College News

Dr. Robert Vince Recognized at Weaver Medal Reception

In early August, the college recognized Dr. Robert "Bob" Vince, recipient of the 2022 Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal. The award honors sustained and distinguished support of the College of Pharmacy and its students, and/or acknowledges outstanding contribution to pharmacy education, practice, research or community outreach. Read more from Dr. Vince's nominators and view a gallery of photos from the celebration which included Dee Weaver and past Weaver Medal recipients.


Robert Vince wearing Weaver Medal

White Coat Ceremony Honors PharmD Class of 2027

The PharmD Class of 2027 celebrated their white coat ceremony on Friday, Sept. 1 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. More than 600 students, faculty, staff, friends and family members were in attendance to commemorate this important transition into the pharmacy program. View the photo gallery to see more highlights of the day!



White coat ceremony students

Medical Laboratory Science and Occupational Therapy Programs Celebrate Fall Commencement

The Medical Laboratory Sciences and Occupational Therapy programs held the commencement ceremony for graduates of the Class of 2023 on Friday, September 15, 2023 at Northrop Auditorium. The class included 28 medical laboratory science graduates and 44 occupational therapy graduates. 

The ceremony included opening remarks from the two program directors, Dr. Peggy Martin (OT) and Dr. Donna Spannaus-Martin (MLS). The ceremony’s commencement speaker was Dr. Lynda Welage. MLS students were represented by speaker Anna Youngs and Alison Pawlowski spoke on behalf of OTD students. More than 530 friends and family were in attendance to celebrate the graduates.

CAHP commencement ceremony

Student News

Kate France, P3 student, received national honorable mention for the Aspirations in Computing National Center for Women and IT Collegiate Award (July 2023) and was declared a Global Student Prize 2023 Top 50 Finalist through the Varkey Institute and This award recognizes students across the world who are doing work to make the world a better place across domains (she won in the Health Sciences category in June 2023). France was also asked to fly to Philadelphia for the Future of Equitable Health Roundtable as a part of the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions at their Annual Meeting in November of 2023.

Caitlin Lichtenfels, PhD candidate in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, was named a Leader in the Promotion of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Caitlin created and organized the STEAM Team, a departmental outreach group that mentors local underrepresented high schoolers in the sciences.

Dr. Juhee Oh, Researcher 5 in the Elmquist Lab, received the first place Post-Doctoral Poster Award at the 25th North American International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX) Meeting.

Zijian Wang, PhD student in the Department of Pharmaceutics, (faculty advisor: Calvin Sun), was selected by the Scientific Advisory Board to receive a 2023 International Pharmaceutical Recipients Council (IPEC) Foundation Graduate Student Award.

Congratulations to the following winners of the college's 2023 3-Minute Thesis competition conducted in mid-October: 

  • Judge's Winner: Douglas Nelson, Department of Pharmaceutics - "Ironing out the causes of memory loss in Alzheimer's brain." Doug will advance to represent the college at the University-wide competition on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.
  • Runner Up: Yuting Shan, Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology - "Studying bacteria/virus inside the tumor – a promising way to combat cancer sex disparities."

People's Choice: Mary Raphel Daniel (Tie), Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology - "Stress worsens the harmful effects of chemotherapy on the heart," and Douglas Nelson (Tie), Department of Pharmaceutics - "Ironing out the causes of memory loss in Alzheimer's brain."

Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Angela Birnbaum was interviewed for the Star Tribune story, “Marijuana may help with chronic pain. So may being in Minnesota's medical pot program.” Dr. Birnbaum's research was also shared in a recent UMN research brief titled, "Medical cannabis study reveals patterns of cannabis use and consumption."

Dr. Gunda Georg was recently awarded the Carl Mannich Medal. The award is the highest honor of the German Pharmaceutical Society (DPhG, Deutsche Pharmazeutische Gesellschaft) and is named after a long-serving president of the DPhG.

Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Henry-Stanley, Professor ad Honorem, Medical Laboratory Sciences, who has retired from the University. Her talent and tremendous years of service have contributed greatly to the University community. 

Dr. Peggy Martin was recognized with the Minnesota Occupational Therapy Association's (MOTA) Lifetime Achievement Award. This award honors "an occupational therapy professional who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, service and dedication to the occupational therapy profession." 

Dr. Laura Palombi will be a part of the University of Minnesota researchers and community experts from throughout Minnesota participating in a statewide University of Minnesota Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) Critical Conversation on the basics of opioids and how they are impacting Minnesota. The conversation will be held from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5 via Zoom and at four in-person broadcast locations around the state including: UROC in North Minneapolis; Beyond Brink in Mankato; KOOTASCA Community Action in Grand Rapids; and Promise Neighborhood of Central Minnesota in St. Cloud. This event is hosted by UROC, and is co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension, Beyond Brink, KOOTASCA Community Action, and Promise Neighborhood of Central Minnesota. It is free and open to the public but registration is required 

Dr. Ann Phillbrick is one of five recipients of the Kappa Epsilon (KE) Unicorn Award this year, which is given to alumni who make KE a better organization!

Dr. Paul Ranelli, Professor Emeritus, was featured in a recent issue of the University of Minnesota Retirees’ Association Newsletter

Dr. Jon Schommer was featured in the University of Minnesota Libraries Continuum newsletter article, “Year of Open Science: A dose of innovation.”

Dr. Stephen Schondelmeyer was interviewed for the Bloomberg Law story, “Insulin Costs Remain Top Target Beyond Biden’s Drug Price Cuts.”

Dr. Sarah Westberg was interviewed for the AARP story, “Common Decongestants That Don’t Actually Work.” 


  • Jessica Brandt joined the college as an admissions assistant, in the Office of Student Services.
  • Lucas Cannon joined the college as a FUHN clinical pharmacist in the Clinical Affairs Division.
  • Kate Kleinman joined the college as a lab services coordinator in the  Pharmaceutical Care Learning Center.
  • Monica Kruk joined the college as a researcher 4 in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry.
  • Swati Maitra joined the college as a researcher 3, in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • Katelyn Mouser joined the college as a HC Pro 6 - Clinical Pharmacy in the Office of Clinical Affairs.

Emma Rolfes joined the college as a FUHN Clinical Pharmacist in the Clinical Affairs Division.