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150 Years of the UKCOP Effect

On August 16, 2020, the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy turned 150, a testament to the continuous work of all of our pharmacy family. We couldn’t do what we do without each one of the individuals featured here. Whether an alumnus, faculty or staff member, donor, friend, or thought leader—each person is a part of our legacy. Their commitment to this community allows us to be one of the nation's leading colleges of pharmacy.

1975 Gil Burckart PharmD, R22

Current Position: Associate Director for Pediatrics, Office of Clinical Pharmacology, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration

Award: Paul F. Parker Award Recipient (2016)

"My three years at UKCOP and the experiences and residency I had was the most valuable time for learning. I really matured with the responsibilities during those years and I realize how valuable that was for my future. I was easily able to start my career at a high level because of those experiences. My advice for UKCOP students is that future pharmacists should focus on aiming high. Think broadly about what you’d like to do in your career. Don’t limit yourself. There are lots of opportunities. Keep your vision and your dreams in sight and work towards them."

1996 David Burgio PhD

Current Position: Senior VP, Research and Development, Personal Health Care Section, Proctor and Gamble

"The UK College of Pharmacy's legacy and tradition of developing strong students and capable scientists led me to believe I could accomplish whatever I wanted and I always knew I had people behind me. It has opened doors for me and I was well-prepared to prove my abilities."

1974 Mike Burleson BS

Current Position: Owner, Michael Burleson Pharmacist Consulting Services

"The educational background I had at UK was excellent. The life education that I received was also amazing. People might wonder what I mean by that, but my life just changed and turned around at UK and in pharmacy school. The life experience of being involved with the students and the many classmates I had was one of the most positive things for me to experience."

1978 Daniel Canafax PharmD

Current Position: Chief Medical Officer, XW Laboratories Inc.

Award: Paul F. Parker Award Recipient (2014)

Before accepting the position of Chief Medical Officer at XW LabsDr. Canafax held various positions at Theravance Biopharma, Omeros Corporation and XenoPort, which included him leading Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at these organizations. At XenoPort, his work and research led to the approval of a drug that helps treat restless legs syndrome and neuropathic pain. Dr. Canafax has also worked as a professor of Pharmacy, Surgery and Otolaryngology at the University of Minnesota and has contributed to over 160 research publications.

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1996, 1997 Paul Cheek BS, PharmD

Current Position: Director of Pharmacy, St. Joseph Hospital

"UKCOP is known as a good school, so people look at you a little different when you have that degree. You're more likely to get a chance at a career opportunity because of the reputation. The reputation and education really helped me become prepared for job opportunities in my life. I really grew up and matured at UK."

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1996, 1997 Rebecca Cheek BS, PharmD

Current Position: Director of Pharmacy, Grace Health

"UKCOP is the best school of pharmacy just based on the curriculum and reputation. Being apart of the UK family really prepared me well. I really see a difference when working with students from UK. I also met my husband, Paul, at UKCOP. He understands the work and struggles I face, and I can relate to his as well. Meeting him at UKCOP was the best thing that happened in my pharmacy career."

Greg Chudzik headshot

1971 Greg Chudzik PharmD, R2

Previous Position:  Research, Pharmaceutical Industry (currently retired)

"Being a pharmacist is fun. You get to do so many things and have so many capabilities. You have a good understanding of what is happening with patients. People ask your advice and that is the fun part. My UKCOP experience gives me instant recognition. It has always been the most sought after pharmacy residency and PharmD program. UK is especially strong clinically. It is just simply the best program there is."

1976 James Cloyd III PharmD, R32

Current Position: Professor, Departments of Neurology and Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology; Director, Center for Orphan Drug Research; University of Minnesota

Award: Paul F. Parker Award Recipient (1997)

"As a student, I was on the front line. They had us rounding with medical teams and they would turn to us and ask what to do next; you knew you had to be prepared. There is nothing like that type of situation to stimulate learning. As a resident, you ran a 400-bed unit dose system in central pharmacy, so you had to know a lot about a lot of different drugs. Our faculty were also on the frontlines. People like Tom Foster and Joe DiPiro all had their own practices and you could see them taking care of patients; it was really quite motivating."

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1988-1999 Jordan Cohen Faculty

Previous Position: Dean, Vice President of Research, University of Iowa College of Pharmacy (currently retired)

"I think there are a lot of options when you graduate pharmacy. You will find that people within the profession are doing things they wouldn’t find possible. Science and research are constantly uncovering new knowledge. It's an incredible feeling when you can add to the body of knowledge. It's very gratifying to make those contributions. UKCOP has really become an extraordinary program over the years. A lot has happened to make the college a national treasure in many ways."

2000 Aaron Cook PharmD, R275

Current Position: Clinical Coordinator, Neuroscience-Pulmonary/Critical Care, UK HealthCare

"The way that we approach education of pharmacists at UK is at the forefront of education that people are doing nationally—on the cutting edge of practice. We are making changes before anyone else. We are the innovators with education and where pharmacy education needs to go. We are the ones anticipating what practice is going to look like in the next 10 years."

1972 Joel Covinsky PharmD, R3

Previous Position: Vice President, Cardiorenal Research Worldwide (currently retired)

Award: Paul F. Parker Award Recipient (1993)

"The clinical instruction foundation from the college was enormously helpful. I was part of a medical school program and saw patients for 14 years. I was involved in patient care every day and was teaching side by side with medical school faculty. We were the first 6-year medical school in the US and the focus was to bring education to the bedside. If you were a professor, you had to teach on your feet. You had to have the information on your 'home computer' - your brain."

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1986, 1999 Kim Croley BS, PharmD

Current Position: Clinical Pharmacist, Director of Pharmacy, Laurel Senior Living Communities

"I believe that all COPs can provide a good level of education to students. However, what set UKCOP apart to me was that I knew my professors were taking a personal interest in me and wanted to be sure that I was understanding what I was learning. They provided me with relevant information and I built strong relationships with them. It was very much a family atmosphere. UKCOP is amazing."

1970 Bill Crouthamel PhD

Current Position: President, WGC Consulting

Award: Hall of Distinguished Alumni - Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient (2020)

"Thanks to UKCOP, I have been able to spend my life working as a pharmaceutical scientist, teacher, innovator and consultant. I am also a licensed pharmacist in several states and I have practiced in community and hospital pharmacies. I will always value my education at UKCOP. It has opened up so many doors for me."

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1981 Jeff Danhauer BS

Current Position: Owner, Pharmacist, Danhauer Drug Store

"I really loved the close interaction of students and faculty together at UKCOP. We were always learning and that really prepared me and other students well for our careers. I miss the frequent networking I got to do at UK. I also love getting to see people through the professional organizations that provide some networking now for working pharmacists."

William Danhauer and pharmacists at store

1950 William Danhauer BS

Current Position: Oldest Practicing Pharmacist in Kentucky, Danhauer Drugs

"I started working for my dad at his pharmacy in Owensboro, Kentucky. My father was the first pharmacist in Owensboro and opened Danhauer Drugs in 1904. I joined in 1950 when I finished at UKCOP and have been there ever since. I'm proud that my degree says UK. I got a great education and I love my career."

Features Continued...


We wish to remember and honor those who inhabited this Commonwealth before the arrival of the Europeans. Briefly occupying these lands were the Osage, Wyndott tribe, and Miami peoples. The Adena and Hopewell peoples, who are recognized by the naming of the time period in which they resided here, were here more permanently. Some of their mounds remain in the Lexington area, including at UK’s Adena Park.

In more recent years, the Cherokee occupied southeast Kentucky, the Yuchi southwest Kentucky, the Chickasaw extreme western Kentucky and the Shawnee central Kentucky including what is now the city of Lexington. The Shawnee left when colonization pushed through the Appalachian Mountains. Lower Shawnee Town ceremonial grounds are still visible in Greenup County.

We honor the first inhabitants who were here, respect their culture, and acknowledge the presence of their descendants who are here today in all walks of life including fellow pharmacists and healthcare professionals.