sharxks Newsletter

SPRING  2023

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Dean's Message

Dr. Michelle A. Clark,  Dean.

It gives me great pleasure to share that the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accreditation visit for our Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program in November 2022 went very well. In January we received notification that we were granted a full eight-year accreditation. Despite it being very late in the season, Hurricane Nicole threatened south Florida during the scheduled visit, providing us with an opportunity to do what we do best – adapt to change. The ACPE team was able to complete the visit with in-person meetings on our campus in Puerto Rico but, due to the inclement weather, they were not able to visit the Fort Lauderdale/Davie or Palm Beach campuses, and completed those meetings virtually. Many thanks to the overwhelming cooperation of faculty, administrators, staff members, and stakeholders who adjusted to the changes in schedule. I am honored to work with such a committed group and want to recognize the important roles that each member of the pharmily played in the visit. A special thanks to Karen Fiano, Pharm.D., assistant dean, accreditation and assessment who, with her team, led the entire self-study process, keeping us all on track and ensuring requirements were met in a timely manner.

As I look forward to the Spring, I am reminded of new beginnings. The Class of 2024 will transition from their didactic curriculum to their advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) this March. I wish them well as they embark on this part of their education that allows them the opportunity to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom into a variety of pharmacy practice settings. Commencement is on the horizon as the Class of 2023 completes their final APPE, prepares for NAPLEX and MPJE exams, and gets ready to celebrate in May.

I am pleased to welcome highly qualified faculty from around the world to the college. These faculty members bring their expertise in a variety of areas including pharmaceutical sciences, pharmaceutical biotechnology, drug delivery and much more. I know they will be wonderful ambassadors for NSU, our college, and demonstrate what it means to have the NSU Edge.

Please be sure to visit, like, and follow us on social media to regularly see our activities and accomplishments as they occur.

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Fins Up
Michelle A. Clark, Ph.D.

College Accomplishments

Curriculum Committee Critical to Accreditation Success

The support of the curriculum committee played a prominent role in securing full reaffirmation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). In 2018, the curriculum committee, under the leadership of Graciela Armayor, Pharm.D., director, curriculum development and assistant professor, began the daunting task of implementing a new curriculum developed to meet, at the time, the updated accreditation standards. The revised standards aimed to make students more practice and team ready upon graduation. There were many layers involved in implementing this new curriculum and members of the committee worked hard to ensure their efforts supported the task, which ultimately provided the foundation for a successful self-study.

During these years, the committee revamped the course review and team processes, and embedded certifications within the curriculum, such as immunization, smoking cessation, and MTM. The new curriculum was built in a block structure with threads of disease state information strategically integrated into the course sequences. “Life” continued to happen through the process and faculty members had to work through logistical challenges across three campuses, who at times were impacted by natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, as well as the pandemic. Thank you to all the members of the curriculum committee for their hard work and commitment to success.

Interprofessional Simulation Complex Groundbreaking

Groundbreaking - Simulation Center

On November 22, 2022, NSU unveiled the Interprofessional Simulation Complex, a part of NSU Health, on the site of the Miami Dolphins former football training facility. The special groundbreaking ceremony was attended by more than 100 NSU stakeholders, key officials, students, and supporters.

At NSU Health’s Interprofessional Simulation Complex, the combination of teamwork and technology will augment the educational experience, enrich clinical training, and accelerate medical innovations. The $56 million, 107,000-square-foot interprofessional complex will be used by NSU students, community groups, health care corporations, and practicing physicians for advanced training exercises, research, equipment demonstrations, and surgical scenarios. More than 105 simulation spaces will be offered including 3-D modeling/animation, virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, holograms, 16 human and fresh tissue stations, operating rooms, team-scenario venues, inpatient skills labs, and outpatient exam rooms. To learn more, visit the Interprofessional Simulation Complex website.

NSU San Juan Collaborates with Walgreens on PGY1 Community-Based Residency Program

Residency Program

NSU College of Pharmacy at the San Juan campus is excited to announce a new post-graduate year 1 (PGY1) community-based residency program with Walgreens in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. The program will provide the resident with experiences in medication therapy management, general patient care, community outreach programs, practice-based research projects, and the resident will participate in NSU’s Innovative Teaching and Learning in Clinical Sciences and Pharmacy program. The chosen individual will be under the supervision of Residency Program Director, Esperanza Ortiz, Pharm. D. and Residency Preceptor Katherine Robles, Pharm. D.. The creation of the PGY1 community-based residency program was a collaborative effort between NSU College of Pharmacy and Walgreens. Blanca I. Ortiz, Pharm.D. (‘03), assistant dean, Puerto Rico Regional Campus, and assistant professor, is proud to be a part of the development of this program, noting the positive impact this program can have in Puerto Rico. In addition, she would like to thank Elizabeth Shepherd, Pharm.D., assistant dean, strategic partnerships and program development, for her support of the program.

NSU Across the Globe

Dr. Wertheimer

Albert Wertheimer, Ph.D., adjunct professor, Department of Sociobehavioral and Administrative Pharmacy, recently had the opportunity to share his expertise with the world through a Fulbright Specialist Program award. This project brings together NSU with Universitas Hasanuddin in Indonesia and is aimed at exchanging knowledge and establishing partnerships that will benefit participants, institutions, and communities both in the U.S. and overseas.

Dr. Wertheimer was one of over 400 citizens chosen to share his expertise with a host institution through the Fulbright Specialist Program. He was selected based on academic and professional achievements, and demonstrated leadership in his field with the potential to foster long-term cooperation between institutions in the U.S. and abroad. Through this program, a memorandum of understanding was developed between NSU College of Pharmacy and Universitas Hassanuddin School of Pharmacy that supports student and faculty exchange as well as collaborative projects. Activities like this help support NSU College of Pharmacy and the greater University community in our quest for preeminence.
Photo left to right: Dean Dr. Marianti Manggau, Dr. Albert Wertheimer, Deputy Dean Dr. Yulia Yusrini Djabir, and Anshar Saud.

First Employee Hired in the College of Pharmacy Retires After 35 Years

Ms. Gloria Cawford

On February 3, 2023, Mrs. Gloria Crawford retired from NSU College of Pharmacy after 35 years of dedicated service. She joined the newly created Southeastern College of Pharmacy in 1987, which at the time was the first college of pharmacy in South Florida. Mrs. Gloria, as she is fondly called, provided administrative support to the college as it evolved to Southeastern University of the Health Sciences and later Nova Southeastern University. Family and friends celebrated Mrs. Gloria at a retirement reception held in her honor on February 2, 2023.

Many remembered her from their days as students and later as they became faculty members, parents, and colleagues. She greeted each person warmly with a “hello sweetheart’ or “hello love” and helped many students and staff orient into the college culture. Chancellor Emeritus Frederick Lippman, R.Ph., Ed.D., remembers Mrs. Gloria fondly as the first employee he hired in 1987 and the many years they spent working together building the College of Pharmacy. Mrs. Gloria is active in her church and plans to continue her involvement there, as well as travel with her husband Lascelles of 49 years, spending time with family and friends. We wish her much health and happiness in this next chapter of her life.

NSU College of Pharmacy Welcomes New Faculty

New Faculty

We are welcoming new faculty members in our college:

  • Narasimman Gurusamy, M.Pharm, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Taravat Ghafourian, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Jaleh Barar, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Sashana Dixon, Ph.D., (’22), Instructor/Research Associate, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Notable Faculty

Faculty Secure Funding for Research

Dr. Benedict Albensi

Benedict C. Albensi, Ph.D., BCMAS, CRQM, professor and chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, is a Co-Applicant on a funded $740,000 grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). He and his team members from the University of Manitoba and the University of Alberta submitted a project entitled “Perinatal nutrition strategy with omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to protect brain in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders”. The grant was ranked number one out of 31 submissions. A contributing factor to the ranking was the excellent team of faculty with diverse and complementary expertise, who are all productive researchers. The plan addresses an important public health problem – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder that is particularly relevant among Indigenous people. The 5-year program will use a model to examine the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure and whether these negative effects are modified by maternal omega-3 DHA intake. Omega-3 fatty acids are "healthy fats" found in fish and plants and are being shown to have many health benefits.

Dr. Gurusamy

Narasimman Gurusamy, M.Pharm, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, whose research concerns heart disease, recently won a grant from the American Heart Association called ‘Autologous induced-mesenchymal stem cells and their exosomes therapy for myocardial injury’. This award will examine the use of stem cells for the treatment of heart muscle disease, which have been shown to both treat the symptoms and improve heart function. This study will generate stem cells from human urine-derived cells through cellular reprogramming. A successful completion of this project will help to treat heart muscle disease with the patient’s own cells, generated without any surgery.

Faculty Address the Pharmacist’s Role in Improving Contraceptive Knowledge and Access

Drs. Levin and Berger

Assistant professors from the Department of Pharmacy Practice Andrea Levin, Pharm.D. (‘09) and Karen Berger, Pharm.D. recently published an article in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA) addressing the pharmacist's role in improving contraceptive knowledge and access. As the nation digests the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, health care providers have paused to evaluate their role in an uncertain future. Many states have legislation in place that allows pharmacists to prescribe or dispense select hormonal contraceptives without a prescription. It is known that pharmacists have the knowledge and training to participate in contraceptive education and management, but some may struggle with feeling empowered to do so.

Advocating for legislation to expand the pharmacist's role in this setting can improve patient access to hormonal contraceptives. Now, more than ever, pharmacists’ involvement in hormonal contraceptive management will be a necessary step to improving patient care. We thank Drs. Levin and Berger for tackling this important and timely topic and emphasizing the important role pharmacists play in educating patients and providers and advocating for the expansion of pharmacy services to better serve our communities. View the full article at

Faculty Research on Telepharmacy Services for Patients with Hypertension

Dr. Hale, Bailey Bruns and Shirley Lorenzo-Castro

Genevieve M. Hale, Pharm.D. ('13) , associate professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice, along with two highly motivated pharmacy students, Bailey Bruns ('23) and Shirley Lorenzo-Castro ('23), recently published “Controlling Blood Pressure During a Pandemic: The Impact of Telepharmacy for Primary Care Patients” in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice. This study highlights the importance of telepharmacy services for patients with hypertension that were unable to physically see their primary care provider during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their findings suggests that the utilization of either in-person or telepharmacy strategies benefit the management of hypertension.

Student Achievements

Phi Delta Chi Receives National Scholarship Award

Phi Delta Chi

Dr. Devada Singh-Franco

The Phi Delta Chi, Beta Lambda Chapter at NSU College of Pharmacy was recognized in each pillar of their fraternity during the 2021-2022 academic year, ranking 1st in scholarship, 4th in leadership and service, and 6th in brotherhood. As the number one ranking in the scholarship pillar, they were awarded the Albert Benjamin Prescott Scholarship Award, an award that recognizes excellence and leadership potential among early career leaders in pharmacy. Specifically, the brothers organized 2-3 study sessions per month during the academic year with brother-led tutoring sessions and implemented the ‘A-Jar’ where brothers who received an A grade in multiple assessments received a small gift card. This resulted in at least 50% of brothers earning a spot on the President’s or Dean’s Lists.

Phi Delta Chi is a professional pharmacy fraternity that values selfless service, purpose-driven leadership, lifelong learning and brotherhood. Members of the Beta Lambda chapter are honored for such recognition and acknowledge that achieving these honors would not be possible without the help of each officer, each brother of the fraternity, and the mentorship received from faculty adviser, Devada Singh-Franco, Pharm.D., associate professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice. Read more about their achievement in SharkBytes.

AZO Brothers Travel to Charleston, South Carolina for Annual Convention

AZO Convention

Brothers from the Omega Psi chapter of Alpha Zeta Omega (AZO) traveled in January to Charleston, South Carolina, a beautiful and culturally rich city that hosted the fraternity’s annual convention. The annual convention consists of a series of business meetings for AZO brothers where the Supreme Board convenes to influence positive change within the organization. Student and alumni attendees are educated about fraternity knowledge, business proficiency, professional development, and leadership.

Ten brothers from AZO-Omega Psi attended the convention, which was a historic number for the chapter. Students reported that attending the convention provided them with a unique opportunity to hear essential fraternity updates and network with other chapter brothers from around the country. They gained a new perspective and grew a deeper understanding of leadership, brotherhood, and community, and feel they are forever changed for the better.

Collaboration with the Next Generation of Student Pharmacists

RX Games

NSU College of Pharmacy is partnering with the NSU Pre-Pharmacy Society through the Halmos College of Arts and Sciences to host the first annual RX GAMES event! This student competition will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2023 and is a great opportunity for pharmacy students to interact with, and compete against, pre-pharmacy students.

The event will include pharmacy-themed games focused on Case Studies and Compounding, along with Pharmacy Feud, a spoof on the popular Family Feud game show. Through these experiences, participants can learn more about the pharmacy profession and connect with faculty, administrators, and current students. RX GAMES provides a platform for participants to network in a fun and friendly atmosphere while staying abreast of the latest trends in the pharmacy profession. Please visit RX GAMES website to learn more about the event.

RX Games Sponsors

Puerto Rico Students Shine Bright at ASHP 2022

Students from the San Juan campus of NSU College of Pharmacy were well represented at the 2022 American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting in Las Vegas, NV this past December. Their poster topics were varied and addressed different disease states and pharmacy practice in a multitude of settings. The following Class of 2023 students presented posters, Ariana Cordero, Marcos Ortiz, Jeanlouis Betancourt, Iliana Ramos , Frances Serrano Martinez, and Laura Velazquez. Topics presented include evaluating Glucagon use in hospitalized adult patients, the prevalence of Urate-lowering therapy use among adults with Gout, assessing the impact of Candida auris in a community hospital, evaluating the prevalence of inappropriate insulin prescribing practices, and optimization of medication request workflow.

Partnership with HAPA Continues to Flourish


The partnership between NSU College of Pharmacy and the Haitian American Pharmacists Association (HAPA) continues to flourish! At the HAPA 3rd Annual Scholarship Fundraising and Awards gala, held on November 5, 2022, Michelle A. Clark, Ph.D., Dean, NSU College of Pharmacy, was honored for her dedication to the profession and to the community. We are proud that six of our students received scholarships. The scholarships acknowledge students of Caribbean descent who demonstrate leadership, community involvement and determination. Pictured are Gregory Pierre Louis (’25), Rodana Gustave (’23), Ludchana Cherenfant (’24), Michelle A. Clark, Ph.D., Kenite Laurore (’25), Shemroy McCarthy (’25), and Lorentz Auguste (’25).

Apotex Corp. Internships

Apotex Internships

Apotex Corp. continues to partner with NSU College of Pharmacy by offering internships to a limited number of students within the Doctor of Pharmacy program. Interns must complete 120 hours over a four-month period. Three students were accepted into the latest cycle of the program, one specializing in Marketing and two others focusing on Regulatory Affairs. Students had the opportunity to present on ICH guidelines Q8 Pharmaceutical Development and the National Drug Code's evolution over time. Through the internships, the students gain a strong understanding of regulatory concepts and strategies. They are also provided with an opportunity to network and connect with other professionals and demonstrate their NSU Edge.

Proud of Our Alumni

Gathering of Alumni Sharks

Alumni Reunion

NSU College of Pharmacy welcomed all alumni to a reunion in November 2022, that honored the classes of 1992 (30 year), 2002 (20 year), and 2012 (10 year). The celebratory event was held at Funky Buddha Brewery in Fort Lauderdale and was a fun night for all that attended. The excitement of attendees was palpable, as some hadn’t seen their classmates in 20+ years! Director of Experiential Education, Stacey Maravent, Pharm.D. (‘02) reconnected with fellow classmate Tin Nguyen, Pharm.D. (‘02). Nguyen is an independent pharmacy owner in the Tampa Bay area and, as a result of this encounter, has now enrolled to become a preceptor offering IPPE and APPE rotations. Being a preceptor and contributing to the education of the next generation of pharmacists is a wonderful way for NSU alumni to give back.
Along with Michelle A. Clark, Ph.D., Dean for NSU College of Pharmacy, other faculty and administrators who are longstanding members of the pharmily were also in attendance, including David Gazze, Ph.D., Carla Luque, Pharm.D. (‘94), and Elizabeth Shepherd, Pharm.D. NSU plans to host annual events to maintain alumni connections and foster networking amongst its graduates. Thank you to all alumni who attended! Please visit our website for more information on our alumni.

Alumna Appointed to Florida Board of Pharmacy

Dr. Christina Medina

Cristina Fueyo Medina, Pharm.D. (‘00) has been appointed to the Florida Board of Pharmacy through October 31, 2023. She is one of nine members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. As a board member, she plays an important role in health care regulations through interactions with other pharmacy affiliated groups in Florida, as well as the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Alumni Career Moves

  • Winifred Adadzi, Pharm.D. ('09) started a new position as the Regional Executive Director of Pharmacy - North Region at AdventHealth, Daytona Beach.
  • Beniluz Aponte-Cuevas, Pharm.D. (’15) started a new position as Regulatory Affairs Pharmacist a Droguería Betances, Inc.
  • Brooke Blackburn, Pharm.D. (‘15) started a new position as Senior Manager II, H&W Non-Store Operations at Walmart.
  • Marissa Brooks, Pharm.D., MBA (’21) joined Baptist Health South Florida as a Pharmacy Clinical Specialist – Wellness Pharmacist.
  • Marcela Castano, Pharm.D. ,BCPS (‘13) transitioned into a new role as Cardiovascular and Metabolism Medical Science Liaison at Syneos Health partnered with Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.
  • Rama Clemetson, Pharm.D. (’11) started a new position as Pharmacy Operations Manager at HCA Florida Westside Hospital.
  • Katherine Dumais, Pharm.D., M.P.H. (’15) was chosen as MCI pharmacy’s “Pharmacist Employee of the Year” 2021-2022.
  • Amy Everitt, Pharm.D., M.S. (’10) is now the Director, Scientific Communications at Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC in Austin, TX.
  • Claire J. Exaus, Pharm.D. (‘10) started a new position as Sr. Client Solutions Analyst at OncoHealth.
  • Angela Garcia, Pharm.D. (‘09) is in a new role as a Medical Information Manager in Respiratory at Med Communications, Inc.
  • Ethan Gohari, Pharm.D., (’14) started a new position as Senior Territory Manager at Eli Lilly and Company.
  • Viviana Hathaway, Pharm.D., (’10) started as Clinical Oncology Pharmacist at Memorial Healthcare System.
  • Bushra Hijazi, Ph.D. (‘18), started a new position as Assistant to the Dean of Pharmacy at Jordan University of Science and Technology.
  • Jacob Johnson, Pharm.D., M.B.A. (’21) is Region 8 Director for 2022-2023 Florida Pharmacy Association Board of Directors.
  • Nandita Koodie, Pharm.D., (’14) started a new position as Chief Business Development Officer at Remote Healthcare Network.
  • Danielle Lerch, Pharm.D. (‘16) started a new position as Director, Scientific Engagement at Esperion.
  • Wael Mahdi, Ph.D. (‘17) is starting a new position as Chairman of Pharmaceutics Department at College of Pharmacy at Kind Saud University.
  • Ahmed Irfan Mujeebuddin, Pharm.D. (’11), started a new position as Pharmacy Operations Manager at Memorial Healthcare System.
  • Stacia Schaefer, Pharm.D. (‘15) is starting a new position as Strategy Execution Manager at Meijer.
  • Adam Steinberg, Pharm.D. (’17), was promoted to associate director, Regulatory Affairs at Apotex Corp.
  • Parvathy Varma, Pharm.D. (‘19) was promoted to Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs Global Labeling at Gilead Sciences.
  • Joanna Villar, Pharm.D. (‘14) was promoted to District Leader at CVS Health.
  • Tsehaye Zemenfes, Pharm.D. ('10), RPH, MPH, has been named Top Community Leader for his dedication to his patients and his extensive work in an isolated rural area as the pharmacist at Alamo Navajo Health Center in Alamo, New Mexico.
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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 continuing education training programs and workshops. Currently, the following programs are being offered:

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

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