April 10, 2018: The University of Georgia College of Pharmacy
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PharmDawgs Flip the Tassel

in Commencement Ceremony 

Congratulations to the 128 members of the Pharm.D. Class of 2018, who recently graduated from the UGA College of Pharmacy! These new alumni proudly walked across the stage at the UGA Performing Arts Center on April 28 in front of crowd of almost 1,000 family and friends. Along with greetings and well wishes from Dean Svein Øie, classmate Christina Huynh offered an invocation, and Class President Justin Joy provided reminiscent remarks. Associate Dean George Francisco led the students in the Oath of a Pharmacist, and later hooded the graduates, with help from Dr. Brian Seagraves, Academic Professional Associate, and Dr. Duc Do, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Before the recessional, the group was inducted into the college’s Alumni Association by Andre Mackey, president of the Alumni Council. To view the Commencement ceremony, click here

On the evening prior to the Commencement, the Class of 2018 and their families attended the college’s annual senior banquet. As Master of Ceremonies, classmate Michelle Vu introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Russ Mumper, UGA Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Various student and preceptor awards were presented, and senior superlatives, voted on by class members, added levity to the evening. The banquet was highlighted by the dedication of the Georgia Pharmacist Magazine in honor of Dr. Brian Seagraves. Photos of the evening can be viewed here.

Glory, Glory to B.S. Graduates

Congrats to our 24 graduates of the Pharmaceutical Sciences bachelor's program! The Class of 2018 participated in a Convocation ceremony at the College of Pharmacy on Friday. The photos are highlights from the afternoon's festivities. We are proud of you!

Ronald Jones from Augusta is a STAR

Dr. Susan Fagan, assistant dean at the College of Pharmacy’s Augusta campus, presents the STAR Award to Ronald Jones.

Congratulations to Ronald Jones, IT professional at the Augusta campus, who is the 1st quarter 2018 STAR (Service, Teamwork, Attitude, Reliability) Award recipient at the College of Pharmacy.  Employed with the college for a year and a half, Ronald is responsible for technology and connectivity for the academic environment in Augusta.

Ronald received the ultimate compliment: he was nominated for this award by a student, who remarked, “Ronald comes to our rescue with a smile and exemplifies excellent service every day.  Though his primary responsibilities lie within technology, Ronald is a resource for any and everything, whether it is a pep talk before a test, a “How’s your day going?” inquiry in the middle of the afternoon, or “How’s your rotation been?” when we haven’t seen him in a while.  He knows all of our names, and he makes students feel comfortable approaching him with anything.”

Ronald is father to three children, ages 29, 14 and 5.  Outside of work, he enjoys health and fitness, and reading.

Applause, applause, Ronald!  We are proud of you!

Biggest Loser Challenge Concludes

The results are in and the winner of the 2018 Biggest Loser Challenge is...Toni Phelabaum! In 13 weeks, Toni lost 8.82 percent of her body weight. Gloria Strait came in second place, losing 2.83 percent of her body weight while Jennifer Caplinger came in third place, losing 2.59 percent of her body weight. Congratulations to all the participants!

Online UGA Course Fulfills New

Prescribers' CME Requirement 

The College of Pharmacy’s Office of Continuing Professional Development and Outreach is offering an online ‘Controlled Substance Education for Prescribers and Pharmacists’ course that fulfills the new Georgia Composite Medical Board requirement for “physicians who maintain an active DEA license and prescribe controlled substances”. The 3-hour program was developed specifically to address controlled substance prescribing and dispensing practices. The course features Susan Blank, M.D., and Tennent Slack, M.D., the co-chairs of the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation’s ‘Think About It’ initiative to reduce prescription drug misuse in the state. CoP’s Merrill Norton, PharmD, and Ken Duke, RPh, MBA, provide strategies to identify misuse, treatment options, and a legislative update. Group discounts are available for health systems and large practices. Contact Elise Martin at or 706.542.6232 with questions. Dr. Trina von Waldner, Director of Continuing Professional Development and Outreach, is the course coordinator.

Click for course overview or to register.

Faculty Accolades & Honors


Dr. George Zheng, associate professor, and Dr. Alvin Terry, regents professor,  co-authored a paper titled “Mass spectrometric quantitation of tubulin acetylation from pepsin-digested rat brain tissue using a novel stable isotope standard and capture by anti-peptide antibody (SISCAPA) method” that can be read here.
Dr. Scott Pegan, associate professor, received the 2017 Outstanding Achievement in Invention and Innovation Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for one of his inventions, an attenuated live vaccine for Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus and Erve Virus. Congratulations! Dr. Pegan also is the new Director of the Drug Discovery Core Center at UGA.
Dr. Stephanie Phan, clinical associate professor, has been selected as a 2018 ASCP Annual Meeting New Investigator Award (NIA) recipient.  The New Investigator Award Program is specifically designed for individuals who are new to the field and have not been the Principal Investigator on an R01 grant. The program exposes awardees to the breadth of opportunities available to clinical researchers, introduce them to potential senior investigators from other institutions, and facilitate the establishment of an international peer group for the New Investigators. 
The ASCP Annual Meeting will be held May 29 – June 1, 2018, in Miami Beach, Florida. This year’s meeting will feature special sessions around the theme of “Treatment of Psychiatric Illness Across the Lifespan.”
Dr. Houjian Cai, assistant professor, received a budget of over $3 million from the National Institutes of Health for a five year project in which he serves as a co-principal investigator. The project is titled "Heparan Sulfate in Prostate Cancer"
Additionally, Dr. Cai is invited to give a presentation titled "Biosynthesis of acyl-CoAs sustains prostate cancer progression" at the Experimental Biology 2018 Symposium in San Diego on April 23.
Dr. Ashley Hannings, public service assistant, was appointed to serve on the 2018-2019 American Pharmacists Association—Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management Education Standing Committee. Her term is currently effective and will last until the APhA Annual Meeting in 2019. Congratulations!
Dr. Somanath Shenoy, professor, recently served on the American Heart Association Career Development Grant Study Section. Dr. Shenoy also attended the Translational Science meeting in Washington D.C. at which he participated in the Capitol Hill Advocacy program to meet with Georgia senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson to advocate for an increase in federal research funding for clinical and translational research.
Additionally, he served in the Speed Mentoring program as a mentor to meet with trainees to discuss career options in Clinical and Translational Science, and participated in the directors’ meeting for career development under CTSAs.
Dr. Shenoy on his visit to Capitol Hill.

Media Mania


College of Pharmacy faculty members Dr. Matt Perri, Dr. Jayani Jayawardhani and Dr. Henry Young are featured in an article on opioid abuse in the latest issue of UGA's Research Magazine. Be sure to read this important article on an escalating community health crisis.
The College of Pharmacy was mentioned in an article published by UGA Today on its efforts to aid Georgia with the opioid crisis. To read the full article, click here.
Augusta University published an article featuring Dr. Susan Fagan, assistant dean at the Augusta campus, and an experimental compound that may improve stroke outcomes. Read the article here
Dr. Randy Tackett,  professor, was interviewed by UGA Grady News Source, on naloxone, a life saving medication used to treat narcotics overdose in emergency situations. The Barrow County and Winder Police Departments currently are going through training on the appropriate use of naloxone. Read the story here.

Students: The Heart of CoP


The University of Georgia recently held its Presidential Honors Week Luncheon. Honors Week was established in 2011 to encompass a range of activities honoring students, faculty and alumni designated to celbrate the teaching research and service mission of the university and bring student success to the forefront. Clinton Rogers, a fourth year CoP student, was the recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence for the College of Pharmacy. Congratulations to Clinton who serves as an excellent representation of the college!
On March 31, American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists held its annual Multicultural Health Fair at the Pendergrass Flea Market in Jefferson, Georgia. P1 volunteers walked with patients through each stage of the health fair and helped them fill out their paperwork. P2 and P3 volunteers provided point of care testing and patient education. We also partnered with Dr. Seagraves, the Athens Clarke County Department of Public Health, and Live Forward to provide HIV and Hepatitis C testing. In addition, our Operations presented posters on their respective topics to provide additional patient education. Overall, approximately 50 patients were seen in our point of care testing and 25 patients were tested for HIV and Hepatitis C. Thank you to all of our faculty and APhA-ASP members who volunteered their Saturday to help provide care for the patients we saw and make the event a success!
This year, the course coordinators for PHRM 5920 Clinical Seminar would like to recognize the following P3 students who were deemed by a minimum of two faculty members as having delivered a "Satisfactory with Distinction" clinical seminar this year: 
Dr. Trina von Waldner with students at Camp Blue skies.
Ten pharmacy students volunteered to assist with medication reconciliation and unit dose packaging for participants at Camp Blue Skies this spring. Under the supervision of Dr. Trina von Waldner, students received medications from parents and caregivers, verified medication regimens, completed medication administration records and packaged more than 1,000 dosage regimens for 40+ campers. Three students stayed overnight and worked with nursing staff to managing the routine medication administration processes.
Camp Blue Skies provides 5-day, 4-night sessions for adults with developmental disabilities, including Down Syndrome and mild to moderate Autism. Along with recreational and outdoor activities available to the campers, Camp Blue Skies offer activities to increase camper's independence. Campers have opportunities to challenge themselves in a safe environment and to enhance their interests and abilities while developing their social skills. 

CoP students have been matched with residencies, with a match rate of 74 percent which exceeds the Georgia and national average of 56.6 percent and 64.2 percent, respectively. To view a list of the matches, click here.

Mohammed Sayed with his award, flanked by his two mentors, Dr. Adviye Ergul (left) and Dr. Susan Fagan (right).
Mohammed Sayed, third year graduate student in Dr. Fagan’s laboratory, won the 2018 Excellence in Research Award for the Program in Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics. His poster was entitled, “Long Term Post-Stroke Cognitive Impairment: The Effect of Hypertension” and the award was presented at the Graduate Research Day banquet at Augusta University on April 12, 2018. Congratulations on your award, Mohammed!
Two incoming Pharmaceutical Health Services, Outcomes, and Policy graduate students, Palok Das and Rupal Trivedi, have been accepted into the Graduate Scholars Leadership, Engagement and Development Program (GS LEAD) sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and administered by the Graduate School. 

The GS LEAD Program offers incoming doctoral students an innovative and enriching perspective to graduate education. The spirit behind this NSF-funded program is to provide students with a stimulating, interactive, professional and immersive experience in a broad range of skills including leadership development, interdisciplinary problem-solving and community engagement as students begin the doctoral program.

The Student Diabetes Club released the April issue of their newsletter "Diabetes in Focus. To read it, click here.

Calendar of Events

5/28: Memorial Day
UGA closed for Memorial Day.

7/27-29: Georgia Society of Health-System Pharmacists Summer Meeting
Amelia Island, FL

This is the largest of the three GSHP statewide meetings. Students have the opportunity to attend CE presentations, network with pharmacists, and enjoy the beach! This event also features student specific programming with both a residency panel and a luncheon with residents and preceptors.

Check out UGA events at

University of Georgia College of Pharmacy

250 W. Green Street, Athens, Georgia 30602
Phone 706-542-1911 | FAX 706-542-5269

Questions? Contact Mickey Montevideo
Director of Public Relations, Communications and Marketing, 706-542-5303.

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