Melanie A. Felmlee, PhD Receives AACP New Investigator Award

deans-letter-felmlee-labPharmaceutics and parenting inspired Melanie A. Felmlee, PhD, assistant professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry, to pursue a grant for research of monocarboxylate transporters. Dr. Felmlee was awarded the 2017 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy New Investigator Award (NIA) for her proposal entitled “Maturation and spatial expression of intestinal MCT1 in obesity.”

Dr. Felmlee has been studying transporters for the past nine years. This research builds on her previous research of monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1). In her previous research studies, Dr. Felmlee has investigated the behavior of this transporter in the kidney and liver. She shares, “The pediatric part honestly came from my kids,” said Dr. Femlee. “As parents, we want to figure out how kids work.”

“The overall objective of this study is to investigate the maturation and spatial expression of intestinal MCT1 in obesity to improve our understanding of its developmental regulation,” Dr. Felmlee said. She will use the $10,000 in funding from the award to investigate how MCT1 behaves in different regions of the intestine. Throughout the research process she will be assisted by Michael Ng ’20.

She explains that the International Transporter Consortium identified the need for additional research on MCT1. “Monocarboxylate transporters are involved in intestinal drug absorption, yet maturation and spatial expression data are lacking in the literature,” Dr. Felmlee said.

In addition to a patient’s age, obesity could affect drug pharmacokinetics and toxicity. She elaborates, “Alterations in drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination (ADME) due to physiological changes resulting from childhood obesity can influence drug exposure leading to lack of efficacy or toxicity. Physiological alterations in obesity include changes in the expression of drug transporter and metabolic enzymes leading to altered liver function, kidney function and intestinal absorption.”

“The prevalence of childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions, with 42 million children worldwide under the age of five considered overweight,” Dr. Felmlee explains. “Obese children are more likely to require pharmacotherapy, so it is crucial to optimize therapeutic interventions to avoid lack of efficacy or toxicity.”

The goal of this study is to contribute to the understanding of MCT1 so that health care providers can optimize therapeutic strategies in obese pediatric patients by accounting for variations in drug absorption. In addition, a greater understanding of transporters can pave the way for personalized treatment plans for both normal weight and obese pediatric patients. Dr. Felmlee believes that understanding MCT1 “is one small piece” in the development of personalized medicine. “Give them an optimized therapy, the right treatment at the right time,” Dr. Felmlee said.

This grant holds special significance as this is the first external funding Dr. Felmlee has received. The AACP New Investigator Award is tailored to pharmacy faculty who are at the start of their career as researchers. She shares what receiving this grant means to her personally: “It’s a confidence booster. Putting together a grant proposal is difficult and time consuming.” Being awarded the NIA is “validation that someone believes in the research you are doing and believes in you as a researcher.”

Since joining the Pacific faculty in 2015, Dr. Felmlee has found the atmosphere of the School to be supportive and encouraging. She appreciates the friendly, collaborative environment, as well as their balanced approach to teaching and research. She elaborates, “We are really well balanced. I feel supported to teach and given the time and resources to pursue research.” She shares a memory of an interaction with Dean Phillip Oppenheimer, PharmD, where he acknowledged one of her recent accomplishments. “Dean Oppenheimer saw me washing out my coffee mug and congratulated me,” Dr. Felmlee said. “I love those little things.”

 

Celebrating 60 Years of Excellence

As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, we’re reminded of all we have accomplished over the years. In the past year –– our faculty, students and alumni were once again recognized for their excellence with scholarships, grants and so much more. See for yourself, just click below…

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Pacific’s Phi Delta Chi Wins Highest Honor

At the 70th Grand Council August 4-9, 2015, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Alpha Psi Chapter of Phi Delta Chi received the Emory W. Thurston Grand President’s Award. Logan Brodnansky ’17, President of Phi Delta Chi, Alpha Psi Chapter, explains that being the recipient of the Thurston Cup is “the highest honor our fraternity can receive.” The award was established in 1974 through a generous donation by Emory W. Thurston. It is given to the chapter that “promoted the profession of pharmacy and Phi Delta Chi fully during the preceding year,” according to the Phi Delta Chi 2015 Pledge Manual. “To qualify, a Chapter must receive a 90% or higher rating in the Achievement Award Program.” The scores are determined by six weighted categories: Professional & Service Projects Report (one per semester), Chapter Publication, Prescott Scholarship Report, Brotherhood Report and Professional Window Display.deans_letter_fall15_phi_delta_chi_trophy_web

According to Marcus C Ravnan ’94, PharmD, FCSHP, FASHP, who serves as the chapter’s Faculty Advisor, “In addition, the Chapter ranked in the top ten for the Ralph L. Saroyan Brotherhood Award which recognized chapter programs that promote brotherhood within the chapter. The last time Alpha Psi received this coveted honor was in 1980 in Washington DC with Ivan Cy Rowland in attendance. The Pacific chapter has ranked in the top ten for the past 15 or more years and has been in fourth place the past two years.” Over the years there has been increased competition for these coveted awards. Ravnan confirms, “What’s even more significant is that in 1980, there were only 50 chapters of Phi Delta Chi and now there are 85 active chapters competing for this award.” To be recognized for this award is especially meaningful as the award is named in honor of Ralph L. Saroyan ’64, RPh, a key figure in the School’s history, who is currently an emeritus professor and esteemed mentor.

Established in 1883 the coed pharmacy fraternity is the country’s first professional pharmacy fraternity. According to the Phi Delta Chi’s website, www.phideltachi.org, Phi Delta Chi is one of the largest pharmacy fraternities in the country with over 60,000 initiated Brothers and “nearly one in every twelve pharmacists is a Phi Delta Chi Brother.” Pacific’s Alpha Psi stood out among the other 85 collegiate chapters at this year’s Grand Council, the fraternity’s biannual leadership conference. In addition to the recognition of the highest award, they placed for the following individual awards: First place in Professional Service Projects for their professional and community service, second place for Prescott Scholarship Award for academic achievement, third place for Chapter Publication Award and fourth place for the Leadership Award. Receiving these awards is a testament to the ability of Pacific’s pharmacy students to strike a balance between the aspects of professional and social life in the midst of rigorous academic study.

 

Hasna Manghi ’16 and James Wall ’16 Win CSHP’s Clinical Skills Competition

September 25, 2015, was a proud day for Pacific as once again as a team of PharmD students won the Clinical Skills Competition at the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP) Seminar. With an attitude of confidence and a solid foundation of clinical skills Hasna Manghi ’16 and James Wall ’16 made a dynamic team.

Clinical Skills Competitideans_letter_fall15_james_hasna_clinical_skills_winners_webon has three levels, the first of which is a local competition held within a university. The winning teams in California then represents their universities at the state level at the CHSP seminar. The final level is at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) annual Midyear Clinical Meeting. This year the ASHP conference will be held on December 5, 2015, in New Orleans, Louisiana. There Manghi and Wall will be competing against 138 teams from universities all across the country.

In describing the competition Assistant Clinical Professor and San Diego Regional Coordinator Marie C. Scott, PharmD, explains that there are three phases. During the first phase the team has two hours to “identify the most important therapeutic need and prepare a plan for the patient.” They then have only two minutes to present their recommendations. The final phase is eight minutes of question and answer during which they must defend their plan. According to Scott “they definitely need to be able to identify the most pressing needs to the patient.” To do so they have to “draw from their knowledge in therapeutics [and] pharmacology.”

Wall points out that just like in a real life scenarios “you can’t just open a book and fall on the right page and find out what’s wrong.” It is essential to have a framework from which you can systematically work to identify what is the primary problem and which are the peripheral issues that can be addressed at a later time. Manghi explains that the competition is a good introduction to the complexity and unpredictability of cases that one will face as a pharmacist: “You never know what to expect.” They recommend that as you are going through your clinical rotations that you try to absorb as much as you can.

Scott believes that what set Manghi and Wall apart from other teams was that they have a “strong knowledge base [and] speak with confidence.” Wall confirms that Pacific’s PharmD courses prepared them to tackle complicated cases and gave them the ability to effectively utilize a limited number of resources. Manghi proposes that the key to standing out from among the crowd is “showing the quality of yourself as a pharmacist.” Manghi emphasizes compassion, empathy and confidence: “The best advice I can give is confidence in your presentation.”

Wall says that he would “absolutely” encourage future students to participate in the Clinical Skills Competition as it is an excellent opportunity to hone your clinical skills. Scott believes that students “don’t think their clinical skills are polished enough, but this is such good practice to use all of the resources that are given to you.”

Manghi and Wall are deeply appreciative to Dr. Scott for facilitating the preliminary round and offering support throughout the process. Manghi said that Dr. Scott has “shown us a lot of love and a lot of support.”

This is not the first time that Pacific has beat out the competition at the CSHP seminar. In 2000 the winners Rajul Patel ’01, ’06, PharmD, PhD, who went on to become one of the School’s Associate Professors, and his now wife Annie Shinn Patel ’01, PharmD, PhD. Again in 2004 Pacific had a winning team with Jamie Chew ’05, PharmD, and Teresa Kwong Wakumoto ’05, PharmD.

Students who are interested in competing in next year’s Clinical Skills Competition should look through the participant resources and practice cases, which can be found at ashp.org <http://www.ashp.org/menu/AboutUs/Awards/ClinicalSkillsCompetition.aspx>.

 

Dr. Li Receives 2015 AAPS Outstanding Educator Award

On October 25, 2015, Xiaoling Li, PhD, was recognized by the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists for his outstanding leadership. The honor of the AAPS Outstanding Educator Award, sponsored by Biogen Idec, is bestowed upon individuals “who have made extensive contributions to the teaching of pharmaceutical sciences.” The award, which is presented every two years, brings national recognition to the quality of education provided by the dedicated Pacific faculty.

deans_letter_fall15_dr_li_educator_award_webBhaskara Jasti ’95, MPharm, PhD proudly extended congratulations to his colleague. Dr. Jasti explains that “Dr. Li was chosen for this award based on the his effectiveness as an educator in both professional and graduate programs, curriculum development, and creativity in pedagogical methodologies and strategies. The demonstrated successes of his former graduate students and Professor Li’s honors and awards bestowed upon him for teaching excellence, his zest and passion for international educational outreach, only a few can duplicate his magnitude of impact in this area, are great examples of fostering an institutional culture conducive to professional learning. Creative, caring, and quiet, Dr. Li richly deserves this AAPS recognition.”

In attendance in Orlando, Florida, was Dean Oppenheimer who expressed that he was “bursting with pride.” Oppenheimer added, “This well deserved recognition notes his leadership in both his research and his mentorship of not only his students, but also many graduate students, through his leadership in our PCSP graduate program.”

Dr. Li expressed that he was both humbled and honored to receive this award. He believes this award not only recognizes his efforts, but is also “a recognition to the students, post docs, and visiting scholars who have worked with me in my career. My colleagues and Dean Oppenheimer at Pacific are significant part of this award. They create an enjoyable environment for me to teach and conduct scientific research.”

 

Student Spotlight: Alanna Sing ’16

Alanna Sing_resizedAlanna Sing ’16 isn’t your typical student pharmacist. Her love for animals, specifically horses, inspired her to pursue a nontraditional career path of becoming a veterinary pharmacist. This career path will allow Sing to provide services to customers by treating their animals, the patients. Sing has been riding horses since she was five. She joined the rodeo team when she studied at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo where she also earned her bachelor’s in animal science. Her interest in pharmacy peaked after spending three months volunteering at a local community pharmacy. Sing was moved by how well the owner knew all his patients’ names and his dedication to fostering relationships with them.

Sing, a member of the doctor of pharmacy class of 2016, already has a jumpstart on her career. Recently she completed courses required for a certificate in the AmerisourceBergen Good Neighbor Pharmacy Entrepreneurial Pharmacy Practice Program. This past October, the Visalia native received the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Foundation Presidential Scholarship in recognition for her leadership qualities, accomplishments and interest in independent pharmacy, as well as her involvement in extracurricular activities.

“It’s an honor to receive the scholarship because there are so many qualified candidates,” she said.

Though only a few hours from home, Sing couldn’t resist bringing two horses to Stockton. “I ride every day,” she said, adding that she trains her own horses and competes at least twice a month. Her dedication to the sport gives her opportunities to improve her veterinary skills. She explained that medications made for humans have been adapted to treat animals, but there are challenges in administering the medication.

“I’ve found creative ways to treat my horses when they are sick,” Sing said. “Recently I dissolved the medication in their grain, but they were able to tell the difference.”

Sing understands that her dream of owning a veterinary pharmacy could be expensive and challenging but the entrepreneurial pharmacy courses make it seem possible.

“I’m also learning so much from the guest speakers, who are great pharmacists and business people,” she said. “I think it’s a crazy dream but the program is teaching me how to be creative about how I approach it.”

 

Physical Therapy White Coat Ceremony Honors Class of 2016

The 5th Annual Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Doctor of Physical Therapy White Coat Ceremony was held on August 29, 2014 at the DeRosa University Center Ballroom.

The anticipation leading up to the ceremony was exciting to witness, all of the smiling and proud faces of students and parents alike. Everyone waiting for the ceremony to begin gathered into the DeRosa University Center’s lobby taking pictures.

The class of 2016 came in their best dresses and suits. Parents and families slowly entered, looking for the best seats. As the ceremony was beginning, everyone’s attention turned towards the two doors that opened up for the students entering in an orderly fashion. There was no hiding the priceless expressions on the students’ faces as they looked in to the audience and saw their loved ones clapping and looking up at them in awe.

Class of 2016 member is cloaked with his white coat by his second-year buddy.
Class of 2016 member is cloaked with his white coat by his second-year buddy.

Dr. Sandra Reina-Guerra ’97, ’99, ’03, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, opened the ceremony with a few words and introduced Dr. Eric Boyce, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Dr. Boyce shared a story that touched the audience but must have been particularly inspiring to the class of 2016 and their mentors. His 86 year old father suffered from a viral health issue and with the help of a home visiting physical therapist he was able to help his father walk within a week. He described his father as being “independent because of the physical therapist.” Words of encouragement and gratefulness did not stop there. There “has to be trust, some benefits and relationship between the patients and the care provider,” continued Dr. Boyce. With his closing remarks he simply put that it is “no longer about you, it’s about the patient you serve.”

The warmth filled the room and more words of inspiration continued as Dr. Todd Davenport, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, introduced the night’s keynote speaker, Michael Tubbs, the 6th District City Councilmember for Stockton, Ca. He opened his address with stating the fact that “Stockton is facing a lot of health challenges and in the San Joaquin County, Stockton is at a 30% poverty rate and 60% don’t have high school diplomas.” He connected health and education because these things are basic human needs. People lash out because they may be ill-educated or suffering from health problems that can be solved by simple medications or doctor visits. Tubbs proposed a challenge to the students as they enter the next chapter in their lives of physical therapy. “I want to challenge everyone to move towards justice.” Justice meaning, when we see an injured person on the sidewalk, do not simply walk away, offer your help. Simple action such as this not only shows our care for mankind but also shapes us into better individuals.

Class of 2016 members gather outside after the ceremony.
Class of 2016 members gather outside after the ceremony.

The event also served as an opportunity to recognize the Alumna of the Year award recipient. This year Dr. Josephine “Jody” Nance ’90, ’03 was acknowledged as the “2014 Physical Therapy Alumna of the Year.” Dr. Nance opened her speech with quotes from a motivational video she found on YouTube about the topic of why we fall. No one understands the late nights and the strenuous study sessions like Dr. Nance. “You have to sacrifice what you are for what you will become,” an everlasting statement she made to the students. This wisdom not only applies to the physical therapy class but to so many aspects of our lives.

Following the speakers, was the cloaking of the class of 2016. Family members excitedly stood up with their cameras ready. Flashes, applauses, and words of encouragement were exchanged as the students walked onto the stage to be cloaked with their white coats by their second year mentors. Congratulations to another brilliant class!

In the words of Michael Tubbs: “What are you prepared to do today so that 50 years from now another child will have the opportunity to become a physical therapist?”

The White Coat Ceremony is generously sponsored by Kaiser Permanente through The Healthy Children Grant which intends to combat obesity in the community.

 

 

Pacific Student Pharmacists to Receive National Community Service Award

Pacific’s Medicare Part D program will be honored by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy for its effectiveness in expanding access to affordable healthcare and in improving public health.

The Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Medicare Part D program was one of only four student-led community engagement programs to receive the 2013-14 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Student Community Engaged Service Award, a national award sponsored by Teva Pharmaceuticals. The award will be presented on July 29 at the closing banquet of the 2014 AACP Annual Meeting. Winning programs were selected because they deliver important information about medication use to consumers and have been proven to expand access to affordable healthcare and improve public health.

RS42516_Kaiser Health Fair 2014 1Each year during the Medicare Part D open enrollment period (October 15–December 7), student pharmacists participate in an ongoing and multidimensional series of Mobile Medicare Health Clinics that enrich the lives and well-being of seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries in northern/central California. Held in 15 different cities over the past six years, these clinics are targeted to Medicare beneficiaries, the majority of whom are seniors, during the period when they can enroll into or switch their Part D prescription drug plan.

Dr. Rajul Patel ’01, ’06 is the faculty advisor for the program. The student team leader for this grant was Keira Domer ’14 and other student team members included Marise Awad ’14, Shu Lu ’14, Natalie Hajian ’14, Zohal Fazel ’14, Aaron Tran ’14, Janine Lastimosa ’14, Vittoria Ledesma ’14, and Kimberly Kwok ’14. Taking place concurrently with student education and training, faculty work with community partners, such as HUD-subsidized housing complexes, retirement communities and senior centers, to identify host sites for the mobile clinics. They are deployed in a variety of settings to help ensure that students and faculty are able to effectively reach underserved and under-represented populations.

Students provide core clinic services, such as helping patients effectively navigate the healthcare system, better understand their Part D prescription drug benefit, minimize out-of-pocket costs, optimize medication use and avoid vaccine-preventable diseases. In addition, students understand the role that pharmacists, prescribers, the federal government, insurance providers and pharmaceutical companies play in society’s healthcare.RTA_3292

In addition to receiving a commemorative prize, the winning pharmacy schools will each receive $10,000 to be used exclusively to support the expansion of the recognized program or new community engaged service projects at the school. Each team receives a $5,000 financial stipend for enhancing or sustaining the recognized program or for travel support to attend and present their projects at professional meetings. The award also includes a $1,000 stipend for the faculty advisor and up to $2,500 to cover travel, lodging, and registration expenses for one designated student and one faculty advisor to attend the 2014 AACP Annual Meeting.

Learn how students impact the community here.

About AACP
Founded in 1900, AACP is the national organization representing the interests of pharmacy education. AACP is comprised of all accredited colleges and schools with pharmacy degree programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, including more than 6,500 faculty, 62,500 students enrolled in professional programs and 5,100 individuals pursuing graduate study. Learn more: www.aacp.org.


Reprinted with permission from AACP.

Students and Alumni Receives Recognition at 2014 CPhA Conference

Please join us in congratulating our student and alumni who will be formally recognized at the 2014 CPhA West Coast Pharmacy Exchange this weekend. Congratulations to all of the award recipients.

Michael Conner ’12 was named the CPhA Distinguished New Practitioner

Michael Scott Harada ’14 received the CPhA Student Pharmacist of the Year Award

Douglas Hillblom ’78 was recognized at the CPhA Pharmacist of the Year

Michael Pastrick ’73 was named to the CPhA Hall of Fame and Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year

Alicia Yeh ’15 Receives APhA Student Leadership Award

alicia yeh and award
Alicia Yeh ’15 recieving the APhA Student leadership Award

Alicia Yeh ’15 is one of only four students nationwide recognized for their outstanding academic achievements and leadership abilities. Her commitment to excellence and her devotion to the pharmacy profession have manifested in the form of the highly prestigious American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Student Leadership Award of which she is a recipient. Yeh was accepted to the doctor of pharmacy program as a 2+3 pre-pharmacy student and has exemplified her leadership qualities in the many student organizations she is a part of. Entering her final year of pharmacy school, Yeh has already demonstrated her capabilities and is on her way to becoming a front runner in the development of the pharmaceutical industry.

Yeh has clearly earned her place as the APhA Student Leader; she is a great advocate for shared experiences in student organizations throughout campus and has joined several associations to invigorate her academic journey. Yeh says, “There are so many opportunities to get involved at Pacific, and my experiences here have really shaped me to be a better student and leader. I’m always learning and growing, whether in the classroom or during practical outreach.” Yeh has been strongly involved with several on-campus professional organizations such as the Academy of Student Pharmacists (ASP) for which she is Vice President of Professional Affairs. ASP provides opportunities for student pharmacists to get more involved by providing patient care projects, community outreach, and professional development. As VP, Yeh has been able to become a positive example for her fellow colleagues. She shares, “I am touched when first year students tell me I’m the reason they decided to get involved. One student has even called me her ‘pharm role model.’”

Yeh is also the coordinator for SALUD Outreach, an organization that coordinates events that allow the community to receive free health services such as screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. Not only that, but Yeh is also a part of all four pharmacy organizations on campus, the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP), National Community Pharmacist Association (NCPA), American Society of Consultant Pharmacy (ASCP), and Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP). She is also involved with the Rho Chi Honor Society, and the Phi Lambda Sigma National Pharmacy Leadership Society. Yeh doesn’t stop there either; she has also attended several conferences including the NCPA Convention, APhA Annual, and the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) West Coast Pharmacy Exchange. Her participation in these organizations has helped her excel far beyond that of the typical student.

As for being the recipient of the APhA Student Leadership Award, Yeh is overwhelmingly grateful. She says, “I’m so honored to receive this national recognition. It serves as a personal reminder that I’m headed in the right direction. I really enjoy giving back to the School and profession, but each initiative can be a hit or a miss, so it’s nice to know that others appreciate what I’m doing.”

If Yeh could give students some advice, it would be this: “Take advantage of the opportunities presented to you. There are so many ways to make a difference on campus, in the community, and in the professions of pharmacy; all you have to do is get involved.” True to her own words, Yeh has used many of the resources that Pacific has provided to her and urges others to do so as well, “The friends, service opportunities, and leadership that Pacific has provided for me have made my time here priceless.”

Michael Conner ’12 Received 2014 CPhA Distinguished New Practitioner of the Year

Michael Conner resized
Michael Conner ’12

It’s not everyday that a star is born, and yet Michael Conner ’12 has managed to burn brighter than ever. The new recipient of the 2014 California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) Distinguished New Practitioner of the Year award, Conner has gone above and beyond expectations to achieve this great honor, though it hasn’t been an easy road. Conner entered Pacific as a freshman in the pre-pharmacy program in 2005. Before receiving his doctor of pharmacy degree from the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2012, Conner focused on international studies in South Korea at Yonsei University of Seoul. While there, he also managed to find the time to teach English and Christian studies.

The process of becoming the award winner is a long and rigorous one; Conner was first nominated by Emeriti faculty, Ralph Saroyan ’64, the 2010 CPhA, Pharmacist of the Year and 2014 Gloria Niemeyer Francke Leadership Mentor Award recipient. He then had to exemplify leadership in professional, political, and community affairs, all the while being a licensed member of CPhA. As Conner puts it, “the award recipient must first ‘fail forward’ and grow. Next, you need the right support; I owe Pacific a lot for supporting my development throughout the years. They have really created an atmosphere that fosters leadership development.” As the Distinguished New Practitioner, Conner will be attending the West Coast Pharmacy Exchange as a pod leader for CPhA’s Leadership Development Institute. He will be facilitating three programs: CPhA’s Leadership Development Institute Project, an ASP program called “Four Critical Conversations for Effective Leadership” that focuses on communication, and “Prescribing Exercise: The Science Behind Exercise.”

At the Leadership Development Institute (LDI), Conner has learned important life lessons. He explains further, “LDI takes you off auto-pilot and raises your consciousness. I’m much more productive and effective now, and I’m having more fun because I know I’m spending my time on what I choose to do, aligning with my core values…I’ve applied so many tools and lessons from LDI in both my personal and professional life. It forces you to take ownership of your life, then it gives you tools that help enhance your ability to influence others.”

Conner has established his leadership abilities in his career as Target’s Executive Team Leader and Pharmacist. Thanks to Pacific, Conner has become a better leader for his team and for his patients at Target. Pacific has aided Conner in innumerable ways including providing plenty of opportunities for professional growth. Conner clarifies, “My choice to join Phi Delta Chi was probably one of my best. I continue to take advantage of my connections with the chapter and love supporting them as an alumnus.” Not only that, but Conner has Pacific to thank for bringing him and his new fiancé together; when I asked about his greatest achievement thus far, Conner replied, “This question is easy for me now. Everything else pales in comparison to the day I chose to follow my heart entirely and propose to my now fiancé, Jennifer Rodriguez ’13.” With his future in sight, Conner has planned to graduate with his Global MBA from Fresno Pacific University. He also hopes to further his involvement with CPhA and LDI, as well as start a fitness trend among pharmacists that encourages them to “walk the walk.” Conner is also training for his first Olympic Triathlon.

Though Conner has achieved many honors, he remains as humble as ever. In regards to winning the CPhA award Conner said, “I have never felt so honored, and I am motivated and energized to do even more.  It’s as if I’m in this life-long journey, and along the way, people I love are encouraging me, running along side me, and helping me along the path.  I really see this as “our” award because of how well my nominators and mentors have contributed to my development.” He also wanted to take the time to thank Shane Herbert, the healthcare business partner at Target, Divya Talajia, who has helped re-energize the local pharmacy association, Grant Lackey and his wife Jennifer West, who he worked with at the California Health Science University, Mike Negrete, who opened his mind to new ways of thinking, Gary Keil and Nancy Alvarez, facilitators for CPhA’s LDI, and lastly, Professor Saroyan, who has become not only a friend and brother, but a father as well.

As a newly distinguished pharmacist and leader, Conner’s advice to prospective students is this: “Time is of the absolute essence; live the life you want now.  Don’t wait until you graduate…or retire. Get involved and grow; it will help you discover what you are truly passionate about and provide you with mentors who will change your life.”

Faculty, Students and Alumni Honored at 2014 APhA Meeting

Shawlien Lie ‘14  received a Certificate of Recognition for serving on the 2013-2014 APhA-ASP National Communications Standing Committee

Linda Kalamkeryan ’15 has been selected to serve on the 2014-2015 APhA-ASP National Communications Standing Committee

Dean Phillip Oppenheimer, PharmD was named as Dean of the Year by APhA

Michael Pavlovich ‘89, PharmD was appointed as Fellow of the APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science

Ralph Saroyan ’64, BS Pharm received the Gloria Niemeyer Francke Leadership Mentor Award

Alicia Yeh ‘15 received the APhA-ASP Student Leadership Award

2012-2013 ASP Pacific Chapter received the APhA-ASP Division A Chapter Achievement Award

Operation Heart and Operation Diabetes was also recognized for winning the Region 8 Awards for Patient Care Initiative