PharmD students pick teachers

Pharmacy students selected Catherine A. Elstad, Beth A. Vorderstrasse, John R. White and Mark Garrison to be their teachers of the year for 2009-2010. Each of the four classes of students selected one teacher.

Elstad was chosen by the first-year students. She currently teaches pharmacology during fall semester to both first and second year students. She also teaches first years about autonomic nervous system pharmacology – which is about 40 percent of a 3-credit course – and the second years about endocrine pharmacology (hormonal disorders and hormonal drugs) – which is about 46 percent of a 4-credit course. Elstad is the associate dean of student services and a clinical associate professor. She has B.S. in biology from Jamestown College, Jamestown, N.D., an M.S. degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in zoology from WSU. She completed three years of postdoctoral study in cancer research. She has been with the College since 1986 and has received this teaching award 10 times.

Vorderstrasse was the choice of the second-year students. She currently teaches a 4-credit class in pathophysiology with medical terminology, a segment on immunopharmacology and another on toxicology in the integrated pharmacology courses, an immunology class in the PharmD program and she has contributed lectures on chemical carcinogenesis and immunopharmacology in the graduate program. Vorderstrasse has a Ph.D. in toxicology from Oregon State University and did a post-doctoral study in the WSU College of Pharmacy. In 2005, she became an assistant research professor in the College and then in 2008, she increased her teaching responsibilities and became a clinical assistant professor. She maintains an active laboratory research program.

The third-year students selected White as their teacher of the year. He is a professor of pharmacotherapy and has been with the College since 1989. White has done extensive research in the field of diabetes and currently is the primary instructor for the clinical pharmacokinetics course. He also teaches in the therapeutics sequence as well as the pharmaceutical care lab and he has supervised a number of PharmD student research projects over the past two years. White has a B.S. in zoology from the University of Tennessee and a PharmD from Mercer University in Atlanta. He did a post-graduate fellowship in pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics at the University of California in San Franciso before arriving at WSU, and since joining WSU he has completed the University of Washington’s physician assistant training program in Spokane. He is a previous winner of this award.

Garrison was selected by the fourth-year students. He is the primary instructor of the 5-credit advanced pharmacotherapy course, which covers infectious diseases, acute and chronic renal disease, cancer and chemotherapeutic agents, pain medications, and fluid and electrolyte disorders. He also lectures to second-year students on antibiotics and infectious diseases in the therapeutics class, has taught segments on aminoglycosides and vancomycin in the clinical pharmacokinetics course, and he has presented a hands-on lesson on antibiotic susceptibility in the pharmaceutical care lab for third-year students. Garrison is also a preceptor for fourth-year students doing internal medicine clerkships at Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane, and he provides a series of lectures on antibiotics and anti-infectives to the University of Washington’s physician assistant training program in Spokane. Garrison has a B.S. in pharmacy and a PharmD from the University of Minnesota and he did a post-graduate research fellowship in infectious diseases and pharmacokinetics there. He has been at WSU since 1989 and serves as the assistant dean for student services. This is the fourth time he has received the teaching award.