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Faculty Students

2020 in review: Pharmacy community continued to bring home top accolades

School community suited up for the challenges 2020 brought

Author SOP Communications | Publish Date December 29, 2020
When the novel coronavirus began to spread in Colorado and across the nation and world, students, faculty and staff suited up for a year unlike any other.

From faculty who worked on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic to researchers who worked on treatments for COVID-19 to the students who prepared to play a vital role in vaccine distribution, the CU Pharmacy community proved it could make an impact on health in dire circumstances.

Even through a year of challenges, the work didn’t stop. In classrooms, rotations, labs, hospitals and clinics, students and faculty continued to bring top accolades to the school.

Here are some award and leadership highlights from CU Pharmacy in 2020:

  • The ALSAM Foundation provided an initial grant, along with support from the Chancellor’s Office and CU Pharmacy, will fund a major new robotic high throughput/high content screening and imaging instrument which could cut drug discovery time in half.
  • The January 2020 issue of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences was dedicated to Professor John Carpenter, PhD, and CU Boulder Professor Ted Randolph, PhD. Dr. Carpenter was also awarded the school’s Innovation in Science Award.
  • Former Development Director Sheldon “Shelly” Steinhauser reflected on marching to Montgomery in 1965 as CU Pharmacy renewed its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)
  • CU Pharmacy faculty members and researchers Jed Lampe, PhD, Philip Reigan, PhD, and Shaodong Dai, PhD, teamed up to work on new antiviral treatments for patients with COVID-19.
  • Faculty members shared their experiences from working on the coronavirus pandemic frontlines.
  • Students rolled up their sleeves to prepare to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Thanks to advocacy work by CU Pharmacy faculty members, pharmacists are now able to prescribe and administer HIV prevention therapy in Colorado. Through continuing education, the school is training pharmacists to provide the treatment.
  • CU Pharmacy became the first in Colorado to offer graduate-level cannabis education in the form of a continuing education offering in Medical Cannabis Education for Health Care Providers, a Graduate Certificate in Cannabis Science and Medicine and a Master’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences: Cannabis Science and Medicine Specialty Track.
  • Associate Professor Krishna Mallela, PhD, partnered with his daughter as she designed artwork for research from his lab for the cover of the ACS Omega Journal. The research, led by Postdoctoral Fellow Vaibhav Upadhyay, PhD, was featured in the February 2020 issue.
  • Professor Jennifer Trujillo, PharmD, was named the Council of Faculties Chair-elect for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (ACCP).
  • Alumna Sandra Leal, PharmD, (Class of 1999) was recognized with CU Pharmacy’s Excellence in Pharmacy Award. Leal, the president-elect of the American Pharmacists Association, rung the Nasdaq opening bell on behalf of Tabula Rasa HealthCare, where she is Executive Vice President.
  • Dean Ralph Altiere, PhD, was named chair of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Education Initiative (FIPEd), which ensures that pharmacy education provides the foundation for developing pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical services and the profession to meet societal needs for medicine expertise.
  • Professor Sunny Linnebur, PharmD, was named the CU Pharmacy’s Faculty Member of Distinction.She was also appointed to the American Board of Internal Medicine Geriatric Medicine Specialty Board. In addition, Dr. Linnebur was named Pharmacist of the Year by the Colorado Pharmacists Society (CPS).
  • Professor Ty Kiser, PharmD, was the recipient of the CU Anschutz President’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
  • Associate Dean for Academic Affairs David Thompson, PhD, was recognized with the CU Anschutz Chancellor’s Teaching Recognition Award.
  • Alumnus Jim Sajbel, RPh, was recognized as CU Pharmacy’s Distinguished Coloradan. The honor is the school’s most prestigious award and is bestowed annual by the faculty to individuals who have excelled in their own professional careers and who have provided exception support to the school and the profession of pharmacy.
  • Assistant Professor Vanessa Phelan, PhD, received the Doctoral Mentoring Award from the CU Anschutz Graduate School.
  • Associate Professor Laura Saba, PhD, received the Faculty Excellence in Mentoring/Advising Award from the Colorado School of Public Health.
  • The CU Pharmacy Ambulatory Care Post Graduate-Year 2 residency, led by Professor and Department of Clinical Pharmacy Vice Chair Joe Saseen, PharmD, won two 2019 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Residency Excellence Awards. The Ambulatory Care Program won the organization’s overall Program Award. 
  • Additionally, Associate Professor Joel Marrs, PharmD, was presented with the ASHP Preceptor Award for his contributions to the residency program.
  • Saseen was named president of the National Lipid Association (NLA). He was also awarded the Daniel B. Smith Practice Excellence Award by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). The award recognizes pharmacy practitioners in any practice setting who have distinguished themselves in the profession through outstanding performance and achievements.
  • Assistant Professor Sara Wettergreen, PharmD, was recognized by APhA with the Distinguished New Practitioner Award. The award recognizes new practitioners within their first five years of practice who have demonstrated distinctive achievements in mentorship, service and commitment to the profession of pharmacy.
  • Associate Professor Sarah Anderson, PharmD, (Class of 2007) was awarded Fellow of ASHP. This recognition is awarded to pharmacists who have excelled in pharmacy practice and distinguished themselves through service and contributions to ASHP. With the award, Anderson joins an elite group of 957 pharmacists nationwide. Anderson was also selected as this year’s recipient of the 2020 Adult Medicine PRN Mentoring Award.
  • CU Pharmacy alumnus and benefactor Henry Strauss (Class of 1951) and his wife, Joan, were among the top honorees at the annual CU Anschutz Benefactor Recognition Dinner.
    The Strauss family, namesakes of the Strauss Health Sciences Library on campus, are passionate about integrative medicine. Their contributions to the Florence G. Strauss-Leonard A. Wisneski Indigenous and Integrative Medicine Collection ensure students have access to the learn about the field.
  • Professor Peter Anderson, PharmD, was selected by his peers to receive the John and Barbara Shell Prize in Research and Graduate Education, one of the highest honors given by CU Pharmacy.
  • Associate Professor Scott Mueller, PharmD, was awarded the Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Teaching Award. He was also elected an ACCP Fellow. Dr. Mueller is one of 21 ACCP members from across the nation recognized for this distinction by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.
  • Alumna Debra Devereaux, PharmD, (Class of 1976), received the Bowl of Hygeia Community Service Award from CPS. The award is given annually to a member who has made considerable contributions to their communities. Devereaux was also the first recipient of the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes CU Pharmacy graduates for distinguished contributions to the practice of pharmacy and demonstrated major accomplishments in the profession of pharmacy or pharmaceutical research and development.
  • Alumnus Kevin Kerr, PharmD, (Class of 2011), was the first recipient of the CU Pharmacy Horizon Alumni Award, which honors recent CU Pharmacy graduates within the last 10 years who have made outstanding contributions to the practice of pharmacy or demonstrated potential for major accomplishments in pharmacy practice or significant contributions in pharmaceutical research and development.
  • Recent graduate Kelli Rourke, PharmD, (Class of 2020) was named the CPS Student Pharmacist of the Year. The award is presented to a student who has shown dedication to advancing the profession.  
  • The Office of Experiential Programs announced recipients of 2020 preceptor awards: Ben Chavez, PharmD, was named Outstanding Preceptor of the Year; alumna Jennifer Friend, PharmD, (Class of 2003), received the Excellence in Precepting for Health-System Pharmacy Award; Ryan Ray, PharmD, received the Excellence in Precepting for Community Pharmacy Award; Associate Professor Allison Blackmer, PharmD, received the award for Excellence in Precepting for Ambulatory Care Pharmacy; and the Pharmacy Admissions Specialist (PAS) Team at University of Colorado Hospital received the Office of Experiential Service Award.
  • Alumnus Robert Willis, PharmD, (Class of 2007) was awarded the Community Pharmacy Residency Excellence in Precepting Award from the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). The award recognizes a community pharmacy residency director or preceptor who has demonstrated excellence in precepting, mentoring, leadership and community pharmacy residency program administration.
  • Assistant Professor Ashley Glode, PharmD, completed the Integrative Oncology Scholars Program. The program was a yearlong training culminating in a capstone project that examined integrative medicine supplements used in cancer patients treated at UCHealth.
  • Professor Cindy O'Bryant, PharmD, was named the deputy chair of the University of Colorado Cancer Center Protocol Review Monitoring System (PRMS).
  • Senior Instructor Hilda Bi Ndikum, PharmD, was recognized as the Distance Degrees and Programs’ Educator of the Year. This award is based on outstanding performance in educating pharmacy students in the International-Trained PharmD Program based on student feedback and nominations.
  • Associate Professor Toby Trujillo, PharmD, was chosen as this year’s recipient of the Cardiology Practice and Research Network (PRN) Service Award from the Cardiology PRN, part of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP). This national recognition honors his continued service to the PRN and ACCP over his career.
  • Assistant Professor Paul Reynolds, PharmD, was featured as an ACCP Critical Care PRN Member Spotlight. The feature highlights his education and training as well as his involvement with the Pharmacy Research Network (PRN).
  • Associate Professor Melanie Joy, PharmD, PhD, was selected as one of 57 presenters from across the nation to participate in Equalize 2020, a pitch competition and symposium designed to take national action around the disparity of women academic inventors forming university startups. Dr. Joy’s startup is Katharos, Inc. and her technology pitch focused on an extracorporeal device for optimizing phosphate control in hemodialysis.
  • Postgraduate Year Two (PGY2) residents Julie Farrar, PharmD, (Critical Care Pharmacy Residency) and Emily Sartain, PharmD, (Solid Organ Transplant Residency), are serving as at-large members of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Resident Advisory Committee. Student Kristine Yee was selected as Vice Chair of the National Student Network Advisory Committee.

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