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Manchester University Pharmacy Programs honor faculty members

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Manchester University Pharmacy Programs honored six faculty members for outstanding service, teaching, preceptorship and scholarship.

  • Faculty Scholar Award: Vaibhav Mundra
  • Faculty Outstanding Service Award: Carrie Hoefer
  • Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) Faculty Preceptor:  Sara Trovinger
  • Lorin M. Sheppard Teacher of the Year: Sandra Hrometz, Trent Towne, Brian Skinner

    Vaibhav MundraIn the past academic year, Vaibhav Mundra, Ph.D., received a prestigious research grant from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. The New Investigator Award enabled study on a method of delivering anticancer drugs for treating multiple myeloma.

    He has published a paper based on another grant involving research on medical treatment of pancreatic cancer. He has also recently given several presentations on his research, including one for the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists in Washington, D.C.

    He has also shared his research expertise with Manchester students enrolled in the Research and Innovative Practice Seminar. 

    An assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, Mundra supervises undergraduate pharmaceutics laboratories.

    Carrie HoeferCarrie Hoefer, Ph.D. received the Outstanding Service award, in large part because of her service to colleagues at the Fort Wayne campus. 

    She led the Honor Council and has been working with those developing a guide for academic appeals and Honor Council mentoring. She also served on the council responsible for developing three new pharmacogenomics programs from scratch.

    Pharmacogenomics studies the relationship between an individual’s genes and their response to a medication. It allows physicians and other clinicians to prescribe drugs to maximize therapy early on and avoid or decrease the chance of adverse effects.

    Hoefer invites students into the laboratory to assist with her work, giving them valuable experience and serving as a mentor. She also developed a one-week pharmacogenomics laboratory course that is used by students in MU’s online master’s degree program in pharmacogenomics as well as students at the brick-and-mortar campus who are doing the four-year dual degree in pharmacy and pharmacogenomics.

    Her service in the Fort Wayne community includes conducting a gene variant analysis involving the Burmese community and research on the age-vulnerable population.

    She organized DNA Day at the Fort Wayne campus, designed to inform members of the public and health care about personalized medicine. Hoefer is assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics.

    Sara TrovingerSara Trovinger, Pharm.D., was selected for the APPE Faculty Preceptor award based on her work with student pharmacists. She is director of experiential education in the Pharmacy Programs and is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice.

    Her work includes coordinating introductory pharmacy practice experiences for students in their first three years in the pharmacy program and advanced pharmacy practice experiences for fourth-year students in rotations that are the final component in the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum.

    The nomination by student Mariem Faraj cited her “passion, energy, and compassion.”

    A preceptor is a pharmacy practitioner who also mentors and instructs, fostering a relationship that aids the student’s growth so that they are equipped to work in the real world. 

    Three faculty members share Teacher of the Year honors each year. The award is named for the late Lorin Sheppard, Ph.D., inaugural director of instructional design at the campus.

    Sandra-HrometzFirst-year pharmacy student Sarah Iskander nominated Sandra Hrometz, Ph.D., a professor of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics. “She encourages her students not to blindly memorize facts or side effects of medications but to understand why they are side effects or why the fact is true,” Iskander said.

    Hrometz makes a point of sharing techniques for studying that are scientifically proven to work and for giving praise when an individual makes great strides.

    “She puts in so much effort and is continuously encouraging students to grow and improve,” Iskander said.

    Trent-TowneSecond-year pharmacy student Asma Kinani nominated Trent Towne, Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice.

    “Dr. Towne teaches what most students would consider the hardest course. However, he made the course clear, and the objectives correspond with everything he was teaching in the course.”

    As with all of the award-winning teachers, Kanani cited Towne’s willingness to go the “extra mile to be there for his students.”

    Dr. Brian SkinnerDistance faculty member Brian Skinner, Pharm.D., was selected as the third-year Teacher of the Year. His focus is individualizing care to the patient, which means gathering information, collecting data and ultimately making recommendations that best fit the patient’s situation.

    He is a “master of technology,” said nominator Tracy Brooks, Pharm.D., an associate professor of pharmacy practice. 

    She said he utilizes a broad variety of teaching techniques, including humor, with his students. Skinner is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice and a preceptor.

About Manchester University

Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., offers more than 70 areas of academic study to more than 1,400 students in undergraduate programs,a Master of Accountancy, a Master of Science in pharmacogenomics, a Master of Athletic Training a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a four-year dual degree in pharmacy and pharmacogenomics. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu

Our mission
Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.

July 2019