April 22, 2019

School News

We Want Your Strategic Plan Feedback!

As discussed at the faculty and staff meeting on April 4, the Academic Planning Council (APC) is working on a reconfiguration of the School’s strategic plan and would like feedback from all faculty and staff.

The draft plan, PowerPoint presentation, and presentation graphic are available for review. Please submit your feedback as directed below:

  1. Send or discuss your feedback with your faculty representatives within APC.
    1. Andrea Porter and Mary Hayney for PPD
    2. Arash Bashirullah and Sandro Mecozzi for PSD
    3. Yinka Shiyanbola and Betty Chewning for SAS
  2. For all other units (e.g., Business Office, Student and Academic Affairs, IIT, etc.), please send your feedback to Mel Del Villiers.

All feedback and comments are due Friday, April 26.

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Laurel Legenza Creates a New Tool to Map Antibiotic Resistance in Wisconsin

In collaboration with the State Cartographer’s Office, SAS Assistant Scientist Laurel Legenza has created an innovative new way to look at antibiotic resistance in Wisconsin to help health care providers make better treatment decisions.

When treating a patient with an infection, doctors must decide which antibiotic will have the best chance of curing the patient. This task has grown increasingly difficult as disease-causing pathogens are becoming increasingly resistant to multiple antibiotics.

Hospitals often track antibiotic resistance profiles through an antibiogram table. It shows the percentage of pathogens tested that would respond to an antibiotic. This tool is complicated and often difficult to find in a health system, and the data is limited to the population in the facility where it was collected.

“The goal of this project is to take the data that is hard to find and difficult to interpret and make a beautiful user-friendly version that is more functional,” said Legenza.

With her weather map inspired tool, users can visually see parts of the state where E. coli isolates have high or reduced susceptibility to antibiotics. The different colors show the percent of pathogens expected to respond to the antibiotic at each location. The interactive tool allows pharmacists or physicians to easily find antibiotics of interest and the predicted percentage of effectiveness in each part of the state. Geographic interpolation creates predicted susceptibilities in areas where data is not otherwise available, considering the surrounding data points in a three-dimensional space.

Legenza is currently collecting new data to create a much higher resolution and granular view of Wisconsin beginning with Dane County. She is also looking to explore more variables like population density and demographics.

“My hope is that this can be available to any health care provider, especially those that see patients and don’t have an antibiogram readily available,” said Legenza. “Eventually I’d like to expand beginning with our neighboring states.”

Legenza’s collaborators are PPD Associate Professors Susanne Barnett and Warren Rose, and Jim Lacy and Cody See from the UW–Madison State Cartographers Office.

Read more about the groundbreaking antimicrobial research project.

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Research and Teaching Professor Titles for Academic Staff

The UW Faculty Senate approved the use of the titles “Research Professor” and “Teaching Professor” for academic staff at UW-Madison. Both title series will include the Assistant, Associate and Full Professor titles.

Here is a link to the two resolutions:

Details on implementation of these titles are just starting to be discussed. More information will be shared as it becomes available. 

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Funmi AbrahamOlufunmilola Abraham Named 2019 Morgridge Fellow

SAS Assistant Professor Olufunmilola Abraham will join a cohort of 11 other UW–Madison faculty members and instructors selected to participate in the professional development program of the Morgridge Center for Public Service.

Fellows are selected through a juried process to participate in the year-long learning community designed to further institutionalize and support community-engaged scholarship. The program is led by Morgridge Center academic staff and guest speakers from campus and community perspectives.

“I’m really excited because this cohort will begin around the same time I’m launching my new Community Engagement in Health Services Research course. I will have the opportunity to learn new things about community engagement from the cohort and share all I’m learning with my students,” said Abraham. “The university is giving us the resources we need to be successful, and it will really strengthen the course and my work.”

Fellows attend eight sessions between September and May focused on developing and sustaining community-based learning courses or research. In addition to receiving support for her classroom, Abraham and the other Fellows will have the opportunity to build a unique interdisciplinary team of mentors and peers from the teaching and learning community.

Professor Eva Vivian was among the first Morgridge Fellowship cohort selected in 2018.

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Graduate Student Taylor Watterson Receives APhA APRS-ESAS Best Post-Graduate Podium Award

Pharmacists are good at taking care of patients, but what about taking care of themselves? Graduate Student Taylor Watterson presented her research on pharmacist fatigue and won Best Post-Graduate Podium Award at the 2019 APhA Conference.

Watterson’s graduate research was spurred by her own experience of working in a chain pharmacy. She noticed how exhausted and fatigued her preceptors were. She also experienced fatigue as a pharmacy student working many hours while attending classes full-time. She wanted to help patients but felt something was fundamentally wrong when it came to how healthcare providers cared for themselves.

Watterson began her research by focusing on the issue’s pharmacists face in their day to day lives and capturing those issues in a survey. She found that pharmacists experience two major categories of fatigue, physical and mental. Physical fatigue was reported as back pain, strained vision, or exhaustion. Metal fatigue was described as brain fog or difficulty focusing on a given task.

Fatigued pharmacists are more likely to risk patient safety and make errors. From an organization standpoint, fatigue can negatively impact retention rates and burn out.

Taylor will continue her research on pharmacist fatigue during her PhD and plans to make her survey data a resource for others to use to implement positive change in their organizations. 

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Graduate Student Bethany McCarty Receives NSF Graduate Fellowship

Graduate Student Bethany McCarty was recently awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

McCarty is a graduate student who works in the Tang Lab with PSD Professor Weiping Tang. Although her NSF research proposal involved transforming three-membered rings to four-membered rings via carbene insertion, she is currently working on developing methodologies for use in carbohydrate synthesis.

She looks forward to beginning her fellowship, which will allow her more time in the lab, and some extra time to pursue a passion project. As a member of a primarily Hispanic community, McCarty hopes to develop a science program to promote science to underserved and Spanish-speaking communities in Madison.

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Get to Know SoP

Faculty/Staff Spotlight

Name: Olayinka Shiyanbola

Job title: Assistant Professor, Social and Administrative Sciences.

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

How long have you worked at the School of Pharmacy? Since July 2013

Tell us what you do… I currently teach and coordinate a class for the first year pharmacy students, Social and Behavioral Aspects of Pharmacy Practice. I also teach a seminar class, Introduction to Mixed Methods Research, Purpose, Design and Approach to the PhD graduate students in our division. I conduct interdisciplinary and collaborative research in areas related to medication adherence/medication use among underserved populations, health literacy, health equity, and quality of care. I lead a research lab with 2 research staff, 3 PhD graduate students, 7 pharmacy students, and 4 undergraduate/pre-pharmacy students. I advise and mentor the students working in my lab including supervising the thesis/dissertation of the PhD students. I serve on the SOP Assessment Committee and Academic Planning Council and one University Committee. I review grant proposals when invited, review research papers for various journals, serve as an advisory board member for Pharmacy Practice and the editorial board for PLOS One. I sit and serve as a selected member of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy.

What are you currently working on? A couple of projects but will highlight a few…

  1. I am working on a community-based research project related to improving medication adherence among African American/Black patients with type 2 diabetes. PEERs Lead (Peers Supporting Health Literacy, Self-efficacy, Self-Advocacy and Adherence) is a peer-led educational behavioral intervention that pairs individuals who are adherent to their medicines (peer ambassadors) with others who are nonadherent (peer buddies). We train peer ambassadors to actively support and teach buddies about self-advocacy in patient-provider relationships, as well as sharing their experiences managing diabetes, providing social support, enhancing health literacy, patient activation and self-efficacy. There are group education classes, as well as phone calls/use of the mobile app, WhatsApp to enhance the discussions occurring between buddies and their ambassadors.
  2. Project ADHERE is a 2-year health literacy-psychosocial support mixed methods clinical trial being done with Denise Pigarelli and other collaborators at Department of Family Medicine that focuses on addressing the health literacy of veterans with diabetes, enhancing their self-efficacy, and addressing their illness and medication beliefs.
  3. I am on my 3rd year of the KL2 Career Development Award where I am developing a valid and reliable culturally appropriate survey tool that can identify modifiable illness beliefs among African Americans/Blacks with diabetes. We have done lots of focus groups, cognitive interviews, and pilot testing of this tool for the past three years and now getting ready for the initial validation of the tool.
  4. I am conducting a longitudinal study that integrates qualitative and quantitative methods to have a better understanding of the factors influencing medication adherence behaviors among Blacks with type 2 diabetes. We want to understand medication adherence changes overtime among Blacks with diabetes using surveys and then using interviews, investigate from the patient’s perspective what might have led to the changes in adherence over 6 months.

What about your work makes you the most proud? When the creativity of a student shines through in their ideas and thinking! Sounds cliché but the ability for our research to make a difference in the life of a patient/community and improve their health.

Latest read or TV show binge? I catch up on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit on the weekends. I guess my love for working with the underserved/vulnerable populations is reflected in my love for the show. My daughter and I love Shark Tank also.

If I had more time, I’d love to… Travel to see my siblings and family. I have not seen my siblings in four years. Volunteer in my kids’ classroom, serve on the PTO of my kids’ school. Volunteer more in the community.

My favorite place is… At home relaxing with family.

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Madison Recommendations






Jasmyn Booker, Internal Communications Specialist

Madison Reco: If you enjoy a good breakfast, I highly recommend Short Stack downtown! All the food is great, but I particularly recommend the pancakes (a short stack), or if you’re feeling adventurous, the blind! The blind is kind of like a chef special and is only $7. The only hint they will give you is if the food is sweet or savory. I get it almost every time and am always satisfied.

Insider Tip: If you go on the weekend, get there before 10 am or you will be in a very long line!






Anna Reinhart, Event Coordinator

Madison Reco: Chazen Museum – it’s free and has exhibits that change all the time. Afterward, grab a bite to eat around the corner at Paul’s Pel’meni (Russian dumplings) or Poké It Up.

Insider tip: You can pay to park in the state/lake street ramp, but if downtown isn’t too busy, you might snag a free parking spot in the Frances Street cul du sac (right by state street brats) or even in the loading zones if you time it right. For those of you with UW parking permits, you can use them to park for free on nights and weekends in lots 5 (behind Chadbourne Hall), lot 9 (behind Science Hall), lot 8 (by Limnology) and at several other campus lots. Check out map.wisc.edu for a full list.

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Pet Lover’s Corner






As a kitten, Minnie was found in a box of scrap metal that was going to be shredded and recycled. They didn’t know where her mom was and she was tiny at the time, only about 9 ounces. When the people who found her brought her to Angel’s Wish Adoption and Resource Center, they brought in a little Minnie Mouse doll they had bought to keep her company and for her to snuggle with. That’s why she got her name, Minnie. Her foster mom bottle fed her until she could eat solid food and socialized her with her cats. So thankful for those kind people who found her and for ‪Angel’s Wish Pet Adoption and Resource Center and her foster mom for taking such good care of her until she (and her Minnie Mouse doll) found her forever home with us. She has become an awesome lap cat. – Lara Collier, PSD Associate Professor







Meet Trudy! Trudy is a 9-year-old spitz terrier mix. She was found living on the streets of northern California when she was one and half years old. Trudy is our adventure buddy — she loves hiking, kayak rides, car rides, going to the beach or lake (only if she can dig in the sand), and enjoys anything outside when the weather is nice. When Trudy’s not on her adventures, she is cuddling on the couch or hanging out with our cat, Lillie. Jannelle Frey, Admissions Coordinator

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