They are accomplished pharmacists, scientists and researchers and now they hope to be known as innovative pharmacy educators through the creation and development of the Marshall University School of Pharmacy Center for Pharmacy Education.

The center, under the direction of assistant professor Nicole Winston, M.S., Pharm.D., will provide teaching and learning scholarship, faculty development and student development, as well as an academic-based residency for pharmacy graduates.

“Our school of pharmacy is already at the forefront of innovative pharmacy education because we use an active learning style of teaching, among other educational advances,” Winston said. “The goals of the center are to engage faculty in learning new, adaptive teaching methods and provide ongoing faculty development with programs like workshops and brown bag seminars, as well as creating useful tools for curriculum mapping and expanding interdisciplinary collaborations.  A third component involves offering our students opportunities to learn about scholarship and other educational strategies.”

Winston and a team of pharmacy educators have designed the freestanding center using feedback from a handful of other institutions that house centers for teaching and learning within schools of pharmacy, as well as Marshall University’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

“In researching the concept of a center, I found there really was a dearth of data available across the continuum of pharmacy education,” Winston said. “Creating our own center at a new school gives us an opportunity to lead pharmacy education for the 21st century.”

Dean of the School of Pharmacy, Kevin W. Yingling, R.Ph., M.D., said the center underscores the school’s commitment to develop the next generation of pharmacy education leaders.

“These individuals will become the highly valuable, core human resources for pharmacy higher education,” Yingling said. “These residency graduates will advance the pharmacy academy missions for excellence in teaching, learning and scholarship in these areas.”

The center is expected to fully operational by summer 2017.