Dean Peterson's 2018 Year in Review
Jan 4, 2019 9:40 AM
Dear College of Pharmacy staff and faculty,
Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed a fun and restful end to 2018 and are energized for the year ahead of us. Hopefully, for many of you, the relative quiet of the year’s end provided an opportunity to reflect on the events of the past year and refine your aspirations for the new year. For me, reviewing the past year has been an inspiring experience as I’ve been reminded of your many accomplishments and contributions during 2018. I remain deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with all of you and be a part of the College of Pharmacy.
So many great things happened last year it’s hard to mention them all, but here are a few of my personal highlights from 2018:
-Learning that You Han Bae had been named a Distinguished Professor, watching him carry the college banner at University Commencement, and celebrating the prestigious honor with him on several occasions. Only about 100 professors have received this honor in the history of the university, and it’s remarkable to have six from the College, including Chris Ireland, Henry Kopecek, David Grainger, Sung Wan Kim, and William Higuchi.
-Attending the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Maliheh Clinic, at which our students were awarded the Maliheh Legacy of Caring and Community Service Award. The college has made major contributions to Maliheh through student and faculty volunteering and through more than $200,000 of financial donations. It’s great to see our college so engaged with the community.
-Welcoming Krystal Moorman and Karen Gunning to the College’s Executive Committee. Their perspective and insight has been a wonderful addition.
-Helping >60 P1s don their white coats for the first time at the White Coat Ceremony in September. The remarkable thing about the experience was how dramatically our recruiting and admissions teams had turned around student recruiting. After several years of steady declines in applications and enrollment, we enjoyed a substantial upturn this year and enrolled a strong, full class. Special thanks to Jim Herron, Shawna Webster, Torrie Foutz, Gisel Gomez, Philip Moos, and the rest of the admissions committee. They took a careful look at our historical practices, adopted several critical improvements, and it’s paying off.
-Hearing outstanding presentations from our Skaggs fellowship and Wolf Prize recipients. Congratulations to Joshua Torres, Sun Jin Kim, Glenna Wallis, and Casey Tak.
-Watching Mei Koh present one of the talks at this year’s Vitae event.
-Dinners with the dean. Thanks to the efforts of Dallas Nelson and Shawna Webster, Judianne and I had the chance to host several faculty members and many P3 students for dinners at our home. It’s always energizing and fun to spend time with students and faculty in a casual setting, and I was delighted to hear so many students express their enthusiasm and gratitude for the experience they are having with us.
-Receiving a $2.6M supplement to the ADD Program NIH contract to develop rodent models of pain. This supplement reflects how pleased the NIH has been with the work of the ADD Program over the years and the program’s potential to help mitigate the opioid crisis. Congratulations to Karen Wilcox, Cameron Metcalf, and the rest of the ADD Program team.
-Meeting countless alumni in several states. It’s uncanny that most of them bring up a specific faculty or staff member who had a major impact on them. One community pharmacist in Carlsbad, CA went on at length about the things he had learned from Nancy Nickman, reciting specific stories she had shared many years ago. The work we do teaching and mentoring students has a profound, lasting influence. Thanks to Danielle Keddington and Ryan Boyack for maintaining such a strong network of alumni.
-Learning that Glenn Prestwich was elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and will be honored during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC next month.
-Major grants for junior investigators. I was excited to learn about a new NIH R01 for Mingnan Chen and a large grant from the Moore Foundation to Jackie Winter. Congratulations to Mingnan and Jackie!
-Dave Young winning the Love to Breathe award for his leadership in the cystic fibrosis community.
-Attending the ASHP meeting in Anaheim, where students Hillary Parkin and Reaghan Erickson were finalists in the clinical skills competition and where dozens of our students presented posters. I was proud to see our students making their presence felt on a national stage. It was also exciting to begin seeing the fruits of so much investment in the PharmD projects. Special thanks to Dan Witt, Kristen Keefe, and Craig Henchey.
Whether in teaching, research, administration, service, or clinical work, each of these highlights resulted from somebody’s pursuit of excellence in the college. Excellence and innovation have to be part of everything we do if we want to remain viable in this competitive field we work in, and I appreciate all of you who are doing your best to achieve them.
This morning, I reviewed a ranking prepared by Academic Analytics of the University’s departments based on Scholarly Research Index, a measure of research productivity and impact. Of the 65 departments and academic units at the U, College of Pharmacy departments were ranked 1st, 3rd, 8th, and 24th--pretty impressive for a small college like ours. Scholarship and research remain one of the most important ways we can have a lasting impact on human knowledge and human health. In 2019, I want to make sure we celebrate our successes in the area of scholarship and research.
Looking forward to another good year in 2019!