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Kelly M. Smith, associate dean for academic and student affairs at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, has been named dean of the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy.

Smith has served as associate dean for academic and student affairs at the University of Kentucky (UK) since 2009. In that role, she spearheaded the expansion of dual degree and graduate certificate programs while enhancing support and career preparedness services to students. She served as interim dean from 2015 to 2016, overseeing the college’s self-study and successful reaccreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education while also helping elevate the college’s level of external research funding.

“Kelly’s impact at UK has been immeasurable, from her time across the street at UK Healthcare to her ceaseless efforts mentoring and guiding our students at the College,” said Kip Guy, dean of UK College of Pharmacy. “We wish her continued success.”

Smith began her career as a drug information clinical specialist and Board-Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist at UK Hospital, went on to become Director of the affiliated Drug Information Center, and served for 10 years as the Postgraduate Year One Pharmacy Residency Program Director for UK HealthCare. That program was named as the nation’s best by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) during her leadership. She then went on to serve as Director of Residency Program Advancement for the College, developing the inaugural coalition of residency programs across the state of Kentucky that was later formalized as the Kentucky Pharmacy Residency Network. Smith was also named Pharmacist of the Year by the Kentucky Pharmacists Association in 2008 and received the same honor from the Kentucky Society of Health-System Pharmacists in 2005.

She is a national leader in her field and the author or co-author of nearly 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, books, book chapters and other publications. She will be installed as President of ASHP in June. She has served on the editorial advisory boards of several journals, including the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, Journal of the American Pharmacists Association and Orthopedics.

“Dr. Smith is a proven leader who is committed to elevating the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy,” said senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost at UGA Pamela Whitten. “She is a tireless advocate for students and ambitious about raising research productivity to new heights.”

Her scholarly and teaching efforts have focused on pharmacy practice models and workforce development, particularly through student career development and residency training. Her teaching awards include the Michael J. Lach Faculty Award for Innovative Teaching Practice from the UK College of Pharmacy and being named one of the nation’s 25 Top Pharmacy Professors by Sechel Ventures, an independent forecaster of healthcare workforce trends.

Smith earned her Bachelor of Science in pharmacy and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from UGA and completed her drug information residency training at UFHealth Jacksonville in Florida.

“To return home to work with such accomplished and passionate students, staff, faculty and alumni is a dream come true. There is no better time than now for the UGA College of Pharmacy to advance science and create pharmacy leaders who will elevate healthcare across Georgia, the nation and the world,” said Smith. “My time at the leading institution that the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy is has been priceless and an experience for which I will always be grateful. I will always carry a piece of UK with me wherever I go.” Smith's appointment at UGA is effective August 1.

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.