Longtime Pharmacy Practice Professor Retires from School of Pharmacy
Faculty and staff gather with family and friends to celebrate Dr. Robert Michocki’s 43 years of service.
By Sean Cooper
July 17, 2014
Teacher, role model, and mentor– those are just a few of the words that describe Robert Michocki, PharmD ‘75, BCPS, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, who retired on June 30, after more than 40 years of service to the School.
“The School of Pharmacy has been truly fortunate to have Dr. Michocki commit more than 40 years of his career with us,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School. “During his time at the School, Dr. Michocki has impacted the lives of thousands of faculty, staff, and students. His contributions can be seen in the actions of our alumni, our current students, and our junior faculty, who look to him for mentorship and guidance. We cannot thank him enough for all that he has done and wish him well as he enters the next chapter of his life.”
Michocki received his Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from the School in 1971. He joined the School’s faculty later that year, working with David Roffman, PharmD, BCPS, AQ Cardiology, professor in PPS, and Robert (Buzz) Kerr, PharmD, professor emeritus at the School, to launch the School’s first post-baccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program in 1975.
“The School of Pharmacy has been fortunate to have had Dr. Michocki as both a student and member of its faculty,” says Kerr. “He has remained at the forefront of the pharmacy profession throughout his career, continuously pushing for excellence from his students and ensuring that they are held accountable in the classroom and on rotations in a very respectful and professional manner. Even as department chair, I relied on him for guidance and advice. It has been an honor to work with such a special individual, and I wish him success as he begins his well-deserved retirement.”
“Dr. Michocki and I have shared our professional and personal lives for the past 40 years,” adds Roffman. “We were two of the first three clinical pharmacists in the state of Maryland, and I treasure him as a colleague, friend, and confidant. Over the years, the scope of knowledge and practice that he has demonstrated has been truly amazing. He has set very significant expectations for his students, but always outlined them in such a way that they appreciated where he was coming from as a mentor, counselor, and friend. His presence at the School will be truly missed.”
During his time at the School, Michocki maintained practice sites in internal medicine, geriatrics, and emergency medicine, as well as a long-running family medicine practice site at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
“Through his practice site with the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Dr. Michocki played an important role in the instruction of every medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine for more than 25 years,” says Richard Colgan, MD, professor of family and community medicine and vice chair for medical student education and clinical operations at the School of Medicine. “He was also one of my favorite mentors during my time as a resident, never hesitating to share his love and wisdom in the field of pharmacology.”
Michocki is a respected professor and mentor, who has been recognized as the School’s “Teacher of the Year” a record-breaking 10 times. He taught several of the School’s current faculty members, including Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, FAPhA, professor and chair of PPS; Raymond Love, PharmD, BCPP, FASHP, professor in PPS; Wendy Klein-Schwartz, PharmD, MPH, associate professor in PPS; Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, BCPS, CPE, professor and vice chair for education in PPS; Bethany DiPaula, PharmD, BCPP, associate professor in PPS; and Mona Tsoukleris, PharmD, associate professor in PPS.
“Dr. Michocki is one of the finest instructors to ever serve on the faculty at the School of Pharmacy,” commends William Kinnard, PhD, former dean of the School, who hired Michocki in 1971. “This School went through a lot of changes during my tenure as dean, and I knew that we had to help develop our faculty into the region’s most highly qualified clinical professionals. When I reflect on my time here, one of the things of which I am most proud is that I found someone like Dr. Michocki, who became a great teacher not only to his students, but also to his colleagues.”
“Dr. Michocki is one the School of Pharmacy’s most dedicated faculty members,” adds Rodriguez de Bittner. “He has made a number of important contributions to PPS in both education and service, fostering the personal and professional growth of thousands of students and residents at his practice sites in internal medicine, emergency medicine, and family medicine. His commitment to teaching and mentoring his students, as well as junior faculty members, is unparalleled.”
Michocki also served as chair of PPS from April 2003 to August 2006, as well as interim chair from July 1991 to September 1992 and January 1996 to July 1997. “Throughout the years, Dr. Michocki has always had the courage to step up and be a leader when needed. He has had a terrific 43 years at School, but now it’s time for him to take some well-deserved time off,” says David Knapp, PhD, former dean and professor of the School of Pharmacy, and one of Michocki’s greatest mentors.
A special reception to celebrate Michocki’s career was held in May.
“Looking back on my career, I had no idea that I would come to develop such fond memories, great friends, and important achievements in my 43 years at the School of Pharmacy,” says Michocki. “I would like to thank my exceptional mentors and colleagues with whom I have had the privilege to work over the years.”