Meet our Alumni
For more than 125 years, our alumni have contributed extensively to pharmacy, health care, and to the larger society. We invite you to meet some of our notable alumni and learn more about their unique leadership and educational opportunities, as well as their commitment to improving their communities.
Family ties: The Astrup family and a Legacy of Patient Care as the Top Priority
Independent, community pharmacy has seen many changes since 1952. Over the decades, the Astrup family has continued to adapt and grow its businesses with the overarching purpose of five-star pharmacy care for all.
His Dream of Buying A Pharmacy In A Small Town
Bob Brix grew up in a large family of pharmacists on the northside of Minneapolis. After graduating from the College of Pharmacy in 1952, he pursued his dream of buying a pharmacy in a small town. After purchasing his Clara City pharmacy, he subsequently purchased stores in other Minnesota towns of Tracy, Sleepy Eye, Redwood and Glenwood.
Credits Mentors And A Doctorate From The College of Pharmacy On His Distinguished Career Path
Brown’s advice to pharmacy students today is to create your own opportunities. "Think about how you can make things better than the way you found them,” he said. “It’s not always about the title, but the position that allows you to make a positive change for an organization."
Advancing Pharmacy Practice in Long-term Care
As a second year Pharmaceutical Care Leadership Resident for the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, Dr. David Bunch set out to enhance pharmacy services at Geritom Medical.
A Six-Decade Commitment to the College and Profession
Tom Dinndorf’s choice of pharmacy as a career path followed his brother Don, who graduated from the college in 1953, and his father Alex. Together, his brother and father ran Dinndorf Corner Drug in Albany, Minn. for 50 years. “I spent my childhood at the soda fountain and sweeping the floors,” said Dinndorf.
Innovative and Collaborative Pharmacy Practice in Primary Care
Haag completed two years of residency training at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and then joined the faculty as an ambulatory care pharmacist. Board certified as a Pharmacotherapy Specialist and an Ambulatory Pharmacist, Haag practices at a Mayo Clinic primary care clinic.
A Pioneer And Leader In Critical Care Pharmacy
In her current role, Jacobi is part of the multiprofessional ICU team as a Critical Care Pharmacy Specialist for the Adult Critical Care Units. For the past 20-plus years, she has contributed to the growth of the critical care pharmacy services to help meet the pharmaceutical needs of an extremely vulnerable population requiring sophisticated care.
Fulfilling Her Dream of Earning a Master’s Degree 36 Years After Starting the Program
In May 2017, Lucy Johnson successfully completed her master’s degree program in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. While this accomplishment is noteworthy by itself, it’s her journey that got her to this point that’s remarkable.
Credits the College In Enabling His 38-Year Career
From teaching aspiring pharmacists at the University of Tennessee to becoming global head of clinical pharmacology at Pfizer, Lalonde (PharmD.’80) has enjoyed an impressively wide range of roles over the past nearly four decades – and the University of Minnesota, he says, “helped to open all these doors. It’s probably what allowed me to have the career I’ve had.”
A Passion for Collaboration And Caring For The Underserved Patients Facing Addiction And Chronic Pain
"I have a love for working with underserved patient populations,” said Le. “I really connected with it and felt it was my calling."
A Leading Advocate For High Quality Pharmacy Education
Lucinda Maine is a 1985 graduate of the College of Pharmacy’s Kellogg Pharmaceutical Clinical Scientist PhD program. She credits her time in the graduate program and in her subsequent faculty position at the college for introducing her to some of the best thinkers in the profession.
The Grandfather Of The Pharmacy Graduate Program
"I felt there was a lot of opportunity for application of sociology and psychology in pharmacy," he says. Manasse is grateful he was able to combine those interests at the University of Minnesota – and throughout his career. "Addiction, adherence, the response to meds are behavioral issues – all of these have great relevance in pharmacy."
Encourages Pharmacy Students To Pursue Diverse Opportunities
Marttila has seen the profession evolve in his decades of experience and he believes that students launching their careers today will experience a much more diversified career than seemed possible when he began his career. He said that Pharmacy is truly a renaissance career.
Giving Her Time, Talent and Treasure
“I’m happy to give back because if it weren’t for the College of Pharmacy, I would not have had the career I’ve enjoyed and the abilities to be self-employed working on projects that I feel make a difference.”
A Doctorate In Pharmaceutics Paves The Way For A Career In Industry Leadership
Sarma’s advice to the pharmacy students today? "First, be open-minded, and second, don’t let anyone define who you are," he said. "Take some risks along the way, and remember that as a pharmacist, you’re not an engineer, not a doctor and not a chemist—you’re a little bit of each of them and, trust me, this will serve you well."
From Minnesota to Alaska: The Rewards of Never Giving Up
It had always been Kathryn Sawyer’s plan to work in health care to fulfill her mission of helping others. After shadowing other pharmacists, she decided pharmacy would be a good fit for her.
Like many other students, Sawyer had her post-graduation path planned out years in advance. However, her journey took an unexpected turn.
Supporting The College’s Commitment to Excellence
Bruce Scott’s commitment and connection to the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy have remained strong for more than three decades. During this time, Scott has contributed his time and talents to help ensure Minnesota remains a leader in educating the next generation of pharmacists.
A Shared Passion For Community Pharmacy
"Steve is perhaps the state of Minnesota’s foremost community pharmacist who is often recognized nationally as a key example of what a community pharmacy and pharmacist can do to bring direct patient care services to its patients," Dean Emeritus Marilyn Speedie said.
Sets High Goals For Health Care In Indian Country
“I chose to work in the health services area as a response to our recent health situations and policies that didn’t reflect our Indian community,” said St. Germaine, a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.
Advancing The Pharmacy Profession Locally And Across The Globe
Strykowski looks forward to working on the college’s capital campaign and continuing her advocacy work through testifying at the legislature and supporting efforts to determine the future of pharmacy. "We are on the brink of provider status at the federal level," said Strykowski. "We have to keep pushing at the state level as it defines what our practice will be here in Minnesota."
Steve Turner honors his heritage, pharmacy career, and love of country music.
Steve Turner wears a big black cowboy hat and a cowboy shirt and plays music that urges the people in the crowd to action. They jump up from their seats to dance and often belt out the chorus lyrics. He’s in Nashville now, working as a pharmacist full time and playing music on his days off.
Alumni Linnea Forsell (BS 1978) and Agam Sheth (PhD 2004) were honored by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Sept. 24 for their outstanding volunteer service and leadership to the University of Minnesota and the College of Pharmacy.
Marsha Millonig, a 1982 graduate of the College of Pharmacy, has been selected to receive the University of Minnesota Alumni Service Award. The award recognizes her service as a volunteer who has had a major impact on the University. She will receive the award at the Alumni Association's gala celebratory event during Homecoming Week on Oct. 16.
Jeanette Roberts, PhD, has been selected by the University’s Board of Regents to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award. The award is the U’s highest non-degree honor. University President Dr. Eric Kaler will present the award to Roberts on May. 23.
Roberts was recognized for her outstanding achievements as a leader in academic pharmacy and medicinal chemistry.