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Two SOP Faculty Members Honored with USM Board of Regents Awards

Awards represent the highest honor that the Board bestows to recognize exemplary faculty achievement.

By Malissa Carroll
March 21, 2014

Two faculty members from the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy have been named the recipients of Faculty Awards in Mentoring and Public Service from the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents.

Jill Morgan, PharmD, associate professor in PPS and former associate dean for student affairs at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has received the USM Board of Regents Faculty Award in Mentoring for her tireless efforts to coach, advise, support, and mentor students in the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program and residents in the Pediatric Pharmacy Residency Program, for which she serves as director.

“The School of Pharmacy is thrilled that Dr. Morgan has been selected to receive this year’s USM Board of Regents Faculty Award for Mentoring,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FAAPS, FCP, dean and professor of the School, who nominated Morgan for the award. “Since joining the School’s faculty in 2001, Dr. Morgan has mentored more than 1,000 student pharmacists, and often serves as faculty advisor for more than 100 students each year. She exemplifies every aspect of excellence in mentoring and continues to go beyond expectations to assist students in achieving successful careers in both pharmacy practice and academia.”

As associate dean for student affairs from 2005 to 2013, Morgan was instrumental in the expansion of the School’s PharmD program to the Universities at Shady Grove, implementing the use of video conferencing between campuses and advocating for students’ access to services such as on-site advising, tutoring, career development, and counseling and registration services. She also recognized the need to make student pharmacists more competitive in the job market, overseeing the creation of the School’s Job Ready Program, which helps equip students with the tools and resources necessary to develop high quality resumes, enhanced networking skills, and superior interview techniques.

“Dr. Morgan is truly deserving of this prestigious award,” says Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, FAPhA, professor and chair of PPS. “She recognizes that mentoring is more than just supporting students academically — it is a process that encompasses all aspects of students and residents’ careers, including encouraging and supporting their personal goals. Dr. Morgan shows our students and residents that they will never be alone in their journey toward professional and personal happiness and leads by example in demonstrating how to excel in a professional career while balancing the demands of your personal life.”

In recognition of her dedication to mentoring students and residents at the School of Pharmacy, Morgan also received the Maryland Pharmacists Association’s Mentor of the Year Award in 2013, as well as the School’s Faculty Member of the Year Award presented by the Classes of 2010, 2011, and 2013.

“Mentoring is essential for all professions,” says Morgan. “It is vital to ensure that the next generation will care for our profession, while moving it forward. As students near graduation or residents near the end of training, I talk to them about the importance of the transition into a practicing pharmacist and encourage them to become mentors to others. I want them to understand that we need to work together to care for the pharmacy profession, just as we care for our patients.”

She adds, “I was very excited to learn that I had won the USM Board of Regents Faculty Award in Mentoring, but I could not have accomplished it alone. I would like to thank Dr. Eddington and Dr. Rodriguez de Bittner for their continued support throughout my career at the School of Pharmacy, as well as the many professors and colleagues who mentored me both as a student and a practicing pharmacist.”

The USM Board of Regents Faculty Award for Public Service was awarded to Bruce Anderson, PharmD, DABAT, associate professor in PPS, in recognition of his service as director of operations for the Maryland Poison Center (MPC).

A center within PPS, the MPC is certified by the American Association of Poison Control Centers as a regional poison center. It operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and is staffed by pharmacists and nurses who are certified as specialists in poison information. Though the Center initially only served physicians when it first moved to the School of Pharmacy 41 years ago, it has grown into a free public service that now responds to more than 60,000 calls from Maryland residents each year.

Nominating Anderson for the award, Eddington said, “Public services, such as the MPC, continue to face increased economic pressure. There is a need for innovators who understand those pressures and can use new technologies and scientific tools to achieve workable solutions. Dr. Anderson is known for his ability to drive innovation, helping the MPC expand both its staffing and services to work alongside the country’s other poison centers to document poisoning cases and review the data for possible outbreaks of bioterrorism, chemical terrorism, and other potential public health problems, such as food poisoning or contamination.”

MPC staff members work to prevent poisonings through outreach and education, while optimizing care for individuals whose cases need to be managed in a health care facility. Since its founding in 1972, the Center has responded to more than two million calls from Maryland residents. Those calls have addressed several important public health incidents, such as the Tylenol® cyanide poisonings, Sunlight dish detergent mailing, anthrax release, Baltimore’s Howard Street tunnel fire, and the emergence of new drugs of abuse, such as synthetic cannabinoids and “bath salts.”

“Throughout his time at the MPC, Dr. Anderson has proved himself to be an exemplary public servant,” says Rodriguez de Bittner. “As a diplomate of the American Board of Applied Toxicology, he has worked to build strong networks and collaborations with partners in other departments and agencies across the country, while continuing to provide quality poison prevention and treatment services to Marylanders.”

Anderson joined the faculty at the School of Pharmacy in 1993, following the completion of a fellowship in clinical toxicology at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego Regional Poison Center. He is a member of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology and American Association of Poison Control Centers. He has also served as a member of the board for the American Board of Applied Toxicology, as well as a trustee for the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology.

“I was surprised and humbled to learn that I had been chosen as this year’s recipient of the USM Board of Regents Faculty Award in Public Service,” says Anderson. “It is a great feeling to know that I am part of an organization that is committed to providing valuable poisoning treatment advice, education, and prevention services to residents across the state of Maryland when they need it most. I am especially proud to see that the University recognizes the importance of this unique public service and, through recognizing my work at the Center, is also honoring the Center itself.”

Morgan and Anderson will receive their awards at a special ceremony during the public session of the USM Board of Regents meeting on April 11.

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