Six More Weeks of Winter

Well it looks like Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow suggesting six more weeks of winter. Regardless of whether our weather is good or bad in your estimation, I think the important element is to enjoy each day offered to us and to share that enthusiasm with others personally and professionally. The momentum of the spring 2012 semester has been set by a fast paced start for students, faculty and staff. There is a palpable excitement in the halls of our Pharmacy building as we are in the middle of an active interviewing season for the class of 2016, current students are busy with lecture, laboratory and small group based courses and student organizations are engaged in a wide variety of activities such as professional development programs, service activities, social events and fundraising projects. We are looking forward to welcoming new members to Kappa Psi Professional Fraternity was well as starting other organizations such as Phi Lambda Sigma and a student chapter of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.  Faculty members are engaged in various research projects with students at their side. Clinical faculty members are getting ready in their practice sites for our advanced pharmacy practice rotations which start this May.  Faculty and staff are finishing our Self-Study report in preparation for our next Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education site visit in mid-March. My current semester is really exciting in that it includes teaching an elective pharmacy course on leadership and professional development to sixteen students.

The College hosted a wonderful evening showcasing our current status and the chance for faculty and students to interact with the members of our Dean’s Kitchen Cabinet on January 24, 2012. In preparation for this meeting each department developed a listing of faculty member’s research interests. If you are interested in obtaining this list, please call or send an e-mail and I will be happy to send you this listing.  I want to thank the members of our Dean’s Kitchen Cabinet, Joe Bruno, Doug Carr, Jim Cattin, Dennis Eagleson, Jean Hoffman, Miriam Leonard, Bill Miller, Mark Polli and Mike Takach for taking the time to attend this evening and to meet with our students, faculty and staff.

It is hard to believe that our first class will be starting their advanced pharmacy practice experiences in less than four months. I am very impressed with their enthusiasm and level of preparation for their upcoming rotations. You can easily sense their excitement, but also a little bit of trepidation, as they realize they will soon be working side by side with their preceptors in providing direct patient care and will be spread to the four winds for these rotations at our many affiliated sites.  The Office of Experiential Education is very busy with the necessary preparations which will allow the successful placement of first and second professional year students in introductory pharmacy practice experiences and placement of fourth professional year students in advanced pharmacy practice experiences.

One new event for this spring semester is the UNE Pharmacy Career Fair that will be held on March 27, 2012 at the Italian Heritage Center. This Career Fair will provide students in all three classes to the opportunity to meet and talk with potential employers during an open morning session. In addition, third year professional students will have the opportunity for a mock interview with these employers during the afternoon session. We believe that as a College will need to guide and assist our students in their knowledge and skills as it relates to the interviewing process since this is the critical first step in providing pharmacists you will want on your team. If you are interested in participating in this Career Fair, please contact Dr. Jean Woodward, our Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions, at 207-221-4500 or at woodward1@une.edu or Mr. Jeff Nevers, University of New England, Career Services Coordinator – Portland Campus at 207-221-4237 or jnevers@une.edu.

 We continue our efforts as a College and University to seek support for our annual campaign, student scholarships and endowed scholarships.   I have been actively meeting with various individuals and groups in order to develop new and innovative scholarships and support for our students.  I would be happy to talk with you to provide a current update on these various efforts. If you would like to know specifically more about our annual campaign, please visit http://www.une.edu/pharmacy/giving.cfm.

Finally, I would like to share a recent reflection based upon a book that I am current reading. Dr. Srikumar S. Rao in his book “Happiness at Work – Be Resilient, Motivated and Successful – No Matter What” reminds us that we need to break the link in the “if-then” cycle. Specifically we need to realize that “if it” happens this is terrific and “if it” does not happen, it can still be terrific but perhaps in another direction that you did not even envision.   I do believe this is the way to look at each day. If we embrace this philosophy, we will find that each day is full of new opportunities and wonderful surprises, forming the foundation for a joyous life of happiness and discovery.  I hope you, your family, friends and colleagues are continuing to enjoy a happy 2012 with lots of new and exciting discoveries and activities.

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