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November 13, 2020
Dear Colleagues: 

I am pleased to announce the appointment of a Search and Screening Committee for the Department Head for Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy (CAP), a position currently occupied on an interim basis by Dr. Henry Young. With assistance from the UGA Search Group, this Committee will be chaired by Dr. Brian Cummings, Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Professor and Department Head. Committee members include: 
  • Dr. Chris Bland, Clinical Associate Professor, CAP (Savannah)
  • Dr. Tim Brown, Director of Interprofessional Education
  • Dr. Deborah Elder, Clinical Professor, PBS
  • Dr. Ashley Hannings, Associate IPPE Director - Ambulatory Care, Experience Programs
  • Dr. Jayani Jayawardhana, Associate Professor, CAP (Athens)
  • Ms. Deborah Martinez, Student Affairs Professional, CAP
  • Dr. Rusty May, Clinical Professor and Associate Department Head, CAP (Augusta)
  • Dr. Sharmon Osae, Clinical Assistant Professor, CAP (Albany)
  • Dr. Somanath Shenoy, Professor, CAP (Augusta)
  • Dr. Rebecca Stone, Clinical Associate Professor, CAP (Athens)
I have asked the Committee to begin their work immediately so that I may name a new department head by April 2021. Internal and external candidates will be considered in this process.

I appreciate the work that the members of this Committee will be doing in the next few months.  Their work will lead to the advancement CAP as well as the College of Pharmacy. Please join me in offering them our best wishes.


Kelly M. Smith, Dean
UGA College of Pharmacy
In this issue:

Next Week: Virtual Homecoming & Class Reunion Week 

Join the CoP for Virtual Homecoming & Class Reunion Celebration Week! Enjoy weeklong events and activities from November 16-20, leading up to the Homecoming game against Mississippi State on November 21.

Submit your favorite College of Pharmacy photos with daily themes that will be featured each day on social media throughout the week:

Start emailing your photos now to Gordon Thomas so we can gather your best shots!

Visit our Homecoming webpage and follow our social media channels the entire week of November 16 for all the fun! For more information, contact Kim Hamby, Director of Alumni Relations.

IPhO to Host Dr. Purnima Kassam, Principal Medical Science Liaison at Johnson & Johnson

As part of Homecoming Week, IPhO is excited to host Dr. Purnima Kassam, Principal Medical Science Liaison at Johnson & Johnson, for Org Hour on November 19. Dr. Kassam received her PharmD degree from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Dr. Kassam is currently involved in the current clinical trials for the J&J COVID-19 vaccine, and will be presenting about the role that industry is playing and progress of vaccine development related to COVID-19. More details to come!

New Episode: PharmCast for the Community

Don't miss the latest episode of PharmCast for the Community! In this episode, Miss America, Camille Schrier, discusses her initiative “Mind Your Meds: Drug Safety and Abuse Prevention from Pediatrics to Geriatrics” and how this relates to naloxone access and saving lives. Dr. Brown welcomes Daniel Rogers, Co-Chair of UGA’s chapter of Generation Rx, as a co-host in talking with Camille about opioid misuse and how we can save lives by educating the public about naloxone and why to keep naloxone handy if and when it may be needed for a loved one. The trio also discuss National Take Back Day and how to “demedication” your home to decrease the chance of opioids being misused. Click here to listen on Spotify, or watch the video below!

Addendum to Last Script: Veterans Day

In addition to the other veteran photos in the last issue of the Script, we received a photo of Dr. Christopher Rice in uniform. Dr. Rice served as a Scottish Army Reservist from 2007-2017.


Plan your Thanksgiving trip carefully

Beginning now, plan your Thanksgiving travel carefully.

  • You are highly encouraged to get a flu shot: CDC Flu Shot Finder.
  • Review any local public health regulations that might apply where you are traveling.
  • If you are traveling by air, understand the testing requirements that will be required by the airline and/or your destination. 
    • We recommend being tested through the UGA surveillance program four days prior to your flight. Some airlines require testing within 24 hours, so re-check air travel requirements frequently.
  • Consider two weeks of self-quarantine prior to travel to protect those you are going to visit over the holidays, particularly if you are visiting those who are ill or vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • At the very least, self-quarantine after your COVID-19 test to minimize exposure and the chance of infection. The CDC recently revised the definition of close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
  • Travel wisely.
    • Reduce the number of stops on your trip, take a direct flight, and if driving, pack food/snacks for the car. 
    • Remain vigilant with social distancing and wear your face covering.
    • Use hand sanitizer liberally on your hands and on touchable surfaces, particularly if you are using any public transit.
  • Keep using the DawgCheck tool to stay on top of any potential COVID-19 symptoms.

Thank you for the extraordinary efforts you have made this semester to protect yourself and your fellow community members from COVID-19. Thank you for doing your part to follow social distancing guidelines, wear your face covering, and practice good hand hygiene. We have learned a great deal this semester about how to persevere through a pandemic. When we return in January, we will do it again—but this time, with experience behind us. Until then, continue to make wise choices to keep you, your loved ones, friends and colleagues safe, and stay Georgia Strong/Dawg Strong. 

Dr. May Xiong, PBS Associate Professor, published two articles in Molecular Pharmaceutics.  The first is a Corresponding Author publication titled “Effects of Polyethylene Glycol-Desferrioxamine:Gallium Conjugates on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Outer Membrane Permeability and Vancomycin Potentiation.”  The second is a review article titled “Challenges and Opportunities of Deferoxamine Delivery for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Intracerebral Hemorrhage.”
Dr. Scott Pegan, Professor and Interim Associate Head in PBS and Director of the Center for Drug Discovery, received a notice of a fully executed contract from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency for a 3-year, $799,466 award titled “Identifying Host Pathways Important to Protective Immunity Against CCHFV." 
Dr. Houjian Cai, PBS Associate Professor, published a Corresponding Author publication in Molecular Cancer Research titled “Long-Chain Acyl-CoA Synthetase 4-mediated Fatty Acid Metabolism Sustains Androgen Receptor Pathway-independent Prostate Cancer.”  Dr. Michael Bartlett was a co-author on this publication.
Dr. Christopher Rice, Assistant Research Scientist in the Center for Drug Discovery, published an article as first an author in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases titled “Discovery of repurposing drugs candidate for the treatment of disease caused by pathogenic free-living amoebae.”
Ian Durie, PhD student, was selected for the PhD Industry Scholars program. Ian will be participating in this pilot program as a virtual intern with Boehringer-Ingelheim. PhD Industry Scholars Program is part of the Graduate School’s Experiential Professional Development (xPD), supporting graduate student career success beyond academia.

AACP National Award Deadlines

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy has a call for awards and recognition.  Please consider nominating someone or yourself for these awards.  If you have ideas or questions, please contact Mike Fulford

Diversity & Inclusion: Addressing Disability

Dr. Vivia Hill-Silcott passed along this interesting article on diversity and disability in higher education, "Could disability be further included in diversity efforts?" Well worth a read!

Tools for Teaching Hybrid/Online Courses in Spring 2021

Katie Smith and Russ Palmer will be offering an informational/workshop session on Thursday November 19th from 1:30-2:45 for faculty who are preparing to teach in the spring.  Based on the “Instructional Toolkit” document released by the IDT team this summer, Katie and Russ will discuss flexible instructional strategies and technologies that can support your course designs.  The session will also include time to plan for your courses and consider how to address potential challenges and opportunities you envision for Spring semester.

Staff Position Posting: The PBS Business Manager II

The PBS Business Manager II position is a highly responsible administrative position that involves complex and general duties and the ability to work in concert with both the Department Head and the College-wide Business Affairs Manager to oversee all fiscal operations of the department. Major responsibilities include coordinating and managing all business functions for the department, assisting the Department Head in budget development, fiscal management, departmental operations, and personnel management.  For more information, visit the job posting.


Arch Society Applications Open

The Arch Society has opened applications for the 30th Class, and recruitment season is underway for the 2021-2022 year. Arch Society is a unique service opportunity at UGA that allows members to give back to the University, learn more about UGA, and make all of the University's guests feel welcome. You may already know Arch Society from a tour you received, a football game, or seeing members in their distinctive black blazers. Members seek to embody the pillars of the Arch (Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation) and represent the experiences of the student body to every guest they greet. For more information and the application, click here.

Trans Awareness Week Next Week

The LGBT Resource Center will be observing Trans Awareness Week next week. This week culminates with keynote speaker, Chella Man, and an observance of Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on Friday, November 20. This week is a time to not only remember the individuals from the trans community lost to violence, but to celebrate the lives and lived experiences of individuals in the trans community. Please join for as many events as you are able and feel free to spread the word about all of the programs going on with the Center! 

Monday, November 16th
Virtual Scavenger Hunt, at 6pm. Register at

Tuesday, November 17th
LGBTQ+ Yoga, at 6pm in the Memorial Hall Ballroom. No advance registration required.

Wednesday, November 18th
Lunch with Leaders, at noon. Register at

Thursday, November 19th
A Conversation with Chella Man, at 6pm. Register at

Friday, November 20th (Trans Day of Remembrance) 
Observance of TDOR, all day at the LGBT Resource Center
Disclosure screening and discussion, from 12:30pm to 3pm. Register at


Joy Wilson Retires After 30+ Years at CoP

Joy Wilson, the Administrative Manager of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, is enjoying her last day at the College of Pharmacy today!  After 30 years and 11 months, she is retiring from the College and beginning a new journey–literally! 

Brian Cummings, PBS Department Head, cites Joy’s professionalism as a true attribute that has benefitted the College. “I have worked with Joy for more than 17 years and feel that she sets the standard for professionalism and integrity in the work place.”  He also credits Joy for consistently and accurately presenting staff concerns and views. “Joy has always been an outstanding voice about how decisions regarding college and department operations can impact the staff.”  Dr. Cummings remembers first interacting with Joy, who was the Graduate Program Specialist at the time, when he was a new Assistant Professor and served on the PBS Graduate Student Committee. “I have always felt that Joy was one of the best in that position.  She set the bar for how to advocate for the students’ views and to assure that our mission to train them always was paramount.”  He states that this initial experience was key to his learning exactly how valuable staff are to the success of the Department and College. 

Read the following Q & A interview to discover Joy’s next adventure!

When did you start at the College?

I started in January of 1990, and I was only 20 years old.  Judy Bates, my old boss, called me on January 2 or 3 about the interview – my application evidently came in just before they offered the position to someone else.  We scheduled an interview for later that week.  When I came in for the interview, I met with Judy and Dr. Randy Tackett, who was the Department Head for Pharmacology & Toxicology at the time.  I started to work that same day!   This has been my only full-time/career job.

What were the various positions you held?

I believe I was initially hired as a Word Processor Secretarial, but I have changed titles many times.  I believe I was a Senior Secretary, Graduate Coordinator’s Assistant, and finished with Administrative Manager.  I’m sure I’m missing several titles!  I was VERY fortunate to work with a supervisor who acknowledged my good work by promoting me. 

Who was a mentor to you at the College of Pharmacy?

Judy Bates, my previous boss, was a HUGE mentor to me.  She was always understanding and treated me the way she expected to be treated.  I feel that most of my supervisory skills came from her.  We worked together for 17 years.

What was your most indelible memory?

The one memory that stands out the most is the day Sue Foley, the Dean’s Secretary, called because one of our graduate students had walked through the glass window in the lobby.  He entered the first door from outside, turned left immediately, walked through the glass, and kept on going.  He was perfectly fine other than his glasses were broken, but he was late for class so he kept right on going. After class, he came by to see how much money he had to pay to fix the window.  Of course, we didn’t make him!  That’s also why there are etched circles on the glass in the lobby! 

What was your favorite part of your job?

The people with whom I’ve worked.  My staff, faculty, and students have made this a place that I’ve wanted to come back to every day.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the people the most!!  My co-workers, my staff, faculty, and our graduate students!!

What do you want to be remembered for?

This is a tough one because it’s hard for me to talk about myself!  I guess I want people to remember that I always gave 110%.  The College has been my life, and I’ve always been proud of being a part of it.  I’ve poured myself into every job I’ve ever held.  I’ve been told I’m a good listener. I have always had the attitude that my door is always open and that I’m always there when needed.  I fix things!

What do you plan to do in retirement? 

We [she and her wife, Sonya] plan to travel.  We leave a week after my retirement for a two-month trip to visit my mother-in-law in Northern California for the holidays. And we’re going to travel in our new camper!  Once we get there, fresh crab legs will be on the menu!!

Joy… your beautiful smile and warm spirit of collegiality will be sorely missed.  Best wishes on your next journey!  Happy Trails!

Next Week
For a full list of student events, view the DSAC Calendar.
MONDAY 11/16
Meditation Mondays with Dr. Hill-Silcott | 2:30-3pm & 4:30-5pm
Career Development Drop-In Hours with Dr. Vitale | 1:30-3pm, Zoom
PBS Seminar Series: Dr. Karen Norris, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine | 9-10am, Zoom
Schedule Management Drop-In Hours with Dr. Hill-Silcott | 2-4pm, Zoom
Bereavement Support Group with Dr. Hill-Silcott | 5pm
Managing Stress & Anxiety with Dr. Hill-Silcott | 7pm