Message from the Dean
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Fall semester has officially started and I’m so grateful to our students, faculty and staff and how they have pulled together in many firsts for us. How we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic will define the pharmacy profession going forward and I’m so proud to see the way our student pharmacists and faculty have answered the call to action. As COVID-19 cases climbed to new peaks over the summer in various parts of the country, numerous faculty and student pharmacists volunteered their personal time to assist at drive-thru test sites in Yakima and Spokane. Nearly two dozen of our student pharmacists have sprung into action to assist with a drive-thru test site setup by Walgreens in Spokane at the end of August. The video below summarizes why so many of us chose this profession and how we can continue to help our communities battle this pandemic now and in the future.
I am extremely grateful to our faculty members Nicole Perea and Kim McKeirnan (’08) in Spokane, and Christina Buchman in Yakima, who put their creative minds together to ensure that our students can be certified to administer vaccines this fall. This will guarantee that student pharmacists can continue to work on the frontlines. With careful planning down to the minute detail, student pharmacists will be able to demonstrate their competency in administering a vaccine. Thank you also to Shandra Calmes (’05) our immunization trainer, and Albertsons and Safeway for their continued sponsorship of this program. During this challenging year, your contribution will make an exponential difference—not only for our students—but for the many communities where our student pharmacists will work this flu season.
We recently held our first virtual white coat celebration and it was a tremendous success. Due to restrictions on social gatherings, our incoming student pharmacists had to commemorate this milestone from the safety of their own homes. Though it was a virtual event, the gravity of the moment was not lost. On behalf of the college, we are so proud to present to the world our class of 2024. Over 600 viewers took part in the event. If you missed it, you can catch the recording here, and meet some of our first-year student pharmacists via Instagram. Again, these cherished moments would not have been possible without the support Walgreens and their District Manager Nick Bruck (’04), and QFC and their Health and Wellness Merchandiser Chuck Paulsen (’84).
Normally, I’m not a person who enjoys being the center of attention, but I would like to invite you all to my homecoming Zoom social hour on October 1. We will be auctioning off a case or two of my homemade wine, made with grapes from the Lonesome Spring Ranch Vineyard in the Yakima Valley and aged in French oak barrels. While I can’t take full credit for the wine, as several of my engineering friends also contributed to the creation of our wine (including a Cougar and dear friend, Craig Massie, Mechanical Engineering, class of 1986), I guarantee that my skills developed from years of working in a lab were put to good use.
Thank you all for another great month and your ongoing support of our students and mission.
Mark Leid, Professor and Dean
WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences