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FALL, 2019   facebook   linkedin   twitter   youtube   instagram
Michelle A. Clark, Ph.D.,  Dean.

It is with pleasure that I announce that, after a national search, I have officially been named the Dean of the College of Pharmacy. I feel privileged and honored by the opportunity to lead the college and I am looking forward with optimism to all we will accomplish over the next few years. 

As we kicked off the Fall semester, we were excited to welcome new students, embrace our returning students and wish our 2019 graduates continued success on their next step in the professional careers. 
Over the summer, we continued engagement with our students by organizing health fairs, a mission trip to Guatemala and the Travel Study program which took students to China and Japan.  Our faculty traveled to important conferences including the Florida Pharmacy Association (FPA) Conference, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Annual Conference, and the Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists (FSHP) Conference.  Additionally, William R. Wolowich, Pharm.D., published a seminal paper on minimal physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling of THC, and Karen Sando, Pharm.D., received the award for Pharmacist of the Year from FSHP.

Looking toward the future, the Fall semester will bring with it a celebration of American Pharmacists Month in October, FUTURES Summit, and Homecoming Week activities in November.

We are full of energy and enthusiasm; we are ready to give our students the best opportunities to learn, thrive and become a force of nature! Go Sharks!

Shark Pride!
Michelle A. Clark, Ph.D.

2019 Graduation

The class of 2019 returned to NSU after their advanced pharmacy practice experiences mid-May for Curriculum Review Week, which was full of exciting activities.  NSU’s newest alumni-to-be were provided with a PASSNAPLEX review to help prepare them to take the NAPLEX, but also some fun was woven in to the week to commemorate and celebrate their milestone accomplishments. 

The week started off with the Senior Luncheon held in the Atrium of the Carl DeSantis Building.  Students were treated to lunch, received a swag bag, and during a brief ceremony the following students received awards: 

  • Lily Achievement Award - Alejandro Nieves Santiago
  • Mylan Excellence in Pharmacy Award Program - Greter Acosta Pena
  • Solara Labs Outstanding Professionalism Award - Vanessa M. Huffman
  • Natural Standard Research Collaboration Award - Nelson Pagan-Figueroa
  • Facts and Comparison Award of Excellence - Lilia Nazef

After a rigorous review for the NAPLEX, it was time for another treat. The 2019 Senior Awards Dinner and Dance was hosted at the beautiful Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, FL. During the event, students were treated to a delicious meal, and a brief award ceremony to leave time for dancing the night away. The following students received the awards:

  • Chancellor’s Award - Diliam Jouve Gonzalez
  • Dean's Award - Shahrzad Ghanavi

Students were joined by faculty and staff members on the dance floor celebrating their accomplishments and upcoming graduation.  Students and faculty alike used the time to catch up with friends, find out how the student’s advance pharmacy practice experiences were and what the future had in store. 

Dean Clark said in her welcome speech, “Your time at NSU has prepared you to go out and conquer the world, to strive for excellence, and to understand that you are capable of achieving what you set out to accomplish. We are so proud to have been a part of that journey in your lives.”

Then it was time for graduation day.  Students took to Instagram to share the excitement of the day with family, friends and their NSU Pharmily.  Here are some of the images they shared!
Graduation slideshow thumbnail
Faculty Pride

Karen Sando, Pharm.D., Selected as “Pharmacist of the Year”

Dr. Sando

We are proud to congratulate Karen Sando, Pharm.D., assistant dean, assessment and accreditation, on being selected as “Pharmacist of the Year” at this year’s Florida Health Systems Pharmacists (FSHP) Conference in early August. Receiving the award was extra special for Sando as she was surprised by her family who were there to watch her receive it and without whom she says she would not be able to do so much. Dean Clark says of Sando’s selection as the recipient, “We are extremely proud of Dr. Sando’s accomplishment. She is an amazing leader and a great role model for our students.”

Sando has been an active member of FSHP since she was a student and credits her involvement as having helped her develop professionally while making useful and long-lasting professional contacts. Sando also stated that her association with FSHP has allowed her to be engaged in advocacy for the pharmacy profession. “Earning Pharmacist of the Year for FSHP is one of the most rewarding recognitions of my career thus far,” said Sando. She continues, “I feel completely honored and humbled to receive such a high honor by representing health-system pharmacists through my various roles in FSHP.”

Jamie Riskin, Pharm.D. (’03) Wins the "Golden Apple" Award

Dr. Riskin

During the 2019 Senior Awards Dinner and Dance, the Golden Apple award was given.  This year’s recipient was Jamie Riskin, Pharm.D. (’03).

After learning she became a finalist as the class of 2019 nominee Riskin said, “I love this class, this means so much to me especially coming from them.”

Assistant Dean at NSU COP in Puerto Rico Completes ALFP

Dr. Ortiz with Dr. Clark

Blanca Ortiz, Pharm.D. ('03), an assistant dean at the NSU College of Pharmacy in Puerto Rico, completed the AACP’s Cohort 15th Academic Leadership Fellows Program (ALFP). According to the AACP’s website, the aim of ALFP is to support the development of leaders in academic pharmacy education and provides an opportunity for Fellows to grow relationships with others in the field. Pictured from left: assistant dean Blanca Ortiz and dean Michelle A. Clark.

Summer Conferences

Faculty members and students left their mark at pharmacy conferences this past summer.  Many of our faculty members and students showcased their round table presentations, posters and presentations:

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Conference, Chicago, IL:

  • Cynthia Moreau: "A Case-Based Approach to Integrating the Pharmacists' Patient Care Process in a P1 Capstone Course”, combined podium and poster presentation.
  • Dawn Dacosta and Brian Stonebraker: “Facilitating the Enforcement of Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 Visa Students”, roundtable presentation
  • Jeffery Jurkas, Rose Llanos-Almeida, Mark W. Moore, Mark Dunn and Kimberly Dunn: “Beg Borrow Steal… Tech Tools to Survive with Limited Resources”, poster
  • Karen Sando, Robert McGory, Graciela Armayor, Jolanta Czerwinska, Rochelle Nappi: “A Tale of Two Cities: Approach to the Co-Curriculum at a Public and Private Institution”, presentation
  • Karen Sando, Robert McGory, Graciela Armayor, Michelle Clark: “Use of Professional Certification Programs to Achieve Practice Ready Graduates”, poster

Other Conferences:

  • Blanca Ortiz and Frances M. Colon Pratts, “Immunization Update 2019: Pharmacists Role in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention”, Puerto Rico National Pharmacy Convention, Puerto Rico, presentation
  • Cynthia Moreau, “Utilizing Examsoft to Promote Knowledge Retention Among Pharmacy Students”, Examsoft Assessment Conference, Montreal, Canada,  presentation
  • Genevieve Hale, “Hypertension Guidelines: How Low Should BP Go?”  Florida Pharmacy Association (FPA) Southeastern Gatherin’, Destin, FL, presentation
  • Kalumi Ayala, “Interactions with Antiretroviral Therapy”, Puerto Rico National Pharmacy Convention, Puerto Rico, presentation
  • Raquel Lozada Diaz, “Polypharmacy and Pharmacological Interactions in Geriatric Patients”, Puerto Rico National Pharmacy Convention, Puerto Rico, presentation
  • Robert Speth, “Pleiotropism of the Renin-Angiotensin System: What Doesn’t It Do?”, PanAmerican Congress of Physiological Sciences, Havana, Cuba, Keynote Speaker

Residents and Staff Welcome!

  • Adeline Severe, Administrative Coordinator I
  • Andrea Butler, Administrative Coordinator I
  • Quiarra Francoise, Administrative Coordinator I

  • Dominque Davis, PGY-1 Community-Based Pharmacy Resident (residency program director: Goar Alvarez, Pharm.D.)
  • Keyla Rodriguez Zayas, PGY1 Community-Based Pharmacy Resident (residency program director: Blanca Ortiz, Pharm.D.)
  • Sayel Rivera-Garcia, PGY-1 Pharmacy Resident (residency program director: Yarelis Alvarado, Pharm.D.)
  • Stephanie Toledo, PGY-1 Pharmacy Resident (residency program director: Yarelis Alvarado, Pharm.D.)
  • Rucha B. Acharya, PGY-2 Ambulatory Care Resident (residency program director, Tina Joseph, Pharm.D.)
  • Valerie Marcellus, PGY-2 Ambulatory Care Resident (residency program director: Tina Joseph, Pharm.D.)
  • Jessica Greenwood, PGY-2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice Resident (residency program director: Jose Rey, Pharm.D.)
College Pride

Travel Study

Travel Study 2019

Every summer, one of the most anticipated opportunities offered by NSU COP is our travel study program. This year 16 students, accompanied by Elizabeth Shepherd, Pharm.D., assistant dean, strategic partnerships and program development, traveled to China and Japan for an experience like no other. Students arrived in Beijing and were not only able to learn about the role of a pharmacist in Chinese and Japanese cultures, but also visited several cultural sights. Some of the locations they visited included Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City and The Great Wall. They also experienced acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicinal masks and visited traditional Chinese drug stores. After seeing the sights and visiting local Chinese universities, such as Shanghai University, students headed to Tokyo, Japan where they visited the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation as well as local temples and shrines.

Class of 2022 student, Reniel R. Nodarse, said of the experience, “Being able to travel and study as part of my pharmacy school experience at NSU has been the highlight of my year.” He continues, “I was able to see different parts of the world while also learning about medicine and having the chance to be culturally shocked by the differences when comparing Chinese medicine to Western medicine.”

Medical Mission Trip

Mission Trip

Six NSU College of Pharmacy students traveled over 1,000 miles to Guatemala.  They were on a mission to make an impact by providing exceptional pharmacy care to those in an under-served Central American community. However, they were the ones impacted. 
“This medical mission trip is so much more than what I signed up for,” says Gabriella Nieves-Mártir, a P3 student from our Puerto Rico Regional Campus.  She continues, “It’s not just the knowledge you acquire and/or get to apply, [but] is the complete experience that brings joy to you and plants a seed inside to keep wanting to help others.”

Hong-Chun (Amelia) Yeh, a P4 student from the Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus who also attended the trip says, “This experience has broadened my horizons in the world of pharmacy and has nourished me to be a more caring person in my daily life.” 
The College of Pharmacy prides itself in providing our students experiences beyond the classroom with the aim of preparing them to dominate in the profession while improving health globally.

Students Pride

NSU COP Students Presenting at Conferences

Students at conferences

NSU COP students participated in several conferences over the summer. Class of 2020 student, Hong-Chun (Amelia) Yeh, presented her poster “Aspirin Treatment as Primary Prevention for Cardiovascular Events: Literature Review” at the Florida Pharmacy Association Annual Conference.  Of the experience, Yeh said, “I am grateful for having the opportunity to present my work at the conference.”

Amneh A. Fares, Class of 2020 student and Dean’s Ambassador, presented her poster entitled, "Impact of pharmacist interventions on proportion of patients receiving non-indicated acid suppressive therapy upon discharge: a systematic review and meta-analysis" at the annual Florida Health Systems Pharmacists (FSHP) Conference in early August.  Thinking back, she states, “Presenting at FSHP was a wonderful, eye-opening experience. It was exciting seeing health-system pharmacists and pharmacy students coming together to share their knowledge and research."

Alumni Pride

NSU COP alumni attending local conferences were invited to enjoy some fun at our alumni events. At FPA, NSU COP hosted a cocktail hour where attendees were treated to hor d’oeuvres and cocktails while watching a video showing off all the wonderful things our students, faculty and staff members have been up to since last year’s meeting. FSHP NSU Alumni attendees were treated to the ‘suite life’ as we hosted our alumni for networking event in a suite at the hotel. Enjoy some of the pictures from both events below.

FPA Conference NSU Alumni Event

FPA Conference

FSHP Conference NSU Alumni Event

HSHP Conference


Alumni Highlight: Aneesh Lakhani, Pharm.D. ('04)

Dr. Lakhani

Class of 2004 alumnus Aneesh Lakhani, Pharm.D., and owner of Garden Drug & Medical Supply is the co-founder of Small Business Pharmacies Aligned for Reform (SPAR) which aims to advocate for legislative issues affecting independent pharmacies. They are tackling PBMs and corporate interests in Tallahassee to ensure small pharmacies enjoy the same rights as large pharmacies. The group hosted an event at NSU in August which raised over $60,000 to support their efforts. During the event, they announced the expansion of the SPAR team with the addition of a lobbying team comprised of the Hon. Jeff Kottkamp and Barney Bishop III.

In addition to being a local pharmacy owner, Lakhani is the executive director of the Broward County Pharmacy Association and is on the Board of Directors of SPAR as well as the founder of the Oakland Park Business Group (A Chamber of Commerce for Oakland Park). We are proud of all the fantastic work our NSU alumni are continuously producing not only on a personal level, but also how they are contributing to the profession of pharmacy. Go Sharks!

Alumni news

Congratulations to Hoda Masmouei-Askari, Pharm.D. (’14) and Dave Lacknauth, Pharm.D. (’02) , on their election to the FSHP Board of Directors!

If you would like to share an update of the wonderful things you are achieving or would like to give of your time to share your experiences with our current students, please emails us at

We would like to thank the following alumni for staying active with the NSU COP Pharmily by coming for visits, presentations and mentoring our current students. Also thank you to our faculty alumni for your continued support:

Zyonne Arcena (’18) Ivette Bowers (’01) Phanna Chhuor (’12) Michael Garcia (’14)
Carolina Gutierrez (’16) Angela Hernandez (’11) Dave Lacknauth (’02) Aneesh Lakhani (’04)
Prince Paul (’19) Samara Piez (’19) Jaime Riskin (’03) Daven Sawh (’11)
Tenim Novoa (’13) Dorel Suboni (’01) Adam Steinberg (’17) Veronica Tomor (’98)
Melanie Trigo (’94)      
Tell us your story
Email your updates and stories to
Please include one or two high resolution photos when possible.

Upcoming Events
25 Year Reunion - Class of 1994
Saturday, November 2, 2019
7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Sheraton Suites - Plantation
311 N University Dr, Plantation, FL 33324
Cocktails & hors d’oeuvres will be served.
If you are a member of our 1994 graduating class, please CLICK TO RSVP
20 Year Reunion - Class of 1999
Saturday, November 2, 2019
7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Sheraton Suites - Plantation
311 N University Dr, Plantation, FL 33324
Cocktails & hors d’oeuvres will be served.
If you are a member of our 1999 graduating class, please CLICK TO RSVP
Class of 2009 Alumni Family BBQ
Saturday, November 9, 2019 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
6601 SW 16th St, Plantation, FL 33317
Contact us at (954) 262-1204 or
If you are a member of our 2009 graduating class, please CLICK TO RSVP
Alumni Networking at FUTURES Summit
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Alumni will have exclusive access to the VIP area with top professionals, companies and other alumni for the opportunity to network and engage with fellow alumni, students, faculty and other professionals. The interprofessional approach to networking and connecting, unique to the FUTURES Summit, is another example of the NSU Edge. Whether you're looking to improve or grow in your career, FUTURES Summit offers something for everyone.
Light refreshments and hors d'oeuvres will be served.
Please use the “GUEST” ticket option if not attending as part of your organization. CLICK TO RSVP
11th Annual Glucose Games benefiting FLIPPANY
Saturday, February 8, 2020
11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Nova Southeastern University’s College of Pharmacy Fort Lauderdale Campus and the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) invite you to join an alumni team!
Contact: Celina Pollard (EMAIL) or (PHONE) (248)-504-8784.
Join our social media groups and keep updated on what’s happening in and around the College of Pharmacy.
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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