Written By: Sarah L.J. Michel, PhD, dean and professor of the School of Pharmacy
On Oct. 6, when University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Bruce Jarrell named me the new dean of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP), I experienced so many emotions.
For being chosen, I felt gratitude. For the excitement that lies ahead, I felt joy. For the work that is required to see my vision through, I felt determined to get to work.
I’ve spent the last two decades – my entire professional career – at the School in various roles: professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC), associate dean for graduate studies, director of the PhD in PSC program, teacher, mentor, researcher.
I became interim dean on June 1, and that role helped prepare me to hit the ground running as dean.
One of my first goals has been to get out into the community. Our School is a beautiful composite of faculty, staff, students, preceptors, alumni, and more, and it is important for me to get to know everyone.
I have been on a bit of a whirlwind tour these first few weeks, but I’m so grateful for these meaningful interactions. Here’s a brief summary of what I’ve been up to lately.
On Oct. 13, I attended our Grad Gathering and PATIENTS Day events. Grad Gathering holds a special place in my heart, as I helped start the first event more than a decade ago when I was program director for the PhD in PSC. It has expanded to now include the Pharmaceutical Health Services Research graduate program and MS programs in Regulatory Science and PSC.
PATIENTS Day, an annual event with our esteemed PATIENTS Program, is a great example of promoting the voice of the patient and collaborating with our surrounding community. Congratulations to Executive Director Daniel Mullins, PhD, and his staff on another successful PATIENTS Day.
On Oct. 17, I stopped by the UMB Vaccination Clinic held at the Heath Sciences and Human Services Library. Our student pharmacists, led by Cherokee Layson-Wolf, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, did a fantastic job preparing and providing vaccines to the UMB community and serving as ambassadors for the School and pharmacy profession. I received my flu shot while there and encourage everyone to get their flu shot and updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones this fall.
On Oct. 21, I welcomed prospective students to our PharmD program’s Open House in Pharmacy Hall. Our Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) is the flagship program of our School, and it was great to talk with future students about the School of Pharmacy and our top-ranked PharmD.
On Oct. 23, Rho Chi and Phi Lambda Sigma hosted an afternoon tea for students and faculty members to mingle and get to know each other a little better. I enjoy these types of casual events, where we can easily get to know one another and strengthen the bonds of our community.
I’m proud to be part of the UMSOP and UMB community and look forward to attending more events as your dean. I know together we can continue delivering on our School’s mission to globally engage and lead pharmacy education, practice, research, and pharmapreneurial initiatives.