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School names Distinguished Teaching Scholars

Three of four Distinguished Teaching Scholars — John Rimoldi, Gary Theilman and David McCaffrey — pose for a photo following the pharmacy school's May commencement ceremony. Not pictured is Brian Crabtree.


our faculty members in the School of Pharmacy are being recognized through the Distinguished Teaching Scholars Program, which rewards faculty for teaching excellence, dedication to student achievement and research on effective teaching and learning.

Named Thelma H. Cerniglia Distinguished Teaching Scholars are Brian Crabtree, associate professor of pharmacy practice and clinical associate professor of psychiatry, and Gary Theilman, associate professor of pharmacy practice and vice chair for practice, education and student affairs. Both work at the UM Medical Center in Jackson.

John Rimoldi, professor of medicinal chemistry, was named to his second three-year term as Galen Order Distinguished Teaching Scholar, and David McCaffrey, professor of pharmacy administration, is the Dean's Advisory Committee Distinguished Teaching Scholar.

All of the awards include an annual stipend for three years.

"Teaching and student learning are our No. 1 priorities," said pharmacy Dean Barbara G. Wells. "The recipients of these awards are passionate about both, as well as overall student welfare and assessment. Other faculty members desiring to improve in these areas often look to them for mentoring and inspiration."

The Distinguished Teaching Scholars Program was established in 2005 and is funded through gifts from the estate of Thelma H. Cerniglia and members of the Galen Order and Dean's Advisory Committee. Recipients are nominated for the awards, and a committee evaluates the nominees and makes a recommendation to the dean.

"These four teaching scholars exemplify the quality that all of our faculty strive for," said Marvin C. Wilson, associate dean for academic and student affairs. "Our faculty members are dedicated to improving their skills and abilities in their classrooms, laboratories or at patients' bedsides. Their quest for continuous improvement is a hallmark of our school and has resulted in its national recognition as one of the premier pharmacy schools in the country."

Crabtree, who is board-certified in psychiatric pharmacy, maintains a clinical pharmacy practice at the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield, where he offers a rotation in psychiatric pharmacy for professional year three and four students. He was influential in developing PY3 students' problem-based learning initiative and chairs the pharmacy school's curricular assessment committee. He received the school's 2007 Faculty Service Award and 2000 Faculty Innovations in Teaching Award. He is president-elect of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, which works to strengthen pharmacy education nationwide.

Theilman has an interest in the use of technology in education and received the pharmacy school's Faculty Innovations in Teaching Award in 2007 and 2001. He has worked with members of his department to implement processes for collaborative grading of student assignments and collection of data to improve teaching. He also worked with the UM School of Medicine to develop an interdisciplinary public health course that allowed pharmacy and medical students to learn from each other in teams. He is the longtime chair of the pharmacy school's Curriculum Committee.

Theilman and Crabtree have both published several papers about the structure and evaluation of the problem-based learning process, which the UM pharmacy school adopted more than a decade ago to enhance learning and retention. The process, which for years has been used in medical schools across the country, places more responsibility for learning on the students and is being implemented in other pharmacy schools across the country.

Rimoldi teaches pharmacogenetics and pharmacoimmunology to PY1 students. His research interests are in synthetic organic, medicinal and environmental chemistry. With UM pharmacy colleagues, he is working on a medicinal chemistry textbook and a group of new drugs for treating obesity. Along with colleagues at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, he and UM colleagues are working to translate novel lab findings into new drugs for treating cancer and heart disease. His awards include the university's 2002 Faculty Achievement Award, which recognizes professional scholarship, high scholarly standards and overall outstanding career performance. He also received the pharmacy school's 2002 Faculty Service Award and was named 2011 Teacher of the Year by pharmacy's PY1 class.

McCaffrey teaches social and behavioral aspects of pharmacy practice for PY1 students. At the graduate level, he teaches primary data techniques. He is a member of the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination's Review Committee, which develops the test pharmacy graduates from other countries must pass before they sit for the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam, and serves as an adviser to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy's Curriculum Outcomes Assessment program, which helps colleges and schools of pharmacy determine whether their Pharm.D. curricula are meeting desired outcomes. He received the pharmacy school's Faculty Service Award in 2000 and 2010, and was named 2010 Teacher of the Year by pharmacy's PY1 class.


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