Helping Hands: Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week

Written By: Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Science and Program Director, MS in Palliative Care

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Helping Hands stories authored by School of Pharmacy faculty, staff, students, trainees, and alumni who stepped up to assist their family and friends, colleagues, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, which was May 4-8, I emailed all of the students in the Master of Science (MS) in Palliative Care program asking for a few words that describe why our faculty are so awesome. The response was overwhelming! Comments about specific professors flooded in. The comments were so heart-warming, and especially valued right now, when everyone has been going the extra mile to accommodate our students, many of whom are frontline health care professionals assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic. The MS in Palliative Care is fortunate to have an interdisciplinary group of faculty and instructors from both UMB and external institutions.

Here are a few specific comments on faculty members:

“I want to shout out to Dr. Arif Kamal. He took time out on a Friday after 4 p.m. to take a call from me so I could better understand a principle that was imperative for my project. Thank you, you rock!” — Liz Smith, Class of 2020

“While all of the faculty have been great to work with, I must share that Rev. Katrina Scott has been such a blessing to me during this current session in light of all that’s going on. Not only has she provided supportive words, but has also allowed me to share some of my own thoughts and concerns while navigating through the uncharted territory of grief during a pandemic. She always has insightful feedback to allow you to dig deeper. This program has been such a wonderful experience for me, and I’m thankful for the support of all the faculty and staff.” — Samantha Payne, Class of 2021

Ms. Connie Dahlin was an instructor I had early in this program. I am impressed with her experience and her palliative care knowledge. She was always very responsive and supportive while challenging us to reach for the next level. In a later class, I wanted to use one of her articles for an assignment, but could not access it. I reached out to her by email, shared what I needed, and she quickly responded with a copy of the article. Through this program, I feel I have gained not only a wealth of knowledge, but also a team of palliative care experts who are willing to support us now and going forward.” — Laura Readling, Class of 2021

“’Better than 1,000 days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher’ (Japanese proverb). Thank you to the amazing students AND faculty in our online palliative care program. Like throwing a pebble into a pond, this program is having a tremendous ripple effect in health care thanks to our stellar faculty and eager students!” — Phylliss Chappell, Class of 2021

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