December 1, 2020
In this issue:

New Zoom Waiting Room Requirement

In response to several recent Zoombombing incidents, UGA will require a Waiting Room on all Zoom meetings for attendees without a UGA MyID beginning Monday, November 30. EITS will make this setting change for all UGA Zoom accounts: there is nothing students, faculty, and staff need to do at this time. More information about Zoom Waiting Rooms can be found here.

Pre-Pharmacy Mentoring Program Receives National Recognition

UGA’s new Pre-Pharmacy Mentoring Program was recently highlighted in AACP’s Pharm4Me Champions Newsletter as the Fall’s most innovative initiative for promoting pharmacy education and careers to prospective students. The Program connects undergraduate and post-bachelor prospective students across the country with current UGA PharmD students to provide information and guidance on topics such as the application process, UGA’s PharmD curriculum, time management skills, and much more. In October alone, the Program matched 25 mentees from 6 different universities with 100% of participants saying in post-session assessments that they would recommend the Program to others – a resounding success! If YOU would like to refer a prospective student to the Pre-Pharmacy Mentoring Program, please submit any contact information to Dr. Shane Pruitt, Recruitment Specialist.   


Remember to DawgCheck While Away from Campus 

Although instruction has transitioned online, the University will remain open after the break and will continue providing regular campus operations and student life services—such as housing, dining, health/wellness centers and campus transit—until the end of the Fall semester. 

If you receive a positive COVID-19 diagnosis at any point, you are required to report those results through DawgCheck, even while not on campus.


Dr. Cobran Featured in UGA Columns

Hats off to Dr. Ewan Cobran, Assistant Professor in Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, who was profiled in this week’s UGA Columns. Titled “A Passion for Service and Solving Health Disparities,” the article describes the driving force behind Dr. Cobran’s passion for working with medically underserved populations, especially as it relates to cancer.  Says the young scholar in the story, “Coping with my grandparents’ late diagnoses [of cancer], their consecutive deaths, and resulting funerals provoked me to dig into the cyclical process of the lack of prevention, lack of treatment, lack of support, and lack of appropriate diagnoses, which result in preventable deaths for many minorities,” he explained. “After the second funeral, I realized that I wanted my scholarship to actively help eliminate obstacles for quality health care for minorities. I believe my personal history and cultural awareness shaped my approach toward the study of prostate cancer disparities and drove me to investigate the impact of ethnicity, nativity, community, familial health experiences, and religion on patterns of care, access to early prevention, and barriers to early cancer detection and treatment.”  To read his compelling story in its entirety, see here.  

Dr. Hannings Interviewed By 11-Alive Why Guy

Kudos to Dr. Ashley HanningsPublic Service Associate in Experience Programs, who answered 11-Alive’s Why Guy, Jerry Carnes’s question, “Why Aren’t Vaccines 100% Effective?” In the interview with the Channel 11/NBC reporter, Dr. Hannings remarked, ““The more closely the vaccine resembles the disease causing organism, the better the immune response tends to be.”  To see the interview in its entirety, see here

Stanley Otiwu Earns BFSSO Founder’s Award

Congratulations to Stanley Otiwu, a 2nd year PharmD student from Smyrna, who recently was awarded the graduate and professional Black Faculty and Staff Organization (BFSO) Founder’s Scholarship Award.  Otiwu aims to improve cultural awareness and diversity within the College and serves in such leadership roles as Co-chair for the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, Rho Chi, a student mentor for the Office of Student Affairs, and the Diversity and inclusion Chair for the College’s Ambassador Program.

Established at UGA in 1982, BFSO honors full-time UGA students who demonstrate impactful leadership and service in the African-American community. The organization acts as a support network for Black faculty, staff, and students by playing a vital role in conceptualizing, advocating, and helping to implement programs and services focused on equity and diversity at UGA and in the Athens Community. Awards are presented in honor of BFSO presidents who worked tirelessly to advance the efforts of BFSO and improve the Black experience on campus.

Way to go, Stanley!


UGA EITS Presents Strategic Plan 

Information Technology has proven to be critical to the University’s ability to continue its teaching, research, and service missions during the pandemic. As a part of continued efforts to evolve and improve services, EITS will present an update on the University’s IT Strategic Plan on Wednesday, December 2 at 4:00 p.m. via Zoom.  All students, faculty, staff, and campus technical personnel are welcome to attend this presentation and ask questions about technology services at the University. The feedback obtained during these periodic updates on the IT Strategic Plan has proven essential to updating and evolving the plan. Dr. Timothy M. Chester, Vice President for Information Technology, will give the presentation during this open forum to the University community.  

To secure this Zoom event, all participants must register in advance. If you plan to attend, please register using the following link: IT Strategic Plan Update Registration

For more information, please contact Lynn Wilson.

Door Decking Competition

The Dean's Office invites all faculty and staff to join in some December fun and decorate your door for the holidays! No office door? No problem! Deck your front door, garage door... any door of your choosing, any way you want to decorate! Submit your photos to Meagan Watkins by December 14.


Ongoing Financial Planning Counseling

Do you have questions on how to best manage your money? Molly Frumka Sutz, AFC®, an Accredited Financial Counselor and a UGA graduate student, will provide one-on-one financial counseling for ALL students to discuss budgets, student loans, and other financial issues. Ms. Sutz, who is pursuing her graduate degree in Behavioral Financial Planning/Financial Therapy, has three years of professional experience in a financial planning firm and is passionate about guiding the next generation towards making sound financial decisions. To schedule a time for this free service, click on this link.

Student Fundraisers

Check out the newest lineup of PharmDawg swag in the latest edition of DSAC's Fundraising Weekly.


Dr. Matt Perri’s Commitment to Stellar Patient Care Is Lasting Legacy

This retirement profile exemplifies the teacher, leader, and friend Dr. Matt Perri has been during his almost 35.5 years of tenure at the College of Pharmacy -- a professor with a whole lot of passion, focus, and heart for his work and students, with a little bit of humor mixed in. 

Said Dr. Henry Young, Interim Department Head of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy and Kroger Professor, “Matt will be sorely missed at the College of Pharmacy. His bigger-than-life personality, his infectious humor, and his passion for his students is now part of our legacy.  Certainly, he will not be easily replaced.  But he will always be remembered.”

Joining the College in September of 1985, Matt will retire on January 1, 2021 as a Professor in the Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy Department and the Program Director for the PharmD/MBA Dual Degree Program.  He adds a new title to his repertoire: Professor Emeritus!  With this designation, Matt says he will continue publishing, serving on several graduate student committees, contributing as a guest lecturer in several courses, and working on the Georgia Department of Community Health Drug Utilization Review Board and the University System of Georgia’s Drug Utilization Review Board. “I also will continue with a new project in the area of the opioid crisis, focused on bringing solutions to individuals, municipalities, and others affected by this health catastrophe.”

Matt added that as soon as he gets vaccinated, he will be back coaching wrestling at Oconee County High School as well. “This could be our year; the team is looking awesome – on Zoom!” 

Enjoy reading Matt’s story – and chuckle out loud in his honor as you read about the Mickey Mouse antic!

When did you start at the College? Why were you interested in joining the College?

I started at CoP soon after the discovery of electricity. I was interested in joining the College, because UGA’s mascot was far more inspiring than my alma matter (USC Gamecock, commonly known as a chicken).

What positions did you serve in at the College?  

There have been two primary positions that I was in while serving the College. First, the standing position, which I used in lectures, and second, the seated position, which I used in meetings and while working at my desk.

Who was a mentor or special person for you at the College of Pharmacy?

I have learned something (and most was good) from everyone I have encountered at the College. While I do not have one person who I single out as a mentor, there was one person who made a huge impact on me over the years. And she is now retired. It was Rose at the Ramsey Center. Rose was a custodian, and I saw her almost daily for many years. I never saw her without a smile on her face. What a legacy she left us. I will never forget her and her uplifting attitude towards her work and those around her.

What was your most indelible memory of the College?

The night that a local physician and I snuck into the College and actually cut a life-sized Mickey Mouse silhouette right into the office door of former Department Head and Professor Jeff Kotzan, as payback for one of his many practical jokes. There are those who say his laughter the morning he saw his “Mickey Mouse” door can still be heard echoing in the halls of the RC Wilson building to this day. Jeff’s laugh was second only to that of Cathy White’s, and his tomfoolery second only to Randy Tackett’s.

What was your favorite part of your job?

Without a doubt, the best part of my job was the students and the relationships that we have created. I keep in touch with many, and after all these years, I have taught some of their kids now too. Very cool.

What is your lasting legacy at the College/What is your greatest accomplishment/What do you want to be remembered for?

Tough to sum up 35+ years in just a few words, but I will try. Legacy: Teaching students that the most important thing they do as a pharmacist is taking excellent care of their patients. Accomplishment: Surviving 3.5 Deans. (4.5 if you count alumnus Dean Stone!) Remembered: I think I will be remembered for my fervent attempts to instill in our students the desire to appropriately counsel every patient. The students have seen that the “counseling toolbox” I use in class is full of tools so powerful that they seem like “Jedi Mind Tricks.” The [counseling] Force is strong in our students. Amid all the distractions of the world, isn’t excellent patient care what we are all about? Stay focused, my friends.

What will you miss the most?

Rose. Our students. And, as much as I hate to admit it, I will miss my daily visits from Randy Tackett and Keith Herist. And others from time to time. Dedicated. Determined. Dependable. Nothing but love for friends like that. Oh, and FDC (Faculty Discussion Club). (Said with a grin and a wink.)

What do you plan to do in retirement?  

Keep moving. They say life is like riding a bike. It is easiest to balance when you keep moving.


Happy Birthday to the following December PharmDawg Faculty & Staff!

Ken Duke December 15
Merrill NortonDecember 16
Michelle McElhannon December 17
Eileen Kennedy December 19
Kay Brooks – December 19
Ashley TownsendDecember 21
Caitlin Back December 23
Tim Brown December 27
Warren BeachDecember 28

This Week
For a full list of student events, view the DSAC Calendar.
Career Development Drop-In Hours with Dr. Vitale | 1:30-3pm
Grand Rounds - PGY2 Kristen Pierce | 12-1pm
Schedule Management Drop-In Hours with Dr. Hill-Silcott | 2-4pm
Bereavement Support Group with Dr. Hill-Silcott | 5pm
Managing Stress & Anxiety with Dr. Hill-Silcott | 7pm