Category Archives: FAMU News

FAMU Board of Trustees Approve College Name Change
08 Jun

FAMU Board of Trustees Approve College Name Change

CoPPS, IPH Administrators say the rebrand symbolizes a more excellent vision for the future

On Thursday, June 4, 2020, the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees approved the rebrand of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health (FAMU CoPPS, IPH). This decision to rebrand the school was voted on by the faculty and staff of the College. 

CoPPS, IPH Dean, Dr. Johnnie Early, II, initially proposed the name changes. Dean Early said, “In keeping with the University’s strategic plan of “FAMU Forward,” developing a name that is fully representative of the College’s focus will illustrate FAMU and the College’s strategic priorities.”

Associate Dean and Director of the Institute of Public Health, Dr. Cynthia Harris, states that “This name change elevates the Institute of Public Health and facilitates evolution to an autonomous School of Public Health – as intended in the University Strategic Plan.”

Equally important to the rebrand with the Institute of Public Health, each regional instructional site was also rebranded. The regional pharmacy sites have a rich history of training student pharmacists. The rebranded names are South Florida Pharmacy Practice Center (located in Davie, FL), Northeast Florida Pharmacy Practice Center (located in Jacksonville, FL), and Central Florida Pharmacy Practice Center (located in the Tampa/Orlando Florida area). At the regional site’s students receive clinical training in a variety of medical settings and gain invaluable experience in applying academic knowledge to real-life situations.

“It is important to name the experiential sites to reflect terminology relevant to the academic pharmacy,” said dean Early. Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs, Dr. Jocelyn Spates, says, “The name change from instructional sites to regional pharmacy practice centers encapsulates the primary location and focus of the facilities. This rebrand is just one step in moving our college to the next level.” 

Finally, the Rural Diversity Education Center in the City of Crestview, Florida was renamed the Durell Peaden Jr. Education Center in 2016 for the late Senator Durell Peaden Jr. He took the initiative and worked tirelessly with the City of Crestview, Mayor David Cadle, the City Council, Florida A&M University, and the Florida legislators to obtain the funds necessary for the establishment and operation of the program. In this recent effort, the pharmacy site in Crestview was rebranded to the Durell Peaden Jr. Rural Pharmacy Education Campus. Dean Early said the name change to this site was to honor the late legislator Durell Peaden Jr., This change also emphasizes the educational role of the site rather than the city where the campus is located. 

“Renaming the campus in honor of the late Senator Peaden and his family reminds us that the work that he started in the City of Crestview continues,” stated Dr. Margareth Larose-Pierre, associate dean and director of the Durell Peaden Jr. Rural Pharmacy Education Campus.

Class of 2020 Celebreated With a Virtual Oath and Awards Ceremony
03 Jun

Class of 2020 Celebreated With a Virtual Oath and Awards Ceremony

Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health (CoPPS, IPH), honored the Class of 2020 with a Virtual Oath and Awards Ceremony in place of its traditional ceremony because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony took place on a private Zoom channel for 56 Pharmacy graduates that chose to participate on Friday, May 8th.

Dr. Jonnie L. Early II, Dean of CoPPS, IPH, gave the keynote address to the graduates. He acknowledged that this is an unprecedented time; however, in true rattler sprit, there is “power in their purpose.”

CoPPS student leader, a PharmD Candidate, Matthew Clowers, provided words of encouragement and reflections to his classmates. In his speech, Clowers expresses that, “…we’ve all been blessed with different gifts and it’s up to us to use these gifts by going out into the world and exercising our skills to improve upon the lives of others.”

The virtual ceremony also included remarks from the President of the National Diamondback Pharmacy Alumni Council (NDPAC), Dr. Robert Thomas. Executive Director of the Florida Pharmacy Association, Mr. Michael Jackson, administered the Oath of a Pharmacist to the graduates during the ceremony.

Several awards were presented, including the pharmacy achievement award. This award acknowledged ten student pharmacists who were in the top 10 percent of the rigorous program.

Other awards included: The pharmacy alumni award, two former dean awards, the benefactor award, four pharmacist employer awards, pharmacy practice awards, and three awards from the Institute of Public Health.

In addition to student pharmacists’ awards, awards were presented to faculty, preceptors, and staff from the Tallahassee campus, the Peaden center and the three pharmacy instructional sites throughout the state.

The College plans to hold a formal ceremony at a later time.

FAMU CoPPS, IPH Adopts Optional Way for Students to Be Graded After COVID-19
06 May

FAMU CoPPS, IPH Adopts Optional Way for Students to Be Graded After COVID-19

As the spring semester comes to a close, the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health, is joining a growing number of colleges around the country in its response to grading students during COVID- 19.

The move to online-only courses forced University leaders to examine whether temporary changes were needed to finish out the academic year. The College developed a grading policy that would offer students the option to take all of their courses for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) credit rather than a letter grade in light of the sudden switch to online learning due to COVID -19.

“Due to the untoward effects of COVID-19, the College, in concert with the University, decided to afford learners an opportunity to select the S/U grading option during the Spring 2020 semester. For those learners who may be negatively impacted by and earn lower grades during the pandemic, the S/U option will ensure that their cumulative grade point average is not diminished. Moreover, these actions will safeguard our student pharmacists from losing scholarship and financial aid awards,” Said Marlon S. Honeywell, Pharm D., CoPPS executive associate dean and professor.

Students will have until May 6th to decide whether to take their courses for credit rather than for a grade. The S/U option is not factored in GPA and choosing this option will affect their overall grade point average. CoPPS, IPH students are asked to consult with their advisers before changing to the S/U option.

In addition to the temporary change in grading policy, the College is expressing its compassion for those enrolled in a most rigorous curriculum by the following new and specific actions including, the forgiveness of the fourth-course failure if occurred during the COVID-19 spring term. This option is done as a means of preventing permanent dismissal. Also, a remediation policy was created to capture qualifying students and allow them three weeks to secure a passing grade if failing due to the effects of COVID-19.

“I am elated that faculty, staff and learners are adjusting intuitively to the new communications medium. In fact, over the past four weeks, the College facilitated faculty and staff meetings, classes in all professional years, and individualized tutoring sessions employing the Zoom platform. Zoom has truly been a phenomenal tool for teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic,”said Dr. Honeywell.

FAMU Faculty and Students Engaged by Florida Health Department to Combat Coronavirus Pandemic
31 Mar

FAMU Faculty and Students Engaged by Florida Health Department to Combat Coronavirus Pandemic

Eight Florida A&M University (FAMU) public health professors and students have been recruited by the Florida Department of Health (DOH) to help fight the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The “FAMU 8 Strike COVID-19 Team” includes four faculty and four students. Seven of the FAMU team members are assigned to Tallahassee DOH and one in South Florida. 

Their assignments include data input, data analysis, and health messaging. They also will be receiving calls and questions from assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities regarding patients and residents. 

They will also be triaging calls following a rubric and, if necessary, contacting the county epidemiologists for follow-up with the county health department and the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) personnel. 

Team members will work 12-hour shifts – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. for two consecutive days.  Additional work may follow. Team members will not be interacting directly with patients.  

“I am so proud of this team,” said C. Perry Brown, DrPH., team leader and epidemiologist in the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Institute of Public Health. “They are trained and prepared for this moment – this time.”  

About a week ago, the Florida Department of Health reached out to public health epidemiology programs and schools of public health from across the state to provide support to state and local health departments in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. 

FAMU administrators then joined their counterparts on a conference call with Florida Secretary of Health and Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees, MD, and Deputy Health Secretary Shamarial Roberson, DrPH., a FAMU Institute of Public Health graduate.  

The purpose of the call was to identify and hire faculty and student epidemiologists as well as some health educators to assist county health departments, said Cynthia M. Harris, Ph.D., associate dean for Public Health and director of the Institute of Public Health. 

Among the FAMU COPPS Institute of Public Health faculty are Gebre-Egziabher Kiros, Ph.D., a biostatistician, Alan Becker, Ph.D., an environmental epidemiologist trained in disaster preparedness, and Torhonda Lee, Ph.D., a health educator with a focus on health equity. 

Kiros, Becker, and Brown are taking calls from nursing homes and assisted living facilities from residents with positive tests or those who have become symptomatic. They then contact the local health department for their epidemiology follow-up. Lee is working with community calls coming into the Department of Health, Harris said.  

Two team members – Stephanie Colter and Justin Williams – are doctoral epidemiology students. Kamaria Jacobs and Reginald Turner are pursuing master’s degrees in public health focusing on epidemiology and environmental epidemiology, respectively. 

All of the team members, except Williams, are stationed in Tallahassee. He is detailed to the Miami-Dade Health Department, where his role is to help epidemiology staff in following up on suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases that have been reported from nursing homes, long-term care, and assisted living facilities, Harris said. 

“Our public health faculty, students and alumni are trained and prepared for moments such as this. They are also culturally competent and have a passion for addressing the public health needs of the most vulnerable of populations,” Harris said. “This is consistent with the mission of the program, college and University. They are ready and I am very proud of them.” 

This article originally appeared on FAMUFOWARD on March 24, 2020

CoPPS, IPH Graduate Student Receives Fellowship and Conference Endowment Award
21 Mar

CoPPS, IPH Graduate Student Receives Fellowship and Conference Endowment Award

The Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health (FAMU CoPPS, IPH), Asha Rizor, a Ph.D. candidate in the pharmacology/toxicology discipline, received two significant distinctions this year. Rizor is the recipient of the 2019 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Toshio Narahashi Neurotoxicology Specialty Section Trainee (NTSS) Conference Endowment Award.  The goal of this award is to support the attendance of meritorious trainees in neurotoxicology to the SOT meeting by relieving potential financial barriers for travel, as well as recognize superior scientific merit and academic achievement of graduate trainees.  Rizor will be attending the 2020 Society of Toxicology (SOT) 59th Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for March 15-19 in Anaheim, CA.  She will present a poster of her research entitled, “Mechanism of Mn-induced YY1 Activation via Aurora B Kinase and Casein Kinase II in Astrocytes”.

Rizor is also the recipient of the 2019 American College of Toxicology (ACT) Graduate Fellowship. This fellowship recognizes outstanding graduate students in the field of toxicology who have the potential to contribute significantly to the field through research and scientific achievement.  The fellowship is for two years and pays $5,000 per year.  ACT awards up to 3 fellowships annually to graduate students matriculating in approved toxicology programs in North America.  Rizor won this award based on her research in neuropharmacology/ toxicology, where she investigated the molecular mechanisms of heavy metal-induced neurotoxicity.  Her research is under the advisement of Dr. Eunsook Lee, professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

CoPPS Students Join SNPhA Medical Mission This Summer
11 Mar

CoPPS Students Join SNPhA Medical Mission This Summer

The Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), a Student affiliate of the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA), selected Ja’Miera Stuart, Phyllisa Best, and Ashlei Yates, to serve on the SNPhA Medical mission trip to Nairobi, Kenya this summer, May 30th through June 6th.

These Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health students are three out of 11 students chosen that represent colleges of pharmacy throughout the country.  On the trip, each student will spend each day providing medical care to the people in various villages in Nairobi, Kenya. As pharmacy students, they will be filling prescriptions and counseling patients on their prescriptions. They will also assist physicians in conducting comprehensive exams, including blood pressure and blood glucose testing.

“I hope to gain a greater understanding of the healthcare system in Nairobi, Kenya, and how the government regulates their healthcare,” said Ja’Miera Stuart, a P3 student from Miami, Florida. “Attending this mission trip aligns with my short-term goals, which will aid me in achieving my long-term goal of working on an international platform as a pharmacist.”

“I am very excited about this trip. I attended a medical mission trip during my time as an undergrad student at FSU, and it was an amazing opportunity. I believe I can be of more use during this trip since I am now a pharmacy student,” said Ashlei Yates, a P2 student from Bristol, Florida.

“This opportunity will allow me to be more culturally competent, build clinical skills, and enhance my communication skills,” said Phyllisa Best, a P3 student from Bolton, North Carolina. “It will help me to be able to know how to apply for traditional pharmacy roles, and it will be a great learning experience overall.”

To be selected for this trip, pharmacy students submitted essays explaining their participation within SNPhA and how this trip will aid them in achieving their long-term goals as individuals and pharmacists.

Celebrating Our Success – December 2019 – January 2020
08 Mar

Celebrating Our Success – December 2019 – January 2020

Alumni Highlights

Daniel C. Lee, Ph.D. (’05) was recently appointed as an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Sanders-Brown Center of Aging in the College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY.

Charzetta James, FACHE, PharmD, CPh, MBA, MHA, PRS (’10) was selected as the new Director of Pharmacy of HCA’s Largo three campus system.

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees announced Shamarial Roberson, DrPH (‘16) will serve as the new Deputy Secretary for Health for the Florida Department of Health.

Martez Prince, PharmD, (’10) is basking in the afterglow of Oprah’s seal of approval. The media mogul paid a surprise visit to Prince’s Charlotte, N.C., pharmacy, Premier Pharmacy and Wellness Center, as part of her tour her “2020 Vision Tour: Your Life in Focus,” which is presented in partnership with WW (formerly Weight Watchers).

Stephen Pringle, PharmD (‘12), recently released a song, “Special Season” from his album B(+). B(+) positive was created for a symbol of change. The letter B for “Be” the difference or the initiative for change. The symbol +, ignites the cancelation of the negativity and ultimately empowers a positive environment. Listen to the song on YouTube: https://youtu.be/tJCtawo8EsI

Gwenesia Collins, PharmD, (‘99) was recently promoted to the Assistant Vice President of Clinical Ancillary Services for the Pharmacy, Laboratory, and Respiratory at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. This means that she has oversight of pharmacy, laboratory, respiratory, EKG, EEG, Population Health, Community Outreach and Corporate Health Services. 


Tamara McCants, PharmD, (‘01), has been selected by Mayor Muriel Bowser as the chairwoman of the District of Columbia Board of Pharmacy

Willie Williams, DrPH (‘17) nomination, confirmation and, subsequent, future induction into the Tallahassee Community College Cherry Hall Alexander African American History Calendar.

Jeremiah McKinley, PharmD, (‘09) was recently promoted to the Division Director of Pharmacy Operations with HCA’s Healthcare North Florida Division. In his new role, Dr. MicKinley will be overseeing pharmacy operations 14 facilities and several Free Standing EDs. The area of coverage includes all of the Florida Panhandle down to Central Florida.

Faculty and Staff Highlights

Leonard Rappa, PharmD, BCCPP (Professor of Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice – Davie Instructional Site), recently published his book, Condensed Psychopharmacology 2020: A Pocket Reference for Psychiatry, Neurology and Psychotropic Medications: Past, Present & Future.

John Luque, Ph.D. (Associate Professor Behavioral Sciences and Health Education), recently published an article in the January issue of Sex Education, Sexuality, Society and Learning. His article, “Understanding African American Youth and Adult Perspectives of Sex Education in Rural North Carolina”.

Mrs. Brenda G. Arnold (Assistant Director of Academic Support Services) retired from the College on February 28, 2020 after 37 years of service with the State of Florida (1983-1992) and FAMU (1992-2020) collectively.

Mandip Sachdeva, Ph.D. (Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences) was recently awarded funding for his grant proposal entitled “Hyaluronic acid-functionalized, Cannabidiol-loaded Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC)-Derived Exosomes for Drug-Resistant Cancers” through the Consortium for Medical Marijuana (MMJ) Clinical Outcomes Research Grants Program. 

Franklin P Gallop II, PharmD (Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice) was recently appointed Chairman of the Curriculum Committee in the CoPPS. Dr. Franklin was also recently appointed to the Board of the Florida Performing Arts Center.

James L. Moran, Jr., Ph.D. (Director of Alumni Engagement) was recently appointed Vice Chair and Commissioner of the Tallahassee Housing Authority.

The FAMU College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health Announces the 43rd Annual Leonard Lebaron Inge, Sr. Clinical Pharmacy Symposium
06 Mar

The FAMU College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health Announces the 43rd Annual Leonard Lebaron Inge, Sr. Clinical Pharmacy Symposium

The 43rd Annual Leonard LeBaron Inge, Sr. Clinical Pharmacy Symposium is quickly approaching! The clinical pharmacy symposium will occur on March 6 – 8, 2020, in the Florida Blue Auditorium at the College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health on the campus of Florida A&M University.

This event is a statewide continuing pharmacy education symposium that attracts a wide array of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The symposium provides a learning and networking opportunities for the health-related, interconnected workforce. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are encouraged to register early. Early bird registration ends Thursday, March 5, 2020. 

Symposium sessions will help attendees meet Florida Board of Pharmacy required contact hours. A total of 17 contact hours may be obtained Friday – Sunday for general or technician continuing education.   

Topics include Mental Health for Healthcare Professionals, Medical Marijuana: Legalization Implications on the Pharmacy Profession, Human Trafficking, and more.  In addition to the general courses, the symposium will also provide the second offering of the only Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics CPE program in Florida for pharmacist.

Additional information about the Clinical Pharmacy Symposium and its registration process can be found here

In addition to the general CPE sessions, there will be a student track. The student track is coordinated by the Student Leadership Institute (SLI), which is sponsored by the National Diamondback Pharmacy Alumni Council (NDPAC). The student track is a day-long panel with a conversation-based guidance initiative. Student panel topics include: Understanding the Journey of Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Residency and Fellowship Opportunities, and Innovative Careers in Pharmacy. The student track will take place on Saturday, March 7, 2020, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. All pharmacy students are invited to attend. Students can also present their research.

About the Office of Continuing Pharmacy Education (CPE) at the Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health

The Office of Continuing Pharmacy Education (CPE) in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health (COPPS, IPH) is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The goal of the Office of Continuing Pharmacy Education is to provide general and consultant continuing education for pharmacists and general CPE hours for pharmacy technicians through a series of live and online continuing education programs to serve as a center of life-long learning.

Speakers and Topics Announced for the  43rd Annual Leonard LeBaron Inge, Sr. Clinical Pharmacy Symposium
24 Feb

Speakers and Topics Announced for the 43rd Annual Leonard LeBaron Inge, Sr. Clinical Pharmacy Symposium

The Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health (FAMU CoPPS, IPH), Office of Continuing Pharmacy Education (CPE), is delighted to announce the conference speakers for the 43rd Annual Leonard LeBaron Inge, Sr. Clinical Pharmacy Symposium, which will be held in Tallahassee, FL on March 6 – 8, 2020. Among the list of speakers are pharmacy practitioners and industry leaders from all over the state of Florida. 

The theme for the symposium is “Hot Topics in Pharmacy,” and it communicates information that addresses the many aspects of the changing setting of pharmacy.

“We are pleased to have several speakers to address the trending HOT TOPICS in Pharmacy. Our mission is to bring together the state’s top thought leaders that understand best practices and new standards to lead today’s professionals in pharmacy. The FAMU CoPPS CPE program provides an opportunity for pharmacists and technicians to receive all of their required CPE hours in addition to networking opportunities,” says Selika Stackhouse Sampson, PharmD., Interim Director of Continuing Pharmacy Education.

The three-day conference is expected to draw one hundred representatives of the pharmacy community, including students, technicians, and pharmacists. The conference will include some 10+ speakers addressing the most topical issues facing the pharmacy industry today. 

With less than one month before the symposium, the event promises to be an unmissable opportunity. Topics include Mental Health for Healthcare Professionals, Medical Marijuana: Legalization Implications on the Pharmacy Profession, Controlled Substances, Human Trafficking, and more. 

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are encouraged to take part in the early bird registration, which ends Friday, February 21, 2020. 

Additional information about the Clinical Pharmacy Symposium, current list of speakers and its registration process can be found here

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About the Office of Continuing Pharmacy Education (CPE) at the Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health

The Office of Continuing Pharmacy Education (CPE) in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health (COPPS, IPH) is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The goal of the Office of Continuing Pharmacy Education is to provide general and consultant continuing education for pharmacists through a series of live continuing education programs to serve as a center of life-long learning.

Dr. Mandip Sachdeva Receives Consortium for Medical Marijuana (MMJ) Clinical Outcomes Research Grant
24 Feb

Dr. Mandip Sachdeva Receives Consortium for Medical Marijuana (MMJ) Clinical Outcomes Research Grant

Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health (FAMU CoPPS, IPH), Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor, Mandip Sachdeva, Ph.D., was recently awarded funding for his grant proposal entitled “Hyaluronic acid-functionalized, Cannabidiol-loaded Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC)-Derived Exosomes for Drug-Resistant Cancers” through the Consortium for Medical Marijuana (MMJ) Clinical Outcomes Research Grants Program.  

The Consortium for Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Research, which is composed of public and private universities, engaged in research on clinical outcomes of medical marijuana. The consortium will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of medical marijuana, consider dosing and routes of administration, including the study of the effects of smoking medical marijuana versus other methods of consumption. 

Funding recommendations were made after thoughtful and careful consideration at the MMJ Clinical Outcomes Consortium Research Board meeting in Fall 2019. Out of 41 proposal submissions by investigators from different consortium member institutions for the 2019 funding cycle, Dr. Sachdeva’s proposal was one of the ten that was chosen. His proposal for $71,250 was approved for the period of December 1, 2019, through July 31, 2020.   

“We would like to applaud Dr. Sachdeva for his excellent grantsmanship and significant accomplishment in securing extramural funding,” said Associate Dean of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Selina Darling-Reed, Ph.D. “His continued excellence is an inspiration to us all.”