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SPRING, 2016 Give campain   facebook   linkedin   twitter   youtube   instagram   Google Plus
Communication from the Dean
Dr. Lisa Deziel, Dean.
Nova Southeastern University (NSU) has experienced several tremendous achievements in the last few months that positively affect the future of the College of Pharmacy, including:
  • the completion of the Center for Collaborative Research (CCR),
  • a recommendation to issue the certificate of need to relocate Plantation General Hospital to the NSU campus,
  • hiring of Cell Therapy Institute researchers, conducting ongoing research collaborations with Karolinska Institute (Sweden), and
  • the hiring of a founding dean for our allopathic (M.D.) medical school.

The continued growth and success of the university creates a positive energy that resonates within the college. While NSU marches forward toward Vision 2020, the College of Pharmacy provides important university support as it embraces its vision to be recognized as an entrepreneurial college of pharmacy providing opportunities that encourage innovation in education, practice, and research. Now offering Pharm.D., Ph.D., and M.S. degrees, along with several concurrent degrees, the college continues to expand, providing our students with unparalleled opportunities in education, research, and practice. As the profession transitions to new roles, it becomes essential that our graduates be prepared and confident to take on new, innovative roles.

In the midst of this wonderful growth, NSU has announced its campaign, Realizing Potential, with goals of 250 million dollars in philanthropic support (for student scholarships and faculty support) and 300 million dollars from external research funding. We are very proud of the alumni of the College of Pharmacy, who have long been "realizing their potential." I encourage everyone to participate in “Realizing Potential” campaign. Thank you for your continued support for NSU College of Pharmacy, our faculty, our students, and our future!

The success of a university lies in its students, alumni, faculty, and staff members. By that measure, NSU College of Pharmacy is certainly among the best pharmacy schools in the country. You can help us by emailing your updates and stories to and please include high quality photos when possible!

Shark Pride!
Lisa Deziel, Pharm.D., Ph.D.
College Pride

The 17th Annual STUEY Awards

STUEY Each year we recognize our own stars by nominating very dedicated and committed members of our community for the Student Life Achievement Awards, commonly known as the STUEYs. These outstanding individuals sturdily represent our NSU core values. It is with great pride we share with you our wonderful Stuey finalists and winner.
Finalists: Student of the Year: Daniel Pearson ('17); Regional Campus Student of the Year: Henry Osuju ('18), Palm Beach Campus; Staff Person of the Year: Lourdes Laboy, administrative assistant, Puerto Rico Campus; Graduate Organization of the Year: Alpha Zeta Omega (AZO); Co-Curricular Advisor of the Year: Michelle A. Clark, Ph.D., associate professor and chair, Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) Advisor; and Corporate Partner of the Year: Jackson Memorial Hospital.

We are pleased to announce that Michelle A. Clark, Ph.D. is NSU's 2016 Co-Curricular Advisor of the Year. Congratulations!

Holiday Fair a success in Puerto Rico

PR Holiday Fair
Students, faculty, and staff from the Puerto Rico Regional Campus, in collaboration with corporate sponsors COOPHARMA and Droguería Betances, participated in the first COP Holiday Fair event in Maunabo, P.R. Over 200 blood pressure and glucose screenings were performed. The event was a culmination of a semester filled with community activities showcasing the talents and commitment of the college to service and community. Planning is already underway for the second COP Holiday Fair in Puerto Rico next December. For more information on how you can be involved, email Julie Marín, Pharm.D.

Women in Health Care panel discussion

HPD Women in Health Care Panel Discusson
Lisa M. Deziel, Pharm.D., Ph.D., dean, College of Pharmacy, participated in the Health Professions Division (HPD) Women in Health Care panel discussion "Working to Form a More Perfect Union", sponsored by the HPD Multicultural Affairs Committee. The event was held in March as part of National Women’s History Month and included five HPD women leaders in health care. Deziel presented on “If I’d known then what I know now” and encouraged students to get involved, be positive thinkers, focus on strengths, and find their passion.

Students embrace diversity and interfaith through dialog

Diversity Dialog
Each year the College of Pharmacy (COP) helps its students gain an understanding of the diversity of our college community through the annual COP Diversity Dialogs. Dawn DaCosta, M.A., director, Academic Support Services, moderates the event and invites students and members of the college community with diverse backgrounds to present their experiences in areas including cultural, gender, religious, and racial stereotypes, prejudices, and biases.
In the fall event four students shared their personal stories and how they were able to overcome challenges and help others understand they were more alike than different, as well as the importance of getting to know someone without pre-conceived biases.
Interfaith Dialogue
In the spring an Interfaith Dialog was held, where panelists shared their religious or faith beliefs and related tenets with the audience. Faiths represented included Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. Audience members were surprised at the many similarities within the different faiths and that all promote peace, loving thy neighbor, and forgiveness. In addition to religious beliefs, the panelists were asked questions on food, marriage, dress, and family dynamics.

Alumni and student testimonials

The College of Pharmacy website features our alumni and student testimonials. View photos and comments about their education experiences and journeys towards successful and meaningful careers. If you are an alumni or a student and wish to share your testimony – please (text and your photo).



M.S. in Pharmaceutical Affairs launches in fall 2016

The College of Pharmacy began admitting students to the new Master of Science (M.S.) in Pharmaceutical Affairs degree program. This two-year graduate program is designed for persons interested in the acquisition of knowledge and skills associated with pharmaceutical agents. The degree will prepare students for positions in academia; managerial, or sales positions in the pharmaceutical industry; contract research organizations; managed care organizations; health care systems; and government agencies. Graduates will be able to critically analyze issues related to the production and use of pharmaceuticals and act as leaders in the field.
The M.S. in Pharmaceutical Affairs will also act as a bridge for students interested in additional preparation prior to pursuing a Pharm.D. or Ph.D. degree. Read more >>

Student Pride

Student of the Month

Student of the Month
Renu Bala ('17) was recognized for exemplary student leadership and involvement with the college: Class Vice-president, National Delegate for Rho Chi Honor Society and International Pharmacy Students Association (IPSA) Public Relations Officer. Bala also represented the NSU COP’s Rho Chi chapter at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) National Meeting. She recently served as a panelist on the Interfaith Diversity Dialog. Bala is recognized for academic excellence (Dean’s List and Rho Chi member) and providing peer tutoring to her classmates. Bala often participates in professional service activities showing her strong commitment to community service.
More on the "Student of the Month" awards >>

Student pharmacist identifies medication error

Michelle Wiltse
Michele Wiltse ('16), identified a serious adverse reaction during an APPE rotation. Upon chart review, she suspected her patient was suffering from Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT). Wiltse recommended to the medical team heparin be stopped and argatroban initiated. The patient’s platelets recovered to baseline. Wiltse and her medical team are commended for identifying this adverse event!

Puerto Rico student wins the 2016 Poster/Slogan Competition

Jonathan Guzman
Jonathan Guzman ('18) won the 2016 Poster/Slogan Competition for this year’s commemoration of Pharmacist Week sponsored by the Puerto Rico Pharmacists Association. This is the second year in a row that an NSU student has won the poster competition. Guzman's poster will be exhibited at the headquarters of the Puerto Rico Pharmacists Association (Colegio de Farmacéuticos de Puerto Rico) for the rest of the year. We are all very proud of Jonathan and the Puerto Rico students for their professionalism and creativity!

The 2016 Student Pharmacist Compounding Competition

Compounding Competition
The College of Pharmacy student compounding team competed in the 2016 Student Pharmacist Compounding Competition (SPCC) with 19 other pharmacy schools in three different challenges. The SPCC was a great experience for the students, providing an opportunity to increase their knowledge of the profession and gain exposure to the compounding industry. Several top leaders in pharmacy compounding, including David Mastropietro, Ph.D., assistant professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, were also present and provided presentations to the students and faculty during the event.

2016 Pinning Ceremony

Pinning Ceremony
The College of Pharmacy, Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus celebrated the 3rd annual Pinning Ceremony in March. One hundred and twenty one students participated in this celebratory event, along with their family and friends. The live stream was viewed throughout the United States and locations in South America, Ghana, India, Russia, Syria, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom. The Pinning Ceremony acknowledged the end of the students’ classroom study and the beginning of their advanced pharmacy practice experiences. Dean Lisa Deziel, Pharm.D., Ph.D. and student leaders, Diana Christie, B.S. ('17) and Mohaddisa Suchedina, B.Pharm., M.S. ('17) addressed the students.
The pinnacle of the event was the pinning of students by faculty members. Palm Beach Regional Campus and the Puerto Rico Regional Campus will host their Pinning Ceremonies at their respective regional campuses later this semester.  

Prestigious 2016 Gloria Niemeyer Francke Student Scholarship winner

Scholarship winner - Farima Raof
The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation recognized Florida Pharmacy Association student member Farima Fakheri Raof ('17) at the 2016 APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Baltimore as the winner of the Gloria Francke scholarship. The award recognizes exceptional demonstration of leadership skills and academics through active involvement in the APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). Congratulations on this outstanding achievement.

RHO CHI Chapter recognition

Rho Chi Chapter Recognition
The College of Pharmacy's Rho Chi Gamma Theta chapter celebrated its silver anniversary during this year’s Rho Chi national meeting at the American Pharmacists Association Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD.  Congratulations to Alexandra Perez, Pharm.D. ('05), faculty advisor and the Rho Chi Gamma Theta Chapter.

Florida Pharmacist Legislative Days

Legislative Days
Fifty three students, mentored by Stephanie Gernant, Pharm.D., assistant professor, Pharmacy Practice Department, represented NSU COP well at Florida Pharmacist Legislative Days, where they met with multiple representatives and senators. Students learned the importance of legislation and were able to discuss bills that impact pharmacy practice and the future of healthcare with legislators.
View a short video of the event.

Florida Pharmacy Association Student Affairs Council meeting

Student Affairs Council members Farima Fakheri Raof ('17) and Jessica Greenwood ('18) along with student pharmacists Ronell Balcacer ('18) and Zahraa Alalag ('18) represented NSU at the Florida Pharmacy Association's (FPA) Student Affairs Council Meeting in March. The FPA Student Affairs Council allows pharmacists and student pharmacists a chance to provide feedback to the FPA, collaborate, and brainstorm ideas to increase student involvement and to help advocate for the profession. The Student Affairs Council empowers student pharmacists and provides them a voice within the Florida Pharmacy Association.
Faculty Pride

Sharkpride Leadership

Sharkpride Leadership
Lisa M. Deziel, Pharm.D., Ph.D., dean, College of Pharmacy was recognized for her continued contributions to the NSU APhA-ASP Chapter for helping to foster the professional growth of the Chapter. Students presented the award during the meeting in March to show their support and gratitude for her inspirational leadership.

Shark sightings

Have you spotted these billboards while driving? We have two faculty representatives from the College of Pharmacy on highway I-95 billboards. Congratulations, Jean Latimer, Ph.D. and Appu Rathinavelu, Ph.D. Thank you for your remarkable research talents and for representing NSU and the COP.
Dr. Jean Latimer
Dr. Appu Rathinavelu

Students surprise their mentor on national TV

In February, talk show host Steve Harvey welcomed students from the College of Pharmacy - Faren French, (’16), Ariel Jordan (’16), Nayeli Montes (’17), and alumna Nicole Hope, Pharm.D, (‘15) - to surprise Jaime Weiner Riskin, Pharm.D, (’03), assistant professor, Pharmacy Practice Department, for a segment of The Steve Harvey Show. Weiner Riskin passionately strives to guide and inspire future pharmacists. However, last year, faced the possibility she would no longer be able to teach after discovering she had a meningioma, a benign brain tumor. The tumor grew while she was pregnant with her second child and was threatening her vision. After successful surgery and radiation, she has recovered well.
Weiner Riskin and her family traveled to Chicago to film the segment, where she was surprised by her students who thanked her for being their mentor and helping them navigate through school and guiding them in their professional growth. It was an incredibly emotional and meaningful experience for all involved. View the video >>

International research team reports significant findings on Vitamin B12

Richard Deth, Ph.D., professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, and his research team including Malav Trivedi, Ph.D., assistant professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences Department; (Yiting Zhang (Northeastern University); Nathaniel Hodgson (Harvard University); Hamid Abdolmaleky (Boston University); and Margot Fournier, Michel Cuenod and Kim Quang Do (Lausanne University, Switzerland)) found Vitamin B12 levels in the brain are significantly decreased in the elderly and are much lower in individuals with autism or schizophrenia, as compared to their peers at similar ages. The study was reported in the Public Library of Science One (PLOS One) journal. WPLG (ABC 10) aired a segment featuring Deth and Trivedi’s research. Click here to view the Local 10 Health Cast.

New technologies to formulate opioid dosage forms with abuse-deterrent features

Dr. Omidian in Research Spotlight
Hossein Omidian, Ph.D., professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, works with his research team, including David Mastropietro, Ph.D., assistant professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, to develop technologies (patent-pending) to formulate opioid dosage forms with abuse-deterrent features. These technologies will help prevent drug tampering and abuse. Read more>>

Professor bestows his Crystal Eagle to the College of Pharmacy

Dr. Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji
Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji, Ph.D., associate professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, was invited to speak during the Nanotechnology and Its Industrial Application session at Dubai International Pharmaceuticals and Technologies (DUPHAT) Conference and Exhibition in Dubai, UAE in March. During his presentation Rawas-Qalaji spoke about his research related to drug formulation and development: “Novel Approach for Enhancing Sublingual Absorption Using Nanotechnology: Sublingual Epinephrine for the Potential First-Aid Treatment of Anaphylaxis.”
Rawas-Qalaji’s scientific contribution and achievements were recognized during the conference Gala Dinner where he received the conference’s crystal eagle and certificate of appreciation. Rawas-Qalaji bestowed the Crystal Eagle to the college to express his appreciation to the college and the university as partners in his success.

Best Poster award at the 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Cardiology

Dr. Lymperopoulos
Anastasios Lymperopoulos, Ph.D., associate professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, won the “best poster” award at the 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting of the prestigious American College of Cardiology in Chicago.  Lymperopoulos presented the poster with student co-authors, Katie McCrink ('18) and Ava Brill ('16), showcasing the quality of research being conducted at the college, not only by the faculty but by pharmacy students, as well.
Alumni Pride

Alumna Jennifer Denk, Pharm.D. ('07) shares a real world ethical challenge

Dr. Jennifer Denk
Jennifer Denk, Pharm.D., (’07) visited the College of Pharmacy in January for a presentation to students regarding the importance of patient safety, professional integrity, and the willingness to stand up for what is right. Denk filed a whistleblower’s law suit, motivated by her professional ethics and concern for her patients. "I took an oath when I graduated from pharmacy school," she said in a statement, "and I felt I had no choice but to follow my oath," ignoring the repercussions of her decision to step forward and do the right thing. In sharing her personal experience about the process of being involved in a whistle blower law suit, Denk educated our pharmacy students on the awareness of real world application of ethics in what’s right and wrong and how they can play a part in ensuring pharmacy practice remains true to its ideals. Her unique story provides guidance and assurance for our future professionals when being faced with similar challenges. Read more >> 

Alumnus Richard Ashworth, Pharm.D. ('99) makes us proud

Get in touch
Mislady (Millie) A. Vélez
Director, Alumni Development and Professional Affairs
Phone: 954-262-1674

Upcoming Events
Tell us your story
Email your updates and stories to or at and please include 1 or 2 high resolution photos when possible.
Dr. Ashworth
As reported by PR Newswire: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Walgreen Co. announced the launch of an innovative collaboration designed to further advance cancer therapies and address the changing treatment model facing patients with blood and other cancers. "We are proud to team up with LLS on this transformational approach to empowering and supporting patients through our expert oncology specialized pharmacies across the country," said Richard Ashworth, Pharm.D. (’99) president, pharmacy and retail operations for Walgreens. "With our aligned missions and commitment to serving patients and families, LLS and Walgreens will make an even greater impact on the health and care of the nearly 1.2 million people in the U.S. living with or in remission from a blood cancer." Read more >>

Alumni CE socials

Alumni Social
NSU COP hosts alumni lunch socials during our continuing education courses, held throughout the year, at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus. These informal socials provide alumni the opportunity to mingle with their colleagues and network with faculty, student ambassadors from the Dean’s Ambassador Program, and their peers. These socials also give the alumni the opportunity to discuss current issues within the industry and provide feedback to the college of pharmacy and result in improved alumni outreach efforts. For more information, please visit
Residency Pride

Residency Match

Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy recognizes our graduating students pursuing an ASHP accredited residency program. The graduating class of 2016 is composed of 231 students of which an incredible 26.4% applied for residency training. Through their hard work and preparation an amazing 62.3% of those students were accepted into an accredited residency program. Furthermore, of our 2015 graduates deciding to pursue a PGY2 residency training program, 71.4% were accepted. This is truly a remarkable achievement which allows the College of Pharmacy to continue to be a strong representative for Nova Southeastern University nationally and internationally.

New Residency Program

The Experiential Education Department, in collaboration with SimfaRose Specialty Pharmacy, is pleased to announce the commencement of a new Post Graduate Year One  (PGY1) Community Pharmacy Residency with a focus of cancer and immunology. The primary objective of the program is to implement an interdisciplinary approach for patients with chronic illnesses while ensuring safe and effective use of various high-risk medications. Residents will assist in the choice of treatment regimens through evidence based medicine, compound both sterile and nonsterile agents, perform home health visits as needed, and conduct lectures for providers, patients, and pharmacy students. They will also have an in-depth learning experience related to regulatory affairs and pharmacy management. Pharmacies, including retail, independent, hospital, managed care, and home health, interested in starting a residency program or enhancing their current program can contact Renee S. Jones, Pharm.D., director, Preceptor Development, at
Global Engagement Pride

International Food Fest

International Food Fest, 2016
As a part of International Food Fest celebration, the International Pharmacy Students' Association (IPSA) showcased a variety of food dishes in January in support of the Clinton Foundation, raising approximately $800. For ten dollars, one could sample delicious dishes comprised of Brazilian pastries, Jamaican patties, Indian curries, Vietnamese rice as well as several meat dishes and soups. As a bonus, every purchase came with a free Arabic coffee. Not only did College of Pharmacy students support their fellow classmates, but students in other colleges within HPD also enjoyed these tasty treats.

Collaborative research with Slovakian scientists

Collaborative research
A joint research project with Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia) and Nova Southeastern University, College of Pharmacy, brought Andrea Gazova, Ph.D., assistant professor, Comenius University School of Medicine and graduate student Martina Zatkova, M.S., to the labs in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department. The scientists collaborated with Ana M. Castejon, Ph.D., associate professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, between October 2015 and March 2016. Gazova and Zatkova participated in research investigating the effects of the neuropeptide oxytocin in morphological changes in brain cells. The long-term goal of the project is to elucidate possible molecular mechanisms implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.

Travel Study to Spain

Twenty eight pharmacy students from the College of Pharmacy’s three campuses (Fort Lauderdale/Davie, Palm Beach, and Puerto Rico) will participate in this year’s Travel Study Program in Spain. The annual academic program provides pharmacy students the opportunity to experience how pharmacy is practiced in different countries around the world.
The students will be studying and touring in Spain from June 8th to June 26th. Cities that will be visited during the program include Madrid, Toledo, Salamanca, and Granada. ¡Buena suerte to our NSU COP Travel Study participants!
NSU news

New Hospital to be built on NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus

The 200-bed community hospital will serve South Florida, and will eventually become a teaching and research facility integrated with NSU’s clinics, research centers, and clinical trials. This milestone addition, coupled with this year’s opening of NSU’s Center for Collaborative Research, will provide students and faculty members expanded opportunities for research and training. These opportunities will be in a variety of the health professions, including osteopathic (D.O.) and allopathic (M.D.) medicine programs, engineering, and those pursuing other fields of study as well. Read more >>
Upcoming Events

CE Program: Voyage to the “Last Frontier”

The College of Pharmacy is hosting an ACPE-accredited and CE Broker approved continuing education program in Alaska from July 3 - 10, 2016 aboard Celebrity Cruises.
In addition to the CE presentations (up to 8 hours), the “voyage” will explore a labyrinth of fjords and bays where whales and sea lions find refuge during the summer months along with the great Hubbard glacier, the Icy Straight and much more.  For travel details and availability, contact Admiral Travel at For more information about the education program, contact Deborah Brown, M.S., Pharm.D., (’00), at

Other events

  • College of Pharmacy Commencement, May 20, 2016, Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus
  • Drug Development and Distribution - Travel Study in Spain and the E.U., June 8 – 28, 2016
  • FPA annual meeting and alumni gathering in Fort Lauderdale, June 30 - July 2, 2016
  • American Association of Health-System Pharmacists annual meeting and alumni gathering at Sea World in Orlando, FL, August 5 - 7, 2016
  • American Pharmacist Month Distinguished Alumni Forum: “From Student to Alumni to Professional,” October 6, 2016
  • College of Pharmacy Shark Pride Alumni Homecoming Reunion, November 4, 2016

Calendar Alumni Calendar of Events

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College of Pharmacy Health Professions Division Nova Southeastern University
3200 S. University Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33328
Phone: (954) 262-1300 or 1-800-356-0026, ext. 21300, Fax: (954) 262-2278