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LEXINGTON, Ky. (February 26, 2024) — The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP) proudly announces the selection of Frank Romanelli, Pharm.D., MPH, FAPhA, FCCP, BCPS, as the 2024 recipient of the Robert K. Chalmers Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award, a prestigious honor bestowed by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). This award recognizes Romanelli's exceptional contributions and steadfast dedication to the field of pharmacy education.

As the Paul F. Parker endowed professor and chief academic officer at the College of Pharmacy, Romanelli has been a leading figure in pharmacy education for over 25 years. His commitment to teaching, research, professional service, and outreach, combined with his decorated career and significant impact on both students and colleagues, encapsulates the spirit of Robert K. Chalmers, the award's namesake and a venerable figure in pharmacy education.

"I am profoundly honored to receive the Robert K. Chalmers Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award,” stated Romanelli. “This recognition is not only a testament to my personal journey in pharmacy education but also reflects the collective effort and support of my colleagues and our students at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. I am committed to continuing our shared mission to advance pharmacy education and inspire the next generation of pharmacy professionals."

The Robert K. Chalmers Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award recognizes individual excellence and substantial contributions to the advancement of pharmacy education. Romanelli's accolades include multiple Professor of the Year awards at UKCOP and the honor of sharing the 2023 Rufus A. Lyman Award with colleague and nominator Jeff Cain, Ed.D., for their outstanding paper published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.

With a prolific scholarly record boasting over 130 peer-reviewed publications, including 60 on educational topics, Romanelli has been instrumental in pioneering innovative educational initiatives. His expertise in viral infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and vaccines, has significantly influenced pharmacy education, both locally and globally.

"Dr. Romanelli is a highly esteemed educator whose passion and dedication to teaching have inspired countless individuals,” said Cain. “His innovative approach and significant contributions through research, scholarship, and professional service have established a standard of excellence in pharmacy education.”

"Frank’s receipt of the Chalmers Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award is a moment of great pride for our College,” said Dean R. Kip Guy, Ph.D. “His innovative spirit and commitment to excellence have not only shaped the future of pharmacy education but have also significantly contributed to our College's reputation as a leader in the field. His dedication to mentoring the next generation of pharmacists is a testament to his passion for teaching and his belief in the transformative power of education. We are fortunate to have such an exemplary figure among us, and this award serves as a fitting recognition of his profound impact on students, colleagues, and the broader healthcare community."

Romanelli's achievements underscore the critical role of educators in shaping future healthcare professionals and adapting to the sector's changing demands. His legacy and body of work, an inspiration within the pharmacy community, highlight the essential interplay of education, innovation, and leadership in promoting global health and wellness.

Romanelli is the second recipient with ties to the University of Kentucky to receive the award in its 15-year history. He will accept the award during the AACP annual meeting on pharmacy education held July 2024 in Boston, MA.

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.