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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.

2007 Adam Robinson PharmD

Current Position: Pharmacist, Owner, Save Rite Drugs; Preceptor, University of Kentucky College Pharmacy

"There are so many challenges in pharmacy now, but I like to look at them as opportunities. Whenever there is a roadblock, I am that person who says, 'How do we get around that and flourish in the process?' As an independent pharmacy owner, I can switch gears and try new opportunities to practice at the top of my license every day. Pharmacists must constantly think outside the box, so don’t be afraid to try something new. UKCOP students are exceptionally knowledgeable and professional. They really are the standard for what aspiring pharmacy professionals should become."

1998 Frank Romanelli R242, Faculty

Current Position: Professor, Associate Dean for the Academic Program, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy

"I came as a resident and learned of the tradition and level of practice and clinical program at UKCOP. I try to live up to the standards of excellence and innovation here. I believe all boats rise when everyone has high expectations. UKCOP taught me to take risks and be creative. I have been able to reimagine the curriculum and play a big role in cutting edge changes. My advice for students and staff is to be bold and think outside the box."

2013 Nick Russell PharmD

Current Position: Pharmacist, Bluegrass Pharmacy

"As pharmacists, we look at ourselves as life dispensers. We’re helping facilitate that through what gets passed from our hands to other people. It all comes back to the patients. There are life-saving medications that go through our doors every single day that keep people healthy and keep the quality of life up. What keeps us going is the person on the other side of the phone or the drive-thru or at our curbside."

1992, 1993 Melody Ryan BS, PharmD, Faculty

Current Position: Professor, Director of International Professional Student Education, Assistant Provost for Global Health Initiative, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy

"The UKCOP name and brand image opens doors. It is recognized nationally. I realized that when I was applying for residencies and I could tell people were impressed with the UKCOP degree. I am proud of becoming a full professor and getting to help students every day. All my interactions with students are the most meaningful. I love helping to share the knowledge and understanding that shapes their thoughts and career directions. If I had to do it all over, I would chose UKCOP again. I am proud to be a Kentuckian and have graduated from a state school and very fine College of Pharmacy."

1989, 1990 Kiranpal Sangha BS, PharmD

Current Position: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Neuroscience, University of Cincinnati

"I think the most beneficial part of UKCOP was the well-rounded education I received. I knew I could work in any area of pharmacy. The name recognition of UKCOP has also been important. The reputation of the school opens so many doors and opportunities. I got a great education and learned how to be a better, more responsible human. My best advice for students is to keep your mind open and explore your options. Be open to lots of professional options and don’t assume you know the right path for you. You have to be flexible and try new things while you're young. Take the chance and the risk!"

1994, 1999 Khaula Sawah MS, PharmD

Current Position: Co-Founder, Union for Medical Care and Reform; PRN, St. Elizabeth's Hospital

"In pharmacy, lectures are important and you must master the fundamentals, but the experiential part is where you’ll really learn the skills and you should focus on that too. Be good at school and master all that you can so you are well equipped. That way you will be confident. Just be yourself and show your confidence and jobs will come because you have a strong background. My UKCOP experience differentiated me from others in the field because it seemed my background was more in-depth and I felt better prepared than most."

1977 Stephen Schondelmeyer PharmD, R50

Current Position: Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems; Affiliate Faculty, Institute for Health Informatics; Director, PRIME Institute; Endowed Chair, Pharmaceutical Management and Economics; University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy

Award: Paul F. Parker Award Recipient (2000)

"Being prepared as a pharmacist, clinician, researcher and an economist and policy analyst, I’ve had the opportunity to deal with major policy issues facing pharmacy. I’ve testified in front of the U.S. Congress 30 times and I’ve testified more than 50 times at various state legislatures. I have had the opportunity to tell pharmacy’s story directly to policy makers and have an impact on public policy. I was around when the Medicaid program first created the drug rebate program to help them afford drugs better. Then I helped influence Medicare Part D, when Medicare covered prescription drugs for the elderly. Many elderly couldn’t afford the medications they needed. I was around and had influence on the development of the Affordable Care Act and the role pharmacy has had on that. My education has led to me being around and having a chance to influence major legislation and providing drugs to patients."

2013 Chad Schwartz PhD

Current Position: Senior Global Product Manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific

"What I want to tell students what I wish I was told before graduating is that it's definitely going to be tough to find and get your first job out of pharmacy school. However, on the positive side of that, your degree is so valued and always will be. It initially can be difficult, but because of the transferable skills you possess, as well as the credentials you have, you'll find what you're looking for. Although it takes time, this is what companies are after and your career growth is a lot higher."

1983 Steve Sheldon BS

Current Position: Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, District 17

Steve Sheldon attended the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1983. Sheldon is currently a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives in District 17. Sheldon's career experiences includes working as a board member of the Bowling Green Christian Academy, co-founder of Curbsideministries.com, co-founder of KY Bearcat Youth Baseball League, CEO of Sheldon's Express Pharmacy, CEO of Sheldon's Restaurant Group, and CEO of Sheldon's Commercial Real Estate Development. He has also been a member of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce.

Dean of UKCOP, 1949-1965 Earl Slone Faculty

Previous Position: Dean, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy

When the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy first started in 1870, it was originally known as the Louisville College of Pharmacy when it was chartered in 1873. While it had the Louisville name attached to it, the institution itself was not actually affiliated with the University of Louisville. In 1947, the College of Pharmacy merged with the University of Kentucky and became part of the UK Chandler Medical Center in 1966. Dr. Slone was part of the original faculty at the Louisville College of Pharmacy and played a large part in guiding the College's transition to the University of Kentucky. He eventually became Dean of UKCOP in 1949, and stayed in this leadership position until he retired in 1965. After 20 years of retirement, Dr. Slone passed away in 1985.

2009-2018 Kelly Smith Former Interim Dean & Faculty

Current Position: Dean, Professor, University of Georgia College of Pharmacy; Previous Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy

"I appreciate the legacy of success and leadership and the rich history at UKCOP. I think the best part is the people. I always felt supported and know I was given room to grow. UKCOP has provided a road map for me as I try to create a supportive environment that encourages and supports growth to make everyone better. UKCOP made me stretch and grow and gave me confidence."

Drane Stephens headshot

1986 Drane Stephens BS

Current Position: Owner, Pharmacist, Eminence Apothecary

"Just helping people, especially elderly people, is the best. When you take the time to hear their problems and know that you can help bring a little comfort or make things a little better, it feels very meaningful. It is always hard when people pass away, but it is nice to know their families and know that you were able to help them some. I want to remind future pharmacists that they can never forget to care. Don’t get so focused on volume or money that you forget about the people. Your main job is to help others."

1990, 1991 Cindy Stowe BS, PharmD, R201

Current Position: Dean, Professor, University of Arkansas for Medical Science College of Pharmacy

Award: Paul F. Parker Award Recipient (2020)

"This residency program at UKCOP prides itself on excellence within the practice of pharmacy. To me, when many pharmacists across the country hear the name 'University of Kentucky,' they think about this program. UKCOP's reputation is phenomenal."

2002 Misty Stutz PharmD

Current Position: Dean, Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

"Many initiatives are underway, including public health initiatives, that utilize the skills of pharmacists in the health and wellness of patients. Our goal is to empower not only our students, but our pharmacist colleagues to be equipped to practice in the ever-changing world of pharmacy. This means that a pharmacist is the member of the health care team especially equipped to manage difficult medication regimens or patients with multiple disease states. Pharmacists are keenly aware of how medications work within the body and can help prescribers make decisions on the best medication therapy."

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1976, 2003 Sarah Swift BS, PharmD

Previous Position: Hospital Pharmacist, Baptist Health Louisville Hospital (currently retired)

"My most meaningful interaction in pharmacy was when I was working at the hospital. I got called in overnight to make an IV fluid for a baby in the NICU. The baby was being transferred to a different hospital for a heart surgery and needed the fluid to get there. I found out later that the baby was the granddaughter of one of my friends. The baby did well and is now a UK graduate today. That was very meaningful to me because I would have done it for any baby, but was especially poignant to know it was my friend’s grandchild after the fact."

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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.