Dean’s Corner – Summer 2019

Dean Steven Swanson at the 2019 Hooding Ceremony

Dean Steven Swanson at the 2019 Hooding Ceremony


As the Class of 2019 launches their pharmacy career, the School of Pharmacy is as strong as ever, and we have much to be proud of. Our PharmD program is preparing students successfully in key outcomes:

  • #4 in the nation for most ASHP residency matches with match rate of 80%, more than 15 percentage points higher than the national average of 64.4%
  • #10 in the nation for NAPLEX first-time pass rate at 98% pass rate, significantly outperforming the national average of accredited pharmacy schools (89%) and all NAPLEX takers (83%)
  • Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE) first-time pass rate at 92.45%, outperforming the national average of 83.76%

Our research enterprise continues to thrive at $13.4 million, an increase of 33% in research funding during the AACP 2018 fiscal year compared to the previous fiscal year. In fact, we’ve significantly boosted our National Institutes of Health grant dollars by 28%, ranking #14 among pharmacy schools for NIH funding.

Keeping up that momentum, our faculty recently received major multi-investigator NIH U19 grants. The NIH renewed and nearly doubled the grant to $30 million for Professor Tim Bugni and his collaborators at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health to find new sources of antibiotics from insects and marine environments. Assistant Professor Jennifer Golden and her collaborators at the University of Tennessee and University of Louisville won a $21 million grant to establish a new Center of Excellence for Encephalitic Alphavirus Therapeutics, which will support the preclinical development of small molecules to treat equine encephalitis viruses.

2nd Annual SHARx Tank Competition with organizers George Zorich and Professor Beth Martin and alumni judges Dave Zilz, Azita Saleki-Gerhardt, Debra Fluno, and Dan Luce with Dean Steven Swanson

2nd Annual SHARx Tank Competition at the School of Pharmacy with organizers George Zorich and Professor Beth Martin and alumni judges Dave Zilz, Azita Saleki-Gerhardt, Debra Fluno, and Dan Luce with Dean Steven Swanson

We are strengthening our top-ranked PharmD program with the introduction of new curricular innovations:

  • Path of Distinction in Research recognizes PharmD student achievement in research with six graduating student pharmacists receiving the honor during this year’s Hooding Ceremony
  • Rural Health Concentration will begin in Fall 2019 with its first cohort of PharmD students who will receive in-depth training in all aspects of rural health care
  • Pharmacy Operations and Technology Management Concentration will welcome its second cohort of PharmD students this fall who will take MBA-level courses at the UW–Madison Wisconsin School of Business as part of their business and leadership development
  • More entrepreneurship learning opportunities with the second annual SHARx Tank competition, generously funded by School of Pharmacy alum George Zorich (BS ’78), CEO of ZEDpharma
Pharmacy Badgers play an integral part in every aspect of our mission in education, research, and outreach.

If there’s a secret sauce to our success, part of that recipe lies with our amazing alumni. They are sharing their expertise in the classroom and on rotations, mentoring and guiding students, supporting students through scholarships and awards, collaborating with our faculty, funding critical research, and much more. Pharmacy Badgers play an integral part in every aspect of our mission in education, research, and outreach.School of Pharmacy streaming TV video ad

And they’re also playing a starring role in our latest video ad that promote the many exciting career paths in pharmacy now running on streaming TV services such as Hulu and NBC. Special thanks to Charlie Lee (BS ’96), Julie Bartell (PharmD ’06), Monica Bogenschutz (PharmD ’08), and Marnie Wickizer (PharmD ’03)!

A few other noteworthy Badgers featured in the Summer issue of DiscoveRx include:

  • Melissa Heim (PharmD ’12) receives the 2019 Larry Boh APPE Clinical Instructor Excellence Award.
  • Gavin Arteel (BS ’93), professor and associate chief for basic science in the University of Pittsburgh’s Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, is named 2019 PharmTox Alumnus of the Year.
  • Ephrem Abebe (PhD ’16) returns to campus to share his career experiences with Social and Administrative Sciences graduate students in the Health Services Research in Pharmacy program.
  • Kyle Kleinbeck (PharmTox ’07, PhD ’11) joins the Pharmacy Alumni Association board.
  • Dimmy Sokhal (PharmD ’13), chief clinical officer for Hayat Pharmacy, is pushing the boundaries of pharmacy practice.
  • “The Lost Boys of Pharmacology” and their journey that led to the creation of an endowed scholarship.
Professor David Mott leads the discussion among alumni.

David Mott, associate dean for Advancement, meets up with School of Pharmacy alumni in Green Bay, Wis.

The School of Pharmacy is going on the road to meet more of our alumni community. During the APhA Annual Meeting in March, we hosted a Wisconsin Alumni and Friends Reception for our Seattle-area alumni and APhA attendees. In April, alumni in the Green Bay area reconnected at an alumni event with David Mott (BS ’88, MS ’92, PhD ‘95), associate dean of advancement.

As we organize more events, we hope to see you and help you network with your fellow Pharmacy Badgers. In the meantime, let us know what you’re up to and catch up with your classmates in Class Notes.


On, Wisconsin!

Steven M. Swanson