Student Pharmacists Host Carnival for Elementary Students

The Children’s Awareness Carnival began in 1991 with the American Heart Association “Jump Rope for Heart” program and has been held annually on campus for a number of years. On Thursday, May 1st, the Children’s Awareness Committee (CAC) invited 212 fifth grade students from Title I schools in the Stockton and Lodi Unified School Districts onto the pharmacy and health sciences (PHS) campus for an all-day event filled with engaging educational activities.

CAC 2 resizedThe morning portion consisted of indoor activities. The students split up into seven groups which rotated through seven stations, some of which included sheep heart dissections with the American Heart Association, smoking cessation and lung awareness with the American Lung Association, and an exercise and breakdancing activity organized by Kappa Psi. At the conclusion of the morning rotations, the students were then free to explore the carnival which was outdoors on the PHS lawn. With luau-inspired decorations, music, fire drill demonstrations, face painting, and much more, the kids had plenty of activities to learn about health-related topics, engage with their friends as well as with the volunteers, and win numerous prizes to take home. Although the students did not want to leave, the event ended around 1:45 p.m. and the buses headed home by 2 p.m.

Students engage in a stretching exercise.
Students engage in a stretching exercise.

The tradition of the Children’s Awareness Carnival continues annually because of the immense opportunity it gives to the students in the local community. The CAC is sometimes the first and possibly the only field trip that these students will experience, which is why the Committee strives to conduct such a large and all-inclusive event. With 28 participating student committees and organizations, we were able to encourage 140 student volunteers, not only from the pharmacy program but also from the dental hygiene and the speech-language pathology programs to participate. The Children’s Awareness Committee strives to make the carnival better each year, and we could not have done it without the support of the faculty, students, and especially our advisor, Dr. Denis Meerdink. The committee would also like to thank Rite Aid for their generous support. When asked about her favorite part of the Carnival, second year CAC co-chair, Jina Choi ’15, shared, “It’s so rewarding to see everything we’ve been working on all year finally come together and to see the kids absolutely love it.”


Beverly Pappas ‘17 Seeks to Help Patients Through Research

Beverly Pappas resizedExposure to research can provide students opportunities to follow their interests, gain diverse laboratory skills and make contributions to their field of study. While deciding on the next step in her career, Beverly Pappas ‘17 carefully considered programs where she could make an impact on patients and the community. Pappas earned a bachelor of science in biochemistry from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. She is currently enrolled in the doctor of philosophy in Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences Program (PCSP) and also serves as a research assistant under Dr. William Chan, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutics and Medicinal Chemistry.

“I decided to pursue my PhD in pharmaceutics, specifically molecular and cellular biology, because I love the interdisciplinary aspect. After much consideration and support from my family and friends, I realized that I could help more people by uncovering novel aspects of disease states by working in the lab,” said Pappas.

In the research lab, Pappas will be instrumental in the success of Dr. Chan’s current research. Dr. Chan recently received a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a division of the National Institutes of Health, grant of $367,000 to study how the protein known as p23 has the ability to decrease the amount of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in the absence of ligand, a molecule that combines with another. Read more about his research here.

When asked why she chose Pacific, Pappas said, “I wanted the opportunity to be involved and collaborate with peers and professors. Professors at Pacific are readily available to help me.” She says Dr. Chan is a great example of a professor who has exemplary leadership and teaching style and considers him as a mentor. “Dr. Chan has a very interactive and hands-on teaching style and ensures that we have a strong grasp of the concepts and fundamentals while also encouraging independent and critical thinking,” said Pappas.

Pappas also believes that being involved in extracurricular activities is an important component of one’s professional and personal growth. She serves as Vice President on the PCSP Graduate Student Association and as a member on  the Summer Success and Leadership Academy and Black Campus Ministry. “Faith is very important to me and Black Campus Ministry provides a wonderful outlet for young African Americans to study the Bible and grow stronger in our faith.”

Looking towards the future, Pappas hopes to conduct research overseas with the Fogarty International Center in tracking drug resistant tuberculosis in Malawi. She would also like to partner and collaborate with scientific professionals to open an after-school program for young girls to expose them to different areas of science. Similar to her work with the Summer Success and Leadership Academy, this program will also integrate mentoring into the curriculum to support those interested in pursuing a higher education.

Some interesting facts about Pappas are that she loves bacon, is related to Emeka Okafor who plays for the Phoenix Suns as a power forward, and after high school she considered enlisting in the Marine Corps.


Dr. William Chan Receives NIH Grant

william chanDr. William Chan, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutics and Medicinal Chemistry, has received a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for his research titled “Investigating the molecular mechanisms in controlling the aryl hydrocarbon receptor protein levels.” This $367,000 grant is funded over three years.

The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is an important signaling molecule that responds to human exposure to numerous environmental contaminants that are unavoidable in our daily diet and living. Understanding how our body controls the AhR cellular levels and how it affects our bodily response to toxins in the environment is a fundamental part of the research. Dr. Chan has discovered that a protein known as p23 has the ability to decrease the amount of the receptor in the absence of ligand, a molecule that binds to another. This grant will address mechanisms that control the AhR protein levels in human cells.

If successful, researchers will gain a better understanding of how the AhR protein levels are maintained and regulated, which will uncover mechanisms to modulate its functions for better drug design to address complications in cancer, aberrant immune response, stem cell development and more.

Dr. Chan will be working closely with graduate students, doctor of pharmacy students, and possibly pre-pharmacy students to conduct the research. “I am excited about this research but what is undeniably important is that I have the opportunity to expose students to research and get them excited about this field and hope that it will play a role in their career choice,” said Dr. Chan.

Dr. Chan was recently named department chair, effective July 1. He says he looks forward to “creating an environment for faculty to excel in teaching and scholarly activities.”

Dr. Chan has been studying the AhR since 1993 and has received a total of four grants from the institute since 1999.



Honoring Dr. Paul Williams ’74

Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, 
Department of Pharmacy Practice
31 Years of Service 

Williams received his doctor of pharmacy from University of the Pacific in 1974 and his master of science from the University of North Carolina in 1984. He joined the Pacific faculty in 1982. He is a highly accomplished researcher, teacher and thought leader in the area of population pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics model development, validation and application. His significant body of work has been extensively cited—including a paper cited by the Food and Drug Administration—and forms the foundation for much of the current knowledge, education and research in the area of population pharmacokinetics. He received the University Faculty Research Lecture Award in 2006. Williams is also a noted reviewer and editorial board member for journals such as The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Pharmacotherapy and Clinical Pharmacokinetics and has been active in professional organizations, including the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. He is a Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. He has been applauded for his service in all areas and remains a leader in his field.

Honoring Dr. Donald Floriddia ’71

Donald Floriddia1DONALD FLORIDDIA ’71
Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Pharmaceutics and Medicinal Chemistry 
45 Years of Service

Dr. Floriddia joined the Pacific faculty in 1968 and earned his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences at Pacific. Appointed executive director of the Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical fraternity in 1972, he led a complete overhaul of the struggling organization during his tenure. He was awarded an M.S. in Nuclear Pharmacy Fellowship from the USC School of Pharmacy and took a development leave from Pacific in 1974. After completing the program and residency, he co-founded Pharm-Atomic, Inc., the first Centralized Nuclear Pharmacy in California, and wrote the Board of Pharmacy regulations overseeing nuclear pharmacy operations and drug distribution in California. He continued to teach Pacific students in nuclear pharmacy and opened Pharm-Atopes, Inc., a second nuclear pharmacy in San Jose. In 1983 he was appointed chair of Pacific’s Department of Pharmaceutics and Medicinal Chemistry and has served as associate dean of Student and Professional Affairs from 2000 to the present. In 2001, he was invited by Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research of the United Arab Emirates to serve on a review team for the pharmacy program of the Ajman University of Sciences and Technology in Dubai and Fujairah. He has held elected positions in state and national pharmacy organizations and received numerous honors and awards, including induction into the California Pharmacists Association’s Hall of Fame (2010) and the San Joaquin Pharmacists Association’s Hall of Fame (2012).

Honoring Dr. Richard Abood

Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences 
Department of Pharmacy Practice
23 Years of Service

Abood holds a B.S. in Pharmacy and J.D. from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He has worked in both community and hospital pharmacy practice in addition to teaching pharmacy practice at Pacific. Prior to coming to Pacific, he was a professor of Pharmacy Administration at the University of Wyoming and concurrently served for several years as the executive director and legal counsel for the Wyoming Pharmaceutical Association. He has presented and published in the areas of pharmacy and health care law, including the textbook Pharmacy Practice and the Law, now in its 7th edition. In 2000, he received the President’s Award from the American Society for Pharmacy Law for his achievements in the field, and received Pacific’s Eberhardt Teacher/Scholar Award in 2002. He has been active in several state and national pharmacy organizations, including past-president and current board member of the San Joaquin Pharmacists Association, and past president and board member of the American Society for Pharmacy Law. He regularly serves as a consultant on pharmacy law issues to law firms, state and federal governments and pharmacy organizations.

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

Midnight Magic at the Senior Prom

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Prom attendees dance the night away.

American Society of Consultant Pharmacy (ASCP)-Pacific welcomed 60 seniors to the 4th Annual Senior Prom at Pacific on March 14, 2014. It was a wonderful night of music, food, and company as seniors from church groups, senior living homes and community centers in the Stockton area gathered for some “midnight magic.” With the fairytale-like theme and a very fun and successful prom, anyone can be a Prince Charming or a Cinderella if they open their hearts to some magic.

On this very special night, the ballroom was filled with seniors – some who were first timers to the Senior Prom and some who were veterans, having made the Senior Prom a yearly tradition for themselves. Many seniors were impressed with the sit-down dinner buffet made by ASCP-Pacific board members. While a slideshow of photos of ASCP-Pacific’s health outreach events from throughout the year played in the background, seniors dined on appetizers of salami, cheese and crackers as they mingled with other guests and with student volunteers. They also enjoyed feasting on rosemary chicken salad and vegetarian salad as the main course. For a light dessert, the seniors ate fruit and pound cake.

One highlight of the night was undoubtedly the dancing. With their snazzy footwork and smooth twirling, the seniors really showed their talents as they danced to cha-cha, tango, waltz and more. Since many of the seniors take dance lessons and enjoy dancing as a regular hobby, they were willing to teach their skills to students as well. The dance floor was filled with smiles, laughter and excitement.

To commemorate the night, there was a photobooth complete with a starry night sky background for seniors to take photos. Seniors gathered their friends, new and old, to celebrate being young at heart and having fun. The lovely pictures were printed and framed for the seniors to take home so they could capture this magical night.

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ASCP member Jessica Nguyen ’16 having fun at the Senior Prom

Finally, no prom would be complete without the crowning of the prom king and queen. This year, the prom king is Mr. Cecil Rendon. Mr. Rendon has attended the event since its inception. Looking very sporting in his gentleman hat and a trendy, tan-colored blazer, Mr. Rendon is a humorous man who very much deserved the prom king title. When asked what is his favorite part of the night, he answered, without any hesitation, that dancing the night away was the most enjoyable part of his night. Although “Kansas City” is his favorite song, he does have many other favorites and suggested some of them for next year’s Senior Prom.

This year’s Prom Queen title was given to Ms. Virginia P. McDaniel. This is her second time attending this event, with her first time being in 2012. Her favorite part of the night was also dancing. Her eyes lit up as she talked about her favorite types of dancing, which are cha-cha and nightclub-two-step. She, along with many other seniors, considers dancing as good exercise for their health and takes weekly night dance classes. In fact, a few of the seniors are going to dance classes following Senior Prom. When asked what ASCP can improve on for our Senior Prom event, she indicated that she prefers more waltz and box trot style music because those are the easiest to dance to. Lastly, the prom king and queen shared a sweet dance together.

In all, Senior Prom would not have been possible without the help of Academy of Student Pharmacists (ASP)-Pacific and Dr. Donald Florridia ‘71, ASCP-Pacific advisor, Dr. Joseph Woelfel ’70, ’72, ’78, and student volunteers. The annual ASCP-Pacific Senior Prom was made a night to remember by celebrating health and life. It was also a night to show our appreciation for the seniors in the community and bridge the generation gap between students and seniors. It is our hope that Senior Prom continues to bring more students and seniors together every year and build upon the relationship between the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the seniors in our community.



Lambda Kappa Sigma Presents Women’s Health Week

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LKS students learning the art of self defense

Every year in March the Alpha Xi Chapter of Lambda Kappa Sigma (LKS) International Pharmacy Fraternity hosts Women’s Health Week. During this week multiple events were planned to help encourage and promote awareness of women’s health and safety.

This year we were proud to host four events, starting off with a presentation by Alexandra Caspero, a registered dietitian on campus. Students were educated on ways to stay healthy by incorporating simple recipes and healthy alternatives to their busy college lifestyles. Ms. Caspero stressed the value of finding healthier alternatives even when considering fast food. We concluded the event with a raffle where two lucky winners received gift cards to fund and advocate for their journey of healthy eating.

The first year members gave a brief presentation about gestational hypertension. At the end of the presentation green tea packets were distributed to the audience as a way to promote awareness of gestational hypertension and an overall healthy lifestyle, because green tea not only helps to control hypertension during pregnancy, but also possesses many health benefits.

Dr. Neelesh Bangalore, MD, PhD delivered a presentation on cervical cancer and the prevention and treatment of the disease. Over 120 people attended this event and were all engaged by Dr. Bangalore’s knowledge on the subject and great sense of humor.

He highlighted the prevalence of cervical cancer in the US and contrasted it with other countries and shared common concerns patients have regarding cervical cancer. Bangalore provided insight on ways to remedy patients’ concerns, all of which students can apply to practice and ultimately emphasized early prevention of cervical cancer through screening.

Women’s Health Week concluded with a self-defense class led by Ernest Mello from Ronin Jiu-Jitsu. Over 40 students had the opportunity to learn how to identify risks, evaluate their strengths, and explore their options when placed in a threatening situation. Mr. Mello encouraged students to maintain their skills through regular practice and incorporation of the physical strategies into games in order for the techniques to become second nature. At the close of the event, students were empowered with the knowledge and skills in removing themselves from dangerous situations.

Throughout the week, LKS also collected donations for the Women’s Center Youth & Family Services organization. This establishment is San Joaquin’s only provider of shelter and services specifically designed to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homeless and runaway youth. Donations are given to these victims as they are looking for employment and working towards maintaining a sustainable life.

These events would not have been a success without the support and guidance of LKS faculty advisor, Roshanak Rahimian, PhD.


Prominent Stockton Physician Joins Pacific

Dr. Joseph Woelfel
Dr. Joseph Woelfel

The Department of Pharmacy Practice at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is pleased to welcome Dr. Ashok Daftary as the new Patient Care Clinic Medical Director. Dr. Daftary has 37 years of practice in internal medicine and geriatrics. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He joined the Pacific faculty in fall 2013.

“I am privileged to be a part of this University and to create a portal of entry for seniors to Pacific where we hope to help in many ways with their future healthcare,” said Dr. Daftary.

Dr. Daftary, a well-respected Stockton physician, is actively seeing patients in our Clinic. Under a collaborative practice agreement, Pharmacy faculty members and our students, under faculty supervision, now have the opportunity to participate in active patient care. Collaborative practice agreements with Speech-Audiology and Physical Therapy faculty and their students are being discussed. Additionally, Dr. Daftary is providing the “physician’s perspective” to our classroom setting.


Joseph A. Woelfel, Ph.D., FASCP, R.Ph.
Vice Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Director of Pharmaceutical Care Clinics
Coordinator for Geriatric Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences
Associate Professor

Dr. Ed Rogan Joins Department of Pharmacy Practice

Ed RoganThe University of the Pacific’s Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is eager to welcome its newest member, Ed Rogan, to the pharmacy family. Rogan comes to us as an adjunct professor. He earned his bachelor of science in biology from University of Illinois and received his doctor of pharmacy from University of Iowa. Originally from Chicago, Rogan followed his Californian wife to the golden coast to pursue a career as a pharmacy manager and ultimately a tenured pharmacy professor. Over the next five years Rogan hopes to learn as much as he can about the department and how it works as well as get involved with research projects. Rogan states candidly, “I just want to learn as much as I possibly can and use that to teach. There’s really a lot to learn.” Fortunately for him, Rogan has several faculty mentors he looks up to and can connect with. When asked about his relationships with the other department members, Rogan replies, “They’ve all been really helpful. I like their personalities and how everyone works together. Everyone has a really good work ethic, they’re friendly, and dedicated to putting out the best pharmacy students they possible can. I really like the family feel here; Pacific can offer everything a big school can, but they also offer the community feeling.”

Rogan joins Pacific with a wealth of experience, previously working at and independent pharmacy, El Dorado as well as Green Brothers Pharmacy where he was the pharmacy manager and ran the community site for Pacific’s Advance Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) program. APPE provides pharmacy students with hands on experience working in a pharmacy and teaching them how to adapt to different settings. For his precepting work, Rogan received the prestigious Stockton Region Preceptor of the Year award in 2006 for his excellence in facilitating students on rotations.

When asked why he chose to pursue pharmacy as a career, Rogan responds, “I’ve always been interested in science and chemistry. I also really enjoy working with people, and I think pharmacy is a good combination of those three things; I can use my interpersonal skills, my communication skills, and my abilities in science to get good patient outcomes.” Rogan was initially attracted to pharmacy because of his grandmother, who was always having what he calls ‘medication misadventures.’ His grandmother’s difficulty with medication issues triggered his desire to help others who had problems with obtaining and using medications. Rogan was finally pushed into taking the first step when his mentor in pharmacy school helped him to focus on exactly what he wanted to do. Rogan explains, “He really pushed me towards community pharmacy practice, and exposed me to things that nobody else was really doing. He was a very innovative pharmacist and was doing very interesting things, which I found fascinating. That synergy between us really pushed me into being the practitioner I am today. Pharmacy is really a crux between science and human interaction; it gives you the opportunity to work one-on-one with patients. Pharmacy just has a certain thing to it. I love it.”

As a pharmacist dedicated to the wellbeing of his community, Rogan details the pros and cons of working in the field. He states, “The positive things about pharmacy are that you build relationships with people and patients, and you begin to build trust with them and that’s one of the best parts about pharmacy practice. The negative side of pharmacy practice is the economic model; reimbursement rates can be low, so the industry is pushing pharmacists away from patients while pharmacy education is trying to push practitioners towards patients.” Rogan is an advocate for relationship building between patient and practitioner and it is this quality that makes him a great professor; he sincerely enjoys the presence of driven students who are inspired to help the community. Rogan explains, “I haven’t had any classes yet, but I feel that the greatest asset of the students here at Pacific is that they are local. They learn here and stay here because they are invested in the community, which is a really good thing.”

Though Rogan has yet to teach a class at Pacific, he has already developed a core teaching philosophy. He wants to first assess students’ initial knowledge and be able to develop a teaching model that would achieve the outcome of a student learning to master a task and essentially seeing pharmacy as a big picture. He says, “I like using active learning strategies, not just lectures. I want to challenge students and get them thinking about how they can apply the things they learn.”

In addition to his role as a professor of pharmacy, Rogan is a guitarist in a band that has recorded and released three albums, a self-taught artist focusing on drawing and oil paintings, and a photographer in his spare time. His creativity is not only used for art however, he also uses his creativity to design and teach. Explaining further, Rogan says, “By using creativity, I can be entertaining and keep my audience or students engaged, and I think it helps facilitate learning. Also, if I’m trying to solve problems, I can use creativity to approach it from a different angle.”

In regards to his appointment as the new pharmacy professor, Rogan concludes by saying, “Having the opportunity to teach here is a very significant event in my life. Now that I’ve hit this level, I’ve got to keep going. Life is about going upstairs.”

Alicia Yeh ’15 Receives APhA Student Leadership Award

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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.”