Recent Accomplishments of Faculty and Staff

The following highlights accomplishments of UGA’s College of Pharmacy’s faculty and staff since May 1, 2021.  


Promotion and Tenure Awarded to CoP Faculty Members

Eight faculty members in the College were recently awarded promotions and/or tenure by UGA.  “Promotion is a significant achievement in academic life and a recognition of the valuable contributions that [faculty} make to the life of the University,” said UGA President Dr. Jere W. Morehead in the announcement letter to the recipients. 

These faculty members and their respective titles, departments, and campus locations include:

  • Dr. Chris Bland – Clinical Professor, Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, Savannah 
  • Dr. Daniel B. Chastain – Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, Albany 
  • Dr. Amber Clemmons – Clinical Professor, Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, Augusta
  • Dr. Bruce Jones – Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, Savannah
  • Dr. Andrea Sikora – Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, Augusta
  • Dr. Gurvinder Singh Rekhi – Academic Professional, Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, Athens
  • Dr. Susan E. Smith – Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, Athens
  • Dr. Yao Yao – Associate Professor with tenure, Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, Athens

“I am proud of these individuals and the hard work, commitment, and diligence they have demonstrated in order to reach this career milestone,” said Dean Kelly Smith.  “I congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition.”  

Dr. Tim Brown, Director of Interprofessional Education, was selected Director-at-Large for the American Society of Health System Pharmacists Section of Pharmacy Educators for the 2022-2024 term.

Dr. Daniel Chastain, Clinical Associate Professor, was selected as the 2021 Preceptor of the Year by graduating PGY1 pharmacy residents affiliated with Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany and the College. This is Dr. Chastain’s second consecutive, third total, selection, highlighting his continued investment in pharmacy residents and dedication to their growth, development, and success. 

Dr. Andrew Darley, Associate IPPE Director, Health Systems, and Director of Professional Education, was the recipient of the 2021 UGA SOAR Advisor of the Year Award.  Dr. Darley is the advisor to the UGA student chapter of the Georgia Society of Health-System Pharmacists. The annual award is presented  to the student organization advisor who has gone above and beyond the basic expectations of an advisor.

Dr. Deborah Elder, PBS Clinical Professor and Interim Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate and Professional Education, was sworn in as the 2021-22 chair of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Pharmaceutics Section. The AACP Pharmaceutics Section “…enhances the delivery of pharmaceutical care by providing a forum for exchange of information and expertise that supports the discovery and promotes understanding of the unique body of knowledge known as pharmaceutics.” 

Dr. Michael Fulford was appointed Assistant Dean for Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives at the College, beginning June 1, 2021.  In his expanded role, Dr. Fulford is responsible for the ongoing effectiveness of the College in all of its missions through data stewardship and evaluation, accreditation, strategic planning, and assessment. In addition, he supports and advances the teaching and assessment of student learning. Further, he collaborates and interacts with a variety of administrators within the College and on the UGA campus, while serving on various committees. Read more regarding Dr. Fulford and his new position here.

Dr. Grace Gowda, Director of International and Biomedical Regulatory Sciences on the Gwinnett campus, was elected as the President of the Association of Graduate Regulatory Educators (AGRE) Board. Prior to this, Dr. Gowda was the Vice President of the Board. 

Dr. William Huang, Clinical Instructor, was selected as a member of the 2021-2022 UGA Teaching Academy Fellows Program. The Fellows Program promotes excellence in classroom instruction by mentoring early career faculty and gives fellows an opportunity to reflect on their teachings and build their instructional toolkits at an early point in their careers. The program also helps build bridges across campus, mentor peers, be mentored by senior faculty, and network with award-winning educators at UGA. 

Dr. Eileen Kennedy, Interim Associate Department Head for Research and Faculty Development in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, was named to the 2021‑2022 class of the UGA Women’s Leadership Fellows Program. Participants attend monthly meetings to learn leadership skills from senior administrators on campus and various visiting speakers from academia, business and other fields. Read the complete story here.

Dr. Beth Phillips, Rite Aid Professor and Director of the PGY2 Ambulatory Care Residency, has been elected to the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Board of Regents. The three-year elected position carries the primary responsibilities of shaping and reinforcing ACCP programs and initiatives, as well as advancing the profession. 

Dr. Andrea Sikora, PharmD, MSCR, FCCM, BCCCP, Clinical Associate Professor, has new initials after her name. Dr. Sikora earned her Fellow of Society of Critical Care Medicine and completed her Master of Science in Clinical Research from Emory University. 

Dr. Kelly Smith, Dean, served as President of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists from 2018-2020; however, her service to this international organization, one of the largest professional organizations in the world, continues. She is currenlty serving in the following roles for ASHP: Reappointed as Vice Chair to the Board of Directors for the ASHP Foundation; reappointed as Vice Chair for the Committee on Nominations; appointed as member for the Advocacy and PAC Advisory Committee. Within the time, she completed her service as 2021 Chair for the Commission on Goals.

Dr. Susan Smith, Clinical Associate Professor, recently was appointed to the GSHP Board of Directors as a new practitioner member. More information can be found here.  In addition, Dr. Smith also was elected Secretary/Treasurer of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Critical Care PRN. 

Dr. Rebecca Stone, Clinical Associate Professor, and Dr. Blake Johnson, Clinical Assistant Professor, were recently featured in Mercy Health Center’s newsletter, “The Mercy Minute.”  The spotlight reads, “Blake Johnson and Rebecca Stone are faculty at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy. They provide patient care, as well as precept pharmacy students and residents, in the Pharmacotherapy Clinic here at Mercy. In this clinic, Blake and Becca work in collaboration with providers to manage chronic conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and menopausal symptoms. Their role is to help patients achieve therapeutic goals set by providers and improve the overall care of Mercy patients. We are so thankful for their partnership with Mercy!” The College works in tandem with Mercy on the provision of care for patients in need of medical services. Dr. Linda Logan, Experience Programs, also volunteers at Mercy Health Center. 



Years of Service

Congratulations to staff members who were recognized earlier this year for their years of service to the College:

Five Years

Tricia Cordray — Administrative Assistant, Savannah
Toni Phelabaum — Executive Assistant, Dean’s Office, Athens
Ashley Townsend — Administrative Manager, Dean’s Office, Athens

Ten Years

Arvinder Makkar — Program Coordinator, Gwinnett

Fifteen Years 

Dr. Russ Palmer Instructional Designer, Information and Instructional Technology, Athens

Twenty-Five Years

John Anderson IT Professional, Information and Instructional Technology, Athens

Brad Brown, Athens, who has worked at the College since 1996, was named 2020 CoP Employee of the Year, for the second time during his CoP career. Senior Director of Information and Instructional Technology Ed Stanley applauded Brown’s work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and his expertise and grace in handling the challenges it created. “2020 posed extraordinary challenges for everyone. There is no doubt in my mind that we would not have been able to continue conducting the business of the College without Brad’s hard work and dedication. He is an instrumental part of our operation as well as a very well loved and admired member of our College.”  Read the complete story here.

Jessica Hart, Business Affairs Manager, Athens, was recognized in UGA’s faculty and staff newsletter, Columns.  The story opened with the following, “Before Jessica Hart embarked on her business affairs journey at the University of Georgia, she was actually working in a completely different field—real estate. That all changed when housing prices peaked at the beginning of 2006, and quickly declined later that year and into 2007. That market crash was a catalyst for Hart, who pivoted from a career in real estate to a career in higher education. Although the two industries have their differences, both fields required Hart’s skills as an effective communicator and her business-oriented mind. ‘I learned to embrace the change in my career,’ Hart said. ‘And I survived by taking training, taking part in leadership development programs, forming relationships with co-workers,  and taking advantage of opportunities to learn new skills.’” Read the complete story.

Dr. Russ Palmer, Instructional Designer, Information and Instructional Technology, Athens, successfully defended his dissertation to complete his Ph.D. in Learning, Design, and Technology from the UGA College of Education. The title of his dissertation is “Constructing Problems in Context: Examining How Pharmacy Students Frame Clinical Problems.” Dr. Palmer remarked, “Among many things, I’m interested in continuing to develop collaborative educational research that is intended to have a transformative impact on learning, instructional design, and instructional technology for students who are working towards careers as healthcare professionals.”