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October 2018 Vol. 1 No. 1

Welcome to the first edition of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Newsletter for Experiential Partners and Preceptors! Newsletters will share updates about the School and Experiential Programs, recognize our preceptors and students, and provide teaching pearls for preceptors.

Who’s Who in the Office of Experiential Programs

The Office of Experiential Programs has undergone significant restructuring in the past two years in an effort to better support our students, preceptors, and sites in our transformed curriculum.  There are a lot of new members of the team. Additionally, Kim Leadon, M.Ed, Director of the Office of Experiential Education, retired in April 2018.  We are thankful for her many years of service and contributions to experiential education at UNC.

Immersion and Advanced Immersion Experiences are managed in partnership by the Office of Experiential Programs and the Office of Curricular and Student Affairs. We are delighted to describe our new team and to introduce you to the newest members, Brian Donahue and Abbey Kruse. We are here to support you, so please do not hesitate to contact us.


Macary Weck Marciniak, PharmD, BCACP, BCPS, FAPhA

Assistant Dean of Experiential Programs: Community

Leads the strategic vision and assessment of the experiential curriculum and strengthens partnerships with sites and preceptors at community pharmacy sites.


Nicki Pinelli Reitter, PharmD, MS, FCCP, CDE

Assistant Dean of Experiential Programs: Health Systems

Leads the strategic vision and assessment of the experiential curriculum and strengthens partnerships with sites and preceptors at health system and other nontraditional sites (e.g. academia, governmental, Indian health, industry, managed care, nuclear, professional associations, veterinary). Currently serves as the primary point of contact for preceptor and student concerns at health system and nontraditional sites.

Brian Donahue, PharmD

Director of Practice Experiences: Community

Provides oversight of Immersion and Advanced Immersion experiences and serves as the primary point of contact for preceptor and student concerns at community pharmacy sites.

Charlene Williams, PharmD, BCACP, CDE

Director of Preceptor Development

Develops and oversees preceptor on-boarding, training, development, and recognition. Point of contact for preceptor training and development needs and preceptor newsletter content.



Director of Practice Experiences: Health Systems

Will provide oversight of Immersion and Advanced Immersion experiences. Upon hire this individual will also serve as the primary point of contact for preceptor and student concerns at health system and nontraditional sites.



Abbey Kruse, M.Ed.

Assistant Director of Curricular and Students Affairs: Experiential Programs

Provides operational oversight of student logistics prior, during, and after Immersion and Advanced Experiences. Assists the Directors of Practice Experiences with student academic and well-being concerns.


Pam S. Jackson

Preceptor and Partner Specialist

Implements student schedules and manages RxPreceptor accounts. Serves as point of contact for RxPreceptor inquiries, AHEC digital library access, completion of preceptor application and training, and AHEC housing questions.



Mercedes Tolbert

Compliance Specialist

Ensures student completion of site-specific on-boarding and school requirements (e.g. immunizations, drug screenings, criminal background checks, CPR, HIPAA Training, OSHA Training, TB Status, and other on-boarding as required by sites).


New Faculty and Staff

Brian Donahue, PharmD  

Brian Donahue joined the Office of Experiential Programs team in June 2018 as Director of Practice Experiences: Community. In this role, he will work directly with Immersion and Advanced Immersion Experience sites, students, and preceptors to ensure high-quality educational environments in the community. Brian will serve as the primary contact for student and preceptor concerns at community pharmacy sites.

Prior to joining the Office of Experiential Programs, Brian served for two years as Director of Admissions and Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at South University School of Pharmacy at the Columbia, SC Campus. Before entering academia, Brian completed the Executive Residency in Association Management & Leadership with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation in Washington, DC. His career interests include experiential education, creative pharmacy advocacy, personal branding, use of social media in pharmacy, pharmacy leadership, and student quality-of-life and success.

A 2015 graduate of Mercer University College of Pharmacy, Brian developed a passion for involvement as a student that he still maintains today. From 2013-2015 he served two terms as National Member-at-large and Chair of the National Communications Standing Committee for the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). Most recently, Brian completed a term as Chair of the National Communications & Networking Standing Committee for APhA’S New Practitioner Network.

Brian was born and raised in Hooksett, NH before moving to Chapel Hill, NC, where he received his BA in Religious Studies. Outside of pharmacy, his passions include writing, all New England Sports teams, Manchester City Football Club, and anything Disney.


Abbey Kruse, M.Ed.

Abbey Kruse is the Assistant Director of Curricular and Student Affairs – Experiential Programs. Abbey earned her undergraduate degree in educational studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her Master of Education degree from Marquette University in College Student Personnel Administration. In her new role, she will be responsible for providing operational oversight of student logistics prior, during, and after their Immersion and Advanced Experiences. Additionally, she will assist the Directors of Practice Experiences with student academic and well-being concerns.

Abbey joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in August 2018. Prior to joining UNC, she worked in a variety of higher education institutions both at the undergraduate and graduate student levels. Most recently she worked at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC as the Assistant Director Academic Advising in the Wall College of Business. Abbey’s dedication to student success and serving students is evident through her practice of innovative and diverse offerings.

Abbey is originally from Green Bay, WI and an avid Packer fan. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family including her husband and 18 month old daughter.

Student Spotlight

Lee Arphai and Cessali Fox, Student Pharmacists Class of 2021

Students frequently share how much they enjoy direct patient interaction during their pharmacy practice experiences. The following is a creative example of how one community pharmacy and their immersion students incorporated additional patient interaction into immersion.

Lee Arphai and Cessali Fox completed their community immersion at Kim’s Pharmacy in Waynesville, NC. Some of the direct patient care services the students provided included vaccine administration, device education, blood pressure readings, and comprehensive medication reviews. While these activities were meaningful learning experiences, the students desired even more patient interaction. A staff member suggested that they set up a table at the front of the pharmacy to interact with patients.

Here is what the students had to say about their table: “For our table, we wanted to create an open space where we challenged patients to ‘Stump a Student’ with any questions on OTC recommendations, vaccine schedules, or other curiosities they had about their medications. We created the jingle just before setting up the table, but we had a lot of fun singing it. Patients enjoyed it, too!”

Click on the link below to see the video (Facebook account not required).

Preceptor Spotlight

Ashley Duggins, PharmD

Congratulations to Ashley Duggins who was elected as the newest North Carolina Board of Pharmacy member on July 18, 2018 to fill the District seat for a term to conclude on April 30, 2020.  An alumna of UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Ashley began her career as a pharmacist with Prevo Drug, a local independent pharmacy in Asheboro. Currently she is a co-owner and the pharmacy’s clinical director. She is also pharmacy manager for Enclara Pharmacia-Hospice of Randolph.

Ashley has strong commitment to community involvement. She is a member of the Randolph County Opioid Collaborative Committee, the Asheboro Randolph Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the Board of Directors for Uwharrie Charter Academy.

Ashley is a dedicated preceptor of Immersion and Advanced Immersion community experiences. She shared the following about her precepting philosophy: “It’s extremely important for me to connect with my students. Getting to know them and what they are interested in is a top priority. Sometimes I get students at our site that have no interest in pursuing a career in retail pharmacy. I really try to help these students understand what can be done in a retail setting that relates to other aspects of pharmacy. Finding a niche they enjoy is extremely important. When your students find what excites them it’s amazing to see them grow and flourish!”

Preceptor PearlPreceptor Pearl

Tips to Promote Growth Mindset for Learning

Charlene Williams, PharmD, BCPC, CDE   

Learners’ beliefs about intelligence can affect learning. Individuals with growth mindsets believe that intelligence and abilities are adaptable while those with fixed mindsets believe that these characteristics generally cannot change.1,2 Research has shown that growth mindset positively affects learner motivation, academic performance, engagement, and willingness to attempt new challenges.3 Developing a growth mindset can help one deal with failures and setbacks and process errors effectively.2

People may exhibit qualities of both mindsets as they can shift over time depending on the situation or vary based on which trait is considered. This suggests preceptors have opportunities to help learners transition to growth mindsets. Determining a learner’s motivations for learning, designing educational activities that have intrinsic value to learners, and providing autonomy and choice may be helpful to promote learning.3
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Eshelman Care Team Referrals for Student Support

Brad Wingo, M.Ed.

Director, Office of Curricular and Student Affairs

At the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, we are “Pharmily”, a pharmacy family. As such, we should give a best effort to take care of our “Pharmily” members – particularly our students who are enrolled in rigorous programs of study. With this thought in mind, the School has established the Eshelman Care Team to facilitate a more structured process for helping us take care of enrolled students. The Eshelman Care Team provides coordinated assistance and support to students exhibiting concerning behaviors through a centralized structure and method of outreach, referral, and case management. The Care Team will be co-chaired by Colleen Wernoski (PharmD program) and Aaron Todd (Graduate program) who both serve as the primary contact for their respective programs. The goal of the Eshelman Care Team is to address any immediate student concerns while ultimately supporting the academic and personal success and wellness of all students. The Care Team categorizes student concerns into three areas: academichealth/well-being, and professionalism.

Faculty, staff, students, and preceptors are encouraged to submit a Care Team Referral when student concerns come to light. The Care Team, comprised of faculty and administrators, meets consistently to review referrals and manage student cases in an effort to best situate students for sustainable success. The Care Team will make every effort to maintain the confidentiality of referrals. The only exception to this standard is if there is an immediate threat of harm to the individual student or others in our community.

Please review the link below and use it to submit Care Team Referrals as needed throughout the year. Within the form, you are given the opportunity to identify the nature of your concern and also request to speak to a member of the Care Team if so desired. Each Care Team Referral is assigned a case manager who will determine if/when the referral needs to flow to the Care Team for review and possible intervention. Again, the School aims to foster student success, well-being and healthy behaviors and we need your help to do so.

Eshelman Care Team Referral 

Upcoming Events 

CIPhER- Center for Innovative Pharmacy Education & Research Friday Seminar

“Preceptor Design Lab: Engineering Your Practice Experiences and Activities to Elevate Every Level of Learner”

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