June 12, 2019

School News

Election Results: New PPD Chair, APC Members, and AACP Rep

Please join us in congratulating:

  • PPD Professor Beth Martin on her new role as the Chair of the Pharmacy Practice Division
  • PSD Professor Glen Kwon and SAS Professor Betty Chewning as SoP Academic Planning Council (APC) representatives
  • Mara Kieser on her role as Faculty Representative to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)
Beth Martin
Glen Kwon
Betty Chewning
Mara Kieser






Martin’s term as PPD Chair will begin on July 1, succeeding Professor Barry Gidal. As the Division Chair, she will provide oversight for the division, develop undergraduate and graduate programs, monitor faculty progress and development, as well as develop and implement the division’s strategic plan. Chairs are nominated by their division faculty for a three-year term.

Kwon and Chewning will serve as APC representatives within the SoP for a 3-year term. Associate Professor Arash Bashirullah is rotating off as one of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Division representatives, and Chewning will serve another term as one of the SAS Division representatives. APC is an elected representative group required by UW policy. Their major functions are to serve as the School’s main governance body for major programmatic and curricular issues, such as the creation, deletion, or review of academic programs and courses, oversight of educational and programmatic outcomes assessment, and strategic planning. The faculty of each school at UW–Madison establishes an APC that the dean consults on school or college programs and budgetary planning. The council advises the dean on such matters and provides departmental, school, or college views and opinions. View the rest of the SoP’s APC representatives here.

Kieser will serve as the AACP faculty alternate for the 2019-2020 term and as the representative for the 2020-2021 term. She was elected by SoP faculty members and will represent the SoP at AACP annual meetings.

Back to Top

SRC Updates Its Name and Celebrates with June 18 Open House

The Sonderegger Research Center (SRC) has been renamed to The Sonderegger Research Center for Improved Medication Outcomes. The change has been approved by the SRC executive committee and is effective immediately.

“When listed among other research centers the SRC name had no way of communicating the type of research we are doing. This new name is more reflective of that and has the ability to stand on its own without explanations,” said SRC Director, Michelle Chui.

With the new name will come the unveiling of a newly renovated space. The SRC has been under renovation since the fall 2018 and will host an open house to showcase the new and improved space on June 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. in room 2527.

“We’re really excited to show people the space and share some of the projects and research we’ve been working on,” said Chui. “A lot has changed in the past year, and we’re looking forward to inviting others in to see and learn what we’ve been up to.”

The SRC invites all faculty and staff to attend their open house. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be provided. Interested? RSVP here.

Learn more about the relaunched SRC.

Back to Top

David Mott and Kevin Look Open Dialogue with Policymakers at the Capitol

SAS Professor Dave Mott and Assistant Professor Kevin Look took a trip to the Wisconsin State Capitol to share their research at a Capitol briefing for the Evidence-Based Health Policy Project. They were joined by fellow UW–Madison researchers, policymakers, and the public to discuss the role of community pharmacists in treating and preventing opioid and other substance abuse.

The Evidence-Based Health Policy Project began in 2002 and is funded through grants. Briefings at the State Capitol provide legislators, staff, state agency employees, and other interested parties with timely information and research. Briefings address priority issues raised in the legislature, or address broader, ongoing policy issues. These events are open to the public and include question and answer sessions.

“There is a tremendous amount of interest in how pharmacists in communities throughout Wisconsin can be involved in the opioid crisis. Pharmacies can be access points for treatment for patients with opioid use disorder, especially in rural areas of the state,” said Mott.

Mott and Look shared examples of initiatives related to the opioid epidemic that involve pharmacists in communities throughout Wisconsin. Many of the examples were related to research grants and contracts in which SAS faculty and SRC staff have been involved.  They also communicated with external stakeholders about potential and developing roles pharmacists can play in the opioid epidemic.

“The briefing was a great opportunity to discuss the work being done at the School of Pharmacy with policymakers, state agencies, and other organizations and researchers working to combat the opioid epidemic. There are a lot of ways pharmacists can support efforts to address this important issue and it is vital that pharmacists continue to engage in these discussions and advocate for their profession,” said Look.

Read more about Mott and Look’s work.

Back to Top


Christine Sorkness Receives Distinguished Educator Award from ACTS

PPD Professor Christine Sorkness and her collaborator, UW senior scientist Christine Pfund, were recently honored with Distinguished Educator Awards from the Association of Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) at the 2019 ACTS Annual Meeting.

Sorkness and Pfund were selected for their decades-long partnership to improve research mentor training programs for scholars in the biomedical workforce. Together they have led programs at UW Madison and nationally as part of the Institute for Clinical & Translational Research (ICTR), to prepare early stage investigators for successful careers in the translation of scientific findings into interventions to improve human health.

“We accepted this award on behalf of our UW ICTR team members and NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) partners committed to workforce development and inclusive excellence. We are ever grateful for our own mentors, supporters, and funders,” said Sorkness.

Nominators applauded their passion for improving teaching and mentoring through evidence-based mentor training programs, alongside a deep commitment to diversifying the biomedical workforce.

Read more about Sorkness’ work on diversity and biomedical research here.

Back to Top

Andrea Porter Chosen for AACP’s 2019 Academic Leadership Fellows Program

PPD Associate Professor Andrea Porter has accepted a year-long fellowship with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s (AACP) Academic Leadership Fellows Program (ALFP). This program is designed to develop the nation’s most promising individuals to become future leaders in academic pharmacy and in higher education.

“I’m most excited about the opportunity to further develop my leadership skills and learn about topics that would fall outside of my usual scope as a professor such as budgeting, policy and governance, and HR management,” said Porter.

The program will provide Porter the chance to develop relationships with colleagues from other institutions and to gain a broader view of academic pharmacy in higher education. The ALFP curriculum is reviewed annually to ensure content is contemporary and appropriate to the program’s leadership objectives.

“Change is constant, and this program will help me as a faculty member be a leader during various changes, whether they be in courses, curriculum, or other changes at the School,” said Porter.

Andrea will begin her term as a fellow in August 2019.

Back to Top

Stephanie Blaszczyk Wins AAAS Journalism Fellowship

Chemistry PhD Student Stephanie Blaszczyk in Weiping Tang’s research group was recently awarded a 10-week Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Over the summer she will be a science writing intern with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covering a variety of topics.

“I’ve always had an interest in technical writing for research journals. But, I spent some time as a WISCIENCE Public Service Fellow and I learned to interact and foster relationships between people in the community and those in academia,” said Blaszczyk.  “That experience spurred my interest in writing for the general public.”

Blaszczyk’s love for writing grew even more when she reached out to her communications resources at UW–Madison and began to contribute to alumni publications at the SoP and the Department of Chemistry. However, she realized the significance of this work when her 9-year-old daughter asked what she did at work as a chemistry graduate student.

“I tried explaining my research to her in laymen’s terms instead of my technical language and I realized there was a bigger need to do this with the general public. When the fellowship opportunity came about, I knew it was right up my ally and I had to apply,” said Blaszczyk. “With the current political climate in the U.S. , we’re seeing science and healthcare professionals running for office due to the lack of transparency and accurate information from the government. We really need the people who are dedicated to communication and can talk to both audiences and be a bridge.”

Her fellowship begins this month with a trip to the AAAS Headquarters in Washington D.C. where she will get a crash course on the ins and outs of journalism best practices and meet her 25 cohort members who are placed at different media sites across the country.

Read more about Stephanie and her selection in the NIH Chemistry-Biology Interface Training program.

Back to Top

Olayinka Shiyanbola Selected to 2019 NIH Mixed Methods Training Program

SAS Assistant Professor Olayinka Shiyanbola was one of the scientists invited nationally to be a faculty consultant at this year’s Mixed Methods Training Program for Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded program is the only one of its kind in the United States and brings together faculty researchers from across the nation to teach them about mixed methods research. Shiyanbola attended this competitive program in 2015 as a trainee and was the first pharmacist accepted as a scholar.  She was one of two prior scholars invited back in June 2019 to fulfill a different role as faculty consultant.

Mixed methods research is defined as the collection, analysis, and integration of both quantitative (e.g., Randomized Controlled Trials outcomes) data and qualitative (e.g., observations, interviews) data to provide a more comprehensive understanding of a research problem than might be obtained through quantitative or qualitative research alone. The program helps meet a national need for formal training in mixed methods research and acknowledges the importance of this approach in addressing population and behavioral health.

“My role was to make the participants projects better and help them think critically about their ideas. Now that I’ve done it for several years, I know the barriers and challenges they may face,” said Shiyanbola.

Scholars get access to webinars, resources, and the in-person retreat at Johns Hopkins University to discuss their research project. They are matched with mixed methods expert consultants, like Shiyanbola, who lead them through the learning process.

“It was amazing to be invited back and to have the opportunity to give back. I know the program tracks our successes and they’ve been able to see my success with mixed methods since attending as a scholar in 2015. I feel so humbled to be at the stage where I’m leading and guiding other faculty in their own mixed methods projects,” said Shiyanbola.

Shiyanbola has now brought this NIH-based training back to the school of pharmacy as she taught the first mixed methods seminar course to PhD SAS students last fall. She was also invited to do a mixed methods workshop at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) meeting in March 2019.

Back to Top

Get to Know SoP

Buzzing Around

Joe ZorekFarewell 

PPD Associate Professor Joe Zorek is headed to the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where he will lead an institution-wide effort to advance interprofessional education (IPE) as Director of their Quality Enhancement Plan, “Linking Interprofessional Networks for Collaboration.” His last day is June 10.

“It’s been a great experience leading the School’s IPE effort. I’m extremely grateful for the faith Dean Swanson put in me to lead this important initiative, for the support and guidance Mel de Villiers provided over the years, and for all the partners within the School and across campus who contributed to getting the IPE program off the ground,” said Zorek. “Working together, we raised the status of the School nationally, and that’s something I’ll always be proud of.”

Joe and his family are looking forward to lots of sunshine and queso in Texas – look them up if you’re ever in the Lone Star State!

New Hires

Christine Preston — Assistant Dean for Research Administration, starting on July 1. With the retirement of Sharon Vetter in August, there will be planned overlap for a successful transition. Christine has more than 25 years of administrative and grant experience, most recently serving as Assistant Director of UW–Madison Cardiovascular Research Center at SMPH. Her experience also includes pre-award grant management for the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID).


Lisa Imhoff — Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives, starts on July 1. Lisa holds a master’s degree in social work from UW–Madison and comes to us from the University Health service here on campus.





Yibiao Wu — Postdoc Research Associate with Professor Richard Hsung, started on June 1.





Noah Budi — Postdoc Post Degree Trainee with Associate Professor Warren Rose, started on June 1.




Tori Wiskow — Associate Research Specialist with Professor Jeffrey Johnson in the Johnson Lab, started June 3.





Anne Schwarzwalder — Associate Research Specialist with Professor Tim Bugni, started on June 1.


Congratulations to…

Katie Gerhards on her promotion to Assistant Director of Content Marketing. She has done an outstanding job of promoting the SoP brand on key owned media channels, such as SoP social media and DiscoveRx, SoP alumni publication. Her results-driven approach has led to greater readership with the revitalization of DiscoveRx and significant growth in engagement and followers through reinvigoration of SoP Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as the launch of SoP Instagram and Twitter.

Back to Top

Fac/Staff Spotlight

Name:  Amanda Watter

Job title: Housing Network Coordinator

Hometown: Freeport, IL

How long have you worked at the School of Pharmacy?  1 year

Tell us what you do…  I manage a database of housing options for students to utilize for their distant clerkship rotations.  I connect with individuals throughout the state, including preceptors, who may offer housing options or have recommendations of local places that could accommodate students.

Another role I have in Experiential Education is ensuring IPPE students are compliant with the requirements for their rotations. Most practice sites require specific documentation for each rotation.

I also assist the Experiential Learning Course Coordinators with various tasks related to their courses.

What are you currently working on?  I am currently working on finding more housing options for students, particularly in rural areas of Wisconsin as well as international rotations.

What about your work makes you the most proud?  I have enjoyed getting to know the students this past year and look forward to continuing to support them throughout their journey in the SOP.  I hope that by providing more housing support students feel less stressed and can focus more on their education.

If you see me around, stop and talk to me about…  Fun events or places to visit this summer with my kids, Colby (5) and Claire (2). They are adventurous and enjoy being outside.

If I had more time, I’d love to…  travel and spend more time with some of my friends who live out of state.  I would also like to be more involved in our community and volunteer for local events. Lastly, I would like the time to do some of the crafts, recipes, and house projects I have on my Pinterest page.

My favorite place is… camping with my family. We love being outdoors and having fun without any other distractions. Our favorite camping trip each year is Castle Rock. We go with my parents, siblings and their kids. It’s not very relaxing with six kids, but it sure is fun!

Proudest moment or accomplishment?  Last summer my 5-year-old son insisted on finding all 85 Bucky on Parade statues.  He is very determined and always finishes what he starts. It ended up being a really fun experience that brought us to places throughout Madison that we had never been to. The hunt was an exciting adventure for our whole family. I have since been informed by my son that this summer we are doing it all over again as many of the statues are in new locations, and we must find them. Wish me luck!

Back to Top

Photo Gallery: Adam Whitehorse’s Farewell Lunch

Back to Top

Madison Recommendations

Jasmyn Booker, Internal Communications Specialist

Looking for some ways to take advantage of the summer weather? Check out these FREE lunchtime activities happening on campus at Allen Centennial Garden! What I really love about this is that I can add these events to my calendar ahead of time and prioritize time to get outside during my lunch hour. If you are looking for someone to attend with, let me know!

Back to Top

Pet Lovers Corner

Jericha Mill, Graduate Student in Lingjun Li Lab

Cooper (middle) was adopted from Indianapolis Animal Control when he was a kitten and made the trip from Indiana to Wisconsin with my boyfriend and me last summer! When he was a kitten, they marketed him as a “domestic medium-hair,” but that was quickly proven to be false as he grew (and fluffed) up. He can be extremely cuddly, but usually only when he’s trying to convince us to feed him. In fact, he wakes us up each morning around 4 a.m. to beg for breakfast. It has never worked, but I admire his persistence.

Lacey (right) is from Dane County Humane Society – we adopted her when we realized that Cooper might be a little bit lonely. He was beyond thrilled to have a friend and immediately wanted to meet her, but Lacey (all four pounds of her) kept trying to scare him off. They get along a lot better now. She has to be near her people at all times, and we always wake up in the morning to find her snuggled up against us. Her obsession with food is nowhere near the level of Cooper’s obsession, but he’s definitely a bad influence.

Back to Top