Saint Joseph College Announces Leadership Team for New School of Pharmacy

We received the following press release from Saint Joseph College today:

WEST HARTFORD, CONN. – June 25, 2009 — Saint Joseph College today announced the leadership team for its new School of Pharmacy, which is set to enroll the first year class of students as early as the Fall of 2010, pending appropriate approvals.

The appointments are: James G. Henkel, Ph.D., associate dean for academic affairs; Blaine Templar Smith, R.Ph., Ph.D., chair, department of pharmaceutical sciences; Kenneth Blustajn, M.Ed., assistant dean for admissions and student affairs; and Bertram A. Nicholas Jr., R.Ph., Ed.D., assistant dean for experiential education.

“Saint Joseph College is pleased and honored to welcome these four superbly qualified, highly-regarded academics to our new School of Pharmacy. Their leadership, vision and hands-on experience will help shape an exciting new chapter in the College’s 76-year heritage,” said Saint Joseph College President Pamela Trotman Reid, Ph.D.

“As the first doctoral program in Saint Joseph College’s history, the School of Pharmacy and its leadership team will continue the tradition of providing students with a valuable career focus while responding to the growing health care needs of our community,” said Dr. Joseph R. Ofosu, who was appointed as the School of Pharmacy’s first Dean in February 2009.

Dr. Henkel received his bachelor’s degree from UCLA and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Brown University. After a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota School of Pharmacy, Dr. Henkel moved to the University of Connecticut, where he served as a long-time faculty member in the School of Pharmacy as well as associate vice provost for research and graduate education and associate dean for academic affairs in the graduate school for 23 years. Dr. Henkel is an award-winning pharmacy educator, having received the highest faculty awards for university-wide teaching excellence at both the University of Minnesota and the University of Connecticut. Dr. Henkel is also well-known for his leadership in the area of diversity and multiculturalism, having received the University of Connecticut’s award for promoting multiculturalism and diversity and the New England Board of Higher Education’s Extra Mile Award for promotion of diversity in graduate education.

Dr. Smith earned his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Oklahoma in 1987 and a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1989. He continued his education at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, earning an M.S. and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, with emphasis in Nuclear Pharmacy and Immunology. Dr. Smith joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy, where he taught in the areas of Pharmaceutics and Nuclear Pharmacy. Following his teaching and research at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Smith became a member of the faculty at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences – Worcester, Mass., where, among many things, he was on the cutting-edge of distance learning through video conferencing, which was later used throughout the Worcester and Manchester, N.H. campuses. Dr. Smith then served as a private pharmaceutical consultant in the Worcester area, involving work with area hospitals and professional pharmacy practice locations. Dr. Smith has co-authored and edited a textbook soon to be published, entitled Concepts and Applications in Nuclear Pharmacy.

Mr. Blustajn received his bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and master’s degree in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University. Serving most recently as the director of admissions and records for Contra Costa Community College in Northern California, Mr. Blustajn maintained oversight of all areas of the student admissions process. Mr. Blustajn has served in a wide range of student service capabilities including instructor, director of education and dean of students at a number of Allied Health Vocational Institutions throughout the San Francisco Bay area.

Dr. Nicholas has been involved in Pharmacy education for approximately 30 years. Dr. Nicholas holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy and a Master of Science in Pharmacology from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston. He went on to earn his doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Northeastern University. Dr. Nicholas most recently served as associate professor, department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Worcester, Mass. Dr. Nicholas also served as director of external programs at Howard University’s College of Pharmacy in Washington, DC. A licensed pharmacist who has practiced Pharmacy throughout his professional career, Dr. Nicholas has taught courses in Nonprescription Medication, Dispensing Pharmacy, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacy Law and Pharmaceutical Calculations.

Saint Joseph College’s School of Pharmacy will offer a unique three-year, co-educational doctoral degree program in Pharmacy (Pharm.D.). Like other professional degree programs (e.g. law or medicine), students can enroll upon completion of a bachelor’s degree, subject to required courses. The College’s undergraduate program now offers a pre-pharmacy option where all the prerequisite courses can be completed.

The School of Pharmacy’s three-year model will allow students to reap the financial benefits of employment sooner and will provide much-needed expertise to the
community. According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, the demand for pharmacy professionals will grow by 20 percent through 2016 and likely well beyond.

Saint Joseph College is locating the School of Pharmacy in the City of Hartford, considering accessibility, costs, and the potential for contributing to the development of the capital city.



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