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School of Pharmacy Welcomes Students

To help prepare incoming students for the academic year, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy hosted new student orientation Sept. 6 for members of its Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Class of 2021 as well as first-year graduate students in its PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) and PhD in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) programs.

Activities in the PharmD program began Aug. 16, introducing students to the school and setting expectations for the next four years. Students in the PSC program had the opportunity to attend presentations that showcased the wide range of research conducted in the department, and students in the PHSR program attended informative sessions that outlined expectations for coursework, teaching assistant roles, and research rotations.

Watch this video to see highlights from this exciting time.



Malissa Carroll Education, UMB News, University LifeSeptember 12, 20170 comments
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SOP Orientation

Pharmacy Orientation Sets Expectations for New Students

On Aug. 18, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy kicked off new student orientation for members of the Class of 2019. Activities designed to introduce incoming students to the School of Pharmacy and set expectations for the next four years spanned three days and included remarks from Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School.

Acceptance Is Selective

“As a result of your hard work, you have been admitted to one of the best schools of pharmacy in the United States – a school that takes pride in leading pharmacy education, scientific discovery, patient care, and community engagement in the state of Maryland and beyond,” said Eddington, who noted that only 15 percent of individuals who apply are granted admission to the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program. “The next four years will be challenging. Although our faculty will provide you with the tools and support that you need to succeed, it is up to you to commit both the time and effort to ensure your success.”


In addition to emphasizing the importance of time management to ensure that students are able to successfully manage their coursework – a concept repeated across many faculty members’ presentations – Eddington spoke about professionalism, asking students to conduct themselves in a manner that would make their family and friends proud. “Each of you has at least one person who has impacted your life in a significant way. Write this individual’s name on your ‘Why I Will Be Professional’ pledge card and carry it with you as a reminder to act in a professional manner at all times,” she encouraged.

Success in School

Following Eddington’s remarks, Sandeep Devabhakthuni, PharmD, BCPS, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the School, was introduced as the advisor for the Class of 2019. He spoke about his career and provided students with some tips to help them succeed during their first year, including finding the right mentor, making friends, and getting involved. Richard Dalby, PhD, associate dean for academic affairs and professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC), later offered an overview of the curriculum and advised students about the importance of actively engaging in their education.

“The days of listening to lectures and memorizing facts are disappearing,” said Dalby. “As student pharmacists, you will be exposed to a challenging therapeutics and science-based curriculum that will require your active participation. Be prepared to engage with the material and ask questions about concepts that you do not understand.”

 Orientation Activities

Students participated in a number of additional activities throughout the week to help prepare them for their new lives as student pharmacists, including a student organization gala and a fashion show that demonstrated the importance of professional attire and behavior. They had opportunities to network with each other as well as with the School’s faculty, and were sized for their white coats, which they will receive during the School’s White School Ceremony on Sept. 11.

“I’m learning that this experience is much different than pursuing an undergraduate degree,” says Akua Preko, an incoming first-year student. “Attending orientation has been invaluable, and has allowed me to gather all of the important resources that I will need to begin my first year at the School of Pharmacy in one place. I am looking forward to learning a lot of new skills, especially how to best manage my time to ensure my success in the program.”

“Orientation is a great opportunity for members of our class to get to know each other,” adds Tania Tajzad, another first-year student. “After listening to the presentations, I feel energized and cannot wait to begin classes. Although I have worked in pharmacies in the past and know some of the basic concepts, I’m eager to learn the details and looking forward to tackling the challenging curriculum.”

Coursework, Teaching Assistantships, Research Rotations

The Departments of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) also hosted orientations for new students in their graduate programs. Students in the PSC PhD Program were introduced to the different types of research conducted in the department through a series of presentations by faculty. Incoming students from the PHSR PhD Program met with Frank Palumbo, PhD, JD, director of the program and professor in PHSR, and Colleen Day, the program’s academic coordinator, to set expectations for coursework, teaching assistantships, and research rotations. Both departments hosted luncheons attended by faculty, postdoctoral fellows, staff, and current students to welcome their new students.

Welcome Back

Classes at the School of Pharmacy began Aug. 24, with students on the Baltimore campus welcomed back with an afternoon ice cream social. An ice cream social is also scheduled for the School’s Shady Grove campus on Aug. 26.

Malissa CarrollEducation, People, University LifeAugust 26, 20150 comments
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New Dental Students

They’re back! The first incoming students for the 2013-2014 academic year are at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. Interim Dean Mark Reynolds, DDS, PhD, MA, told the assembled first-year students, “Dentistry is pre-eminent among health care occupations. It is the envy of all.” But he warned students they would be “held to a high level of accountability with regard to practice standards.”

University of Maryland, Baltimore President Jay A. Perman, MD, asked the students to take to heart two of his priorities: interprofessional teamwork and civility. “I need you to see yourself as part of the overall health care team,” he said. “What dentists do is relevant to the entirety of health care.”

Civility, he explained, is more than about being nice. It’s about being effective. “We’re here to promote safe care,” he told them. “When people are uncivil to each other in their practice of medicine or their practice of dentistry, it creates an unsafe environment.”

The incoming class of more than 130 students hails from 18 states, and includes many students with advanced degrees and previous professional health care experience, said Karen Faraone, DDS, assistant dean for Student Affairs. Faraone reminded them that classes start on Monday, Aug. 19, and that they need to be prepared for a demanding professional school environment. “There is nothing in the dental school that’s difficult,” she told them. “The difficult part is the volume. It’s going to start Monday and it’s going to come fast and furious.”

Undaunted by the prospect of long hours and grueling courses, students described their mood as excited. Shiva Soleimani, a graduate of nearby University of Maryland, Baltimore County, says she was most impressed by the School’s Dream Room, where students experience the future of dentistry and cutting-edge technology. The crown milling machine “creates a whole crown, usually in the time it takes a dentist to make impressions.”

Alyssa Flashburg of Elon University in North Carolina, agreed, adding that superior technology was an important reason for her choice of dental program. “When I went to other schools, I kept comparing it to Maryland. Maryland was really forward-thinking in its technology approach.”

Among the incoming students with prior health care experience was Christopher Gregoire. A graduate of Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, Gregoire says he has worked and assisted in endodontics for 3 1/2 years. In June, he enlisted in the Navy’s Health Professionals Scholarship Program. The program pays tuition and expenses at the School of Dentistry in return for a four-year service obligation. For now, however, the only thing on his mind is jumping into dental school with both feet. “I’m really excited to get going,” he says. “I’m finally going to learn some things I can actually use in my career.”

On Thursday, incoming students are fitted for their iconic white lab coats, which they will receive at a ceremony in September.

by Alex Likowski

Alex LikowskiUMB News, University LifeAugust 8, 20130 comments
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