Spring at the College of Pharmacy

March came to Portland like a lion this year starting with over ten inches of snow in my backyard, ending with record high temperatures. Recalling the vision of snowfall from my family room window, I am reminded of the quote by Vista M. Kelly who reminds us that “Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but look what they can do when they stick together.”  This led me to think about the many faculty members in our College and across UNE who are helping to lead the way in developing interprofessional education and clinical practice at UNE, across the state of Maine and beyond. UNE is well established for its leadership role in advancing interprofessional educational opportunities for our students and translating this to innovative patient and family care.  Interprofessional interactions of health care providers will lead to patient-centered care with optimized outcomes and minimal costs.  I am very confident that our students clearly show positive characteristics, demonstrating how they can be pharmacists you and others will want on interprofessional teams. UNE Pharmacy students are a reflection of our dedicated and hard working faculty members in addition to our outstanding preceptors who serve as excellent role models for our student pharmacists.

I am reminded of the enthusiasm and power of student pharmacists. I am very excited to report on the American Pharmacists Association meeting in New Orleans. Our College sent twenty two student pharmacists and six faculty members to this conference. It was a thrill to sit in the Academy of Students of Pharmacy meetings where over 2000 student pharmacists from across the country will gather to celebrate their successes, develop policies and elect their national officers.  Anyone who has ever attending one of these conferences cannot help but be inspired and confident about the future success of pharmacy and pharmacy practice given the dedication and enthusiasm of these student pharmacists from across the country.

Spring is a busy time in the College.  We hosted a visit from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) site visit on March 13-14, 2012. We enjoyed sharing reports on the continued successes and progress of the College over the last year.  Our Experiential Education Office is putting the final touches on student placements for our first and second year introductory pharmacy practice experiences as well as the fourth year advanced pharmacy practices experiences for the first time during this month. We are also continuing to interview students for our class of 2016. Our applicant pool remains strong and I am very impressed by the quality and diversity of our students who interview for positions in the College.

Congratulations are in order to many individuals and teams in the area of research at the College.  Dr. Erin Koepf, Dr. Cory Theberge and  Dr. Srinidi Mohan who were selected as recipients of the University of New England Mini-grant program.  The program provides seed funding for faculty members to start promising research projects and is provided by the UNE Office of Research and Scholarship in the Provost Office.  The following College of Pharmacy students and faculty research mentors who are the recipients of the 2012 Emily J. Etherton Charitable Lead Student Research Scholarship.  I want to thank these students and their research mentors who will be conducting these various scholarly projects and the College of Pharmacy Research Committee who developed, implemented and evaluated this program and proposals.  The student recipients, their research mentors and the title of their projects are:


Faculty Member – Department

Pharmacy Student(s)

Project Title

Dr. George Allen – Pharmacy Practice

Clara Ofodile

Evaluation of fluoroquinolone, cephalosporin and macrolide resistance selection in Salmonella choleraesuis, Salmonella paratyphi and Salmonella typhimurium

Dr. Curt Cyr – Pharmaceutical Sciences

Peris Gacheru

Identification of a sperm chemotaxis factor using chimeric G protein coupled receptors and two-electrode voltage clamp in Xenopus oocytes

Dr. Ed Li – Pharmacy Practice

Jacob Baker

Patterns of care with anticancer therapies for patients with metastic renal carcinoma in Maine

Dr. Sri Mohan – Pharmaceutical Sciences

Jorge Bolinaga

L-Arginine paradox: Importance of inward cellular transport mechanism

Dr. Sri Mohan – Pharmaceutical Sciences

Harsh Patel

Superoxide involvement in L-Arginine tolerance after long-term supplementation

Dr. Leslie Ochs – Pharmacy Practice

Samantha Darling

Christine Smelstor

Investigating antipsychotic medication use and prescribing patterns for children and adolescents in the State of Maine

Dr. Paige Parsons – Pharmacy Practice

Cindy Lee

A review of claims data to assess medication adherence and emergency department visits for pediatric asthma patients in Maine from 2007-2009

Dr. Steev Sutton – Pharmaceutical Sciences

Sanh Duong

Predicting the intestinal precipitation of orally administered drugs using in vitro methods

Dr. Christian Teter – Pharmacy Practice

Christopher DiRaimo

Do student’s perceptions drive the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants for purposes of study enhancement among students?

I know students, faculty members and staff members (as well as myself) took a collective sigh of relief and relaxed a little during our spring break. We have started a COP walking group in our efforts to promote health and wellness for faculty and staff members.   I ask you how life can be any better when we have so many exciting things going on in the College.

I hope each of you have a great start to the spring season.  The College remains very appreciative of the support from the many individuals who serve as preceptors, interviewers or friends of the College through our annual campaign. If you are interested in serving as a preceptor or interviewer, please give my office a call at 207-221-4500 or send me a note at gbrazeau@une.edu. I would very much like the opportunity to visit with you and tell you more about our activities in the College. Finally, information about our College’s Annual Campaign can be found at http://www.une.edu/pharmacy/giving.cfm.  Please enjoy the start of your spring season!

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