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05/06 MAY / JUNE 2014


this issue 2014 Valedictorians P.2

Women in Science The Northwestern Ohio chapter of the Association of Women in Science is currently offering a complementary membership to students in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. AWIS, which is open to both men and women, supports advocacy, research and leadership opportunities for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and offers mentorship, career development seminars and networking events. In addition, the local chapter is heavily involved with service and community activities promoting science education in our area. Dr. Amanda BryantFriedrich, associate professor of medicinal chemistry and president of the Northwest Ohio chapter of AWIS, is excited about mentoring women scientists in all stages of their careers. To learn more, visit

Visit the college’s Women in Science Pinterest board for articles and information about women in science.

Star Students P.3 High bar set during APPE rotation P.4 Upcoming Events P.4 Alumnus earns highest honor P. 5 L-R: Breen, Bedi, Banks and Wery. Students holding their actual degrees on graduation day is virtually unheard of these days. Find out how the college made it happen on page 6.

Spring 2014 Commencement The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences held its spring commencement Sunday, May 4, at 2 p.m. in Savage Arena. The college awarded 102 doctor of pharmacy degrees, two PhD in medicinal chemistry degrees, 17 master‟s degrees and 141 baccalaureate degrees. Among the 141 baccalaureate degree recipients, a majority graduated with honors. Twenty-one graduated summa cum laude, 31 graduated magna cum laude, and 43 graduated cum laude. Two valedictorians spoke. Ellen Dzierzak, a pharmacology/toxicology major is the valedictorian for the bachelor of science in pharmaceutical sciences class, and Kyle Rako is valedictorian for the doctor of pharmacy class. The college recognized Fernand Bedi, the first to earn the PharmD/PhD dual degree, along with the first three cosmetic science graduates, Kayla Banks, Sarah Breen and Alison Wery. UT has the only

undergraduate cosmetic science program in the country. The Teacher of the Year, selected by the graduating PharmD class, was Dr. Mariann Churchwell, a clinical pharmacist who inspires her students to be more attentive and insightful. She models professionalism and shows great commitment to student success. The Professor of the Year, selected by the graduating B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences class, was Dr. Caren Steinmiller. Dr. Steinmiller, one of our college‟s newer faculty members, earned her bachelor‟s and master‟s degrees at UT before completing her Ph.D. in cellular and clinical neurobiology. She now researches substance abuse and treatment. “Each year, I am so proud to welcome a new class of graduates into the legacy of outstanding Toledo alumni,” Dean Johnnie Early said. “They represent talent and potential, and we all look forward to seeing what they accomplish in the world.”

Valedictorians CLASS OF 2014

Each year, the valedictorians of the B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Doctor of Pharmacy graduating classes are invited to speak at commencement. Please enjoy excerpts of the speeches given by this year‟s valedictorians.

Ellen Dzierzak, BSPS „14 Valedictorian Some



After training 20 hours a week for five

earliest memories

months, there was no better feeling

involve being in

than having all my hard work pay off by


winning a Mid-American Conference


pool. I remember the


my parents placed around my arms so I



They always worked and made me comfortable enough to be in the pool as a child. So that’s where I grew up – in the pool. My passion grew for the sport of swimming watching Amanda Beard and Michael Phelps swim in the 2004 Olympics.

swimming title.

All of a sudden, we realize the “swimmies” of our childhood are gone and we sink or swim through our own power.

The same way beginning to practice with the college swim team tested my

This is where the prescription comes in.

passion for swimming, there have been

Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and CNN

a lot of things that have challenged our

correspondent and keynote speaker at

interest in the pharmaceutical field.


Whether it was the pre-pharmacy

graduation, offered this sage advice. He











chemistry standardized final, studying

You know what makes your heart swift.

for Dr. Oyarce’s exams, or the duration

You know what makes your breath catch

of P1 school days, we have all faced

your throat. You know what makes your

many academic obstacles that require

chest tight with anticipation. Go get that!

Just like I got hooked on swimming, we

us to frequently and repeatedly dive into

all became interested in pharmacy in

the text books.

different ways. Mine began when a

But what lies ahead?

But what if you don’t know what makes your heart swift, your breath catch, your

With the support of our families, friends,

chest tight with anticipation?

professors, and advisors we have been

discipline of an excellent education at

able to successfully compete in this

The University of Toledo has helped us

college by taking challenging courses

identify them. Real life experience will

and exams for the past four years. These

teach us. Educated people know how to

At the beginning of our freshman year, I

supporters have been the catalysts and

pursue that which we don’t know. Don’t

came to the UT campus enthusiastic to

cheerleaders of our success, and we owe

settle for anything less!

start a new chapter in my life that would

them untold gratitude.

representative from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences came to explain the field to my high school chemistry class.






learned very quickly that becoming a part of the Toledo swim team was not going to be a dip in the kiddie pool. I was going to have to train harder than I had ever trained before to be capable of competing at the collegiate level.





Today we have the distinction of joining degree







Pharmaceutical Science is like winning

Wherever we go – to grad school, a job in

our final championship at one of the

our field, a long-anticipated trip - we are



beneficiaries of the UT Motto: “Guide to

America. Coach Murray, our strength



the Present, Moulder of the Future.” Let

and conditioning coach has always said,

us live up to that wisdom. 

“It’s a great day to be a Rocket!”

Star Students Pharmacy grad receives public health award

Kyle Rako, PharmD ‟14 Valedictorian

Abby Rabatin, PharmD ’14




pharmacy school, I had no



opportunities would


the that made

available to me. For example, I spent two summers



Spain— the first summer studying abroad and the second summer performing research as a pharmacy exchange student. My studies also took me on a medical mission to Guatemala and to a clinical rotation at Mount Sinai

medication that increases concentration and

was selected to

focus, symbolizes our class P1 year.

receive the Pharmacy

In the P2 year, we started to realize just how

Practice Award

much work pharmacy school involved— so

from the

many drugs to learn with so little time. At times, some of us may have felt as if we were going a little bit crazy trying to learn all of the information





pharmacists. For this reason, Haldol, an antipsychotic medication, symbolizes our class at this time in the program, as we were trying to keep our sanity.

United States Public Health Service. The award recognizes pharmacy students who have demonstrated a commitment to public health and public health practice. Rabatin was nominated for the award by

Hospital in New York City. Not only did I have

The P3 year was our most academically

Dr. Megan Kaun, PharmD ‘05,

many exciting opportunities, but I also made

challenging year. During the P3 year we

Director of Advanced

lifelong friends. I met both my best friend and


Pharmacy Practice

my girlfriend in pharmacy school.

toxicology. We were burned out from late

After much thought trying to decide the topic of my valedictorian speech, it finally occurred to me that I was overlooking the obvious. The answer was drugs, the favorite topic of conversation at every pharmacy event, social gathering, or night out. Whether pharmacists




nights and weekends studying in the library, and many of us appeared to be walking


Recent grad to begin studies at Kansas University

zombies. For this reason Ambien, a sleeping medication, symbolizes our class at this time,

Jordan Hunt,

as most of us were exhausted and could have

BSPS ’13, was

used a good night’s sleep.

accepted into the PhD

will admit it or not, the conversation always

In the P4 year, we were finished with our

program in

revolves around that one subject. So I have

didactic coursework and were completing our


chosen to compare each of the four years of

clinical rotations at locations all across the

chemistry at Kansas University

pharmacy school to a medication that is

country. We were applying the tremendous

and will complete a summer

symbolic of that year in the PharmD program

amount of knowledge that we had acquired

research experience there

and illustrates our transformation from

over the last 3 years to real life clinical

before beginning the program

students to professionals.

practice. Zosyn, an antibiotic that kills a

in the fall. At UT, he

broad spectrum of bacteria, symbolizes our

conducted research with Dr.

class at this time. Much like Zosyn’s broad

James Slama, medicinal

antimicrobial spectrum, our class now has a

chemistry professor and

broad range of pharmaceutical knowledge.

director of the B.S. in

I am confident that each and every one of my

Pharmaceutical Sciences

classmates will make great pharmacists.

program. Hunt joins the

Congratulations to the Doctor of Pharmacy

program as Alex Salyer, BSPS

In the P1 year, we received our white coats and were eager to begin our professional education. Although we had no idea what was in store for us or how much work would be ahead, we were still excited to have been accepted into the program and wore our white coats like a badge of honor. At this time in the program, everyone was extremely

class of 2014. 

‘12 is completing his studies

focused on our studies and on our career

there. Salyer is researching

path. For this reason, the drug Ritalin, a

metabolite profiling and pharmacokinetics for Toll-Like receptor ligands, and evaluation of immune cell (Continued on page 5)

Upcoming Events TOLEDO HEART WALK 8 a.m. on May 30, 2014 Join or support the college’s team

CD3 SYMPOSIUM June 22, 2014 Symposium website

PHARMACY GOLF OUTING Wednesday, June 11, 2014 Bedford Hills Golf Club Register online

MID-ATLANTIC GRADUATE STUDENT SYMPOSIUM June 22-24, 2014 Symposium website

Preceptor Brad Johnson with Yana Doughty

RECENT GRAD SETS BAR HIGH DURING APPE ROTATION “In all of my 23 years as a pharmacist mentor and preceptor, never have I been as impressed with an intern,” Brad Johnson said of Yana Doughty, PharmD ‟14, who completed an APPE rotation at Walgreens in Raleigh, North Carolina.

impressed with Yana that he said he would take a UT student any time.

Johnson, who serves as a preceptor for several pharmacy schools, was so

“She jumped in immediately asking questions and providing answers. I

“I've seen how strong and prepared they are,” he said. What impressed Johnson most was how proactive Yana was when tackling problems and projects.

gave her a project focusing on MTMs as well as targeting New to Therapy patients. I had her counseling patients while with us. She became our immunization specialist since it was influenza season as well,” Johnson said. Johnson believes Yana will be a valuable asset wherever she chooses to practice pharmacy.

Alumnus Phil Miller earns highest honor

Star Students (Continued from page 3)

response to innate immune activation.

Grad student recognized for research Soohi Patel, a graduate student mentored by Dr. Sai HS Boddu, secured third place in the Biomedical Science poster competition at the 2014 Graduate Research Forum. The 38 student participants endured three rounds of screening to determine who would earn the awards. Dr. Martin Ohlinger (left) with Philip Miller ’71, recipient of the Walter M. Frazier Award and Mate Soric, PharmD ’09 recipient of the Health-System Pharmacist of the Year Award.

Soohi’s topic, “Evaluation of an Innovative Eye Drop Formulation for Posterior

Philip Miller, ’71, ’88, is the recipient of the Walter M. Frazier Award from the Ohio Society of Health-system Pharmacists (OSHP). This award, the highest honor bestowed by OSHP, recognizes sustained

exemplary service in healthsystem and community service. Among the qualifications for the award are high moral character, good citizenship, and high professional ideals. Miller, who has made significant

contributions to healthsystem pharmacy, receives a plaque, a lifetime honorary membership to OSHP and OSHP Annual meeting registration and lodging.

Uveitis Therapy,” captivated the audience and the judges. She developed a clinically acceptable, stable, aqueous mixed nanomicellar formulation of dexamethasone for treating retinal diseases following topical administration.

CPPS staff members featured in UT News Pharmacy staff members Richard and Charisse

First students inducted into Sigma Phi Sigma pharmaceutical science honor society

Montgomery were recently featured in UT News. Richard is the assistant director of the

Based on their outstanding

B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Charisse

academic achievements and

is the college’s communications director and

leadership, 16 students in the


college’s bachelor’s and




graduated in spring 2014, Richard with a

graduate level pharmaceutical

doctorate in educational leadership and

sciences programs were

Charisse with a master’s in educational

inducted into the Alpha

psychology. Their approach to raising their

Chapter of the Sigma Phi

son, Richie, who has significant medical needs, was the focus of the article. Read the article

Sigma Honor Society.

Photo by Rick Guidotti/Positive Exposure: The Spirit of Difference

Sigma Phi Sigma, the pharmaceutical sciences honor (Continued on page 6)

Star Students (Continued from page 5)

society, is dedicated to promoting scholarly excellence


and scientific innovation by encouraging its members to pursue advanced study in the pharmaceutical sciences. The organization was founded at The University of Toledo Chapter in 2013. Dr. Kenneth Alexander, who was instrumental in

On May 4, the morning of the college's spring commencement exercises, the college hosted a special celebration recognizing the inaugural graduates of two new academic programs. Three students—Kayla Banks, Sarah Breen and Alison Wery—were the first to complete the Cosmetic Science major in the B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences program.

establishing Sigma Phi Sigma, was pleased to inducted the first members into this organization. I look forward to seeing Sigma Phi Sigma expand to other

Fernand Mel Bedi was the first to complete the PharmD/PhD dual-degree program, finishing his doctorate in medicinal chemistry after having earned the Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2012.

The graduates and their families were congratulated by university administrators, college faculty and staff, and many guests. During the celebratory luncheon, the students' degrees were signed by hand by the deans of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences or the College of Graduate Studies, giving the students a unique opportunity to see and even hold their actual degrees before the documents are processed by the office of the registrar and mailed to them later this summer.

universities,” he said. “Many of its members will undoubtedly emerge as leaders in areas of industry and research.”

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

May/June 2014 Refill  

The e-newsletter of The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

May/June 2014 Refill  

The e-newsletter of The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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