie Reese

David Matthew Kitley

Adelina Tan Uypeckcuat

International-Trained Pharm.D. Program

The Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment® (PCOA®) is a comprehensive tool developed by National Association of Boards of Pharmacy to provide an independent, objective, and external measure of student performance in United States pharmacy curricula. The * identifies those graduates who were top performers on the PCOA.


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Abdullah Ibrahim Hamdan Al-Ajmi

Trusha Patel


Degree Doctor of Philosophy Oath of a Pharmacist Colin Anderson

Yue Rachel Gao

Kimberly Casalvieri

Reena Berman

“I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of • I will consider the welfare of humanity and

Mustafa Ibrahim

Chong Kim

Brian Tooker

Degree Master of Science

• I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for my patients. • I will respect and protect all personal and health information entrusted to me. • I will accept the lifelong obligation to improve my professional knowledge and competence.

Yeba Adje

Glenn Harter

Mark Colbenson

Integrative Health and Medicine

• I will hold myself and my colleagues to the highest principles of our profession’s moral, ethical and legal conduct. • I will embrace and advocate changes that improve patient care. • I will utilize my knowledge, skills, experiences, and values to prepare the next generation of pharmacists. I take these vows voluntarily with the full realization of the responsibility with which I am entrusted by the public.”

Meghan Hewitt

Breeanna Sailas

Rhonda Pohlman

Stacie Mesec

Graduate Certificate in Cannabis Science and Medicine

Tracy Anderson

Pooja Patel

Adopted by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy House of Delegates, July 2007 Association.

Jevin Tzeng



Mechanisms Specialty of the Society of Toxicology Carl Smith Award

American Society for Health System Pharmacists Student Research Award

Jace Archer, PharmD

Mustafa Ibrahim, PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences

United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award

Chelsea Vallejos, P3

Hannah Work, PhD

Pediatric Pharmacy Assocation’s John Dice Memorial Student Scholarship

American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 3rd place poster in Drug Metabolism and Disposition

Colin Anderson, PhD in Toxicology

Crystal Kim, PharmD

Stefanie Schwab, PharmD

Harold C. Heim Award for Excellence in Research and Graduate Education

Anschutz Medical Center Student Research Awards; Outstanding research that significantly adds to the body of medical knowledge

Anschutz Medical Center Student Research Awards; Outstanding research that significantly adds to the body of medical knowledge

Alison Novak, PGY2

Marissa Powell, PGY1

Ashwini Sri Hari, PhD in Toxicology

Society of Critical Care Medicine Star Research and In-Training Awards

Harold C. Heim Award for Excellence in Research and Graduate Education



Omniah Mohamed ElMorshedy

Louise Brown

Trusha Patel

Phuong-Thao Thi Nguyen

DDP Commencement Speaker and Outstanding HealthSystem APPE; For outstanding performance in the Health-System Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience

North American-Trained PharmD Outstanding Student; For outstanding academic performance and overall GPA

International-Trained PharmD Outstanding Student; For outstanding commitment to Advancing Patient-Centered Pharmacy Practice Internationally and overall GPA

Outstanding Ambulatory Care APPE; For outstanding performance in the Ambulatory Care Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience

Jayesh Changela

Sevak Olmessekian

Kinda Karra

Paul Reynolds

Outstanding Elective APPE; For outstanding performance in the Elective Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience

Outstanding Credit-by-Challenge; For outstanding performance in the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience Credit-by-Challenge

Distinguished Service Award; For outstanding commitment and service to Distance Degrees and Programs

DDP Educator of the Year; For outstanding performance in educating pharmacy students in the North American-Trained and InternationalTrained PharmD Programs

CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences



Degree Doctor of Pharmacy

Zaynib Hassan

William (Billy) Martinez

Charisse Surio

Maggie Schieber

Madelyn Lebin

Commencement Speaker; Honor selected by the graduating class

National Community Pharmacists Association Outstanding Student Member Award; Outstanding leadership qualities and contributions to the chapter

Phi Delta Chi Pharmacy Spirit; Aptitude, participation, and leadership in the activities of Phi Delta Chi

Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Award; Outstanding leadership qualities and contributions to pharmacy leadership

Rho Chi Outstanding Student Award; Outstanding service rendered to the chapter and to the Rho Chi Society

Elizabeth Carpenter

Lawand Kamal

Katelyn Kennedy

Ha Eun Park

Jerry Sicalo

2021 VIATRIS™ Excellence in Pharmacy Award; P4, top 25% of class demonstrates high personal motivation and a unique ability to communicate drug information

Merck Awards; Outstanding scholastic achievement in pharmacy studies

Merck Awards; Outstanding scholastic achievement in pharmacy studies

Merck Awards; Outstanding scholastic achievement in pharmacy studies

SSPPS Clinical Practice Award; P4, recognition of superior performance in clinical pharmacy clerkships

Nicole Osbaugh

Madelyn Lebin

David Miner

Vinh Thai

Mengdi Zhu

SSPPS Valedictorian Award; P4 with the highest grade point average

SSPPS Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award; P3s with the highest grade point average

SSPPS Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award; P3s with the highest grade point average

SSPPS Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award; P2 with the highest grade point average

SSPPS Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award; P2 with the highest grade point average

Graduate Certificate in Cannabis Medicine Caitlyn Hart

Stefanie Schwab

Christopher Truong

Barbara Calvert

Christina Bartholomew

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Awards; Academic excellence and a strong interest in basic research in pharmaceutical sciences

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Awards; Academic excellence and a strong interest in basic research in pharmaceutical sciences

SSPPS Professional Achievement Awards; aptitude, leadership and participation in SSPPS and university activities

SSPPS Professional Achievement Awards; aptitude, leadership and participation in SSPPS and university activities

SSPPS Professional Achievement Awards; aptitude, leadership and participation in SSPPS and university activities

Elizabeth Ko

Tony Duong

Jordan Jenrette

Jessica Goldsby

SSPPS Professional Achievement Awards; aptitude, leadership and participation in SSPPS and university activities

Student Council Presidential Award; 2020-21 President of Student Council and P3 Class President

Dean’s Distinguished Student Award; Leadership, scholastic ability and service to SSPPS and to the profession

Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information Award of Excellence in Clinical Communication; Superior academic achievement and superior verbal and written clinical communication skills


EXCELLENCE IN PRECEPTING AWARDS The Skaggs School of Pharmacy is renowned for our experiential programs. At the core of this meaningful student educational experience are our preceptors who dedicate their time and talent to mentor and train the next generation of pharmacy professionals.




Deborah Gallegos, PharmD Director of Pharmacy for Colorado Plains Medical Center, Fort Morgan, Colorado.

Ashley Glode, PharmD, UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital Oncology Clinic

Aaron Prince, PharmD, UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital Emergency Department

“I do not say this lightly when I say that Dr. Glode has supported me through some of the hardest days of my life and given me some of my most cherished advice. Her kindness and ability to hold space for me was something that I have reflected on quite a bit.”

“This rotation was one of the best rotations I have had and it was mostly due to having Dr. Prince as my preceptor . . . He has empowered me to be confident in my abilities and to make my own decisions as a pharmacist when it comes to caring for my patient.”

“Dr. Gallegos is the best preceptor a student could ask for. She goes out of her way to get you in touch with everyone in the hospital and always tries to find you experiences you are interested in. She always asks me if I want to tag along to certain events she is having or situations that are going on in the hospital.” “I do not feel like a burden around her, but rather I feel like one of her colleagues and I can tell she genuinely wants me there. She always checks in on me, even when she is on vacation to make sure that I am taken care of. I can always count on her as a student and as my friend. Thank you, Debbie!”

DALE MATSUDA: COMMUNITY PHARMACY PRECEPTOR AWARD Dale Matsuda, RPh, Walgreens Pharmacy Manager, Elizabeth, Colorado. “Dale has been the most inspirational influence in my professional career, and my APPE experience with him has motivated me to push myself to become not only an excellent pharmacist, but also a community member with a heart for service.” “I've never met a pharmacist who is not only extremely knowledgeable, but also has an enormous heart and love for his profession. He approaches every situation with a positive attitude, and sees every patient interaction as an opportunity to build relationships and ensure their needs are met.” “Not only does Dale set an example for excellent patient care, he treats every member of the staff like family and has built a strong sense of community among the team.”

“Dr. Glode is a highly knowledgeable oncology pharmacist and CU SOP faculty member who genuinely has her intentions in the right places. She puts her patients and her students first. I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity to learn from her both inside and outside the classroom.”

DR. CINDY O’BRYANT: AMBULATORY CARE PHARMACY AWARD Cindy O’Bryant, PharmD, UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital Oncology Clinic “Dr. O’Bryant trained me to quickly be able to independently perform chemotherapy teachings for patients and their loved ones, which was the most rewarding and memorable experience of pharmacy school for me. She understood the balance of trusting in my independence and clinical skills while also providing steady guidance and being easily approachable whenever I had questions or concerns.” “I could only hope that someone who is a leader in their field could also be a mentor who is genuinely invested in my success. Dr. O' Bryant effortlessly embodies both of these qualities… She has shown me that a true mentor will go to bat for you and remind you of your greatness when you have self-doubts.”

“Each night, he will challenge you with clinical questions, difficult patient encounters, and topic discussions. He challenges you to apply what you've talked about in real clinical scenarios.” “By the end of my rotation with him, I was essentially the pharmacist. I had the phone, handled clinical questions, attended codes, addressed orders all independently of him. And I felt confident in doing so because of how Dr. Prince formatted this rotation.”

KEN STERNFELD: NATIONAL PHARMACY PRECEPTOR AWARD Ken Sternfeld, RPh, founder of RXVIP Concierge in Westbury, New York “Ken has been so gracious in providing his time to pharmacy students, especially those who have been impacted by COVID-19. He has provided us with excellent clinical resources, especially when it comes to Pharmacogenomic testing, COVID-19 testing, and medication therapy management. I am in awe of RXVIP’s continued support and their selfless offering of their time and energy in teaching us how to be outstanding pharmacy concierge specialists in the future. Thank you so much, Ken!” “In this rotation I was exposed to multiple eHr platforms, diagnostic lab reporting, billing of services provided and educational platforms . . . Ken had us interacting with peers, RPhs, RNs, MD, IT dept, Billing Dept, and laboratory services - a vast amount of collaboration for a team dynamic to health care.”

DENVER HEALTH: PROGRAMS PARTNERSHIP AWARD This year, the Programs Partnership Award honors the Denver Health team of preceptors, comprised of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, who continued to allow pharmacy students to stand by their sides in the delivery of outstanding patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Denver Health has been a longstanding partner with the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy, and over the past five years, Denver Health has increased the pharmacy student rotation offerings by an astounding 50%. In addition, during the 2020-2021 rotation year, Denver Health originally matched to 45 rotations, then added another 18 rotations as reassignments due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and cancellations at other sites. This is unprecedented, and evidence that Denver Health truly values pharmacy students and the partnership with CU.


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS The late HENRY STRAUSS, an alumnus of our school and longtime donor after whom the CU Anschutz Library is named, was selected as this year’s Distinguished Coloradan. The Distinguished Coloradan Award is the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS) highest recognition and a life time achievement award (established in 1988) to recognize alumni and friends of the SSPPS. Associate Professor ROBERT SCHEINMAN, PHD, has been selected as this year’s winner of the Chancellor's Teaching Recognition Award. The purpose of the Chancellor's Teaching Recognition Award is to recognize and reward outstanding teaching. Associate Professor MEGHAN JEFFRES, PHARM D, has been selected as this year’s winner of the President's Excellence in Teaching Award. The President's Excellence in Teaching Award is an acknowledgement of a faculty member's outstanding, innovative, and inspirational contributions to the students’ professional development. CASEY DUGAN, PHARMD, MBA, is the 2021 SSPPS Excellence in Pharmacy Award Winner. Dr. Dugan has expanded Children's Colorado pharmacy services across the state, including underserved areas of Colorado. He has been essential in the roleout of COVID vaccination efforts across the state and at Children's Colorado.

Professor MANISHA PATEL, PHD was named the 2021 SSPPS Faculty Member of Distinction. The SSPPS Faculty Member of Distinction Award recognizes a full-time University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy faculty member who demonstrates distinctive traits that makes her/him an outstanding role model for peers and students. Associate Professor MELANIE S. JOY, PHARMD, PHD, received this year’s Innovations in Science Award, which celebrates innovative discovery in basic and/or clinical sciences. It recognizes an SSPPS partner that is developing new methodologies or innovative approaches in pharmaceutical science or clinical outcomes that will accelerate or transform the field of pharmacy/medicine. Alumnus ROBERT T. WILLIS JR., '07, PHARMD, BCACP was the recipient of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) 2020 Community Pharmacy Residency Excellence in Precepting Award. The APhA Community Pharmacy Residency Excellence in Precepting Award recognizes a community pharmacy residency director or preceptor who has demonstrated excellence in precepting, mentoring, leadership, and community pharmacy residency program administration. Assistant Professor SARA A. WETTERGREEN, PHARMD, BCACP, recieved the 2020 Distinguished New Practitioner Award from the APhA. The Distinguished New Practitioner Award was established in 2010 to

recognize an individual new practitioner who has demonstrated distinctive achievements in mentorship, service, and commitment to the profession of pharmacy. Professor JOSEPH J. SASEEN, PHARMD, BCPS, BCACP, is the recipient of the APhA Daniel B. Smith Practice Excellence Award, in honor of the first president of the American Pharmaceutical Association, is APhA’s premier practice award to recognize a pharmacy practitioner in any practice setting, who has distinguished himself/herself and the profession by outstanding performance. Assistant Professor ASHLEY GLODE, PHARMD, BCOP, was named a 2020 Advocacy Champion by the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) during the Association’s 2021 Advocacy Summit in April. Glode is one of only two pharmacists selected as an Advocacy Champion. Associate Professor SCOTT MUELLER, PHARMD, FCCP, was elected as an American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Fellow. Mueller is one of twenty-one ACCP Fellows named in 2020. Professor CINDY O’BRYANT, PHARMD BCOP, FCCP, FHOPA, was appointed as the new Chair of the Anschutz Medical Campus Faculty Assembly. Faculty Assembly members are elected/ appointed by their schools and colleges on campus to represent the interests of the faculty and to work with administration of the campus.


Alumni Angle :


Get involved with CU Pharmacy’s Alumni Association and open doors to a network of dedicated professionals What a difference a year makes. As the Class of 2021 crosses the stage during commencement this year, we are excited to welcome the newest members of the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences alumni family. We know the Class of ‘21 has a bright future ahead. We encourage all CU Pharmacy alumni to become an active part of happenings at the School through the Alumni Association. From continuing education opportunities, to job listings and network happy hours, alumni are now part of an exclusive group dedicated to advancing the fields of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. Keep up to date with all things alumni by visiting, and take advantage of opportunities to give back, expand your education, and advance your career: Use Handshake as your career tool Remember, your alma mater is one of the few Pharmacy schools with a Career Services Office in place to equip you for the job market. Be sure to keep your Handshake account current and check regularly for job postings, interview tips, and other resources to help you find your dream pharmacy job. If you never created a Handshake account while you were a student, start a profile on the career site’s webpage.

Pharmacy Affinity Corps Help shape the minds of future pharmacists. Join the Pharmacy Affinity Corps, the speakers' bureau for the School. Showcase your area of specialty to demonstrate the diversity within pharmacy as a career pathway. Highlight your journey in choosing CU Pharmacy to prepare for the pharmacy profession. Speak on the transition from school into your chosen field.

HOST Program In partnership with the Central Alumni Relations Office for the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, the Help Our Student Travel (HOST) Program is offered to help new CU Pharmacy graduates prepare for residency. The program pairs pharmacy students with alumni in the cities where they are interviewing for residency. This year, pairings will be scheduled for alumni and students to connect virtually in their prospective new communities.

Happy & Healthy Hour It’s all virtual and still informative. These hour-long virtual meetings, coordinated through the Central Alumni Relations Office, provide alumni with self-care tips and the opportunity to connect with the CU Anschutz alumni community each month. Join the sessions to hear from experts sharing practical advice on resiliency and personal wellness as health professionals.

Do you have news of your own? Tell us about it! Jaron Bryant is the alumni relations manager for CU Pharmacy. Since 2009, Jaron has been building and forging relationships with alumni, faculty, and the student body. If you have questions related to alumni relations with the School, please contact him by email ( or phone (303-724-0415).


JUNE 1, 2020 New board members join the alumni association. Four additional members were added to our growing alumni board, each completing a twoyear term of office.


JULY 18, 2020 Electronic newsletter, the Alumni Extract, moves to monthly publication.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2020 Inaugural alumni awards announced. The first year for the alumni awards identified two recipients: Deb Devereaux, RPh '76, for the Distinguished Alumni Award and Kevin Kerr, PharmD '11, for the Horizon Alumni Award.

CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

OCTOBER 22, 2020 Annual Homecoming goes virtual. Nearly 30 alumni, students, faculty, and staff came together for an hour of award presentations, trivia games, and small group chat as the annual Homecoming event shifted to the virtual realm.

NOVEMBER 30, 2020 Nine alumni gathered for a virtual conversation with Dean Ralph Altiere to offer their input and suggestions for involving and engaging alumni in school activities.

JANUARY 7, 2021 Alumni HOST program opens. The Office of Alumni Relations began the annual effort to connect alumni with fourth year CU Pharmacy students interviewing for residency.

JANUARY 29, 2021 Alumni spotlights merges with eScripts. Communications are consolidated to include the alumni spotlight with eScripts, the long-running electronic newsletter for CU Pharmacy.


SAVE THE DATE Save the date for these 2021 events, brought to you by the CU Pharmacy Alumni Association, to stay connected. More details to come. CU Pharmacy in Memoriam Spring 2021

• Thursday, Nov. 4 2nd Annual CU Pharmacy Alumni Awards • Friday, Nov. 5 Fall Semester Alumni Forum • Saturday, Nov. 6 CU Buffs Homecoming Football Game/Tailgate

DONATE TO THE BEVERLY BRUNSON PHARMACY DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP While the $15K crowdfunding campaign goal has been met, please consider a gift to Beverly’s scholarship in honor of her strong legacy of promoting diversity. Thank you to all who have contributed so far, your gift will impact students for years to come.

“If these students have one less thing to pay back, one less thing to worry about affording while they are putting themselves through school, it will make a world of difference in their futures.”

CU Pharmacy proudly celebrates the life of longtime supporter and philanthropist Henry Strauss, 93. His efforts and contributions helped build the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. So much so that the campus library was renamed the Henry L. Strauss Health Science Library in his honor during a ceremony in 2018 in which he also received an honorary doctorate degree. Another notable contribution is his collection of books on integrative medicine, established in 1995 and housed at the Strauss Library as the Florence G. Strauss-Leonard A. Wisneski Indigenous and Integrative Medicine Collection. The collection contains over 4,000 volumes. Strauss earned his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the CU School of Pharmacy in Boulder in 1951 and worked as a pharmacist for four years until making a career change focusing on real estate investment and politics. The first quarter of 2021 also saw the passing of other CU Pharmacy alumni. Our condolences to the families and friends of each:

FEBRUARY 10, 2021 CU Pharmacy faculty members and partners Monika Nuffer, PharmD '03, and Wes Nuffer, PharmD, '99, are featured as presenters during the monthly virtual alumni event hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations for CU Anschutz.

MARCH 22, 2021 Beverly Brunson Diversity Scholarship Crowdfunding starts. Fundraising efforts to reach a $15,000 goal for the new scholarship kicks off.

MARCH 25, 2021 Alumni board nominations start. The call for nominations to fill four new positions on the CU Pharmacy Alumni Board launches.

MARCH 30, 2021 Alumni award nominations begin. The nomination cycle to select recipients for the annual alumni awards opens.

APRIL 6, 2021 First-ever alumni forum is held. Over 40 alumni participate in the spring semester forum featuring CU Pharmacy faculty and ’19 alumna Katy Trinkley, PhD, PharmD, presenting on Informatics.

John Borkowski, Class of 1951 May 15, 1924 - March 9. 2021 James Bradley, Class of 2008 Feb. 7, 1958 - March 15, 2021 We'll never forget our esteemed alumni. Your contributions to the profession of Pharmacy have touched us and countless others.


Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Denver, CO Permit NO. 831

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus School of Pharmacy Mail Stop C238 12850 E. Montview Boulevard Aurora, CO 80045 Address service requested

SHARE YOUR STORY Pharmacy Perspectives is produced by the School of Pharmacy's Marketing and Communications Office. Have news to share? Let us know: University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences C238 12850 E. Montview Boulevard | Aurora, CO 80045 | 303.724.4618

LIFELONG LEARNING CONTINUING EDUCATION @ CU Advanced Diabetes Certificate: Use of Pattern Management in Tele-Practice Learn to apply new advance diabetes knowledge and skills in a live-telehealth practice setting. Taught by CU pharmacy faculty experts in the field of diabetes and in collaboration with Skaggs School of Pharmacy Preceptor of the Year practice partner RxVIP Concierge.


Program Overview The focus of the program is on pattern management for complex diabetes patients. This program is designed to prepare pharmacists with the knowledge, skills, and practical training to use pattern management and technology to provide patient-centered diabetes care.

June 3rd Migraine Movie Night –

Program Includes: • 6 hours of home-study • 2 hours of live case discussion with CU School of Pharmacy faculty • 40 hours of practice/experiential training – 4 hours/week over an 8-week time frame

August 14th APhA Pharmacy-

Register Here! Materials available June 1.


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Migraine Awareness and Advocacy

July 10th APhA Pharmacy-Based

Cardiovascular Disease Risk Management Based Immunization Training

Explore all the CE offerings @ continuing-education

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