Kerry K. Fierke, EdD

Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Kerry K. Fierke


Office Address

215 Life Science
1110 Kirby Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
United States

Administrative Assistant

Anna Foster


Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Doctor of Education in Leadership, St. Mary’s University

Master of Arts in Organizational Management, Concordia University

Bachelor of Arts in Communication, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University

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Dr. Kerry K. Fierke’s passion is to enhance the leadership skills, talents, and abilities of the people around her. This passion is based in part on her belief that we all possess untapped leadership potential. Leadership is not a position or a title, and it is not the exclusive domain of people in “power” positions. Leadership is a journey, and she encourages everyone to explore where it will take them.

Earlier in her career, Dr. Fierke was in management at Fortune 50 organizations, Honeywell Inc. and Medtronic where she focused on marketing, communication and education. In 2006, she became manager of leadership and staff development at Essentia Health. Dr. Fierke's role was the development, implementation, and coordination of all leadership and staff learning services for 7,000 physician and staff employees.This included interprofessional leadership sessions for 450+ managers, physicians, nurse and pharmacy managers as well as the development and implementation of an emerging physician leadership program.

Dr. Fierke began teaching in academia in 2006 as adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix, both online and in-classroom coursework. From 2010-2013, she taught online and in-classroom for the University of Wisconsin-Stout, College of Management both undergraduate and masters students.She focused on innovative teaching in leadership and has published on this scholarly work.

In 2011, Dr. Fierke accepted a position with the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. In this role, she has advanced the teachings, scholarship and service of leadership to incorporate theories and practice into the core curriculum and everyday practice.She is devoted to providing students with valuable educational experiences that will allow them to grow and further contribute to the pharmacy profession. She has taught leadership content in over 30 courses at the College of Pharmacy, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program. Dr. Fierke has also published over 20 articles and has presented in over 30 venues, both nationally and internationally, since joining the university.

Dr. Fierke's most profoundly influential leadership development contribution has been the development of the annual Women Impacting Healthcare conference. Since 2012, this annual one-day interprofessional leadership conference is a collaborative opportunity for women across the entire spectrum of health care professions to gather, continue their leadership journey, and network with colleagues to build a better patient experience. Regionally and nationally known speakers have presented at this conference. Throughout the conference, Dr. Fierke features several interactive leadership development activities designed to be implemented immediately into practitioners personal and professional lives.


  • Leadership Development
  • Intention/Reflection (I/R)
  • Leadership Legacy (L2)
  • Communication
  • Conflict Management
  • International Education
  • Interprofessional Leadership Development

Awards & Recognition

  • Teaching Excellence Award, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy
  • 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
  • Service Excellence Award, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy2018
  • One College, Two Campus Excellence Award, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy 2017
  • Guest Lecturer of the Semester For Outstanding Teaching (Class of 2019), Fall 2015
  • University of Minnesota, Duluth - Outstanding Faculty Award Winner, 2014-2015

Professional Associations

  • American Academy Colleges Pharmacy (AACP) 2011-present
    • Leadership Special Interest Group Secretary 2014-2016
    • Leadership Special Interest Group Chair 2017-2020
  • Association of Leadership Educators (ALE) 2013-present
  • International Pharmacy Federation (FIP) 2013-present
  • International Leadership Association (ILA) 2015-present

Research Summary

Dr. Fierke's desire and passion for developing leaders is displayed through the scholarship and innovation of valuable leadership concepts, and the dissemination of findings in publications and presentations at regional, national, and international venues.This is displayed through her publications of peer-reviewed articles as well has her presentations at over 30 national and international venues on her work. Areas of emphasis for scholarly activity have been three-fold:

  1. Innovation in scholarship of leadership, including scholarship of teaching and learning, leadership methods, and practice.
  2. Interprofessional education and learning practices in relation to leadership concepts and practices.
  3. Leadership practices in regional, national and international pharmacy practice.


Academic Interests and Focus

Dr. Fierke is a co-course director of the Leadership Emphasis Area (LEA) a 16-credit declaration of leadership for students. Students are exposed to leadership concepts within the first few weeks of the College of Pharmacy's program. Throughout the courses, various assessments are used to connect student outcomes to leadership content. These assessments are incorporated in core classes for all PharmD students at the university. Examples of assessments include: Student Leadership Practices Inventory, StrengthsFinder, and Emotionally Intelligent Leadership for Students Inventory (EILI). Dr. Fierke has taught leadership content in over 30 courses at the College of Pharmacy, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program. She has also personally advised 50+ students with successful leadership experiences.


Leadership Emphasis Area (LEA) courses:

  • PHAR 6937: Foundations of Leadership
  • PHAR 6938: Developing Adaptive Leadership
  • PHAR 6939: Leading Change Experience I
  • PHAR 6940: Leading Change Experience II
  • PHAR 6942: Leadership Capstone

Additional courses taught throughout the core and elective curriculum:

  • PHAR 7211: Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience, Leadership Focus
  • PHAR 3207/5207: (Applied) Leadership in Healthcare
  • PHAR 6294: International Pharmacy Practice and Leadership
  • PHAR 6294 (002): Summer – International, Australia
  • PHAR 6494 (002): Summer – International, Ethiopia
  • PHAR 6294 (002): Summer – International, Rwanda
  • PHAR 6294 (002): Summer – International, Spain
  • PHAR 6238: Leading Change in Pharmacy II
  • PHAR 6237: Leading Change in Pharmacy I
  • PHAR 6227: Leading Adaptive Change
  • PHAR 6228: Leadership Portfolio
  • PHAR 7001: Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience Foundations (IPPEF)
  • PHAR 7003: Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience Foundations (IPPEF)
  • PHAR 6111: Pharmaceutical Care I
  • PHAR 6112: Pharmaceutical Care II
  • PHAR 6700: Becoming a Pharmacist
  • PHAR 6706: Foundations of Pharmaceutical Care
  • PHAR 7310: Early Pharmacy Practice Experience
  • PHAR 6715: Professional Development and Assessment Sequence I
  • PHAR 6716: Applied Pharmaceutical Care
  • PHAR 6730: Professional Development and Assessment Sequence II
  • PHAR 7320: Early Pharmacy Practice Experience
  • PHAR 6745: Professional Development and Assessment Sequence III
  • PHAR 6200: Drugs in US Healthcare
  • PHAR 6294: IPE and Leadership
  • PHAR 7211: Marketing APPE



For a list of complete publications, see

Fierke, K. K., Lepp, G. A., Maxwell, W. D., Hager, K. D., & Sucher, B. J. (2019). Improving advanced pharmacy practice experiences with an intention/reflection practice. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching & Learning, 11(4), 391-401.

Fierke, K. K. & Palombi, L. C. (2018). Utilizing a Multi-Step Consensus-Building Process to Create a Shared Departmental Definition of Community Engagement. INNOVATIONS in Pharmacy, 9(4).

Palombi, L. C., LaRue, A. F. & Fierke, K. K. (2018). Facilitating Community Partnerships to Reduce Opioid Overdose: An Engaged Department Initiative. Social and Administrative Pharmacy, doi.10.1016.

Lepp, G. A. & Fierke, K. K. (2017). Expanding student perspectives in an authentic learning environment. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching and Learning eJournal, 10(3).

Fierke, K. K. (2017). Ethical leadership: Engaging students in reflective perspectives. Journal of Ethical and Legal Issues, 11(172583).

Haight, R. C., Kolar, C., Nelson, M. H., Fierke, K. K., Sucher, B. J., & Janke, K. K. (2017). Emotionally intelligent leadership in pharmacy students. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 81(2).

Palombi L.C, Bastianelli K., Fierke K.K. (2016). Living an educational mission to meet the needs of community and public health: Community engagement in pharmacy education. Pedagogy in Health Promotion, 2(4).

Fierke, K. K., Lepp, G. A., Bastianelli, K., Vogelsang, L., & Tornabene, L. (2016). Using an intention/reflection practice to focus students towards future professions in a short-term international travel experience. Current Issues in Education, 19(2).

Pittenger, A. L., Fierke, K. K., Kostka, S., & Jardine, P. J. (2016). Developing interprofessional facilitators and leaders: Utilization of advanced health profession students as interprofessional (IPE) facilitators. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching & Learning, 8(1), 52-58.

Fierke, K. K. & Lepp, G. A. (2015). Documenting student engagement using an intention/reflection exercise during an advanced pharmacy practice experience. The International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, 14(3), 47-60.

Palombi, L., Nelson, L., Fierke, K. K., Bastianelli, K. (2015).A pilot study of patient perceptions of pharmacists as care providers after health screening encounters with student pharmacists. Journal of American Pharmacies Association, 55(6), 467-474.

Fierke, K. K. (2015). Designing a Leadership Legacy (L2) framework.Research in Higher Education Journal, 29(152274).

Fierke, K. K., Speedie, M. K., Anderson, L. J., & Varin, J. A. (2015). Board of Advisors’ influence in a highly ranked college of pharmacy. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching & Learning, 7(4).

Nelson, M. H., Fierke, K. K., Sucher, B. J., & Janke, K. K. (2015). Including emotional intelligence in pharmacy curricula to help achieve CAPE outcomes. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 79(4).

Fierke, K. K., Lui, K. W., Lepp, G. A., & Baldwin, A. J. (2014). Teaching inclusive leadership through student-centered practices. Journal of the Academy of Business Education, 15(1), 51-65.

Fierke, K. K. & Kading, M. L. (2014). Case study: Developing, implementing, and evaluating a one-day leadership conference to foster women's leadership in healthcare. INNOVATIONS in Pharmacy, 5(1).

Fierke, K. K., Kading, M. L. & Scott, D. R. (2014). Creating international opportunities in the classroom. Pharmacy Education Journal, 14(1), 5-8.