Pacific Hosts InSight Asia-Pacific Research Symposium

For two days in February, the University hosted the InSight Asia-Pacific Research Symposium. The event was a collaboration between University of the Pacific, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and China Pharmaceutical University (CPU). The event marked the second time that Pacific has partnered with CPU for a pharmaceutical research symposium. This year’s theme was innovative technology, methods and approach.

The University’s international guests were welcomed by Provost Maria Pallavicini, PhD. Leslie Benet, PhD, professor of bioengineering and therapeutic sciences at UCSF delivered the keynote address. Faculty members and students from all three universities presented posters and served as speakers. In addition, the guest speakers included Takashi Yamagami, PhD, field application scientist at Precision NanoSystems US, Inc. and Ron Aoyama, PhD, senior research scientist at Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Representing Pacific, posters were presented by Daniel Bonanno ’18, Michael Browne ’21, Poonam Dattani ’17, Harshavardan Gurrala ’17, Yifan Lu ’18, Michael Ng ’20, Mandeep Singh ’20, Mallika Vadlamudi ’18, Siwen Wang ’18, Yuntao Zhang ’21, and Zhu Zhou ’14, BPharm, PhD, assistant clinical professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry.

Among the student speakers were Jinyun Chen ’19, Ryan Murray ’21 and Md Zahir Uddin ’21. Pacific’s faculty guest speakers included Melanie Felmlee, PhD, assistant professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry; Vyacheslav Samoshin, PhD, professor of chemistry; and Liang Xue, PhD, assistant professor of chemistry.

“This symposium provided a unique opportunity for students across the Pacific Ocean to exchange their research findings,” said Xiaoling Li, PhD, professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry and associate dean of graduate education and research. “More importantly, the students from all participating universities gain a valuable experience to organize an international meeting and acquire the skills that they are not able to learn in the class or labs.”

“Often, we pick up something interesting that we can apply to advance our own research,” Vadlamudi said. The symposium had a direct impact on Lu’s research. “I got to know about a fluorophore dye molecule from a CPU student’s poster, which will boost my research,” Lu explained.

The event was initiated and organized by Pacific’s student chapter of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS). Lu and Vadlamudi served as co-chairs for the symposium committee and were instrumental in coordinating the event. The extensive list of guest speakers exemplifies the robust network of Pacific’s Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences Graduate Program faculty and students.

“The AAPS student chapter leadership group at Pacific has done a great job in planning, organizing and executing a high-quality program,” Dr. Li said.

James A. Uchizono, PharmD, PhD, professor pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry and associate provost for research, believes that the symposium exemplified the spirt of collaboration found at Pacific. “Both research and friendship easily traverse barriers and boundaries,” Dr. Uchizono said. “Our Pacific students should be proud of hosting a successful two-day event that contributed to scholarship and international and national networking.”

The next InSight Asia-Pacific Research Symposium is expected to be held in Spring 2018 in Nanjing, China.


Observing Brain Activity to Understand Group Dynamics

Gabriella Musacchia, PhD, assistant professor of audiology, and her co-investigators were awarded a $750,000 National Science Foundation research grant for the study “Group Brain Dynamics in Learning Network.” This study connects three universities: University of the Pacific, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and The George Washington University.

“The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding group brain dynamics and classroom learning by studying electroencephalography (EEG) data,” said Dr. Musacchia.

The study is collaboration between John R. Iversen, PhD, principal Investigator (PI), associate project scientist at UCSD; Dr. Musacchia, co-PI; Tzyy-Ping Jung, PhD, co-PI, adjunct professor at UCSD; M. Layne Kalbfleiach, MEd, PhD, co-PI, adjunct faculty at George Washington University; Alexander K. Khalil, PhD, co-PI, assistant project scientist at UCSD; and Ying Choon Wu, PhD, senior personnel assistant project scientist at UCSD.

“EEG uses small sensors, placed on the scalp, to pick up the tiny electrical signals produced by populations of neurons,” Dr. Musacchia explained. “The activity picked up by the sensors is sent to an amplifier, which enhances the signals so scientists can digitize and visualize them. Once digitized, these signals are measured to give estimates of the magnitude, spectrum and timing of the individual’s brain response. These measures can then be combined into averages and compared between groups to understand brain function in different populations or under different conditions.”

What differentiates this study is that data from brain activity is being gathered from multiple individuals simultaneously. By conducting the study in a group setting, the research team has the opportunity to observe communication in real-world settings.

“Brain response studies are usually conducted on one person at a time, in a highly controlled laboratory environment,” Dr. Musacchia elaborated. “Results from these studies will tell us more about how people function in a group and how group learning is achieved.”

Currently, only a limited number of researchers are using EEG systems. Dr. Musacchia shared that a long-term goal is for “teachers to have the opportunity to observe group brain dynamics of learning in real time.”

Dr. Musacchia’s area of expertise is auditory neuroscience. Her role in this study is to design and execute the research plan, as well as to write articles for peer-reviewed publications. “I am excited to learn what makes brain synchrony between individuals possible and what happens in children who do not synchronize in a normal fashion,” she said.

The other factor that sets this study apart is the number of disciplines represented. “This work is an exemplar of interdisciplinary study. It combines electrical engineering, needed to design the hardware; cognitive science needed to formulate the hypotheses; neuroscience needed to design the experiment; hearing science to create the appropriate stimuli; developmental cognition and behavior to determine the types of child groups to study and why; and music and language expertise to execute and monitor the execution of the study.”

Pacific students on the San Francisco campus will have the opportunity to participate in the pilot study. “We will apply five to 10 EEG headsets and record the group brain responses as they listen to sounds and lecture material,” Dr. Musacchia said. In addition, doctor of audiology students will have the opportunity to be selected to participate in the collection, analysis and presentation of results at national conferences.

Speech-Language Pathology Students Inspired at CSHA 2017

Pacific alumni Melissa Jakubowitz ’81, MA, CCC-SLP and Judi Jewett ’95, MA, CCC-SLP connect in the Exhibit Hall.

Every year speech-language pathologists and audiologists from across California gather at the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA) Annual Convention & Exhibition to network, to be inspired and to gain a deeper understanding of the breadth and depth of their profession. This year, the convention was held on March 16-19, 2017, in Pasadena.

“I would 100 percent encourage future students to attend this conference,” said Skylar Edwards ’17. “The networking opportunities are endless and there is so much to learn. It is amazing to be surrounded by so many people with the same passion.”

Sarah Kenney ’17 also sees the value of attending the annual CSHA convention as a student. “The sessions enhance and reinforce the concepts and techniques currently being learned in classes, while also introducing us to what is most current and upcoming in the field,” Kenney said.

Kenney shares her advice for students attending CSHA for the first time. “Go to a session in every time slot and don’t neglect the Exhibit Hall. Talk to people sitting next to you wherever you are and remember that person can be someone with a lot of experience and help to offer you. […] Some connections you make will be purely social, but you never know when that person one row back during a session will happen to know someone who is looking to fill a position you would be perfect for.”

Edwards also emphasized the networking opportunities and recommended being prepared to make the most of opportunities that may arise. “Many companies attend and are interested in hiring. Don’t be afraid to get your name out there. Bring a resume and maybe even interview for a job or two.”

Fellow student Stephanie Herold ’17 added, “CSHA can be a bit overwhelming your first time, but it’s so beneficial and inspiring so take advantage of all that is has to offer. CSHA is the perfect place to both learn and network.”

Wendy Frush, MA, CCC-SLP with Ethan Santa Cruz and Ashley Pimentel

During the convention, speech-language pathologists and audiologists are recognized for their outstanding service. Clients are also recognized for their contributions. Edwards was incredibly touched by the story of Ethan Santa Cruz and Ashley Pimentel, who received the Child Distinguished Consumer of the Year Award. They attend Mable Barron Elementary School in Stockton, where they have been working with speech-language pathologist Wendy Frush, MA, CCC-SLP.

“The video they created was meant to help teachers at their school understand ways they can enhance the learning of students who are hard of hearing,” Edwards said. “Getting to see how our hard work as speech-language pathologists really can be rewarding for both us and our clients brought me to tears and reinforced my certainty in choosing a remarkable field.”

Edwards, Herold and Kenney attended the Pacific Speech-Language Pathology Alumni Association Alumni and Friends Breakfast. Herold shared, “It was amazing! It was one of my favorite parts of the convention. It was so inspiring to meet and talk to people who were in my same position at some point.”

Kenney echoed her sentiments, “It helped me to see how close-knit the community at my university is and what kinds of relationships I can look forward to having after I graduate and start my career.”

For Edwards, interacting with alumni was a reminder of the number of career paths that are open to speech-language pathologists. “It is always a pleasure to meet Pacific alumni and learn about what path in our field they took,” Edwards said.

CSHA 2017


Larry Boles, PhD, CCC-SLP, professor of speech-language pathology and graduate director, received the CSHA District 3 Outstanding Achievement Award.

Caitlin Elam ’17, received the CSHA District 3 Outstanding Student Award.

Melissa Jakubowitz ’81, MA, CCC-SLP received the CSHA District 3 Distinguished Achievement in Speech-Language Pathology and/or Audiology Award. Watch the video.

Deborah “Debbie” Wallace ’13 received the CSHA District 3 Outstanding SLPA Award.

Jeannene M. Ward-Lonergan, PhD, professor of speech-language pathology and department chair, received the CSHA District 3 Outstanding Service Award.


Rupa Balachandran, PhD, associate professor of audiology and department chair, presented “Computer-Based Therapy for Central Auditory Processing Disorders: Audiologists and Parents in an Inter-Disciplinary Team.”

Dr. Boles and Karen Jacobs, MA presented “CSDCAS Best Practices.”

Kristofer Brock ’07, ’08, MS, PhD, CCC-SLP, along with Monica Franco-Mora and Neymi Suarez, presented “Do Animations Facilitate Understanding of Graphic Symbols in Children with Autism?” Dr. Brock also presented “Aided Language Modeling for an AAC User: A Push-In Speech Camp Model.”

Kathleen Fitzmaurice Catterall ’75, ’76, MA, CCC-SLP and Charlotte Lopes, MA, presented “A Year in the Life of an RPE Supervisor.” Catterall also presented “Communication and Aging–An Overview.” Catterall also presented with Robert E. Hanyak ’79, AuD, associate professor speech-language; Deborah Swain, EdD; Patti Solomon-Rice, PhD; Shellie Bader, M.A; Diane Collins, MA; Joan Havard, M.A; Holly Kaiser, MA; Henriette Langdon, EdD; and Margaret “Dee” Parker, PhD, “Let’s Collaborate – CSHA’s Interprofessional Relationships with Our National and State Related Organizations!”

Jakubowitz, along with co-authors Barbara Moore, EdD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL and Monica Ferguson, MS, presented “What? I Don’t Have Time to Treat 5X a Week?” Jakubowitz and Moore also presented “Is Telepractice Right for Your District?”

My “Mimi” Tran ’04, ’05, MS, presented “Welcome Home to Home Health!”

Dr. Ward-Lonergan, along with Michele Anderson, PhD, Nickola Nelson, PhD, and Geraldine Wallach, PhD, presented “How to Screen, Identify, and Plan Interventions for Students with SLI, Dyslexia, and Related Disorders.”

Photo Credit: California Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Pacific’s Student Pharmacist Advocacy Coalition Hosts Legislative Dinner

The evolution of health care is impacted by advances in patient care, breakthroughs in technology and changes in legislation. These shifts present both challenges and opportunities for health care professionals. On March 16, 2017, Pacific’s Student Pharmacist Advocacy Coalition (SPAC) hosted the Pharmacy Legislative Dinner. During the event, speakers discussed recent legislation and what ramifications they will have on the pharmacy profession and on health care as a whole.

“The legislative dinner is a way to bring pharmacists, pharmacy students and policy makers together for an educational evening to discuss how current legislation is affecting our profession,” said Edward L. Rogan, PharmD, BCACP, assistant professor of pharmacy practice. “The Legislative Dinner is a great opportunity for students to get to meet current leaders in their field and see how advocacy works to benefit the profession and ultimately patients.”

“SPAC is a group of very dedicated, passionate and talented students who worked very hard to put together an excellent event,” Dr. Rogan explained. In attendance were students from University of the Pacific, Touro University California and California Northstate University College of Pharmacy. In addition to students, attendees included industry leaders, legislators, local officials, educators and practicing pharmacists.

SPAC Co-chair David Tran ’18 explained that the event had a dual purpose. “The Legislative Dinner provides an opportunity to learn about current legislation affecting the field of pharmacy, in addition to networking with fellow students, pharmacists and lawmakers involved in promoting the profession,” Tran said.

David Carranza ’19, SPAC co-chair, was motivated to be an advocate for the pharmacy profession by the address given by Lawrence Brown ’99, PharmD, past president of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

“Dr. Brown’s speech was a great inspiration to me to continue pursuing my passion as a student interested in government, legislation, regulation and association management,” Carranza said. “During his tenure as president of APhA, Dr. Brown was able to talk with influential lawmakers and regulators about how pharmacists can be best used to promote public health.”

Among the legislation discussed were Congressional Bills H.R.592 and S.314, which both pertain to the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, and California Assembly Bill AB-1114, which allows Medi-Cal to cover pharmacists’ services.


Sanderson Lecture at University of the Pacific Featuring Bennet Omalu, MD

On March 1, 2017, the Department of Physical Therapy presented the Sanderson Lecture at University of the Pacific featuring keynote speaker Bennet Omalu, MD, MBA, MPH, CPE, DABP-AP, CP, FP, NP. The event was sponsored by Dignity Health – St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Pacific Arts and Lectures, the School of International Studies, College of the Pacific, Pacific Athletics, the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the Chan Family Endowment for Physical Therapy.

Born in 1968 in war-torn Nigeria, Dr. Omalu’s family were refugees. Despite suffering from malnutrition in his childhood, he went on to attend medical school at the age of 15 and became a physician by age 21. He first came to the United States in 1994 to complete an epidemiology fellowship at University of Washington. American football would alter the course of his career and impact his life in dramatic ways.

“I didn’t understand football,” said Dr. Omalu. “I did not know what a quarterback was.” He is credited as the first doctor to diagnose chronic brain damage in NFL athletes. In 2002, while working for the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania he discovered what would later become known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Mike “Iron Mike” Webster. The former athlete died at age 50 after years of suffering from dementia, amnesia, depression and other ailments.

According to Harvard Medical School, CTE is a neurodegenerative disease believed to result from repetitive brain trauma, including repetitive concussions or subconcussive blows to the head. At this time, a CTE diagnosis can only by confirmed by autopsy and all confirmed cases have had a history of repetitive brain trauma. While the total number of athletes affected by CTE is unknown, the Boston University CTE Center found evidence of CTE in the brain tissue 90 of 94 former NFL athletes.

When Dr. Omalu’s findings first published, they were dismissed by many of his peers and met with fierce resistance from the NFL, who attempted to have his published papers retracted. “I was called a voodoo doctor,” Omalu said. Dr. Omalu’s story was chronicled in Concussion, by Jeanne Marie Laskas, and a film by the same name starring Will Smith.

In his address at Pacific, Dr. Omalu stressed the dangers of children participating in contact sports, emphasizing that each head injury could cause irreversible brain damage. “In the past year, so many science papers have been published indicating that after one season of football, your child’s brain is permanently damaged — just after one season,” Omalu said.

According to Ann C. McKee, MD in the paper entitled “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in Athletes: Progressive Tauopathy following Repetitive Head Injury,” athletes in a wide range of sports are at risk for developing CTE: “Repetitive closed head injury occurs in a wide variety of contact sports, including football, boxing, wrestling, rugby, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and skiing. Furthermore, in collision sports such as football and boxing, players may experience thousands of subconcussive hits over the course of a single season.”

Dr. Omalu’s message resonated with doctor of physical therapy student (DPT) Amanda Whalen ’17. “We don’t let our children smoke or drink alcohol, but we encourage them to play a game that could cause brain damage,” Whalen said.

Fellow DPT student Vien Vu ’17, CSCS was inspired by Dr. Omalu’s perseverance in the face of adversity. Vu shares, “His story was a story of grit. No matter how many successes and setbacks he had, he did not pause for a second. It’s important for everyone to remember to keep going even if they have failed and also to keep going if they are handed an award. This is especially important in research and health care.”

The lecture was a testament to the legacy of another pioneering physician — George H. Sanderson, MD. Dr. Sanderson was the first orthopedic surgeon in Stockton and he also served as the university physician at Pacific’s Student Health Program from 1926 to 1969. He was regarded by his colleagues as an energetic and innovative participant in the growth of orthopedics. He practiced at San Joaquin General Hospital (SJGH) and St. Joseph’s Medical Center.

In 1976, Dr. Sanderson’s colleagues at the Stockton Orthopedic Medical Group, Inc. established a fund for a lecture series to honor his 50 years of service to the community. In 2012, Dr. Sanderson’s daughter, Jean Sanderson; Joseph B. Serra, MD; Christine R. Wilson, PhD, PT; and Sister Abby Newton, vice president of the St. Joseph’s Foundation, were instrumental in bringing the Sanderson Lecture to University of the Pacific.

Throughout its history, the Sanderson Lecture has brought prominent speakers to Stockton to address current health care topics and present on areas of emerging practice related to physical therapy. “The lecturers at the Sanderson Lecture bring to light the changes and advancements that are happening right now in our field,” Whalen said. “As students, we are expected to have the freshest perspective and be up to date with the new information out there. These lecturers, especially one as large as Dr. Omalu, are not available to most practicing clinicians without the Sanderson lecture.”

Echoing this sentiment, Cathy Peterson, PT, EdD, professor of physical therapy, shares, “Dr. Omalu’s talk was inspiring, educational and entertaining. He represents so much that we hope to foster in our students: courage, tenacity, conviction, integrity and compassion. As we strive to empower and equip our students to become clinicians who advocate for optimal health, wellness and performance of all members of society, Dr. Omalu’s message was a perfect fit.”


Pacificans Honored by the California Pharmacists Association

On February 24, 2017, at the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) Western Pharmacy Exchange in Palm Springs, Dean Phillip R. Oppenheimer, PharmD was inducted into the CPhA Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honor recognizes individuals for their inspiration, distinguished service and innovative contributions to the practice of pharmacy in California. Read more.

Several Pacific alumni were among those honored at the 2017 Western Pharmacy Exchange. Michael A. Pastrick ’73, BS Pharm, who was inducted to the CPhA Hall of Fame in 2014, was formally recognized. Read more.

Edlen Wong ’07, PharmD, FCPhA, received the Distinguished New Practitioner of the Year award. Read more.

K. Scott Guess ’83, PharmD, MSPharm, RPh, received the Cardinal Health Generations Rx Champions award. Read more.

Edlen Wong ’07, PharmD, FCPhA, Michael A. Pastrick ’73, BS Pharm and Donald Floriddia ’71, PhD.

Research Study Finds the Type of Sugar Consumed Makes a Difference

Dr. Rahimian and Shaligram in the lab.


“We should consider the type of sugar we are consuming, because different sugars behave differently in our body,” said Roshanak Rahimian, PharmD, MSc, PhD, professor of physiology and pharmacology. Dr. Rahimian, along with Sonali Shaligram ’17 and Farjana Akther ’19, collaborated on a study with researchers from University of Barcelona. “Our goal was to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the metabolic and vascular effects of these simple sugars and to determine whether these effects are exclusively related to increased calorie consumption or the type of sugar,” Dr. Rahimian explains.

The results of the study were published in the prestigious American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology, in the February 2017 issue. The article entitled “Type of supplemented simple sugar, not merely calorie intake, determines adverse effects on metabolism and aortic function in female rats,” was co-authored by Gemma Sangüesa; Sonali Shaligram; Farjana Akther; Núria Roglans, PharmD; Juan C. Laguna, PhD; Roshanak Rahimian, PharmD, MSc, PhD; and Marta Alegret, PharmD.

“Fructose is a monosaccharide, a simple sugar that is present in many fruits and vegetables,” Dr. Rahimian explains. “Although fructose has the same chemical formula (C6H12O6) as glucose, it differs in its chemical structure.” Shaligram adds, metabolism of fructose also differs from that of glucose. While both are metabolized by the liver, other tissues can uptake glucose. She quotes Robert H. Lustig, MD, professor of pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco, “Up to 80 percent of glucose can be metabolized by other tissues; in comparison 100 percent of fructose is metabolized by the liver.”

Their findings emphasize that the type of sugar consumed makes a difference. “Despite higher caloric intake in glucose-supplemented subjects, fructose caused worse metabolic and vascular responses,” Dr. Rahimian said. Although both sugar-fed groups consumed more calories than the control group, the total calorie intake of the glucose-fed subjects was higher than that of fructose. Also, despite this difference, only the fructose group exhibited a significant increase in final body weight. In addition, the fructose group showed more vascular and liver damages than those of glucose-fed group.

While studies have been done comparing glucose and fructose, the unique aspect of this study is the focus on investigating how specific genes are altered when the two sugars are metabolized. Dr. Rahimian adds, “Our collaborators at University of Barcelona had already published several articles on the adverse effect of fructose, but further studies should be done on the relative effects of glucose and fructose on vascular reactivity and the underlying mechanisms involved.”

Dr. Rahimian shares what drives her and her team to pursue this research: “Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death worldwide. Macro and micro-vascular complications can lead to CVD. Unhealthy diet is one common factor responsible for developing obesity and CVD. The consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) are increasing very rapidly. Therefore, we were very interested in the topic of investigating different types of sugars and their effects on metabolic and vascular function.”

As stated in the article, “At present, there is an intense debate in the scientific community about whether the adverse cardiovascular and metabolic effects of SSB are mostly attributable to specific effects of the simple sugar used as sweeteners or are merely the consequence of the increase in caloric intake and weight gain in the population consuming large quantities of SSB.”

The study gave Pacific students the opportunity to be involved in the various stages of the research project, from planning to publishing. “The graduate students were fully involved in analyzing the data and giving intellectual input over the course of the study,” Dr. Rahimian shares. “We are so proud of this work. It provided my group the opportunity to experience an outstanding collaboration with the University of Barcelona group. We got a chance to work closely with each other. It is very rewarding to share research and knowledge with other groups.”


Something for Everyone at CSM 2017

To see cutting-edge technology, hear world-class speakers, meet alumni and connect with future colleagues, physical therapists should plan on attending the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Combined Sections Meeting (CSM). On February 15-18, 2017, over 14,000 health care professionals and students converged in San Antonio, Texas, for the 2017 meeting. This year’s conference hosted over 480 exhibitors and 300 sessions. Pacific physical therapy (PT) faculty, doctor of physical therapy (DPT) students and alumni were among the presenters.

Todd Davenport, PT, DPT, MPH, OCS, associate professor of physical therapy, co-presented the session entitled “Evolution or Revolution? Physical Therapists in Prevention and Population Health.” Co-presented by Mike Eisenhart, PT and Christopher Hinze, PT, DPT the session proposed strategies for the role that physical therapists can play in implementing population health strategies.

Carl L. Fairburn III ’10, PT, DPT, assistant professor of physical therapy; Cathy Peterson, PT, EdD, professor of physical therapy; Anna Barrett ’16, PT, DPT and Patrick Cawneen ’16, DPT, presented “DIY Mid-fidelity Simulation: It Takes Less Space, Less Money and More Time Than You Think! Educational Platform Presentation.”

Justin Scola ’17, along with co-authors Panthjit Khosa ’17 and Dr. Davenport, presented the poster entitled “Initial Impact of Physical Therapy Hashtags on Twitter: A Feasibility Study and Descriptive Analysis.”

Rebecca Van Klaveren ’17 presented the podium talk entitled “Gender Distribution of Authors in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 2010-2014,” co-authored by Dr. Fairburn and Dr. Davenport.


Q&A with the DPT Class of 2017

What was something at the conference you were amazed or inspired by?

Alycia Clark ’17: “Attending CSM inspired my desire to pursue the newly developing specialty in physical therapy for oncology patients.”

Michael Ellis ’17: “The amount of people there who were actively engaged in bettering their profession in the pursuit of helping patients.”

Brendan Heary ’17: “The incredible number of physical therapists from all around the country, all gathered together for this one event.”

Hailey Kopps ’17: “I was inspired by the quality of current research, variety of content and level of passion I was surrounded by throughout our visit to CSM. I was overwhelmed by the sense of community and dedication to professional growth. I stand alongside 14,000 others with something to offer the field of movement science.”

Audrey Mott ’17: “The number of PT students in attendance and the passion for healing of all of the speakers.”

Helen Shepard ’17: “All of the new information presented in lectures about current research in our field.”

Megan Stiller ’17: “I was amazed at how many vendors and exhibitors were in the exhibit hall.”

Nina Zakharia ’17: “Getting to see how passionate everyone is about our awesome profession made it really fun.”

Describe a memorable interaction you had during the conference:

Ellis: “I enjoyed watching a classmate of mine interact with people during his poster presentation.”

Kopps: “I talked with a Pacific alumnus and learned about how integral experiences like this are in his practice, several years post-graduation.”

Mott: “Jessica Renzi from North Carolina. She is a travel PT who started a company with her husband to mentor new PT grads interested in travel PT. Awesome to talk to her and learn the ins and outs of traveling.”

Scola: “Speaking with many people involved with Twitter and PT advocacy.”

Stiller: “I talked to a Team Movement for Life staff member at a meet-and-greet event and I was able to have an extended conversion with her about the company.”

Max Yeagley ’17: “I met with a friend’s upcoming clinical instructor named Rosalie, who works at Lodi Memorial. She was very down-to-earth, approachable and very encouraging to us about starting our clinical rotations.”

Zakharia: “I met a PT from Texas who designed an electronic medical record. He was funny, but insightful.”

Did you connect with any alumni or former faculty?

Clark: “I met an alumna of the DPT program who now works at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara. She was incredibly friendly and shared with me about her job.”

Jessica Tom ’17: “Yes, it was inspiring to hear about where they all are in their careers and what helped get them to where they are.”

Zakharia: “I connected very easily with Margaret from the class of 1994!”

By: Anne Marie H. Bergthold

Interactions Retraction: In Memoriam

We deeply regret and sincerely apologize for incorrectly identifying Peter E. Koo ’92, PharmD, as a passing member of the Pacific Family in the latest edition of the annual alumni magazine, Interactions. It was our error and we take full responsibility. The error was a result of a press release regarding the passing of another Peter Koo who was also a pharmacist and whose son was a graduate of the School. We have reviewed our work processes and have revised procedures in order to prevent future errors of this nature.

We will be including a retraction in next week’s email digest, Tiger Times, and the next edition of the magazine. The staff at the School works hard to keep and share updated information about all of our alumni and appreciate the efforts that our extended family has provided to maintain the accuracy of this data. We also extend our apologies to his family and friends for any distress or inconvenience caused by our mistake.


The Office of External Relations
Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Loriann DeMartini ’84, PharmD Named Pacific Pharmacy Alumna of the Year

The Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is proud to announce that Loriann DeMartini ’84, PharmD has been named the Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association (PPAA) Alumna of the Year. Dr. DeMartini earned her doctor of pharmacy from University of the Pacific in 1984. Dr. DeMartini will be honored at the Pacific Pharmacy Alumni and Friends Breakfast at the Western Pharmacy Exchange, presented by the California Pharmacists Association. Pacific Pharmacy alumni and friends are invited to attend the breakfast to be held on Saturday, February 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in Palm Springs.

“We are proud to count Loriann DeMartini among our distinguished alumni,” said Dean Phillip R. Oppenheimer, PharmD. “Without question she has improved health care in California. Her leadership and dedication to promoting the pharmacy profession are an inspiration to her peers and to the next generation of pharmacists.”

In 2016 Dr. DeMartini was named chief executive officer of the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP), a non-profit professional association which serves the needs of hospital and health-system pharmacists. CSHP, the largest state association for pharmacists, represents over 3,500 members who practice specialized medicine and clinical pharmacy.

“The Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association has so many qualified candidates; for her work in medication safety and her leadership at the state level Loriann DeMartini rose to the top,” PPAA President Tom Maez ’85, PharmD said. “We are excited that she was recently named CEO of CSHP. On behalf of the PPAA, we wish to thank her for her years of dedication to the profession and for her leadership as together we shape what lies next for the future of pharmacy.”

Dr. DeMartini’s areas of expertise are medication error reduction and regulatory enforcement. From 1992 through 2016 she served the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in a variety of roles, most recently as deputy director of the Office of Quality Performance and Accreditation. During her tenure at CDPH she was recognized nationally and statewide for her contributions to improving patient care. Under her leadership the Medication Error Reduction Program (MERP) was launched and implemented in over 400 hospitals in California. In 2010, the Institute for Safe Medication Practice recognized MERP, recommending that it be adopted nationwide.

Dr. DeMartini completed a fellowship in leadership in health care at the California Health Care Foundation in 2006. She is a Fellow of the California Health Care Foundation and member of the Accreditation Improvement Advisory Committee for the Public Health Accreditation Board. She has also been involved in the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. She currently holds faculty appointments at Touro University California, University of California, San Francisco and University of California, San Diego.

The PPAA awards the Alumnus/Alumna of the Year to a current member who has distinguished themselves by either their service to the University or School, their leadership and distinction within the pharmacy profession, or their body of service. The recipient is also asked to serve as the keynote speaker for Pacific’s doctor of pharmacy White Coat Ceremony.

Pacific Pharmacy Alumni and Friends Breakfast at CPhA
Saturday, Feb. 25 | 7:30 – 9 a.m.
Renaissance Hotel – Sierra/Ventura Rooms
888 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Tickets for this breakfast will not be available at the door and are not included in the conference registration. To purchase, please visit by Friday, February 17.


Making the Most of Career Development

deans_letter_pt-showcase-2016Meeting a prospective employer for the first time can be a nerve-racking experience. There is the pressure to make a good first impression, give eloquent answers and ask thoughtful questions. One of the ways that Pacific prepares students for the career opportunities that lay ahead is through events where they can practice navigating interactions with employers.

On November 14, 2016, the University’s Career Resource Center hosted an etiquette dinner. At the event, students had the opportunity to practice networking and dining in a professional setting. The Pacific Speech-Language Pathology Alumni Association sponsored the 20 students undergraduate and graduate students who attended this annual event.

“I would definitely recommend this to future students because it has made me more comfortable dining at nice restaurants and it was a valuable experience if I go to an interview dinner,” said speech-language pathology (SLP) student Ashley Cearley ’17. Her classmate, Monica Berg ’17, agrees, “It was great to receive information about dining in a business setting and note what employers were looking for.” Berg connected with Jillian Hall ’13, MS, CCC-SLP, who is a speech-language pathologist for Twin Rivers Unified School District. “We spoke about her job experience, other colleges and the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association,” Berg said.

SLP student Connie Mach ’17 also connected with a speech-language pathologist. She shares, “She was very friendly and shared her experiences working as a speech-language pathologist in a variety of settings, including early intervention in the homes, school sites and in the hospitals.” Mach adds, “I think it was a great opportunity to practice networking skills and meet potential employers. I would recommend bringing business cards and thinking of questions to ask the employers prior to the event.”

Doctor of physical therapy (DPT) student Samantha Moore ’17 practiced her networking skills. “I appreciated the pointers that were provided that evening about how to better conduct myself,” Moore said. “I found this beneficial in how to interact with other professionals including potential employers.”

Throughout the year students have opportunities to attend events focused on career development. “We highly encourage students to start attending career events and start devising a career development plan as early as their first year in the program,” said Erica Ruiz ’12, whose role at the School includes assisting students with career development.

In November Adriana Joma ’17 attended the Speech-Language Pathology Employer Showcase. “This experience allowed me to see what positions are currently available in my area and specific job skills required or recommended for these positions,” Joma said. Both Kate O’Donnell ’17 and Kasimira Clark ’17 used Showcase as an opportunity to learn more about the corporate culture of local companies. O’Donnell explains, “The companies provided great information and advice for determining the best ‘fit’ for a career.” Clark shares, “The exhibitors gave great advice and explained what things we should look out for and helped narrow my focus.”

Sarah Petry ’18 found that the practice of meeting with employers gave her confidence. She shares, “I grew more comfortable at each table and less overwhelmed. By the last table I felt more myself and able to better make a connection.” DPT student Jacob “Jake” Fredrickson ’18 had a similar experience at the Physical Therapy Employer Showcase. He said, “I got to practice having a professional conversation in a real employer interaction and that was very helpful!”

For Briana Bernard ’17 the benefits of attending Showcase were twofold. “Clinicians gave insight to what they are looking for in therapists and what kind of [interview] questions they ask,” Bernard said. “Also, it was a good experience of putting myself out there in a professional setting and feeling more confident.”

Dickson Chang ’18 and Briana Valenzuela ’18 emphasize the power of a good first impression. Chang shares, “It helped me work on being personable to potential employers.” Valenzuela said, “I felt like practicing introducing myself to everyone and trying to create a good first impression was a great experience.”

Alicia (Lueth) Wortman ’18 found Showcase to be an encouraging experience. She shares, “It was nice to have a ‘practice’ environment in which to have purposeful, but also personal, conversations. It was encouraging to know that these employers see qualities in us which they’d like to hire.” Patrick Amigable ’18 echoes her sentiment. He said, “I was able to practice being an active listener and inquire in a way that expressed my potential as a future employee.”


Phi Delta Chi’s Alpha Psi Chapter Celebrates Their Diamond Anniversary

deans-letter-phi-delta-chi-reunion-03“We love what we do and we love doing it together as a family,” said Kevin Chan ’19. The spirit of camaraderie is interwoven throughout the rich history of the Alpha Psi chapter of Phi Delta Chi. In 2016 the chapter celebrated their 60th anniversary. This milestone was celebrated at the Alpha Psi Diamond Jubilee held during Pacific Homecoming.

“Had it not been for my joining the fraternity during my freshman year, I might not have graduated from Pacific,” Ralph L. Saroyan ’64, RPh said. “The support and fraternal love I gained from this brotherhood provided the encouragement I needed when my studies were not going well.”

When Saroyan was initiated on May 1, 1960 it paved the way for his career at Pacific, which would include being awarded Order of the Pacific, the University’s highest honor. “Had I not been in Phi Delta Chi I would not have been brought back to the University,” Saroyan said. He explains that through being involved in Alpha Psi he formed a connection with Dean Ivan “Cy” Rowland, PhD. Dean Rowland approached Saroyan when he decided to create the role of Director of Student Affairs. Saroyan shares, “I was blessed that Cy Rowland saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.”

Jack Schlegel ’67, RPh joined Phi Delta Chi in 1963. “Without Dean Rowland’s support, as well as that of Alpha Psi, I am not certain that I would have been able to complete pharmacy school and enjoy the remarkable career I had in the profession,” Schlegel said. After serving as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, Schlegel relocated to Washington, D.C. His illustrious career includes serving as the CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, CEO of the American Pharmacists Association and CEO of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as his current position as president and CEO of Schlegel & Associates. “My experiences as an Active in Alpha Psi clearly helped develop and hone leadership skills that served me well throughout my career,” Schlegel said.

Chan shares the impact the fraternity has had on his personal and professional growth. “When I first joined as a brother, I lacked a sense of responsibility and had little knowledge of what I wanted to pursue in the field of pharmacy,” Chan said. “The fraternity has given me a vision of who I want to become and the essential resources to strive after my professional and personal goals. It is extremely important to form connections with fellow peers, because having a support system is crucial to any success. The best part about the brothers of Phi Delta Chi is the diverse group of individuals you get to work with, which can allow you to gain new skill sets by working with such unique personalities.” Chan adds, “Our alumni have been an essential part of the fraternity’s success by offering career and academic advice.”

1883 | Phi Delta Chi, the country’s first professional pharmacy fraternity, was established. Their motto is alterum alterius auxilio eget, “each needs the help of the other.”

1955 | A school of pharmacy was established at Pacific.

1956 | The Alpha Psi chapter was officially chartered. At that time Dean Rowland was Phi Delta Chi’s Grand President. Dean Rowland’s legacy is the fraternity’s focus on leadership development. Today Phi Delta Chi emphasizes “Leaders in Pharmacy” and “Brothers for Life.”

1958 | The North Wing of North Hall, what is now Hand Hall, was designated as housing for Alpha Psi brothers.

1978 | Alpha Psi hosted the Grand National Council at North Lake Tahoe.

1981 | The chapter received the fraternity’s prestigious Emory W. Thurston Grand President’s Award. That year Saroyan was elected Grand President, serving the fraternity on the national level. Both Saroyan and Dean Rowland served as Grand President for a record four terms, a total of eight years. Also, representing Pacific, Max Polisky, PhD and Robert “Bob” Supernaw ’72, PharmD, key figures in the School’s history, both served as Grand Vice Presidents.

1989 | The new chapter house was dedicated. Rowland Hall, the two-story brick building located across from Burns Tower, is named in honor of Dean Rowland.

1997 | The chapter became a co-ed fraternity — that year of the 21 new Brothers initiated 13 were women. Saroyan shares, “Since going coed in 1997, Alpha Psi chapter has never been stronger as demonstrated by their ranking in the top ten national chapters for the past two decades.”

2008 | Alumni established the Alpha Psi Education, Scholarship & Leadership Foundation a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public-benefit corporation. The mission of the Foundation is to provide support for pharmacy students through scholarships and leadership training. The founding members believe that by that investing in the development of pharmacy students it contributes to the pharmacy profession and advances in health care, which benefit society at large.

2015 | For the second time, Alpha Psi received the Emory W. Thurston Grand President’s Award. Logan Brodnansky ’17, explains that for a chapter to be awarded the Thurston Cup is “the highest honor our chapter can receive.

2016 | During Pacific Homecoming 2016 the chapter celebrated their 60th anniversary. President Pamela A. Eibeck spoke at the Alpha Psi Diamond Jubilee, congratulating the Foundation on their focus on leadership development and their commitment to supporting students through scholarships.