Message from the Dean
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
More vaccines are on the way, the days are getting longer, and we are more than two-thirds of the way through this academic year. Though it’s been a challenging year, the clouds seem to be parting and there are many reasons for us to be cautiously optimistic!
First and foremost, congratulations to Associate Professor Darrell Jackson on receiving the Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award. Each year, WSU recognizes an individual who continues the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Darrell has demonstrated altruism and community service, advancement and diversity, and education and inclusion through his work as a teacher and mentor to our students. I know from student feedback that he has been a great advisor to many, and we are delighted to share this news with our community.
Also, in keeping with the good news, congratulations to Associate Professor Kim McKeirnan and Vice Dean Linda Garrelts MacLean who were quoted in the New York Times and CBS News article for their work around pharmacy technician immunization training across the country and beyond. The article and WSU was even noted in this year’s keynote at the AACP interim meeting. What began as a pilot project in 2016, has now flourished into a nationwide race to make pharmacies one of many distribution points for the COVID-19 vaccine. Thanks to our partners at APhA, who have since adopted the training early last year, over 30,000 pharmacy technicians have been trained. Kim and Linda’s work has helped WSU CPPS gain national recognition in how we have pioneered this program, and we could not be prouder. The articles describe an expanding job market for pharmacists with many companies offering signing bonuses. Our college has been no exception to this. In the last few months, we’ve seen signing bonuses and recruiters coming through our jobs board on a daily basis seeking the expertise of our students and alumni.
Our student pharmacists continue to make strides in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. Many of our students and alumni have been featured on a weekly basis in the mass vaccination effort taking place across the country. The most recent piece was on Spokane’s local station KREM2 News, where Rochelle Taicz, a second-year student pharmacist, truly embodies the Coug pharmacist spirit: “I really love my patients and it’s great being able to do this and get hands-on experience.” You can visit our website to see regular updates on how our community continues to make a difference on the frontlines of the pandemic.
I am proud that during these dark times, our community of Cougar pharmacists has shone the brightest. I don’t want to minimize the challenges that we have faced as a college this year. Our students have had to juggle jobs, virtual learning, and supporting their families. To help them continue to grow as pharmacists, scientists, and future health care providers, I have created Club 1891 Dean’s Circle to support our students and college during these difficult times. Our student stories on the frontlines are published daily on Instagram and truly what inspires me to ensure they have all the support they need. To learn more about how you can help our students, and build on our college’s legacy, visit our website here.
Thank you all for another great month in the books as we make history together!
Mark Leid, Professor and Dean
WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences