Former Student Turned Faculty Member Retires from School of Pharmacy
Faculty, staff, and students gather for reception to honor Dr. Myron Weiner’s 36 years of committed teaching, scholarship, and service to the School.
By Malissa Carroll
November 22, 2013
According to the popular Hollywood film The Wizard of Oz, there’s no place like home. It’s a sentiment that especially rings true for Myron Weiner, PhD ’72, who retired from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy after more than 30 years as an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. On Nov. 19, the School hosted a special reception in its Ellen H. Yankellow Grand Atrium to celebrate Weiner’s distinguished career.
“Through his numerous teaching and administrative roles, Dr. Weiner has contributed enormously to the educational mission of the School of Pharmacy,” said Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FAAPS, FCP, dean and professor of the School. “I first met Dr. Weiner as a graduate student at the School, when he served on my dissertation committee. As a student, faculty member, and now dean of the School, I have always found Dr. Weiner to be a source of views and opinions that have pushed our School to do the best that it can for our students. His imprint can be seen in both the student pharmacists and student researchers who learn from him and go on to pursue amazing careers.”
A native of Baltimore, Weiner not only spent most of his career as an educator at the School of Pharmacy, but also as a student, completing both his Bachelor of Science in pharmacy and his doctorate in pharmacology at the School. Though he eventually left the city to start his career — accepting a position as assistant professor in pharmacology at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy in 1971 — he returned six years later to the School’s PSC department, where he has served as an associate professor since 1977.
“Dr. Weiner is a true innovator in education,” said Andrew Coop, PhD, professor and chair of PSC. “He taught courses that applied basic science to clinical practice long before interprofessional education was held in as high regard as it is today. Although he has retired, there is no doubt that his legacy will continue through the pharmacy students who apply basic science to the practice of pharmacy without a second thought.”
By 1987, Weiner was director of the School’s Graduate Program in Pharmacology and Toxicology, a position he held until 1994, when he helped lead the transition to and became director of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program. He also served as associate dean for academic affairs for four years and as faculty advisor to the Rho Chi Society for more than 20 years. And, he mentored 15 graduate students throughout his career.
The secret to his success as an educator, however, might be simpler than others imagine. “Although Dr. Weiner has witnessed many changes at the School during his 36 years, one thing that has not changed is his ability to balance serious academic pursuits with a bit of fun,” said Coop.
Whether he was dressing in an old man’s costume for a lecture about drug effects in the elderly, challenging students with fun illusions and brainteasers before class, or managing and pitching for the School’s past softball team, Weiner strived to show students that they could learn and have fun at the same time.
“Dr. Weiner used to deliver a lecture to new students on the first day of the semester that explained all of the different ‘hats’ he wore as the School’s associate dean of academic affairs,” recalled Coop. “As he was speaking, he would actually put on a whole range of different hats. The first image of Dr. Weiner to which I was treated as a faculty member was of him wearing a jester’s hat. That is an image I will not soon forget.”
Edward Moreton, PhD, professor in PSC and one of Weiner’s closest colleagues, also spoke during the reception about the daily lunches he shared with Weiner at Lexington Market.
“Dr. Weiner and I have been good friends and colleagues for more than 30 years,” said Moreton. “During that time, we’ve probably had about 15,000 sandwiches at nearby Lexington Market. If you consider that a sandwich costs about three dollars, then that amounts to approximately a $45,000 friendship. I would argue that it has been worth every penny, and more.”
Following remarks from his colleagues and friends, Weiner was presented with an official citation from the Governor’s office in celebration of his retirement, and was officially recognized by the University as an associate professor emeritus for his many years of committed service to the School. He donned his newly purchased “retirement hat” before addressing the crowd.
“I cannot begin to express how touched I am by the kind words that have been shared today,” said Weiner. “I appreciate the opportunity that I have had to work with such excellent faculty and terrific students. It has been a lot of fun, and I have enjoyed working with each of you in both fun activities as well as academics.”