sharxks Newsletter

FALL 2022

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Dean's Message

Dr. Michelle A. Clark,  Dean.

Welcome back to all our returning and new Sharks! I love the energy and excitement that comes with the start of a new school year; and seeing our learning community grow. Regardless of the program, Pharm.D., Ph.D., M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, and M.S. in Pharmaceutical Affairs, everyone is now a member of the pharmily, a community that values you and your success. Our student-centered approach to learning and our commitment to academic excellence provides opportunities for scholarship and research, and innovation in a diverse community.  

We are committed to developing future leaders and provide a safe learning environment to pursue dreams and achieve personal and professional goals. The leadership, faculty, administrators, and staff look forward to a successful academic year.

I invite you to visit, like, and follow us on social media to see all our activities and accomplishments as they occur throughout the semester. 

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Fins Up
Michelle A. Clark, Ph.D.

New Student Orientation and White Coat Ceremony

This was the first time in two years that the New Student Orientation program was conducted face-to-face and gave students an opportunity to mix and mingle with their classmates, faculty members, and administrators. Interactive sessions focused on the curriculum, assessment and exam policies, experiential education, team building, professional communication, and of course getting to know the current students and the many professional organizations!

Each campus hosted their own White Coat Ceremony, a special event commemorating the students’ entrance into the pharmacy profession. Each ceremony was similar and yet unique in their own way. Deborah Elvire Lolo, Pharm.D. (’11) addressed the Ft. Lauderdale/Davie students, Jennifer Miles, Pharm.D., BCACP (‘10) spoke to the Palm Beach students, and Nestor Ortiz de Hoyos, R.Ph., Esq. talked to the San Juan students. Dean Clark attended all three ceremonies, welcomed everyone and offered words of advice and encouragement.

All three graduate programs, the M.S. in Pharmaceutical Affairs (MSPA), M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (MSPS), and the Ph.D. program, offered new student orientation programs to help ease the transition into the new school year. The MSPA students attended orientation online, as this is the first time this one-year program is launching a new online modality. Both MSPS and Ph.D. students attended orientation programming on campus, covering the programs’ policies and procedures, academic regulations, on-campus and online student services, as well as international guidelines for those students on visas. Students also had peer mentoring sessions with current students in the program and met faculty and staff from the college and different services involved with the graduate education programs.

We are all looking forward to the 2022-2023 school year and acquiring new-found knowledge, friends, and community.

Students in the spotlight

Gabriela Marrero

Gabriela Marrero (‘24) participated in the Junior Commissioned Officer Student Training and Externship Program (JRCOSTEP) with the United States Public Health Service during the summer months in Sisseton, South Dakota. During this experience, she trained alongside Commander Lori Braaten, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCACP and other active-duty officers at Woodrow Wilson Keeble Memorial Health Center.

She worked on special projects that involved updating formulary and non-formulary documents, creating a blood pressure competency checklist, and revising an antibiotic pediatric weight-based dosing chart. Marrero shared that time spent in the JRCOSTEP program has been an amazing experience and one that has confirmed her desire to pursue a career in public health in order to provide patients with the best health care possible.

Vivek Patel

Vivek Patel (‘24) completed a summer internship in Regulatory Affairs at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey. During this experience, he maintained regulatory databases, assisted with submissions and correspondence with agencies, reviewed publications, and revised controls for labeling and lifecycle management of over-the-counter products. Patel shared that time spent at Dr. Reddy's Laboratories has been a rewarding experience as it has helped him focus on the pharmaceutical industry as a career choice, in hopes to make a significant impact at a global level.

Kimberly Forbes

Kimberly Forbes (‘25) completed a summer internship with Apotex Corp. in Regulatory Affairs in Weston, Florida. The experience provided a greater understanding of the integral role the Regulatory Affairs department plays within the pharmaceutical industry. Forbes gained valuable knowledge about exclusivity criteria, Generic Drug User Fee Amendments (GDUFA), Docubridge, and Refusal to Receive Guidance. She also had the opportunity to give presentations on Over-The-Counter Monograph Drug User Fee Program (OMUFA) and on the International Council of Harmonization (ICH) guidelines on stability, primarily Q1A (R2) and Q1D.

Forbes shared that the internship was diverse, collaborative and provided meaningful insight into working within the pharmaceutical industry. Further, it reassured her chosen career path of working within the industry after completing the Doctor of Pharmacy degree and attaining a fellowship.

Crystal Lloyd

Crystal Lloyd (‘24) also completed a summer internship with Apotex Corp., that she referred to as “truly an extraordinary experience that I will never forget”. She worked with mentor, Adam Steinberg (‘17), Pharm.D. in the Regulatory Affairs department. Throughout the experience, she learned about the drug development process in a real-world environment where she was exposed to the stepwise process of how documentation is submitted to the FDA. Further, she researched and reviewed regulatory company and FDA documentation. As a a final project, she created and gave a presentation on the Over-The-Counter Monograph Drug User Fee Program (OMUFA).

Lloyd shared that she gained valuable skills during the internship through experiences and training that will develop her career goals as a pharmacist within the pharmaceutical industry.

Quiz Bowl Winning Team

Congratulations to Alecia Muwonge (‘23), Nedra Geddes-McCarthy (‘23), and Uzair Ali (‘23), for winning the Quiz Bowl at the 2022 FSHP Annual Meeting, held in Orlando, Florida. The quiz bowl is a jeopardy-style clinical knowledge-based competition for Pharm.D. candidates. This year a total of six pharmacy schools across Florida participated. Our students represented NSU College of Pharmacy impeccably by taking home the win. Go Sharks! Way to dominate!

Theopeste Kerelos

Theopeste Kerelos (‘23) recently published an article on "The Impact of Pharmacists Engaged in Collaborative Practice Agreements in the United States" in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice.  She was assigned this project during a Medication Therapy Management (MTM) APPE with faculty member Tricia Gangoo-Dookhan, Pharm.D. ('00). Through the research process, she was able to determine that incorporating pharmacists into collaborative practice agreement (CPA) has a positive impact on health care. Further, it is essential for health care providers to comprehend the benefits of CPAs and to be willing to apply them. Finally, pharmacists should be aware of their potential expanded scope of practice and proactively look for ways to participate in CPAs. The article can be accessed at

Dr. Deth and Rodana Gustave

Rodana Gustave (‘23) authored an article in the June 2022 Issue of FloRxIDA Times, “Why Mentorship is Essential: A Mentee’s Perspective”. She speaks of her mentor, Richard Deth, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the impact he has on her personal and professional life. This relationship has challenged her in positive ways by having her reflect on her short and long term goals, encouraging her to take on leadership roles, and increasing her self-confidence to apply for jobs in order to gain some real world pharmacy experience while in school.

Dion Allen

Dion Allen, a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociobehavioral and Administrative Pharmacy Department, was awarded a very prestigious pilot grant from The Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HCV, and HIV (CHERISH). The CHERISH pilot grants are awarded on a competitive basis to postdoctoral fellows or trainees under the mentorship of a CHERISH investigator or CHERISH Research Affiliate.

Allen will lead the study as the principal investigator with the support of mentors and co-investigators Silvia Rabionet, Ed.D., chair and associate professor, and Ioana Popovici, Ph.D., associate professor.  The project, entitled “An Economic Analysis of Factors Associated with Preexposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention Use Among Women”, will identify factors associated with low PrEP uptake in women and the role of family planning clinics and specialty substance use disorder treatment centers to facilitate uptake. Popovici has served as a CHERISH Research Affiliate collaborating with the center’s investigators and research affiliates since the Center was established in 2015.

Marcos Ortiz, Jeanlouis Betancourt, Jerika Rivera, and Laura Velazquez Bello

Marcos Ortiz (‘23), Jeanlouis Betancourt (‘23), Jerika Rivera ('23), and Laura Velazquez Bello (‘23), won second place on their poster presentation at the 2022 Puerto Rico Pharmacist Convention held August 17-20. Enrique Nieves, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, served as the faculty mentor for the project titled “Preparation and Stability of Acyclovir Compounded Capsules Using Resonant Acoustic Mixing Technology”.

Annual Preceptor/Site Experiential Expo

NSU College of Pharmacy Annual Preceptor/Site Experiential Expo was held on August 31, 2022 at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus. A very special thank you to our sponsor, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The night was electric, full of conversation, networking, education, and the excitement of people seeing each other again after quite some time apart. Over 200 students attended the event gaining insight into IPPE/APPE rotations, residency/job opportunities, and learned about different career options for pharmacists.

The event was strategically planned prior to IPPE and APPE ranking and the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition to give students the opportunity to engage with preceptors, residency directors, and residents. We are grateful for the support and participation from every health system in the South Florida area, independent and compounding pharmacies, and some nontraditional sites. Over 150 pharmacists attended the event and we look forward to growing this opportunity for our community and college year after year.

Ph.D. Program Dissertation Defenses

The Ph.D. program is proud of the following students who successfully presented their dissertation defenses:

Tareq Alharby (’22)

Tareq Alharby, Ph.D. (’22) “Exploring the Association Between Medication Adherence, Health-Related Quality of Life, and Social Capital Among Arab Descent Americans in South Florida”, Advisor: Jesús Sánchez, Ph.D.

Samaneh Alaei (’22)

Samaneh Alaei, Ph.D. (’22) “Oral Retentive Drug Carriers: Buccal & Sublingual Mucoadhesive Pharmaceutical Thin Film”, Advisor: Hamid Omidian, Ph.D.

Ali Almutairi (’22)

Ali Almutairi, Ph.D. (’22) “Analysis of DNA Repair and Invasiveness in Early-Stage Breast Cancer”, Advisor: Jean Latimer, Ph.D.

Sashana Dixon (’22)

Sashana Dixon, Ph.D. (’22) “Redox-Methylation Metaboic Effects of Metformin in Androgen-Dependent and Independent Prostate Cancer Cells”, Advisor: Malav Trivedi, Ph.D.

Bayan Hijazi (’22)

Bayan Hijaz, Ph.D. (’22) “Patterns and Factors Associated with SSRI Medication Adherence in Patients with Mental Health Disorders”, Advisor: Ioana Poovici, Ph.D.

 Shimone Parmar (’22)

Shimone Parmar, Ph.D. (’22) “Factors Associated with Fluoroquinolone Use after Black Box Warnings for Uncomplicated UTI’s in Hospital Emergency Departments Nationwide: 2017-2019”, Advisor: Silvia Rabionet, Ed.D.

 Perpetua Shillingford (’22)

Perpetua Shillingford, Ph.D. (’22) “Development of Ultra-fast Orally Disintegrating Midazolam Tables for the Treatment of Pediatric Preoperative Anxiety”, Advisor: Young Kwon, Ph.D.


Faculty Successes


Appu Rathinavelu, Ph.D., Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Executive Director, Rumbaugh Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research Center, recently received the 2022 award for research from the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Rathinavelu and his team were given a $25,000 grant toward their research titled “Pre-clinical testing of NSU’s patented F16 drug molecule for treating neuroblastoma.


Dr. Minond

Dmitriy Minond, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, was recently awarded the US Patent #11,149,028 entitled “Methods for treating melanoma using small molecules”.  This patent presents a fundamentally unique approach for the treatment of melanoma.  In addition, novel targets and approaches for melanoma treatment are disclosed.  Most importantly, this approach is specific for non-malignant cell types suggesting the potential for low-toxicity for melanoma patients.  Notably, pre-clinical studies, funded by NIH, are underway to evaluate the efficacy of Minond’s approach to treat melanoma.
Read more about Dr. Minond's research.

Dr. Sherman

Elizabeth Sherman, Pharm.D. (‘07), Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice, was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA). Housed within the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), HIVMA represents medical providers and researchers working on the front lines of HIV. HIVMA is a leader on issues of importance to HIV medical professionals, including education and training, policy and advocacy, setting guidelines for patient care, and developing resources for clinical practice. More than 12,000 IDSA and HIVMA members work across the United States and in nearly 100 other countries on six different continents. Dr. Sherman is the sole pharmacist on the Board and will begin her term following IDWeek 2022 in October.

Dr. Latimer

Jean J. Latimer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Director, AutoNation Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Institute, is listed in the July edition of the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation Newsletter for her recent $100,000 research grant; the title of the grant is: “Impact of S. Florida environmental chemicals on breast cells derived from women of different ancestries”.

Faculty Member Retires After 50 Years in Education

Dr. Wertheimer

After more than 50 years in academia, Albert Wertheimer, Ph.D., began his retirement on July 1, 2022. Wertheimer spent the past 5 years as professor in the sociobehavioral and administrative pharmacy department at NSU College of Pharmacy. During this time he mentored graduate and professional students as well as faculty members, and represented NSU College of Pharmacy nationally and internationally. As editor for the Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research he helped guide his colleagues into increasing their publishing presence.

Wertheimer is recognized for his pioneering work and leadership in establishing two distinct pharmaceutical specialty areas: Social-Behavioral Pharmacy and Pharmacoeconomics. He is the recipient of the Gloria Niemeyer Francke Leadership Mentor Award (from APhA) and the Donald E. Francke Medal for significant contributions to international hospital pharmacy (from ASHP). He has taught over 7,500 student pharmacists and made presentations in over 70 countries worldwide. We will miss his presence on campus and wish him much health and happiness in this next chapter!

Welcome New Faculty and Staff Members

New Faculty

We are welcoming new members in our college:

  • Huy Pham, Pharm.D. ('18), Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
  • Dana Holger, Pharm.D. ('19), Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
  • Stephanie Michaels, Pharm.D. ('13), Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Services
  • Denise Elia, Pharm.D ('93)., Director of Preceptor Development/Assistant Professor, Experiential Education
  • Nethania Thelemaque, Pharm.D. ('20), Instructor/Academic Facilitator, Palm Beach Regional Campus
  • Kathy Jaffe, B.A., Coordinator Student Services and Recruitment, Palm Beach Regional Campus
  • Sarah Diaz, B.A., Administrative Coordinator I, Student Services , Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus

Welcome New Residents

New Residents

Alumni Successes

Nick Mordwinkin, Pharm.D. (’04) accepted a new role as Chief Business Officer at Kezar Life Sciences.

Mike Rizo, Pharm.D. (’05) appointed Chairman of the Healthcare committee for #CAMACOL, the Latin Chamber of Commerce of USA.

Kenisha Adderley, Pharm.D. (’07) started a new position as Vice President, Pharmacy & Clinical Operations at SpotRx Pharmacy in Arizona.

Christine Manukyan, Pharm.D. (‘07) is named as one of the Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs to look out for in 2022 by Entrepreneurs Herold Magazine.

Angela Garcia, Pharm.D. (’08) recognized by USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy as 2021-2022 Faculty Preceptor of the Year.

Cassandra Esperant, Pharm.D. (’11) stated a new position as Public Relations Officer at Haitian American Pharmacists Association.

Deborah Lolo, Pharm.D. (‘11) was honored by the City of North Miami for service to the community during 2022 Haitian Heritage Month. She is also the current President of the Haitian American Pharmacists Association.

James Mezheritskiy Pharm.D. (‘17) recently purchased Palm Beach Compounding Pharmacy in Jupiter, FL.

Farima Raof, Pharm.D. (’17) was installed as the new Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists House of Delegates Chair.

Sanna Siddiqui, Pharm.D. (’17) started a new position as District Leader at CVS Health.

Krista Riveron, Pharm.D. (‘19) is Board Member Elect for Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Danielle Blais, Pharm.D. (’20) accepted a position as Oncology Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at Allina Health in Minneapolis focusing on oral chemotherapy.

Joelyann Valles ('20) accepted a position in MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas as Clinical Pharmacy Specialist – Thoracic Oncology.

Rajaun Ellis, Pharm.D. (‘21) accepted a position as Manager, US HIV Medical Affairs with Gilead Sciences.

Astrid Muñoz Centeno ('21) won first place for her poster at the Puerto Rico Pharmacist Convention 2022 with “Evaluation of a Vancomycin Dosing Tool and its Impact of Area Under the Curve (AUC) on Clinical Outcomes Within Veterans Affairs Caribbean Healthcare System”.  


SharksRx Alumni Legacy Fund

Legacy Tree and Leaf

The SharksRx Alumni Society created the legacy fund to support the College through the knowledge, skills, and financial resources needed to invest in the future of pharmacy education. The Society's goal is to grow student scholarship opportunities. You can help meet this goal by supporting the SharksRx Alumni Legacy Fund. Your contributions help the next generation of pharmacists in perpetuity. For more information on the Legacy Tree contact Carla Luque, Pharm.D., assistant dean, student services. To purchase an engraved leaf with your inscription click here.

Upcoming Continuing Pharmacy Education and Certificate Training Programs

The NSU College of Pharmacy provides a variety of training programs and workshops. Currently, the following programs are being offered:

The College of Pharmacy Alumni events, the training/workshops, and Continuing Education courses are listed on the College of Pharmacy website.

The NSU Alumni Association (NSUAA) hosts a variety of programs and events to keep you involved and active throughout the year. Please check the NSUAA website.

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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