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Barner Cited for Top Teaching Award

Dr. Jamie Barner, professor of health outcomes and pharmacy practice, was named as the recipient of the Educator of the Year at the first College of Pharmacy Teaching Awards Ceremony and Reception conducted on April 19 at the Texas Union.

Barner, who holds the Abbott Centennial Fellowship in Pharmacy, was cited by student nominees for her ability to make information in her classroom relevant and interesting.  "Her success is truly a testament to her passion and dedication to teaching and research," wrote one student nominee.

The award recipient was also cited for her efforts to encourage students to leadership.  "She challenges me to push the boundaries of convention; she is an inspiration," wrote another student.

This is the first year for the college to present the Distinguished Educator of the Year Award. It was established to honor a distinguished educator selected from nominations from P4 students as the best instructor from their pharmacy education.  The selection team looked for demonstration of student pharmacist learning, commitment to professional development and teaching, positive student-faculty interactions, and excellent communication skills.  Announcement of Barner to the top award was the highlight of the first ever event that was coordinated and sponsored by Pharmacy Council.

Other nominees for the distinguished educator award included Prof. Renee Acosta, Dr. Patrick Davis, Dr. Walter Fast, Dr. Ken Lawson an Dr. Ted Mills.  Each was presented with a certificate of recognition.

Other highlights of the evening included presentation of Class Teaching Excellence Awards.  A faculty recipient was named for each of the first three years of the academic program.  Award recipients and other faculty nominees for the awards include:

• P1 Teaching Excellence Award to Dr. Christian Whitman, division head and professor of medicinal chemistry.  Whitman was cited for making the material exciting and fun to learn.  One nominator said, "Dr. Whitman made me interested in my profession."  Other nominees for the P1 year award include Dr. Maria Croyle, Dr. Davis and Dr. James Wilson.

• P2 Teaching Excellence Award to Marcia Kiger, clinical instructor in health outcomes and pharmacy practice.  Students pointed to Kiger's passion for teaching and commitment to students both in and outside of the classroom mentioning that she is a faithful preceptor for Project Collaborate events, stepping in often with little notice to fill in when other preceptors are unable to attend an event.  Other nominees included Prof. Acosta, Dr. Fast, Dr. Elizabeth Hand and Dr. James Karboski.

• P3 Teaching Excellence Award to Dr. Stephen Saklad, clinical associate professor of pharmacotherapy.  Nominating students pointed to his innovation in learning, saying that he works diligently to communicate to students in a manner in which they are comfortable, setting up a Twitter account to field questions in addition to more traditional methods of communicating with students.  Other faculty nominees for this award included Dr. Leroy Knodel and Dr. Aaron Buchan. 

Excellence in instruction was also presented to a teaching assistant and to a preceptor in the Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences.

Ashkan Yazdi was named recipient of the 2013 Teaching Assistant Teaching Excellence Award.  As a P2 student, he has been a teaching assistant in at least one class every semester.  One student nominator wrote that "Ash makes sure to go at the student's pace when explaining difficult or confusing concepts and works to ensure their understanding."  Another wrote: "Ash truly loves learning and he imparts his excitement to the students.  The other nominee for this award was Julieta Scalo.

The IPPE Preceptor of the Year Award was presented to Neesha Thakkar.  A preceptor at St. David's Hospital, she has shown a commitment to ensuring that students really benefit from their experience in the Institutional. "Her willingness to take personal interest in the development of the students was outstanding and deserving of recognition," said the award presenter.

Last Reviewed: April 22, 2013

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