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May 2020

A note from Linda Garrelts MacLean

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Today we would be gathered at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox applauding our graduates for their hard-earned degrees. Instead, we are recognizing our students for their pursuit of excellence via a virtual celebration given the ongoing stay-at-home order in Washington state. Along with holding this improvised celebration for our students, we would like to share this milestone with you. Here you will find inspirational messages from pharmacists, alumni and graduating students. It is a testament of our students’ successes and a time capsule to the unique situation that we find ourselves in today.

Not only does the webpage recognize this rite of passage for our students, but it also has some encouraging reminders for all of us who work in the field of pharmacy—whether you are an educator, administrator, advocate or provider.

Assistant U.S. Surgeon General Scott Giberson’s keynote on pharmacists being the gatekeepers of health in particular resonated with me. Senior Director of Talent Acquisitions for Albertsons Companies, Tim Maynard, also offered unique advice on dreaming bigger while blazing a successful career path through his humbled approach in taking opportunities big and small. Pharmacy Manager for Albertsons Companies and recent Cougar alumni (class of 2019) Hannah Mason shared thoughtful words of encouragement. Only one year out of our college, and Hannah has already shown great strides in her career. While we couldn’t guide our students through the Oath of Pharmacist this year, we hope you can also appreciate this creative rendition of the Oath.

Our students’ resiliency and adaptability during these challenging circumstances in the last few weeks have been an inspiration. I have no doubt in the greatness they will achieve as they move on to the next phase of their lives and careers. Reaching graduation without delay and against the backdrop of an unprecedented pandemic was also made possible by the brilliant and dedicated faculty and staff moving this college forward. They have advocated in the best interests of our students, presented new and creative ways to teach classes, and spent tireless hours behind the scenes improvising to ensure that our students made it to this day despite the current stay-at-home mandate and other hurdles we faced.

Grateful is the one word that encapsulates my sentiments right now as we reach this finish line for our graduating class. While I know it has been a difficult few months for many, this global crisis just so happens to be a health issue. Our students are prepared to directly impact this unfolding story. As we move forward in the next few months, let’s go forth and conquer with courage.

Finally, we want to hear your stories on the frontlines. Please send photos of yourselves to telling us how you are helping out your community. We would like to share the great work that is being done by our Cougar community across the nation.

With best regards and much respect,

Linda Garrelts MacLean

Linda Garrelts MacLean, Interim Dean
WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • Leave a message for us to share on our Virtual Celebration page.
  • e.g. Jane Doe, Class of 1996

Congratulations, class of 2020!

All of us at the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences wanted to take a moment to recognize your perseverance and celebrate this amazing accomplishment.

In recognition of all of the hard work it took to get here, we’ve set up a Virtual Celebration page. Check it out to see the messages from keynote speaker Rear Admiral Scott Giberson, Interim Dean Linda Garrelts MacLean, and your chosen student speakers, as well as a list of everyone graduating this year, recognition of award winners and honors students, and the Oath of a Pharmacist.

Mark Leid

Joshua Neumiller

The Association of International and Intercultural Students of Health Sciences board are: Keti Bardhi; Farheen Shaikh; Yuening Liu; Ruby Siegel; Mahamadul (Maha) Haque; Shamema Nasrin; and Peter Obi.

2020 ASHP Match

Spotlight on Success

Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD News

Our College

Celebrating college excellence

The hard work of students, faculty, and staff are essential to the success of any college and help us thrive in an ever-changing health care landscape. As such, every year the college takes a moment to recognize just a few of these students, faculty, and staff who demonstrate excellence in all that they do.

WSU Health Sciences

2020 Chancellor’s Excellence Award recipients

The Chancellor’s Awards are bestowed annually to students, faculty, staff and community partners who advance leadership and engagement at WSU Health Sciences. Recipients of these awards demonstrate exceptional leadership and service to the university and the community and/or support leadership development and engagement of WSU students. Of the 15 awards, six hail from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Alumni Updates

Robert Scheidtmann, class of 1966, received the prestigious Bowl of Hygeia award from the California Pharmacists Association. Congratulations, Bob! Read more

Congratulations to Erik Nelson, class of 2013, who was recently featured in a Spokesman Review article about COVID-19 and his successful pharmacy business model. Read more

Sad News—Mel Coughlin, class of 1973, passed away on March 29, 2020. Mel was a member of the CougaRx Nation board, a mentor to many WSU student pharmacists, and a die-hard Coug. He will be greatly missed. He is survived by his loving wife, Wendy, who was always by his side at pharmacy events and football games, as well his children and grandchildren. A celebration of Mel’s life will take place sometime this summer. View his obituary

Our last CougaRx Nation event was held in Tucson, Arizona just before COVID-19 hit. We’re looking forward to getting on the road again once we’re on the other side of this pandemic! Check out this photo from the event: (l to r) Linda Garrelts MacLean; Sheri, ’87 and Rusty, ’88 Crawford, who are both retired from the VA Hospital in Tucson and recently established a scholarship endowment at the CPPS; Brian Do, oncology pharmacist at the VA Hospital in Tucson; Elaine Truong, clinical pharmacist at the VA Hospital in Tucson; and Derek Matlock, class of  2017, a clinical pharmacist with SinfoniaRx, a medication therapy management firm.

Warm birthday wishes to Bert Porter, class of 1951, who recently celebrated his 92nd birthday. Of course we couldn’t visit with him this year, but his 90th birthday party was quite a celebration. When he blew out his candles, he wished for 10 more years. Happy Birthday Bert from all of us at the College!

Want to be listed in our alumni updates? Send us your career information or let us know what you’ve been up to at!

May 2020 Updates



Pharmaceutical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Associate Peng Xia, Pharmaceutical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Associate Jingrui Chen, Pharmaceutical Sciences Assistant Professor Zhaokang Cheng and one co-author published, “PRKAR1A deficiency impedes hypertrophy and reduces heart size,” in Physiological Reports, an open access monthly journal published by the Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society. Read article

Pharmacotherapy Clinical Associate Professor Kimberly McKeirnan and one co-author published, “Changes in practice scope of pharmacy technicians needed to address community needs during COVID-19 outbreak,” in Pharmacy Times in April 2020. Read article

Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor Taylor Bertsch and Kimberly McKeirnan published, “Perceived benefit of immunization-trained technicians … » More …


More upcoming events

Other News

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WSU Nursing joins the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences on PNWU campus
Having the students on the same campus “will help them cooperate and communicate from the very beginning of their training, with community health being the ultimate beneficiary,” says Dr. Daryll DeWald, vice president and chancellor for WSU Health Sciences.
Read more

Embedded: A first-person account of COVID-19 testing in Eastern Washington

During the recent spring break, third-year pharmacy student Lee Roy Esposo spent some time volunteering at the Spokane drive-thru testing center for COVID-19.
Read more

Research identifies critical protein in cancer treatment-related heart damage
New discovery by Pharmaceutical Sciences researchers opens up possibilities for the development of new combination drugs or treatment strategies to reduce heart damage from cancer treatment, which could help increase the life expectancy of cancer survivors.
Read more

WSUAA Greater Inland Empire Chapter is partnering with BECU to sponsor a Food Drive on May 18-22
The drive will benefit the WSU Spokane Campus food pantry and the Second Harvest food bank. Donations can be dropped off May 18-22 at the three Spokane BECU financial center locations:

  • 615 N Sullivan, Spokane Valley
  • 916 N Division, Spokane
  • 9420 N Newport Hwy, Spokane

*Please check the website for COVID hours at each location.