Children often wonder what they will be when they grow up. From pirate to rock star to doctor, children explore inexhaustible possibilities of what they could become, just as long as it’s fun and exciting. When children grow up, some continue their education through college, some find jobs to work and make money, some find something to do through the connections they have developed, and then there are the lucky few who find that special career that still gives them that joyous and exciting feeling they once had when they were young. Dr. Ed Sherman, Adjunct Faculty, Department of Pharmacy Practice, is one of the lucky people who found an exciting career he loves and has made lasting impacts on his community through his career as a pharmacist.
Dr. Sherman was born and raised in Los Angeles and Orange County. After graduating from high school, he attended a junior college then transferred to University of Southern California where he was interested in becoming a chemical engineer. “Being a pharmacist was my alternative”, Dr. Sherman said, “It was around the time of the Vietnam war and they weren’t taking any pharmacists (into war). I was able to do more of what I loved.” Although he found joy in his career as a pharmacist, Dr. Sherman’s road to happiness was not always a smooth one. “My father didn’t want me to go to college. He wanted me to take over his trucking business”, he explained, “but my mother would take me aside and say, ‘keep going, keep studying.’”
Dr. Sherman faced another bump in the road when his father-in-law had a heart attack. He decided to run his father-in-law’s industrial hardware business until he was well enough to get back on his feet. After three years, his father-in-law was ready to get back into work and Dr. Sherman was able to jump back into his career in pharmacy. Dr. Sherman shares his passion for pharmacy by opening students’ eyes to pharmacy in new light through his pharmacy elective course called “Opportunities in Pharmacy”. In his class, students have the opportunity to “round out their education to the real world”, Dr. Sherman stated, “We talk about family in class too because family is important. Having good communication skills and how you treat people is important.” He expressed his love for his career saying that “pharmacy is something I enjoyed and did well.”
On October 9, 2011, Dr. Sherman’s passion and dedication as a pharmacist was recognized by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) as the Outstanding Faculty Liaison of the Year at NCPA’s Annual Convention. This award was the first in its history for California, let alone the University of the Pacific. For over ten years, Dr. Sherman has served in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. In addition, he currently serves as Treasurer for the California Pharmacists Association and San Joaquin Pharmacists Association, and is the advisor for the NCPA student chapter. Through Dr. Sherman’s assistance and the cooperative effort of the chapter, students were able to send more than one thousand letters to law makers in Sacramento to stop the overwhelming ten percent cuts to community pharmacists.
As if Dr. Sherman doesn’t do enough, he also supervises students’ participation in the Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. The NCPA and Foundation created this competition to motivate students to develop the detailed plans required to buy an existing independent community pharmacy or cultivate a pharmacy of their very own. In 2005, Pacific NCPA chapter won the Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition and were finalists in 2011.
Dr. Sherman has enjoyed much success through his career in pharmacy but has also been a trail blazer for the young dreamers pursuing this career field. When asked what he hopes students would learn from him, Dr. Sherman replied, “To keep their eyes and minds open all the time. Learn to communicate; being an extrovert will help you be successful and get you a career. Realize that there is more to pharmacy than just education. It’s helping people, themselves and being creative. It’s a profession, not a job.”
By Mikhaela Sarmiento ’12