Pharmacy Perspectives, Graduation 2022

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




CU Pharmacy Honor Society Celebrates National Recognition and 100 Years of Service The spring is a natural time of coming together. We join in celebration of our graduates, award recipients and student accomplishments. Throughout the year Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science has been coming together around initiatives that directly support our mission of excellence and innovation in professional, graduate and post-graduate education; scholarship and research; patient-centered care; public health advocacy; and societal leadership and engagement. Public Health We came together as recipients of a generous gift, given to support our commitment to public health. Faculty partnered with organizations across the state to administer Covid-19 vaccines to some of the most marginalized and hesitant community groups in Colorado. Advocacy We came together at the Colorado state legislature. Faculty and students were actively engaged in advocacy efforts, providing testimony on pharmacy-related bills and showing strong support for the profession at the Colorado Pharmacists Society Legislative Day at the Capitol. Over the last several years we have succeeded in obtaining provider status for pharmacists, expand the scope of practice and obtain reimbursement for clinical pharmacy services for Medicaid recipients. Student Support We came together to support our first Anschutz Campus Giving Day. The inaugural 24-hour effort raised close to $10,000 in online gifts for health equity initiatives across campus. Gifts to the School of Pharmacy went specifically to support the Beverly Brunson Diversity Scholarship. Alumni We came together with alumni – through Book Clubs that challenged us to examine diversity and medical ethics, at Alumni Forums which dove into the emerging field of pharmacogenomics, and yes, even at in-person conferences for the first time in two years. Research We are coming together to complete the final stages of the Research Pharmacy, located in the new 390,000-square-foot Anschutz Health Sciences Building. The Research Pharmacy will professionalize pharmacy support services for the hundreds of outpatient clinical drug trials on campus to assure compliance with all federal and state regulations. We continue to come together in a spirit of fresh innovation as we engage in curriculum renewal, welcome new leadership team members and develop entrepreneurial initiatives. All this to ensure that the pharmacy profession, in all of its diversity, will continue to expand its impact in patient-centered care, the pharmaceutical industry, and beyond. Sincerely,

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


t’s been a big year for the Alpha Theta chapter and the Rho Chi organization which they represent. The international organization is celebrating 100 years of being the official honor society for pharmacy students around the globe. The CU Pharmacy chapter is celebrating the fact that they were selected as the Most Improved Rho Chi chapter in the nation. Both occasions came together in one of the first in-person student ceremonies of the spring. “It is a great honor for our chapter to receive national recognition,” said Vinh Thai, Rho Chi President. “It gives us the motivation to continue the current good work that we do and find ways to continue developing and innovating.” The annual Rho Chi Ceremony inducted 29 new pharmacy students into the honor society which represents pharmacy students who maintain a GPA of 3.5 or above. The ceremony also welcomed a new slate of student officers and recognized Dr. Jennifer Trujillo for being re-elected to serve the Rho Chi National Office as Regional Councilor of Region VIII, which includes California, New Mexico, Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, Alaska, and Colorado for another two years. After opening remarks from Dean Ralph Altiere, Dr. Tina Brock, Associate Dean for Education, presented the keynote address. Dr. Brock reflected upon her own pharmacy school experience in Rho Chi and encouraged the current members to always make time to give back to their community and profession. If the organization’s year-in-review presentation was any indication, that is exactly what the School’s Rho Chi members have been doing – and one of the reasons they received the Most Improved Rho Chi Chapter Award. Even during the COVID restrictions of the last year, the CU Pharmacy Rho Chi Chapter found innovative ways to contribute to patients and deepen professional relationships. Over the last year the chapter initiated Rho Chi Research Spotlights and Medications of the Month, offered tutoring sessions for pharmacy students, collaborated with other student organizations to provide workshops on time management, mental wellness, vaccines, residency information, and mock interviews. According to student president Thai, the initiative that the chapter is most proud of is the Project Angel Heart Philanthropy event.


Collaborative Research Project Seeks to Benefit Both Humans and Their Best Friend ­­D ogs may someday have more than the occasional treat to be thankful for. That’s because Dan LaBarbera, PhD, of CU Pharmacy and Dr. Daniel Gustafson, of Colorado State University (CSU) have joined forces on a research project that could lead to new treatments for bone cancer in both humans and canines. Drs. LaBarbera and Gustafson have been working on various cancer research for years. “This collaboration is ideal and will benefit both CSU and CU Anschutz,” Dr. LaBarbera explains. “because it combines expertise and infrastructure in veterinary science from the Flint Animal Cancer Center at CSU with that of the University of Colorado Cancer Center and the CU Anschutz Center for Drug Discovery.”

D r s . J e n n i f e r Tr u j i l l o a n d S a r a W e t t e r g r e e n a r e pictured with the outgoing Rho Chi student officers.

Their current research project, titled Therapeutic Targeting of Oncogenic CHD1L in Human and Canine Osteosarcoma Cell Lines, is funded by a $50,000 grant from the CSU Flint Animal Cancer Center and the University of Colorado Cancer Center under the CU-CSU Joint Pilot Projects in Companion Animals in Cancer Research Program. The research partnership seeks to determine if the CDH1L inhibitors created by LaBarbera’s lab can be used to limit tumor growth cells and create a new line of cancer therapy.

“I believe it was one of the most extensive collaborations that occurred in our program with 13 pharmacy student organizations headed by Rho Chi. We created 1,450 handmade cards that were delivered with each of the Angel Heart client meal totes on Halloween weekend,” explains Thai. “After delivery, Alex Reinhardt, the Project Angel Heart Volunteer Resources Coordinator, said that the cards were hugely successful and greatly appreciated by their clients, many of whom have limited mobility and/ or social interactions due to their health conditions. I hope in the future, we can expand and partner with student organizations from medicine, dental, nursing, and other programs on campus.” As a new component to the annual ceremony this year, Rho Chi alumni were invited to join the event via Zoom. Close to 40 alumni from across the U.S. participated virtually and made good on the organization’s motto of “Once a member, always a member,” #RhoChiForLife. The student leaders expressed specific appreciate for the dedication and support of their Rho Chi advisors, Dr. Jennifer Trujillo and Dr. Sara Wettergreen. View all the photos from the event here:


Community Impact :


COVID-19 infections have plummeted, mask mandates are dropping, and the state of Colorado is welcoming the spring with a renewed sense of “post-Covid” enthusiasm. But not all Coloradans are breathing easier. According to the CDC, approximately 1.75 million people, or a third of the population in the state, have yet to be vaccinated. Many of these people are part of historically underserved, marginalized communities where access to health care is low and vaccination hesitancy is high. Aware of this disparity, the Cielo Foundation partnered with the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to address these disparities; it would fuel a collaborative effort to serve vulnerable populations and vaccinate holdouts.

Teaming with 9Health365

To reach the most at-need communities, Joe Saseen, PharmD, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Gina Moore, PharmD, Associate Dean for Operations, reached out to 9Health:365, to partner on equity-based vaccination clinics. Already a leader in the Denver community, and a trusted resource, joining forces with 9Health:365 was a strategic move to maximize impact. The organization started COVID-19-specific vaccine clinics in February of 2021, and a year later had hosted 321 clinics.

This was also an opportunity for CU Pharmacy clinical faculty to support their community. These dedicated faculty and fellows have given up their evenings and weekends to dutifully vaccinate, holding firm to the science that shows vaccines are safe, effective, and a path out of the pandemic phase of COVID-19. “We have partnered with others on a smaller scale,” Dr. Saseen explained, “but 9Health:365 does equity clinics, so it makes a lot of sense to partner. We have provided services with Advanced Pediatrics, the Black Chamber of Commerce, Zion Senior Health Center, Hope Community Center… we have done a lot.”

Still a need to vaccinate

Saseen, a practicing pharmacist in primary care, has seen the need for vaccines throughout his career, especially so during COVID-19. One of the pioneers in the mass vaccination effort, he also led the first vaccine clinic at the CU Anschutz Campus in 2021. “I have been involved with the vaccination effort for quite a while,” he laughed. Saseen is tracking how many vaccines the team has administered; at the time of this publication, it is 3609 COVID vaccinations and 369 flu vaccinations. What is unique about this philanthropic gift is that it specifies hard to reach populations. Perhaps, those who do not speak English, or might have extreme hesitancy, or maybe a family of refugees who have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated.

Gift provides power to vaccinate

As one of the campus leaders in vaccinations, Saseen was thrilled to receive a gift that would not only help vaccinate underserved Coloradans but also alleviate some of the stress at community pharmacies. He has seen first-hand, how many pharmacies have been overwhelmed, trying to provide vaccinations while at the same time keeping up with their normal health care responsibilities. The philanthropic support provides the workforce to vaccinate, which allows the pharmacy


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


clinicians to do their other work. “We are almost at the halfway point, as far as the dollars, but more to come. We will continue to administer vaccines until we are out of money,” he said. Saseen has a group of loyalists within the School, those who repeatedly sign up to spend their free time getting shots in arms. “There is a core group of people who will continually sign up to help,” he explained. “One of our top vaccinators is a pharmacy fellow, Dr. Jimmy Martin. He has given the most hours, and he is bilingual, which is a big help.”

Lasting partnership

Saseen stresses that both the Pharmacy School helpers, and his colleagues at 9Health:365, have been wonderful. His counterpart at 9Health:365 has been grateful to the School representatives for their willingness to dive in, and for

their commitment to providing the highest quality of care. Nurse Bobi Archer, Interim Director of Health and Wellness for 9Health:365, says the CU Pharmacy team has been a great partner. “With their help we have made a tremendous impact on improving the vaccine experience of populations we serve, the clinicians’ experience, and the quality of care resulting in improved outcomes,” she said. “And we all have a bit of fun while we do great work.” To support the Colorado Community Vaccine Initiative or another program of your choice at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, please contact Jonathan Wanderstock, Philanthropic Advisor and Senior Director of Development, at jonathan. or 303-724-9721.


Faculty Leadership :

A Clinician At Heart Dr. Cindy O'Bryant steps into the role of associate dean, bringing with her over 20 years of CU history


rofessor. Researcher. Fulbright awardee. Cindy O’Bryant, PharmD, can now add Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs to her impressive CV. Stepping into her role in 2022, Dr. O’Bryant brings a faculty lens to an administrative position, while also maintaining her Professor position and continuing to practice at the University of Colorado Cancer Center (UCCC), Anschutz Outpatient Cancer Pavilion, the only National Cancer Institutedesignated comprehensive cancer center in the Rocky Mountain Region. Oh, and she recently returned from Nigeria on a Fulbright trip to bring oncology pharmacy practice to a country taking its first steps in the field. Does she sleep? A little, she says. She is also up for the challenge to transition from faculty to administration, and has 20 years of roots within CU to keep her grounded. “It is nice to have a career path,” Dr. O’Bryant explained. “As an academic you are always learning new things, making new discoveries, and changing the guidelines in the areas where you are working. Your interests change. I have been able to explore my interest in shared governance, so learning how the school fits within the campus, and then how the campus fits within the university.”

C i n d y O' B r y a n t , P h a rmD, wor ki ng w i th p a t ie n t s .

Dr. O’Bryant has a list of items to address, but she is very clear that first, she needs to step into this new role and absorb as much as she can. “As our students evolve, as healthcare evolves, and curriculum evolves, we have to take a step back and say, are we doing the best? How can we improve?” she explains. “It will be good to look at things with a critical eye and ask, are these things that we still need to be doing ? Do they need to be revamped? Do we need to take this in a different direction? How do we make this more efficient? Right now, everyone is stretched to the hilt, and some policies and procedures need to be revamped to reflect the current place where we are.” Close to the top of her list is to bridge diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) gaps, with the help of larger university initiatives. “Really, we are looking at ways in which we can diversify our faculty, bring on new views and perspectives. We want to incorporate new DEI thinking and viewpoints into the curriculum,” she said. “We have a very diverse student population, so it would be really great to match that in our faculty, so students can see themselves in our faculty.” It is not lost on O’Bryant that her faculty lens will be a benefit in this role. “I want to look at faculty mentoring, not only new faculty but senior faculty. As things change, interests change. Just because you have been here 20 years does not mean you want to stay where you are,” she says, citing herself as an example. “I am excited to pull in that faculty piece,” Dr. O’Bryant continued. “I love the people I work with and I am excited to be able to support them in this role. I have lived their life, I know what they go through, and how can I help them in this new role. I want to shout out and really honor people for what they are doing.

O'Bryant in the classroo m

Still, her goal is to be able to stay in oncology pharmacy in some way. “We are always training the next generation,” she said. “They might be taking care of me someday, so it is important for me to be able to continue that work.” Another of her goals? To make sure pharmacy is seen on the campus level, and to reinforce how important pharmacists are in integrated healthcare. “I want to use my connections and past experience with shared governance to elevate the school,” Dr. O’Bryant said. “Pharmacy should be a part of these bigger healthcare discussions and partnerships, not only across campus but in practice.” She has a lot of goals. She also has the right attitude, experience, and enthusiasm for the work to get them done – and then some. “I am ready to create my own path,” she said, “Leave my own legacy.”

“Really, we are looking at ways in which we can diversify our faculty, bring on new views and perspectives. 6

CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Research and Education : GRADUATION 2022

THE CANNABIS CONUNDRUM Pharmacy Faculty Seek To Enhance Patient Care Though Research And Education Original story by Deb Melani. Edited for space.


rtin (Art) Shoukas, PhD, a Johns Hopkins University professor emeritus, was diagnosed with restless legs syndrome (RLS) in 1991. When the relentless feeling of “ants crawling” inside his legs became intense and life-altering, Shoukas tried everything his doctor at Johns Hopkins suggested. Eventually, he resorted to OxyContin after finding it helped his RLS following an unrelated surgical procedure. The opioid worked. But the professor of physiolog y and biomedical engineering knew the drug class behind a nationwide health crisis wasn’t a sustainable answer. Then he found Jacci Bainbridge, PharmD, a professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences who helps conduct cannabis-related clinical trials on campus and educates students and consumers on the growing need for evidence-based facts. “I started to get worried about the use of OxyContin,” Shoukas said. “It’s habit-forming. So, I tried to come off it, and I did. But the RLS came back, and it was instantaneous.” In search of an alternative, Shoukas went to the RLS Foundation website, where he spotted a webinar by Dr. Bainbridge on CBD effects. She and colleagues study cannabis for medicinal uses, including groundbreaking investigations into using cannabis as an opioid alternative. After much trial and error working closely with Dr. Bainbridge and his healthcare provider, Shoukas’s “itchy, twitchy” legs are still. He doesn’t promote

other people experimenting with cannabis on their own. But he’s excited about the related research taking place on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus that might lead to other patients finding cannabis-therapy success. "It’s not a pharmacological agent where you give a strict formula for it,” Shoukas said. “It’s a plant. Does it work? Works for me. Does it work for everybody? I’d like to know.” It’s one of many questions Dr. Bainbridge and colleagues have been trying to answer since becoming the first university in the state to launch cannabis clinical trials in 2016. Can cannabis reduce opioid use? Can it work with other issues, from Parkinson’s disease to back pain? Does THC improve the effects of CBD or other cannabinoids? What are the potential side effects and serious drug contraindications consumers need to know ? While Dr. Bainbridge explores these questions in a lab, David Kroll, PhD, along with other pharmacy faculty, share what is known about cannabis through the School’s Cannabis Science and Medicine (CSM) program. Launched in 2020, the CSM program offers multiple educational programs including a Master’s of Science degree, a graduate certificate, an 8-week continuing education degree, and individual homestudy modules.

“Schools of pharmacy have traditionally been where healthcare providers go to learn about medicines from plants,” Kroll said. “As our pharmacy faculty have led research projects to investigate the medical use and risks of

Jacci Bainbridg e , P h a r m D

cannabis and products derived from the plant, we feel that reaching out to the practicing and scientific community to share our knowledge and expertise fulfills our national and global mission to improve patient care and build academic and industrial research capacity.” Access more information about the Cannabis Science and Medicine program here:


Student Spotlight :



hen Faithful Anane-Asane left Ghana at age 17, he knew he would be back. Born and raised there, he moved to the United States in 2007. More than a decade later, he returned for an Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotation, where he was able to combine his internship with a family visit to enjoy good food and education at the same time. "My rotation was at the Volta River Authority (VRA) hospital, located in Akosombo, a small city in the Eastern region of Ghana [West Africa]," he explained.

D r. A n a n e -A s a ne wi th hi s f ami l y i n Ghana

V is it in g t h e VRA water tr eatment f aci l i ty


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

"I spent 70 percent of my 6-week rotation in the hospital. . . The other 30 percent spent in the community setting assisting patients with choosing over-the-counter treatment options for their illnesses." The P4, soon to be PharmD graduate, made time to talk about his experience three days after he returned from his rotation. According to Anane-Asane, the VRA hydroelectric plant and dam were constructed in the 1960s to help generate electricity to be supplied to the entire country and other parts of Africa. The VRA hospital, and primary site of his rotation, is a 100-bed hospital that was constructed initially to serve the health needs of VRA staff and locals who were affected by the construction of the dam and plant. VRA hospital is now known to be one of the larger community hospitals in the Eastern region. Anane-Asane had a fascination with medicine growing up in Ghana. “My mom always had a box of medication for whatever we needed,” he chuckled, “It was Tupperware. I thought she was a nurse or a doctor because she could always fix what we had, for a scratch or a runny nose, or whatever we needed.” From there, Anane-Asane had more questions, and his curiosity about the profession grew. A major part of his decision to come to CU Pharmacy was its flexibility with international rotations, and that he had the support of faculty and staff to do one in Ghana. “I chose my preceptor because he is a licensed pharmacist in both the U.S. and Ghana, and serves as the head of pharmacy services in all of Ghana for VRA,” Anane-Asane said. “He also owns multiple community pharmacies which is why I felt I would learn a great deal from him.” “My aunt is also the chief nurse there, so why not go stay with family, and enjoy the good weather and food, as I am learning pharmacy?” he said. “Eventually, I want to give back to Ghana, and I wanted to utilize this experience to learn.”

“It really sparked that desire in me to promote healthcare, to promote education,” he said. “Having this experience made me feel that this is exactly why I went into pharmacy.” In Ghana, many people go to pharmacies as their main healthcare provider, Anane-Asane explained. The country has standardized healthcare, but each step of the way requires a cash co-pay upfront. The result is that people visit the pharmacist for a free consultation and a detailed explanation about what drugs they need. There is also less regulation on pharmaceuticals, so the pharmacist is a valuable asset to the community. “As a pharmacist, I think we have a broad understanding of healthcare, and that is what I enjoy,” he said. After graduation, Anane-Asane is moving again, this time to Boston. “I got a fellowship in biopharmaceutical industry with Blueprint Medicines on global regulatory affairs,” he said. “The main job in global regulation is to be a liaison between your company and your regulatory agency. Your job is to facilitate the drug approval process for your company.” He has some suggestions for incoming students. “Don’t limit yourself,” he says. “You don’t know what you might enjoy, so learn as much as you can.”


ISTANCE DEGREES GRAD KEEPS D MANY BALLS IN THE AIR As a veteran, a student, a teacher, and now a PharmD, Dr. Mendoza uses his multiple roles to advance pharmacy and patient care


rjay Mendoza is an avid tennis player. He tries to play at least twice a week, at some newly renovated courts close to his house. For Mendoza, it is an important time to unwind. Born and raised in the Philippines, Mendoza graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of the Philippines Manila. He practiced pharmacy and taught at his alma mater, working to advance the field in the study of infectious diseases. In 2010, he moved to the U.S. and joined the Dr. M endoz a at his w hite coat ceremony United States Army in 2013. Today, Mendoza is a proud PharmD graduate from the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, with the Distance Degree Program’s International-Trained PharmD (ITPD) program. He works at a retail pharmacy most days of the week, teaches part-time at American University of Health Sciences, and has been a featured lecturer at the University of the Philippines Manila. In June, he reports to the San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center for a PGY1 residency, and he is in talks to extend his teaching position in the Philippines. Mendoza must be playing a lot of tennis. “I was an active duty soldier when I signed up for [pharmacy] school,” he said, “but I left the military last year, so I served for eight years, from 2013 to 2021.” “It’s really always been my dream to obtain a PharmD, and luckily the military offered a way for me to do that… I was able to go to school using the G.I. Bill,” he said.

Mendoza applied and was accepted to the Distance Degrees’ PharmD program in 2018 – while he was still in the military. For nearly all his schooling, he was a full-time student and a full-time service member. “I was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army,” he said, “and my job was to manage dental clinics.” Despite, or maybe because of his full plate, Mendoza is also a member of Rho Chi, the pharmacy honor society, and the student representative for the Distance Degrees Program. “In the military, I learned how to be resilient. How to be adaptable and flexible to changes… it’s such an agile environment, things change by the minute and hour. I was able to apply those characteristics in pharmacy school,” he said. “And I have a good support system.” In 2021, Mendoza got his AAHIVP certification from the American Academy of HIV Medicine, which allows him to manage HIV patients as a pharmacy provider. “My passion is within the HIV community, and infectious diseases,” he said. “My goal is to be an infectious disease specialist within the VA healthcare system, and to continue to teach in the Philippines as they develop their PharmD program.” Advancing pharmacy education in the Philippines is part of why Mendoza was a great fit for the ITPD program. Already a practicing pharmacist outside of the United States, Mendoza is now able to turn around and contribute to pharmacy education in his home country, as well as through the VA in the U.S. His interest in HIV is also incredibly relevant; according to the University of the Philippines Manila, although the prevalence of HIV infections has gone down by 25 percent in most parts of the world, HIV in the Philippines has gone up by more than 25 percent in the last ten years. “The San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center has a PGY2 in Infectious Diseases, and so I wanted this residency to be able to serve my fellow veterans. I have gotten great care through the VA, and I want to extend this same quality of care,” Mendoza explained. Of his time in the military, he says he would not change a thing. “It has prepared me, not only to be a good soldier, but to be an independent leader and give back to the community.”


Student Spotlight :

MASTER'S GRADUATE MEANS BUSINESS Student plans to use degree, and enthusiasm, to impact drug marketing and development

J o r d a n Pa la n , MS i n Phar maceuti cal Sci ences


he originally intended to be a medical doctor, but thought pre-med and biology sounded boring, so she majored in neuroscience in undergrad. Later, when she had free time in her course schedule, she took an elective on the history of country music. Now, Jordan Palan is graduating with her MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a concentration in pharmacokinetics – and she loves working at her fellowship with the CU Innovations Team. Palan is a lifelong learner. Naturally curious and unafraid to explore her interests, she is wise beyond her years in her pursuit of knowledge. “When I decided not to be a doctor, that wasn’t scary,” she said. “I filled my schedule with whatever interested me, so I wasn’t worried that I changed my mind. I had things to fall back on.”


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, Palan chose CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy both for its pharmacokinetics concentration as well as its location close to her family. But, what is pharmacokinetics? “It is how drugs move through the body,” Palan explained. For Palan, even though how drugs work through the body is her concentration, it all goes back to the brain. Mental health, its treatment, and research on new pharmacolog y to improve outcomes is a theme in her education, and hopefully her career. As an undergrad, she took a class called Drug Discovery for Neuropsychiatric Disorders. It covered the process of discovering a drug from concept to marketing, and it changed the course of her education. “I want to go into the business side of drugs,” she said. “The project design, the marketing, and understanding how the drug works is a key piece of taking the drug from concept to real life.” Always curious, when she saw an opening for a Venture Fellow with the CU Innovations Team on campus, she jumped at the opportunity. CU Innovations is built to support University team members with their new projects, from assessing market value, to estimating cost of production, to if the new development is worth the time to create for the consumer to use. The new projects can be anything from digital apps to drug development

to new medical equipment. Palan’s job is to be the initial team member to review the idea and recommend to the Innovations Team staff next steps. The Venture Fellows are highly regarded graduate students from various backgrounds and their depth of experience allows the lawyers, MBA’s, and investors make sound, data-driven decisions on what projects to continue. Her experience has allowed her to work on projects across both the Anschutz and Boulder campuses, and exposed her to a variety of topics. For Palan, it is a natural fit. The opportunity to explore diverse subjects and learn about new areas is something she values in a career, and when she talks about her work she comes to life. “One of the projects I started working on was related to finance and the commercialization side of drugs, so I developed my thesis on identifying and evaluating success factors for licensing performance and outcomes,” she said with enthusiasm “Licensing and intellectual property for universities is relatively new, and there is so much to explore!” Always grounded, she is keeping her options open after graduation. “I know that I have different paths I can take,” she muses, “and I am excited to try them.”



Dr. Deininger brings experience to her goal of making personalized medicine available and affordable

K immy D e in in ger, PhD graduate

“I’ve always been interested in science . . . but I had a personal, really adverse reaction to a medication, and I had to stop and think, what can we do to make medications better? And what can we do to make the best medications available to people who need them?” Kimmy Deininger is on a mission to improve patients lives through her research in pharmaceutical outcomes. The PhD graduate has a special focus on pharmacogenetics in organ transplant patients, and wants to know if the current path of treatment and management of these patients can be improved. “If someone has an organ transplant, they are on immunosuppressants for the rest of their lives,” she explained. “They come with a myriad of their own side effects.”

Deininger discusses her research w ith her advi s o r, Dr. Aq u ila n t e.

Side effects, such as increased risks of infection, kidney damage, malignancy, cardiovascular disease, and bone marrow suppression. With a laundry list of side effects, it’s even more important to prescribe the right dose. Currently, immunosupressant dosing in transplant patients is trial and error. Deininger wants to change that, with the help of pharmacogenetic testing. A buzzword and the future of personalized healthcare, pharmacogenetics allow practitioners to match the treatment with the patient’s genetic markers, to prescribe and treat more precisely. If organ transplant patients can be prescribed immunosuppressants in the exact dose necessary to do the job, and not a bit more, the side effects would be less significant over the course of their life. Deininger didn’t always have an interest in pharmacy outcomes. Once upon a time, she got a Bachelor of Science in Biolog y, but after a car accident, her path in life was on pause. She moved to Denver for a fresh start, enrolled at CU for a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, which she obtained in 2015. It was during her master’s degree program that she listened to a lecture from Christina Aquilante, PharmD, Professor and Pharmacogenomics Implementation Committee Colorado Co-Chair at the School of Pharmacy. “Instantly, a lightbulb went off,” Deininger recalled. “Like, this is what I want to do.” “I taught a pharmacogenomics lecture in the Genetics in Public Health course,” said Dr. Aquilante. “Kimmy asked me to be her MPH Practicum advisor. And the rest is history! At that time, I had no idea what I would do with an MPH student, but she

was very enthusiastic about pharmacogenomics, so we gave it a try.” After her practicum and subsequent capstone, Deininger was accepted into the PhD program at the School of Pharmacy, and Dr. Aquilante was excited to have her on board. What started eight years ago at a genetics lecture turned into a mentorship for both. “Turns out,” said Dr. Aquilante, “the MPH skill set fit quite nicely with a lot of my pharmacogenomics work, and Kimmy goes above and beyond to make sure her research is done right. More importantly, she loves writing and nerding out over data! She loves science, which makes my job easy.” Deininger’s love of science is evident in her work. She explains that her concentration in pharmaceutical outcomes combines two main ideas; pharmaceutical epidemiology (how a drug or group of drugs affects a population over time) and pharmaceutical economics (comparing the value of one pharmaceutical drug or drug therapy to another). Her extensive work in pharmacogenomics is a compliment to her field, because if the drug can be prescribed at the perfect dose, it would cut down on both side effects and cost. In May, Deininger starts a remote position with Amgen, a pioneer in biotechnology. “If you would have asked me twenty years ago what my life would be like, I would not have said this,” she said. “I learned to trust that it would all work out in the end.”


Preceptors Profile :

P h arm D s t u d e n t s a r e suppor ted by pr eceptor s Adetol a Obiow le, PharmD, ‘10, an d fa c u lt y me mb e r H il da Ndi kum, Phar mD, at a r ecent f ree health clinic.

HE INVALUABLE TEAM OF T PROFESSIONALS BEHIND EVERY PHARMD Preceptors guide students through real-world experience The Experiential Programs at CU School of Pharmacy are an integral part of its PharmD education, comprising over 33% of the curriculum. The hands-on learning allows students clinical training opportunities to ensure that students have the self-confidence and ability to practice independently upon graduation. Students are placed in community pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory care clinics, and other innovative interprofessional pharmacy practice settings in local, national, and international locations, and are supervised by licensed healthcare practitioners, the majority of whom are pharmacists. Such supervisors are called preceptors, and they are as integral to the PharmD education as the program itself. With over 2,400 preceptors working with the School, this not so small group of mentors are training the next generation. According to Dana Hammer, RPh, and Senior Instructor in the Office of Experiential Programs, socialization research demonstrates that preceptors have the greatest impact on students' development as practitioners, greater than didactic education, practice environments, and values or behaviors prior to engaging in practice.


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

“Our preceptors’ knowledge of the pharmacy profession, expertise in their fields, and devotion to our students is invaluable,” explained Megan Thompson, PharmD, Assistant Dean of Experiential Programs and Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy. “Our students are fortunate to have access to such a high caliber group of individuals. Our preceptor network spans the globe, each one of them providing unique experiences and opportunities for our students to make meaningful contributions to patient care.” Dr. Thompson’s colleague, Wesley Nuffer PharmD, Assistant Director of Experiential Programs and Associate Professor, agrees. “I think the most valuable part of the student pharmacistpreceptor experience is the ‘realism” aspect to training,” Dr. Nuffer said. “Students realize that the decisions they are making and the work they are doing affects real lives and real people. The person they are counseling will actually go home and follow their recommendations. This is something you can’t duplicate through case studies, exams, or even acting patients.” Each year, the Experiential Office asks students to nominate preceptors for annual awards, and such awards are given out


to the preceptors accordingly. This year, the office felt like a change. After two whirlwind years of “pivot!”, the office is more grateful than ever before for all of the preceptors, nominated or not, for their service, dedication, and continued commitment to the field of pharmacy. Rather than highlighting a few preceptors, the Experiential Office decided to share the important role they all play in a PharmD education.

High Expectations

Nominee and CU Pharmacy Assistant Professor, Paul Reynolds, PharmD, explains why he continues to mentor young students. “I love the fact that I get to see young, aspiring pharmacists getting ready to embrace their career helping others,” he said. “Their level of passion, excitement, and curiosity reinvigorates my clinical D r. Paul R ey n o ld s , P r e c eptor inertia and motivation on a daily basis.” On the nomination form, student Emily Dorgan writes that Dr. Reynolds “perfectly balances maintaining high expectations for learners while simultaneously guiding learners on the path to success.” No small feat in a normal year, let alone another year of ups and downs and through a pandemic.

Enhance Understanding

Fellow nominee Daralyn Morgenson, PharmD, practices at the Mental Health Center of Denver. “I enjoy how students come with a fresh perspective and always keep me on my toes,” Dr. Morgenson explained. “While I get to introduce them to many new experiences working with people with severe mental illness, a population they may have never experienced before, because the students are so insightful and inquisitive, I’m always learning just as much as they are. “ Two-way learning is part of Dr. Morgenson’s method. “At the end of the week we had a topic discussion, and we were able to clarify things we did not understand... when I was asked about VMAT2 inhibitor [specialized medicine for neuropsychiatric disorders] and didn't fully understand how they worked she explained it,” D r. D a ra ly n Mo r g e n s o n, P4 Breeanna Sailas wrote.

P re c e p t o r

“She went into detail and made sure I had a clear understanding and that wasn't something we needed to know, just something I wanted to understand better.”

Wealth of Knowledge

With preceptors across the globe, students have access to a wide network of professionals happy to share their knowledge. In Boulder, Heather Hazeldine, PharmD, takes students under her wing at The Boulder People’s Clinic, formerly called Clinica Family Health. The organization has a mission to provide high-quality healthcare to individuals and families at a price they can afford. “… she [Dr. Hazeldine] provided a wealth of knowledge that I have carried with me going forward into future rotations and at my jobsite in the Dr. H e a t h e r Ha zeld in e, P r e cept o r community setting,” wrote P4 Patrick Allen. Honored, but humble, Hazeldine considers it all in a day’s work. “The thing I enjoy most about working with students is sharing my passion for ambulatory care clinical pharmacy practice,” she said, “and sharing in their journey of lifelong learning in the pharmacy profession.”

Confidence Boosting

In rural Colorado, Brandon Fritz, PharmD, says the preceptor experience is rewarding. “It allows me to teach various clinical aspects of pharmacy in an ambulatory care setting,” Dr. Fritz said. “I enjoy bringing fresh perspectives, knowledge and skills to pharmacy interns while learning about new medications and practices being taught in pharmacy school. Providing students a dynamic, engaging clinical environment to practice in also further advances my own goals and clinical knowledge to provide better healthcare to communities in rural, underserved areas.” Dr. Bra n d o n Fr it z, P r ece pt o r Dr. Fritz practices in Colorado’s San Louis Valley, which includes Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache counties. In a rural community with limited access, outpatient pharmacy services are important, and provided a unique opportunity for students. “Through Dr. Fritz's helpful feedback and ability to cater to my learning style, I now feel confident taking on pharmacy services in this setting,” wrote P4 Parker Cain. “His rotation was one of the most valuable experiences I gained as a student because it really helped to open the door to a whole pharmacy world that I had previously avoided when possible. It also showed me how much of an impact pharmacists can have in an ambulatory care setting.” Impact is important. So are the preceptors who make it happen for their students, and Dr. Nuffer summarizes their role perfectly. “The mantra we have in experiential programs is that ‘You can’t teach someone to be a pharmacist in a classroom’, and our preceptors are absolutely invaluable for their instruction and mentoring,” he said. Scan here to view the entire Preceptor list.


University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Class of 2022 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 2022 my enthusiastic congratulations on the occasion of your graduation. You have successfully completed one of the most challenging academic programs in 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.

Convocation Procession Ralph J. Altiere, PhD Dean Rachel Copeland, MBA Associate Dean for Finance and Budget Douglas N. Fish, PharmD Chair, Department of Clinical Pharmacy Shaun Gleason, PharmD, MGS Assistant Dean for Distance Degrees and Programs Brian Hemstreet, PharmD Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Ralph J. Altiere, Ph.D. Dean

Convocation Program Welcome, Introductions & Opening Remarks

Ralph J. Altiere, PhD, Dean

Recognition of the 2022 Distinguished Coloradan Award winner, David Thompson, PhD

Ralph J. Altiere, PhD, Dean

Remarks by the Recipient of the Chancellor’s Teaching Recognition Award

Joe Saseen, PharmD Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs

Remarks by the Recipient of the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award

Ty Kiser, PharmD, Professor Department of Clinical Pharmacy

Remarks by the Representative of the Class of 2022

Tony Duong

*Remarks by the Representative of the Distance Degrees and Programs, Class of 2022 Introduction and hooding of the North American-Trained, International-Trained, & Master of Clinical Pharmacy Programs Graduating Class

Arjay Edlex Mendoza Shaun Gleason PharmD, MGS, Assistant Dean for Distance Degrees and Programs

Introduction and hooding of the Doctor of Brian Hemstreet, PharmD Pharmacy Graduating Class of 2022 Associate Dean for Student Affairs Recitation of the Oath of a Pharmacist Megan Thompson, PharmD, Assistant Dean of Experiential Programs Alumni Welcome Lokendra Upadhyay, PharmD, Alumni Association Board President Concluding Remarks *Arjay’s remarks have been pre-recorded. Scan the QR code to listen.

Ralph J. Altiere, PhD, Dean

Gina Moore, PharmD, MBA Associate Dean for Operations Cindy O'Bryant PharmD Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs David Ross, PhD Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies and Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Joseph Saseen, PharmD Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs David Thompson, PhD, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Megan Thompson, PharmD Assistant Dean for Experiential Programs


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 PharmD 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.”

Oath Of A Pharmacist

I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy. In fulfilling this vow: • I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns. •

I will promote inclusion, embrace diversity, and advocate for justice to advance health equity.

I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for all patients.

I will respect and protect all personal and health information entrusted to me.

I will accept the responsibility to improve my professional knowledge, expertise, and selfawareness.

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. The revised Oath was adopted by the AACP Board of Directors and the APhA Board of Trustees in November 2021.

Access more graduation content here:

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.


Recipients of the Degree Doctor of Pharmacy 2022 Reginald Torres Agaran Mohammed Fahmi Al Qazzaz Amal A Alhadad* Chase Wayne Allen,* Rho Chi Patrick Ryan Allen* Sara Swanson Amaral Danyelle Lynn Ambrosio Faithful Emmanuel Anane-Asane Sara Fatima Azimi* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Tracy Vien Bach Briana Kathlyn Barganier Katin Kennedy Barngrover Daniel Guadalupe Barron-Villalobos Christina Marie Bartholomew, Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma* Meghna Basnet, with honors Lyra Pasno Beltran,* with honors Isabelle Ann Bindseil, Phi Lambda Sigma Ellen Boyle, Phi Lambda Sigma Jessica Louise Brady Jarrett A Bremmer* Izabella T Brock Ngoc Tuyet Thi Bui David Burch Jordan Shae Burkdoll,* Rho Chi Parker Thomas Cain* Gina Therese Cammarata Bichvan Thi Cao Mario Francisco Careaga Londyn Brooke Caton Neelema Shannel Chand Steven Jeffrey Chatoff Dorian Jeffrey Chen Molly Catherine Clow Rebecca Anne Conners Corwin Coppinger,* Phi Lambda Sigma Lawrence Benjamin Cruz Safiya Dawlatzai Dennis Ralph Dominguez Emily Anna Dorgan, Phi Lambda Sigma Keenan Terrell Maurice Douglas Phoebe Hoang Duong Tony Duong,* Phi Lambda Sigma Amanda Sydelle Ellingson* Sloane Lindsay English, Phi Lambda Sigma Sarah A Galante* Emily Kaye Gammill,* Rho Chi Dennis Matthew Garza

Rachel Mae Gillham Robert John Gilliland Grachelle Sadumiano Gonong Shelby Elise Hafner, Rho Chi Sol Hee Han Baron Allen Hatton Cameron Keola Hee* Jacob Douglas Heiling Paige Victoria Holtz*, Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Grant Huckels Paige Elise Johnson Renee Johnson Isaiah Omray Kaiser Hyung Kyu Kim William K Kirsner Nicole Leigh Kovac Oh Joon Kwon, with honors Sandy Nhatrang Le Madelyn Lebin,* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Shelby Lewis Scott Michael Liszewski Juan Carlos Lopez Collyn Renee Lowe, Rho Chi Cali Jayne Lunowa,* Rho Chi Laikana Mardie Ly,* Rho Chi Alexandra Kaye Madsen Vincent Anthony Mainella* Clyde Anthony Marquez,* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Joseph Timothy Martinez,* with honors William Martinez, Rho Chi* Timothy Ian McLane Sandra Michelle Miller Luke D Milner David Vaughn Miner,* Rho Chi Ashley Lynn Moe Megan Nelson Cecilia Thao Vy Nguyen Jimy Nguyen Joshua Tuan Nguyen Chidinma Onyia, Rho Chi Brandon Scott Ostrow Kathy Q. Pan, Rho Chi Sonali Mahesh Patel Austin Phuc Phan Elizabeth Suzanne Piehl Melissa Nicole Porter, Rho Chi

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


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Kaitlyn Nicole Potts Jacob J Rasmussen* Isabella Reyes Madison Hope Ricco,* Rho Chi Keleon Rockett Joseph Carl Roettgen* Steven Jeffrey Romero* Austin Michael Saderup Breeanna Marie Sailas** Alexis Maria Sanchez Maggie Lynn Schieber, Phi Lambda Sigma Aubree Grae Schrader, Phi Lambda Sigma, with honors Kathryn Elizabeth Scott Tyler Robert Scott* Simona Senovaityte,* with honors Yana Shandaliy,* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma Zachary Dewayne Smith,* Rho Chi Charisse Surio Darwin Nguyen Ta Arya Tehrani,* Rho Chi John Robert Templeton* Chris Thomas* Kaylin M. Thomas Riley Aiden-Croix Thompson,* Rho Chi Amie Tran Brenda Cong Tran, Phi Lambda Sigma Jonathan T. Truong Alex Ling Tseng, Rho Chi* Anthony William Urban Chelsea M. Vallejos,* Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma* Joshua Caleb Williams James Aaron Wilson,* Rho Chi, with honors* James Francis Wing Sandra Nicole Woish Elisa Anne Worledge, Rho Chi * Abbey Jewell Wymer Kristine Tomiko Yee Jenny Yoo Sydney Zackeroff


Recipients of the Degree Doctor of Pharmacy North American-Trained PharmD Program

August 2021

Fairuz Faruk Afram Kevin Craig Glick Dennis Laswardi Lisa Ann Von Heuvel

Recipients of the Degree Doctor of Philosophy Dustin Brown Angela Cruz-Hernandez­ Kimberly Deininger Hector Esquer Ashwini Sri Hari

Toxicology Toxicology Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research Toxicology Toxicology

December 2021

Francisca Uzodinma Anieke Irene Blikh Steven Thomas Bruckner Edita Kyurkchyan Nancy Chibuogu Osakwe Amber Josee Russell, Rho Chi Dhiraj Kumar Singh

May 2022

Ahmed Mohamed Samy Abdelhadi Yulia Gusarina Hansa Marjatta Isokoski Trina Mae Maglalang Deepa V Pednekar Rania Joseph Robinson Lina Shoukry, Rho Chi Rita Shell Weiss, Rho Chi

Recipients of the Degree Master of Science Sauda Basaleh Yanhao Jiang Maureen Macam Paul Miller Jordan Palan Rashmi Shingari Damien Trujeque

Pharmaceutical Sciences Pharmaceutical Sciences Clinical Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences Pharmaceutical Sciences Clinical Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences

International-Trained PharmD Program

August 2021

Mihir Parsotambhai Kared Syed Muhammad Nouman Rashid, Rho Chi Sim Taleb, Rho Chi

December 2021

Arjay Edlex Mendoza, Rho Chi

May 2022

Tonia Ebele Okafor Pratik Ashokkumar Patel Romiben Patel Vaishaliben Patel, Rho Chi Govinda Singh, Rho Chi

Recipients of the Graduate Certificate in Cannabis Science and Medicine José Arjon Maya Handelsman Kjersten Lane

Jim Medley Kelsey Smithart William Stephens


Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Reginald Torres Agaran

Amal A Alhadad

Chase Wayne Allen

Patrick Ryan Allen

Sara Swanson Amaral

Danyelle Lynn Ambrosio

Faithful Emmanuel Anane-Asane

Sara Fatima Azimi

Tracy Vien Bach

Briana Kathlyn Barganier

Katin Kennedy Barngrover

Daniel Guadalupe Barron-Villalobos

Christina Marie Bartholomew

Meghna Basnet

Lyra Pasno Beltran

Isabelle Ann Bindseil

Ellen Boyle

Jessica Louise Brady

Neelema Shannel Chand

Jarrett A. Bremmer

Izabella T. Brock

Ngoc Tuyet Thi Bui

David Burch

Jordan Shae Burkdoll

Gina Therese Cammarata

Bichvan Thi Cao

Londyn Brooke Caton

Steven Jeffrey Chatoff

Dorian Jeffrey Chen

Molly Catherine Clow

Corwin Coppinger

Rebecca Connors

Lawrence Benjamin Cruz

Dennis Ralph Dominguez

Emily Anna Dorgan

Phoebe Hoang Duong

Tony Duong

Amanda Sydelle Ellingson

Sloane Lindsay English

Sarah A. Galante

Emily Kaye Gammill

Dennis Matthew Garza

Grachelle Sadumiano Gonong

Shelby Elise Hafner

Sol Hee Han

Baron Allen Hatton

Paige Elise Johnson

Grant Huckels

Nicole Leigh Kovac


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Keenan Terrell Maurice Douglas

Rachel Mae Gillham

Robert John Gilliland

Cameron Keola Hee

Jacob Douglas Heiling

Paige Victoria Holtz

Renee Johnson

Isaiah Omray Kaiser

Hyung Kyu Kim

William K. Kirsner

Oh Joon Kwon

Sandy Nhatrang Le

Madelyn Lebin

Shelby Lewis


University of Colorado Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 2022

Scott Michael Liszewski

Juan Carlos Lopez

Collyn Renee Lowe

Cali Jayne Lunowa

Laikana Mardie Ly

Alexandra Kaye Madsen

Vincent Anthony Mainella

Clyde Anthony Marquez

William Martinez

Timothy Ian McLane

Sandra Michelle Miller

Luke D. Milner

Ashley Lynn Moe

Megan Nelson

Cecilia Thao Vy Nguyen

Jimy Nguyen

Joseph Timothy Martinez

Joshua Tuan Nguyen

Chidinma Onyia

Brandon Scott Ostrow

Kathy Q. Pan

Sonali Mahesh Patel

Austin Phuc Phan

Elizabeth Suzanne Piehl

Melissa Nicole Porter

Kaitlyn Nicole Potts

Jacob J. Rasmussen

Isabella Reyes

Madison Hope Ricco

Keleon Rockett

Joseph Carl Roettgen

Steven Jeffrey Romero

Austin Michael Saderup

Breeanna Marie Sailas

Alexis Maria Sanchez

Maggie Lynn Schieber

Aubree Grae Schrader

Kathryn Elizabeth Scott

Tyler Robert Scott

Simona Senovaityte

Yana Shandaliy

Zachary Dewayne Smith

Charisse Surio

Darwin Nguyen Ta

Arya Tehrani

Chris Thomas

Kaylin M. Thomas

Riley Aiden-Croix Thompson

Amie Tran

Brenda Cong Tran

Jonathan T. Truong

Alex Ling Tseng

Anthony William Urban

Chelsea M. Vallejos

Joshua Caleb Williams

James Aaron Wilson

James Francis Wing

Sandra Nicole Woish

Elisa Anne Worledge

Abbey Jewell Wymer

Kristine Tomiko Yee

Jenny Yoo

Sydney Zackeroff

Not Pictured: Mario Careaga, Safiya Dawlatzai, Luke Milner, John Templeton


Degree Doctor of Pharmacy

North American-Trained PharmD Program

Francisca Uzodinma Anieke

Trina Mae Maglalang

Kevin Craig Glick

Nancy Chibuogu Osakwe

Hansa Marjatta Isokoski

Deepa V Pednekar

Lisa Ann Von Heuvel

Not Pictured: Ahmed Mohamed Samy Abdelhadi, Fairuz Faruk Afram, Irene Blikh, Steven Thomas Bruckner, Yulia Gusarina, Edita Kyurkchyan Dennis Laswardi, Rania Joseph Robinson, Amber Josee Russell, Lina Shoukry, Dhiraj Kumar Singh, Rita Shell Weiss

International-Trained PharmD Program

Arjay Edlex Mendoza

Tonia Ebele Okafor

Vaishaliben Patel

Sim Taleb

Not Pictured: Mihir Parsotambhai Kared, Pratik Ashokkumar Patel, Romiben Patel, Syed Muhammad Nouman Rashid, Govinda Singh


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Recipients of the Degree Doctor of Philosophy

Angela Cruz-Hernandez

Dustin Brown

Kimberly Deininger

Hector Esquer

Ashwini Sri Hari

Recipients of the Degree Master of Science

Sauda Basaleh

Yanhao Jiang

Maureen Macam

Paul Miller

Jordan Palan

Damien Trujeque

Not Pictured: Rashmi Shingari

Recipients of the Graduate Certificate in Cannabis Science and Medicine

José Arjon

Maya Handelsman

Kjersten Lane

Kelsey Smithart

William Stephens

Jim Medley



Arjay Edlex Mendoza

Vaishaliben Patel

Deepa V Pednekar

Dr. Paul Reynolds

ITPD Outstanding Student

Outstanding Health System APPE

Distinguished Service Award

Educator of the Year

Not pictured: Lina Shoukry, NTPD Outstanding Student Steven Thomas Bruckner, Outstanding Ambulatory Care APPE Syed Muhammad Nouman Rashid, Outstanding Elective APPE Fairuz Faruk Afram, Outstanding Credit-by-Challenge



Madison Ricco

Tricia Brandenburg

Hannah Bracken

Taylor Brown

Gateway Award

National Western Scholarship Stock Show Foundation Scholarship

National NationalWestern WesternScholarship Stock Show Foundation Scholarship Class of 2023 Outstanding Class of 2023 Outstanding Ambassador Awards Ambassador Awards

Class of 2023 Outstanding Ambassador Awards

Michael Constant

Caitlin Hart

Michelle Ferreira

Sydney Kruse

Class of 2023 Outstanding Ambassador Awards

Class of 2023 Outstanding Ambassador Awards

Class of 2023 Outstanding Ambassador Awards

Class of 2023 Outstanding Ambassador Awards

Sakura Maekawa

Natalie Mostek

Courtney Pos

Lauren Quintana

Class of 2023 Outstanding Ambassador Awards

Class of 2023 Outstanding Ambassador Awards

Class of 2023 Outstanding Ambassador Awards

Class of 2023 Outstanding Ambassador Awards

CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences



Marie Storer

Frederica Young

Zachary Nuss

Alexandra Phen

Andrea Segerstrom-Nunez

Class of 2023 Outstanding Ambassador Awards

Class of 2023 Outstanding Ambassador Awards

NCPA Outstanding Student Member Award

Phi Delta Chi Pharmacy Spirit

Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Award

SSPPS Professional Achievement Award

Vinh Thai

Chase Allen

Sara Azimi

David Miner

Cali Lunowa

Rho Chi Outstanding Student Award SSPPS Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award

Merck Award

Merck Award

Merck Award

SSPPS Clinical Practice Award

Mengdi (Saige) Zhu SSPPS Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award

Kylie Chavez

Uyen Dinh

Divya Jain

Louisa Landolt

SSPPS Scholastic Achievement Award

SSPPS Scholastic Achievement Award

SSPPS Scholastic Achievement Award

SSPPS Scholastic Achievement Award

Barbara Calvert

Madelyn Lebin

Student Council Presidential Award

SSPPS Valedictorian Award

Daniel Donovan

Paige Holtz

Tamanna Talwar

SSPPS Scholastic Achievement Award

SSPPS Scholastic Achievement Award

SSPPS Scholastic Achievement Award

Tony Duong Dean's Distinguished Student Award

SNPhA, Nominated by Kara Neises Holden Community Service Award

Christina Bartholomew Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information Award of Excellecnce in Clinical Communication Award Viatris Excellence in Pharmacy Award


STUDENT RECOGNITIONS LAUREN THOMPSON, PhD Candidate, received two awards from the Society of Toxicology (SOT); 2nd place Renal Toxicology Fellowship Award by the SOT Mechanisms Specialty Section, and the SOT Science Communication Training Award to support training with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. BRITTNEY SJULSTAD, P3, was awarded the American Society of Health Pharmacists, (ASHP), Student Leadership Award. The award distinguishes student pharmacists for their achievements in health-system pharmacy and professional leadership. The recognition is accompanied by a $2000 cash award provided by the ASHP Research and Education Foundation. MONICA BIANCHINI, PharmD and PhD student, won a best poster award in the 36th Annual Student Research Forum. Her poster was titled “Impact of High-Dose vs Standard-Dose Influenza Vaccine on Respiratory-Related Hospitalizations: A Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design.” The award is accompanied by a $320 cash prize.


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

PhD students HECTOR ESQUER and KRIS ORESCHAK are the recipients of the annual Harold C. Heim Award for Excellence in Research and Graduate Education. The distinction is accompanied by a $2000 cash award and is presented by Warren Heim, son of former Dean Harold C. Heim. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD students participated in the annual spring Research Symposium, with Best Poster Awards going to ALAA RADWAN, PAIGE ANTON, SCOTT TILDEN, and JONATHAN TAYLOR, and Best Platform Award going to KENDRA PRUTTON.

YESHA PATEL, P3; CHRIS LE, P3; TRACY VAN, P2; and AUBREY FREDERICK, P2, were part of the School’s Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) student team that competed in the national Pharmacy and Therapeutics Competition. The team was one of only 15 in the nation that made it all the way to the semi-finals.



received the Distinguished Coloradan Award, the School’s highest recognition of lifetime achievement. Dr. Thompson retired this past December as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor with 120 publications to his credit, having also served as faculty senate chair and a tireless advocate for students and fellow faculty members. HEATHER ANDERSON, PHD,

Associate Professor, received the Faculty of Distinction Award, which recognizes a full-time Pharmacy faculty member who demonstrates distinctive traits that makes them an outstanding role model for peers and students. Dr. Anderson holds a joint appointment with the Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH) and the Division of Bioinformatics and Personalized Medicine. She was the SSPPS Faculty Senate Chair from 2020-2021 and currently serves on the Student Ethics and Conduct Committee and is a founding member of the TIDE (Technology, Innovation, Discovery, Entrepreneurship) Working Group. TYREE KISER, PHARMD, Professor, received the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award. The President’s Excellence in Teaching Award is an acknowledgement of a faculty member’s outstanding, innovating, and inspirational contributions to the students’ professional development.


received the Innovations in Science award, which celebrates innovative discovery in basic and/or clinical sciences. Dr. Mallela’s current research includes understanding the emergence of SARSCoV-2 variants leading to new waves of COVID19 infections, and developing antibody therapeutics that can neutralize multiple variants.

ROBERT PAGE, PHARMD, Professor, was awarded the Excellence in Pharmacy Award, which recognizes individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities, have advanced the profession of pharmacy, and improved the health and welfare of society. Dr. Page has co-authored major scientific statements from the American Heart Association, is credited with over 100 publications, and made significant contributions in public health, evaluating the link between marijuana and cardiovascular health. Dr. Page has also been selected for the 2022 Rho Chi Society Alumni Honor Roll. The purpose of the national Honor Roll is to recognize alumni who have advanced the pharmacy profession through intellectual leadership and the pursuit of excellence.

JOE SASEEN, PHARMD, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Professor, received this year’s Chancellor’s Teaching Recognition Award. The purpose of the Chancellor's Teaching Recognition Award is to recognize and reward outstanding teaching and commitment to providing students with a highquality learning experience. KRISTINA BROOKS, PHARMD,

Assistant Research Professor, was selected for the 2022 ACCP Leadership Development Program by The American College of Clinical Pharmacology. Participants were selected through a rigorous application and scoring process. Dr. Brooks is one of only five participants selected from across the nation. LIZA CLAUS, PHARMD, Assistant Professor, received the Teaching Excellence Award from UC Health A.F. Williams Family Medicine. The award recognizes Dr. Claus for her skills in mentoring, knowledge and skill sharing, work performance, supporting the A.F. mission, and providing exceptional patient care.


Alumni Angle :

WELCOME NEW ALUMNI Get involved with CU Pharmacy’s Alumni Association and open doors to a network of dedicated professionals.

As the Class of 2022 crosses the stage during commencement this year, we welcome the newest members of the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences alumni family. The future is bright for the Class of ’22 and we encourage you to become an active part of happenings at the School through the Alumni Association. Keep up to date with all things alumni by visiting our website!

ALUMNI LEADERSHIP FOR 2022 Bryan Killam, PharmD, ’06, currently vice president of the board, will succeed Lokendra Upadhyay, PharmD, ’18 who will complete his term as president in June. Dr. Upadhyay will continue his involvement with the board as a member of the past presidents’ group.

D r. B r y a n K illa m

Dr. Lokendra Upadhy ay

Dr. Andrew Maurer


D r. S a n d ra Le a l a n d D e a n R a lp h A lt ie r e

The School of Pharmacy was pleased to host a reception honoring alumna Sandra Leal, PharmD, ’99, at the annual American Pharmacists Association (APhA) meeting in San Antonio. Dr. Leal just completed her term as the 166th president of APhA, the largest association of pharmacists in the United States and the only organization advancing the entire pharmacy profession.


CU Pharmacy Alumni, students and faculty gathered Tuesday, May 3 at the Blue Moon Brewing Company in Denver’s RiNo district to hear from the experts in their field at the second Alumni Forum on Innovations in Pharmacy. Guest presenter and faculty member Christina Aquilante, PharmD, offered her insights on Pharmacogenomics and its impact on the pharmacy profession. The Alumni Forum aims to provide a space for alumni and students to network by focusing on innovations and trends in pharmacy.


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Nominations for new board members ended Monday, May 2, and the Nomination Committee, chaired by Andrew Maurer, PharmD, ’10, will select and announce new board members over the summer.

FIRST CAMPUS-WIDE GIVING DAY A SUCCESS Thanks to everyone who participated in the first annual #Anschutz Giving Day on April 14. Thanks to generous faculty, alumni and matching gifts, we raised close to $10,000 for the Beverly Brunson Diversity Scholarship. If you’d still like to give to this scholarship, use the QR code and be watching for next year’s opportunity to support equity and inclusion across the CU Anschutz campus.



CU Pharmacy Alumni once again turned the pages on the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as faculty member David Kroll, PhD, led another session of the Alumni Book Club. Participants examined the best-selling book which tells the gripping story of the unwitting contribution of a young African American mother in shaping modern medicine. The Alumni Book Club endeavors to explore reading material that focuses on the ever-changing arena of health care and developments that impact its future.


Whitley Yi, PharmD, ’17, returned to campus to present the Holden Lecture as part of the Dean’s Leadership Convocation. Dr. Yi’s presentation, “Thinking Creatively About Your Career: Pharmacists in Health Tech,” explored the dramatic changes underway in digital health care and the opportunities that they create for pharmacists. Dr. Yi is a pharmacy specialist and delivery lead at, a digital health and wellness startup. Jaron Bryant, our manager of alumni relations, presented her with a token of appreciation from the Pharmacy Alumni Association.

SAVE THE DATE: HOMECOMING AND ALUMNI AWARDS 2022 Commencement is huge, but another huge event is coming around the bend this fall − Homecoming 2022. Set aside time to gather with alumni during the annual Homecoming tailgate and football game on the Boulder campus. The weekend will also be used to celebrate the accomplishments of CU Pharmacy alumni during the 3rd annual Alumni Awards celebration. Stay on the lookout for more details on these upcoming events starting this fall. Brought to you by the CU Pharmacy Alumni Association: • Thursday, October 27 3rd Annual CU Pharmacy Alumni Awards • Saturday, October 29 CU Buffs Homecoming Football Game and Tailgate


Do you have news of your own? Tell us about it, even if it's just to update your contact information! Use the QR code to keep in touch. 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).


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SAVE THE DATE Australia, Croatia, Ireland and now Denver, Colorado! The University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is proud and honored to be the host for the 14th annual Life Long Learning in Pharmacy (LLLP) international conference. Following the inaugural meeting in Denmark in 1990, the LLLP conference provides an opportunity to discuss issues of importance and relevance to advancing pharmacy practice through continuous professional development (CPD) and lifelong learning. Follow us on social media & sign up on our mailing list to get updates on exciting new info as we work to create LLLP2023!


CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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