May 5, 2022

News & Announcements

Ryan Bok, Bayleigh Carver Move to the Front of the Line at Commencement

The typical lineup for candidates participating in a College of Pharmacy Commencement exercise is alphabetical order – unless there is a student who defies all odds and makes straight A’s throughout pharmacy school. The seemingly impossible feat allows this “First Honor Graduate” to become the automatic line leader, regardless of where his/her last name falls in the alphabet.  
But two honor graduates in the same year? That’s unheard of. Unless, you know Ryan Bok and Bayleigh Carver. Then, it all makes sense.  
On May 7th at 3 pm, Ryan and Bayleigh will each lead a line of their fellow classmates into Stegeman Coliseum for the College’s Commencement Ceremony.  Shortly thereafter, the Class of 2022 will be hooded and receive their Doctor of Pharmacy diploma. 
These two accomplished PharmDawgs recently reflected on their past four years of pharmacy school, shared the secrets to Straight-A success, and projected on the next step in their career journey as they embark on their respective residencies.   

Read the full story here.

Commencement Hooders Selected by Class of 2022
Drs. Aull, May, Seagraves, Smith

If you ask a recent doctoral graduate to share the most meaningful part of their Commencement Ceremony, they likely will tell you it was being hooded by a faculty member. This symbolic gesture signifies the successful completion of a graduate’s scholastic endeavors, the commitment to a continued pursuit of knowledge, and the passing of the guard from one generation to the next. This timed-honored tradition dates back to the 11th or 12th century, when cloaks and hoods were actually everyday attire at medieval European universities, mostly worn to protect against the elements. The trend entered the U.S. by way of Kings College (now Columbia) in Colonial New York in the 1880s and quickly became prevalent in other academic institutions – and more ceremonial. Based on the color and décor of the garb, the wearer’s school, degree, and field of study could always be identified. (In the case of the UGA College of Pharmacy, the hood is olive green, signifying the degree and profession of pharmacy, and the black cloak is trimmed with red velvet, designating the University of Georgia.)

Fast forward to this century and this College, and there’s even more significance to this ceremonial act. Faculty members doing the hooding are actually selected by the graduates they hood.

“The hooding portion of our Commencement has double significance,” said Dean Kelly Smith. “We honor doctoral graduates who have worked diligently to reach this milestone. In turn, the graduates acknowledge professors who have had a significant impact on their academic journey by selecting them to be hooders.” This year, four familiar and beloved faculty members will be on stage May 7th to place the olive-colored hoods on the approximate 125 students participating in the ceremony – Dr. Larry Aull, Dr. Rusty May, Dr. Brian Seagraves, and Dr. Susan Smith. This hooding quartet reflected on their selection for the esteemed honor and offered advice and best wishes to the Class of 2022.

Read the full story here.

BSPS Convocation Slated for May 13 

The Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science Class of 2022 will be recognized during a Convocation ceremony on Friday, May 13, at 2:30 pm in Room 201 of Pharmacy South. Faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend.  A reception will immediately follow.

Dr. Chris McCurdy, a 1998 alumnus of the UGA College of Pharmacy, will be the keynote speaker. Earning a Ph.D. in Pharmacy at UGA, Dr. McCurdy is a  professor in the Departments of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutics, the Frank A. Duckworth Eminent Scholar Chair, and the director of the CTSI Translational Drug Development Core at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dr. McCurdy is a broadly trained pharmaceutical scientist and pharmacist whose research focuses on the design, synthesis, and development of drugs to treat pain, anxiety, mental health, and substance abuse. He is an internationally recognized expert on Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), that is under investigation for opioid withdrawal syndrome. Most notably, Dr. McCurdy has developed a PET/MR imaging diagnostic agent for visualizing the origins of chronic neuropathic pain by interacting with sigma receptors at the site of nerve damage. Dr. McCurdy previously served as President of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and also serves as a consultant to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee.

Twenty-eight BSPS students will be recognized during the Convocation.  Ransom Jones, class valedictorian, will deliver the student address.  For details on the event, contact Jamie Hailey.  

Leanna Baker Receives U.S. Public Health Pharmacy Award
A passion for helping others cope with the challenges and pain of racism, discrimination, and microaggressions led Leanna Baker, a third-year PharmD student at the extended campus in Augusta, to be a change agent. The Woodbine, GA native took the initiative and developed a training program on how to deal with these systemic issues, and her efforts did not go unnoticed. Leanna recently was awarded the United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award for her stellar and heroic efforts.

Read the full story here.

Leanna Baker (c) receives the United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award from Captain Ray Ford of U.S. PHS (r).  Standing with Leanna is Dr. Andrea Sikora (l), Clinical Associate Professor. 

Research, Accolades, & Media

Richard Bryan Scholarship Awardees

The Richard A. Bryan Scholarship for Excellence in the Pharmaceutical Sciences is given to outstanding students in the B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences program. The selection process is made by a committee composed of PBS faculty using a combination of the students’ performance in their coursework and their progress in undergraduate research. Congratulations to the following students on receiving this prestigious award:

  • Linda Al-Sabbah (Research Mentor: Dr. Sergiy Minko)
  • Ransom Jones (Research Mentor: Dr. Uma Singh)
  • Christina Mapp (Research Mentor: Dr. Uma Singh)
  • Julie Nguyen (Research Mentor: Dr. George Zheng)

Top Three Clinical Seminars

Congratulations to the following students for their presentations in Clinical Seminar. From top to bottom: Madeline Ganter, Omar Mouna, and Sydney White. Congratulations on this outstanding accomplishment!

Dr. McElhannon Serves as ASHP Telehealth Certificate Faculty

Dr. Michelle McElhannon served as a faculty member for the ASHP Telehealth Certifate. This online professional development module is designed for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians seeking to expand their knowledge and skills in telehealth management. Learn more here.


Rho Chi Mentor-Mentee Spotlights

Each month, Rho Chi features a student mentor-mentee pair. Below are Rho Chi's Mentor-Mentee Spotlights from March and April.

Natt Patimavirujh and Kelly Ta
The March Mentor-Mentee spotlight goes to Natt and Kelly! Here is what Kelly said about having Natt as her mentor this year: "Natt has helped me tremendously throughout my second year of pharmacy school. Natt has been a great resource for providing advice and guidance about classes and has truly helped ease the transition from virtual to in-person learning for me. Despite his busy schedule, Natt always make time to meet with me. I appreciate having Natt as a consistent point of contact throughout pharmacy school."

Mark Molinaro and Logan Davis
April’s featured mentor-mentee pair is Mark Molinaro (P3) and Logan Davis (P2). Not only is Mark Logan’s mentor, but Mark also serves as one of Logan’s great friends. Logan enjoys talking with Mark when things become stressful. Mark’s openness and advice about classes, clubs, work, and internships brings Logan a sense of relief and encourages him to stay focused on his goal. Through their mentor-mentee interactions, Logan has learned the true value of relationships. Logan states that Mark goes above and beyond to serve as a valuable resource to him which has inspired Logan to emulate Mark’s character in his own relationship with his mentee. Congratulations to Mark and Logan. Keep up the good work!

Call for Applications: Walmart Health Equity Scholarship for Pharmacy Students

The Walmart Health Equity Scholarship for Pharmacy Students will support the financial need of students enrolled in Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree programs who plan to serve in rural areas, medically underserved areas or populations (MUA/Ps), or Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) upon graduation. The goal of the scholarship program is to promote and support a diverse population of student pharmacists who will advance health equity.  The scholarship will be awarded to 10 outstanding Doctor of Pharmacy degree students who are accepted or enrolled in the professional curriculum at a U.S. college or school of pharmacy. Selected awardees must demonstrate leadership, academic success, and a commitment to serving rural or medically underserved patient populations or areas. Each awardee will receive a single $5,000 scholarship. Applications are due by June 1.

More information and application available here.

Faculty & Staff

Anamaria Nelson Joins Business Affairs

CoP welcomes Anamaria Nelson as the new Business Manager II for the Business Affairs Office. In her new position, Anamaria primarily will be responsible for post-award contracts and grants support for research principal investigators in the College. Before joining CoP, Anamaria was a Senior Accountant for the UGA Office of the Dean of Students. Prior to her employment with UGA, she managed the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) funding for the Northeast Health District for Public Health. A native of Brazil, Anamaria moved to Athens more than 14 years ago with her young family when her husband, Don, assumed a faculty position with the UGA Department of Anthropology. At the time, Anamaria only spoke Portuguese, so she participated in “English as a Second Language” (ESL) classes sponsored by community churches. After quickly advancing through these curriculums, she enrolled in Athens Area Technical College to improve her English and earn a diploma in Accounting. Just last month, Anamaria received her B.S. in Business Management from Colorado State University Global. 

When asked why she was interested in joining the College of Pharmacy, Anamaria replied, “I was seeking professional development after graduating with my degree. This position is very similar to the job I had at Public Health, which I thoroughly enjoyed. In this role, I will be able to stay at UGA, in a field I really enjoy, and have opportunities for professional growth and development. I am thrilled to be here!” She and her husband live in Athens with their two children, Isabella, 14, and Lucas, 12, and their four-legged family member, Flocos, a Cavapoo. The family is a member of Classic City Church, and Anamaria volunteers with the Sparrow’s Nest. Besides family activities, Anamaria enjoys working out at Creed Fitness and reading. She added, “I have been studying and learning since I came to the U.S., so now it’s time for me to find a hobby!” Anamaria is located in the BAO suite in room 142G in the R.C. Wilson Building. Her contact information is 706-542-3370 and  Stop by and welcome this newest PharmDawg to CoP!

Save the Dates! PharmDawg Staff Appreciation Days

Athens CAP Faculty & Staff "Adopt Moms" for Mother's Day

The Athens CAP Faculty & Staff participated in the ARK’s Adopt-A-Mom Program. The ARK honors single moms and grandmothers raising children, and supports isolated mothers in nursing homes and in hospice care programs through its Adopt-A-Mom program. The Athens campus CAP Department was able to adopt eight mothers/grandmothers and donate 20 vases.

$25 "adopts" a mom, sending flowers, a card, and love to a mother for Mother’s Day. Proceeds from the event goes towards supporting the ARK’s Single Working Mothers Fund. For 30 years The ARK has provided emergency financial assistance to low-income individuals and families in Athens and surrounding counties. The neighbors they help have experienced an unexpected job loss, reduction in work hours, a medical crisis, or have had an unexpected expense that puts them in jeopardy of being evicted or losing utilities.

CoP Staff Participate in Administrative Professionals Conference

Staff members from the College of Pharmacy participated in the Georgia Center for Continuing Education's recent Administrative Professionals Day Conference, held April 21-22. Participants included Arica Barfield, Jamie HaileyKathi Hardwick, Jennifer Ivey, Torrie Miller, and Gloria Strait. Well done, PharmDawgs!

Early Payroll Deadline

Due to Memorial Day holiday, the Biweekly Payroll for pay period 5/15 - 5/28 will have early cutoffs: The Time and Absence Approval deadline will be Friday, 5/27/2022 at 10am. All absences must be entered and approved by this time.

  • Pay From Schedule/Manual Time: Time should be estimated for Friday May 27, and Saturday, May 28. 
  • Kaba Clock/Web Clock: Employees can continue to clock in/out when they report to work.  

Note: Even though the timesheets will be unlocked, updates to absences after Friday, May 27 at 10:00am will not be picked up until the following payroll cycle.

Position Postings

Current job openings within the College of Pharmacy are listed below. Click the job title for more information.

Pharmacy-Pharm & Biomed Sci

Assistant/Associate/Full Professor
Pharmacy-Clin & Admin Pharmacy

IIT Manager for Client Support Services
Pharmacy-Inst Design & Tech

Data Management Specialist II
Pharmacy-Clin & Admin Pharmacy
Located in Augusta, GA

Research Technician
Pharmacy-Pharm & Biomed Sci
Cai Lab

Research Technician
Pharmacy-Pharm & Biomed Sci
The Strauch Lab

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Pharmacy-Pharm & Biomed Sci
The Strauch Lab

Post-Doctoral Associate
Pharmacy-Pharm & Biomed Sci
The Huet Lab

Temporary Hourly Professional
Pharmacy-Assoc Dean's Office A
This position will serve as administrative support to the Dean Stuart Feldman Summer Science Institute faculty and staff.


For a full list of student events, view the DSAC Calendar.
Managing Anxiety and Stress Group
5pm to 6pm | PS 230 | Contact: Dr. Vivia Hill-Silcott
Senior Reception
5:30pm | Georgia Center
PharmD Commencement
3pm | Stegeman Coliseum
Have a submission for the PharmDawg Weekly?
Email PharmDawg Weekly. Include a 2-3 sentence write-up, any photos or graphics, and a contact person. 
view this email in your browser