Renae Chesnut, dean of Drake’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, was the recipient of two prestigious awards at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s (AACP) annual meeting July 21—25 in Boston.

Dean Renae Chesnut
Dean Renae Chesnut received the James Robertson, Jr. Leadership Excellence Award

Chesnut received the James Robertson, Jr. Leadership Excellence in Student Services Award, and the inaugural Sustained Contribution to Administrative Practice in Pharmacy Education Award.

Both awards recognize Chesnut’s outstanding commitment to pharmacy education. The James Robertson, Jr. Award recognizes an outstanding individual who has demonstrated leadership excellence in student services throughout his or her career. The award honors Chesnut’s commitment and leadership to the development of student services and programming at Drake as well as nationally through efforts that enhances students’ success, professional development, and increases diversity and interest in the pharmacy profession.

The award for sustained contribution to administrative practice in pharmacy education recognizes Chesnut’s work over the past several years in the creation of the Association’s Administrative Services Section, an interdisciplinary forum for pharmacy education faculty and staff in administrative positions.

In a supporting nomination letter, Drake University Provost Sue Mattison praised Chesnut noting that she is “an extraordinary leader of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Dr. Chesnut’s long and dedicated service to students in the College is testament of her commitment to facilitating students’ achievement, and is key to the outstanding success and reputation of the program. She is most worthy of these award recognitions.”

“I am humbled to have received these awards,” shared Chesnut. “I had the opportunity to know and work with James Robertson, Jr., which makes it a great honor to have received the award that continues his legacy of championing student success.”

Chesnut began her academic career at Drake 25 years ago, serving as director of student services, assistant dean, associate dean, and now dean of CPHS. She has been instrumental in the development and implementation of several initiatives that have enhanced the College’s reputation. These initiatives include implementing the Health Sciences, Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) and Master’s in Athletic Training (AT) programs, as well as the pre-professional OTD and AT programs; supporting the creation of joint degree programs, including the PharmD/MPA, PharmD/MBA, and PharmD/JD; and facilitating the work of the DELTA Rx Institute, which promotes entrepreneurial leadership in pharmacy. Chesnut’s service to AACP has included chairing the AACP Student Services Special Interest Group, and the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) Advisory Council.  She has also served as the inaugural chair of both the Association’s Student Affairs Committee, and the Administrative Services Section.