Fall Updates from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

For the fall issue of Blue, the Alumni Insider, we asked Renae Chesnut, Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, about what’s happening in CPHS. Here’s what she had to say.

What’s new?
Our first class of OTD students graduated in the spring with a 100% on-time graduation rate. Our PharmD graduates were number one in the Midwest and number three nationwide for the residency placement rate. CPHS is also starting a master’s level certificate in evidence-based healthcare—a 10 credit, 100% completely online program comprised of three courses and a practicum.

What has been a highlight of the semester so far?
Our first class of athletic training students began this fall. We have developed a curriculum that prepares students for the future of the AT profession—it will meet the 2020 standards and provides education and training in areas that AT programs have not taught previously. Our AT students will also be able to add distinction to their degrees with the completion of concentrations like MTBI—mild traumatic brain injury (concussions), pharmacology, evidence-based medicine, leadership, and nutrition.

Tell us what you’re celebrating.
Associate professor of pharmacology Brian Gentry and Marc Busch, associate professor and chair of the biology department received a $390,000 research grant from Merck to study letermovir, an antiviral drug. Leading up to the grant application and award, Brian published an article with ideas on how terminase inhibitor drugs work in the journal Antiviral Research and Kylie Markovich, PH’19, presented a research poster at 31st Annual International Conference on Antiviral Research (ICAR) in Porto, Portugal in June 2018 where she met Cam Douglas, a researcher for Merck. These bodies of research led to an eventual successful grant application in collaboration with Marc. The funding will be applied to a three-year project that will involve several student researchers and allow for the hire of a full-time researcher to carry out the work. Read more.

In addition to high accomplishment rates, residency match rates, and board pass rates for graduates in all of our programs, we will also be opening a new flexible, state-of-the art simulation laboratory teaching space that will have multiple small rooms outfitted with cameras, high fidelity manikins, and more. The laboratory can be set up as a patient care space simulating hospital rooms or medical office examination rooms.

We are also celebrating that two of our faculty have been accepted into national leadership development programs—Michelle Bottenberg (pharmacy) and Rachelle Allen-McHugh (OTD). Also, Eliza Dy-Boarman has been selected as a national teaching scholar. Kim Huey has been appointed a fellow in the American Physiological Society.

And for fun:
What’s your one-sentence elevator pitch for Drake?
Drake is the best of both worlds—large enough to have a large number of majors and multiple opportunities for students to be involved in and have experience—balanced with the feel of a smaller school environment where one can become involved because there aren’t hundreds of other students doing so, and the faculty get to know the students.

Favorite spot on campus or the surrounding Drake neighborhood?
My new favorite spot on campus is in the Science Connector Building, room 301. It overlooks the Drake stadium and has a great view, especially when football or the Drake Relays are happening!

What is your favorite piece of Drake memorabilia or clothing?
I have a license plate in my office that states ’NUTS4DU’. I also have a photo collage that I received from the Missouri Valley conference after my service as Drake’s faculty athletics representative. The collage has several photos of CPHS student-athlete standouts as well as some of the teams that advanced in their respective NCAA championships during my 17 years of service as the Faculty Athletics Representative.

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