Back to School – Work Hard, Learn with Passion and Enjoy Life with Enthusiasm

I have always loved the start of the new academic year which brings a renewed sense of excitement and energy to the College and the Portland and Biddeford Campuses.  It was exciting to welcome our Class of 2016 to the College in late August.  Orientation was a great two days where our pharmacy students had the opportunity to participate in an interprofessional care program with students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Westbrook College of Health Professions.  It was also great to welcome back our students from the Classes of 2014 and 2015. On occasion we still see members of the class of 2013 as they work closely with pharmacy practice faculty preceptors on their advanced pharmacy practice experiences, often coming back to the College for presentations and other activities.  While we welcome the new academic year, I want to share an exciting photograph from our UNE COP Night at the Ballpark that occurred prior to the start of the school year.  It was great fun to see the UNE COP name in lights on the Big Board, not to mention seeing the Seadogs win followed by excellent fireworks.  At every opportunity, I try to remind our students, faculty and staff that it is my expectation that we all work hard, learn with passion and enjoy life with enthusiasm as I believe this is a recipe for success both professionally and personally.

September is the time for the Fall Maine Pharmacy Association (MPA) Meeting held each year in Bangor Maine.  The College of Pharmacy continues to play an important role in shaping role for MPA in advancing pharmacy patient care. I want to recognize three of our pharmacy practice members who are currently serving on the Board of Directors for the MPA. Dr. Kenneth (Mac) McCall, Chair of Pharmacy Practice, is serving as the President of the Maine Pharmacy Association with his colleagues Dr. Meghan Sullivan and Mr. Bob Morrissette as fellow board members. Dr. Sullivan and Dr. McCall provided excellent presentations on MTM and an Immunization Update, respectively. Bob Morrissette was responsible for the development of the overall meeting program which was excellent and was attending by over 100 pharmacists, technicians and students.  Thank you Bob, Mac and Meghan for your commitment and leadership in advancing pharmacy and pharmacist care in Maine. You are truly outstanding role models for our students as they see you taking an active and dynamic role in enabling pharmacists to advance their practice opportunities in our ever changing health care system.

As the new academic year is off to a quick start, I cannot help but reflect on how fast time has flown over the last two years.  It truly has been a wonderful opportunity and privilege to work with the many talented students, faculty and staff in the College of Pharmacy and at the University of New England over this period (which just seems like last week – I can still remember the first day in September 1, 2010 and how the individuals in the College were so welcoming and how nervous I was walking into the Dean’s Office).  The UNE COP and its continued successes are a result of the efforts of an outstanding team of individuals who see more, want more, work harder and are incredibly dedicated to outstanding pharmacy education, advancing scholarship in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, socio-administrative and clinical sciences; and advancing the role that pharmacists must and can play in patient care. Our success is also a function of our dedicated and committed preceptors for their role in educating students during the introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences.  A very, very special thank you to our preceptors! It is great to have you as a member of our College of Pharmacy family and team. We are also very thankful for all the donors and friends of the College who enable us to achieve our goals through supporting students with scholarships, for travel to professional meetings and for research and scholarly activities.

It is exciting to realize that each of us is working collectively with the goal of educating pharmacists for your team. I think we have a great start to providing outstanding pharmacists who can effectively work in any team setting based upon what has occurred in the College over the last few years.  I have always kept in my heart the words of Mahatma Gandhi reminding us that “the future depends on what you do today.”  Each day is indeed a gift that we should never take lightly and should do the best to ensure the success of others and our communities.  Best wishes for a wonderful academic year and magnificent start of the fall season!

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