Meet the Faculty
Sarian Bangura, PharmDAssistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. Bangura graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and minor in chemistry from Bowie State University and received her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2013. She completed a one year residency with a teaching certificate in Community Pharmacy Practice at Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy, practicing at the Center for Pharmacy Services and other ambulatory/primary care centers in the Pittsburgh, PA area. During her residency she was involved in various community outreach initiatives including providing preventative care in the community setting through health screens, involvement in a pilot program introducing health literacy to inner city high school students and as well as educating geriatric populations on safe and effective medication use.
Dr. Bangura served as faculty with American University of Health Sciences School of Pharmacy where she taught Basic and Clinical Pharmacology courses as well as had some involvement in implementing clinical pharmacy services to physician office based clinics. Her areas of practice include ambulatory and community practice with a focus on chronic disease state management in geriatric and or underserved populations. Her research interests include exploring strategies in improving health outcomes through new pharmacy practice models, public health initiatives, and improving medication adherence in geriatric patients.
Richard d'Assalenaux, PharmDDirector of Assessment
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. d’Assalenaux received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Irvine. The Doctor of Pharmacy degree was conferred by the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Dr. d’Assalenaux has developed pharmacy-level courses in Public Health and Communication. He has developed and instructed courses in Drug Development, Clinical Research, and Institutional Pharmacy Practice. His interests at the University include researching the medical needs of the underserved, and developing pharmacy-related programs to address those needs. Dr. d'Assalenaux leads a team of faculty and administrators in the assessment of student learning and program assessment in the School of Pharmacy's Comprehensive Assessment Plan.
Dr. d’Assalenaux is a licensed pharmacist currently practicing in California. Most recently he has been working as a Consultant Pharmacist for ambulatory surgery centers. Dr. d’Assalenaux performs medication inspections and provides advice on meeting accreditation standards. He has an extensive background in pharmacy leadership as a Pharmacy Director for several hospitals in Southern and Northern California. He has also managed independent retail pharmacies as well as having experience within the chain-store system.
Fred Farris, PhDChair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Dr. Farris earned his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Purdue University and completed a post doctorate training program at the University of Rochester. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, he teaches in pharmaceutical science arena and serves on a variety of academic committees. He was most recently the Department Chair of Pharmacy Practice at Manchester College School of Pharmacy.
Prior to that, he served as the Department Chair of Pharmacy Practice and Administration at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Pharmacy and as the Department Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Mercer University School of Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia. He has nearly forty years of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences teaching experience and twenty-five years of administrative faculty experience. He has overseen numerous graduate students and authored a large number of scientific papers.
Namita Giri, PhDAssistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Dr. Giri received her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Shri G.S Institute of Science and Technology and Master of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology from Dr. H.S. Gour University in India. She subsequently earned her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Prior to initiating her doctoral studies, she worked at the Mahakal Institute of Pharmaceutical Studies (MIPS) in Ujjain, India as a Lecturer for two years where she taught pharmaceutical jurisprudence, biotechnology, and microbiology to students enrolled in the Bachelor and Master of Pharmacy programs. Her primary teaching area is pharmaceutics; her research interests include novel drug delivery, nanotechnology-based drug delivery, and mucosal delivery of microbicides. She currently serves as a reviewer for more than five peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Sarah McBane, PharmD, CDE, BCPS, FCCP Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. McBane received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2003. She completed a Pharmacotherapy Specialty Residency in Family Medicine in 2004 at East Carolina University/Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, NC. Dr. McBane served on faculty at the School of Pharmacy at Campbell University from 2004 to 2009, and was also an Assistant Professor with Duke University School of Medicine in the Department of Community and Family Medicine during that time. She is board certified as a Diabetes Educator through the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators. In addition, she is Board Certified in Pharmacotherapy through the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties. Her expertise includes numerous topics within ambulatory care family medicine, including diabetes, women's health, and tobacco abuse. She is extensively involved in professional pharmacy organizations, and has held positions at the local, state, and national levels. Dr. McBane co-chaired the task force that developed state legislation to recognize pharmacists as providers and expand the scope of practice for pharmacists in the state of California. Prior to joining West Coast University, Dr. McBane was an associate professor at University of California, San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, where she taught in the core curriculum while maintaining an ambulatory care clinical pharmacy practice at UCSD Family Medicine. As part of a collaborative practice agreement, Dr. McBane managed patients with various chronic diseases in a successful and sustainable practice model.
Rick Sylvies, PharmDAssociate Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. Sylvies earned his PharmD from the University of Southern California and completed an accredited PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, California. He has worked in various sectors of the profession, including inpatient acute care, home health and hospice, specialty pharmacy products (hemophilia), industry, academia and most recently health information technology. He has also been a preceptor for a number of schools of pharmacy for 30+ years.
Dr. Sylvies was Director of Experiential Education at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Pharmacy for seven years. He taught a number of subjects and was the American Pharmacist Association (APhA) certified trainer for the pharmacist immunization program. Currently, he is a certified analyst/builder for Epic System’s electronic medical record (EMR). He works with physicians, pharmacists, and nurses to design, build, and validate the EMR to best fit their needs and make their work as efficient and safe as possible.
Shih-Ying (Audrey) Hsu, Ph.D., RPhAdjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. Audrey Hsu received her PhD degree in Social and Administrative Sciences in Pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011 and MS degree in Pharmacy Administration from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2005. She was involved in teaching throughout her graduate study and has more than 7 years of teaching experience. She taught several professional courses in the PharmD program, including those in the areas of professional ethics, communication, health system and service arrangement as well as statistics. Moreover, Dr. Hsu has extensive experience in research and was involved in several research projects, including two research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and one funded by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to these nationally funded projects, Dr. Hsu independently conducted two studies of her own and presented research findings at many professional conferences. As to her research focus, Dr. Hsu is interested in studying teamwork in health care organizations, evaluating pharmacy services, and investigating new ways to enhance safety in patient care and medication use. Currently, she is a registered pharmacist in California and has practice experience in both hospital and retail settings in the US.
Busuyi Olotu, BPharm, MSPharm, PhDAssistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Dr. Olotu received his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. After over 7 years of pharmacy practice in Nigeria in academia, retail, and hospital settings, Dr. Olotu immigrated to the US where he received his Masters and PhD degrees in Health Outcomes and Pharmacy Practice (formerly Pharmacy Administration) from the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy. Soon after, Dr. Olotu completed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship in Health Economics and Outcomes Research at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy.
Dr. Olotu’s primary teaching area is Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Science. His research interests are in the area of health outcomes such as pharmacoeconomics, pharmacoepidemiology, comparative-effectiveness research involving drug utilization and assessment of safety and risks, health outcomes of patients with chronic disease including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and renal disease, survey research, retrospective database analysis, and retrospective chart reviews using electronic health records.
Dr. Olotu has served in various capacities including as reviewer for International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (ISPE), Academy of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy, American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Dr. Olotu is a member of the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society.
Keri Hurley, PharmD, MPHAssistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. Keri Hurley graduated from Sonoma State University as a Bachelor of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology then earned her Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Public Health degrees from Touro University-California in 2013. She then completed a PGY1 Community Pharmacy Practice residency at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Pharmacy with clinical practice in independent and institutional outpatient pharmacies as well as ambulatory care clinics. During her residency, she obtained a post-doctorate teaching certificate. Dr. Hurley has experience teaching students both in the didactic and clinical settings, and has worked with students from multiple health care disciplines.
Dr. Hurley is a licensed pharmacist in California, and her clinical areas of interest include travel health and immunizations, HIV, tobacco cessation and self-care. Dr. Hurley directs an international travel clinic in collaboration with an HIV specialty pharmacy practice. In 2015 she obtained an internationally recognized travel health certification. Additionally, Dr. Hurley is involved in research in travel medicine and pharmacists’ scope of practice in this field.
Mohammed Amirul Islam, PhDAssistant Dean of Academic Affairs
Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Dr. Mohammed Islam is an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the West Coast University School of Pharmacy and possesses over twelve years of research and teaching experiences at various levels. Prior to joining WCU, he served as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at LECOM School of Pharmacy in Bradenton, Florida.
After receiving his MPhil and PhD degrees in Pharmacology from Toyama University, Japan, Dr. Islam completed postdoctoral trainings at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Dr. Islam’s primary teaching interests include pharmacology, dietary supplements, and drug discovery and development. Dr. Islam possesses extensive research experiences in the areas of cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure with proven record of publications in high impact journals and presentations in American Heart Association Meetings. He was a recipient of American Heart Association grant. His current research interests include of dietary supplements, curricular development and global pharmacy education. In collaboration with colleagues from other institutions, Dr. Islam is leading several educational research projects examining PharmD curricula in pharmacy schools/colleges across the country.
Dr. Islam possesses over 6 years of pharmacy practice experiences. He is a licensed pharmacist in the State of Florida.
Krissa Klotzle, PharmD, BCACPAssistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. Klotzle graduated from Drake University with a Doctorate in Pharmacy and Spanish Minor in 2004. She completed a Pharmaceutical Care, Primary Care Residency through the University of Minnesota at West Side Community Health Services, St. Paul, Minnesota in July 2005. After her residency, Dr. Klotzle worked at HealthPartners, a managed care organization, as a clinical pharmacist with the Medication Therapy Management program. Dr. Klotzle created a busy practice at HealthPartners Specialty Center working closely with doctors, nurses, and social workers in the management of chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and dementia. She specializes in HIV care including drug selection, side effect management, dose adjustments, adherence and drug interaction. Dr. Klotzle precepted pharmacy students on rotation from the University of Minnesota and Drake University, and supervised pharmacy residents with HealthPartners Managed Care residency program. Her research interests include HIV, hepatitis C and dementia and exploring strategies in improving outcomes while managing drug cost, pill count and improving overall quality of life.
Su Young Lee, PharmD, MS, BCPS-AQIDAssociate Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. Lee received her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. She completed an ASHP accredited pharmacy practice residency at University of Minnesota Medical Center, and a two-year ACCP accredited fellowship in the Center for Anti-Infective Research and Development, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT. For the last 10 years, Dr. Lee has taught Pharmacotherapy in Infectious Diseases and Oncologic Disorders and Clinical Pharmacokinetics at University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Appalachian College of Pharmacy. She has also practiced Antimicrobial Stewardships and trained numerous students at Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, MD and Holston Valley Medical Center, Kingsport, TN, as a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist with Added Qualification in Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Lee obtained her Bachelor and Master of Science in Pharmacy at the Seoul National University, College of Pharmacy, Seoul, South Korea, and completed two-year residency at Seoul National Hospital including Therapeutic Drug Monitoring/Total Parenteral Nutrition and Pediatric Oncology.
Dr. Lee won Clinical Excellence of Teaching Awards and a Preceptor of Excellence award from Appalachian College of Pharmacy, a Young Investigator Award from Connecticut Infectious Diseases Society and has published articles in peer-reviewed journals including Annals of Oncology, Journal of Infections, and Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. She presented numerous original research posters in international meetings including Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), and Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Dr. Lee has been a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Society of Microbiology, and Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Her research/practice interests include antimicrobial pharmacodynamics and Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs.
Jessica Louie, PharmD, BCCCPAssistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Jessica Louie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences with magna cum laude and her Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the University of Southern California. Dr. Louie completed an ASHP accredited PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency and a PGY2 Critical Care Specialty Residency at University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics. During her residencies, she obtained a post-doctorate teaching certificate. She is a Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist (BCCCP) in addition to certification in advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) and pediatric advanced life support (PALS). Dr. Louie has taught students both in the didactic and clinical settings, and provided patient care along with fellow residents and practitioners in an interprofessional team setting.
Dr. Louie’s research experiences are in the areas of cystic fibrosis and critical care with prospective and retrospective studies showcased at international meetings. Her research interests include sedation, infectious diseases, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, medication reconciliation and safety in the intensive care units (ICU). She is a licensed pharmacist in California and Utah.
Glenn Morataya, PharmDAssistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. Morataya completed his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at UC Irvine and received his Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from Touro College of Pharmacy. His many years of management experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry prepared him for an extensive administrative role at his current clinical practice sites. He most recently developed and implemented Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs at institutions including Glendora Community Hospital and Chino Valley Medical Center, where he is an active member of the ASP Committee and the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. His experience and qualifications recruits his activity during surveys conducted by California Department of Public Health, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the California State Board of Pharmacy.
Dr. Morataya also played an integral role in the west coast expansion of an MTM business model integrated into specialty pharmacy sites for east coast based affiliates. His passion for direct patient interaction has sustained a long-lasting rapport and affiliation with his east coast colleagues for numerous years.
As a native Los Angelino, he is excited and committed for the opportunity to work alongside West Coast University pharmacy students to support the Los Angeles community through public health services and community outreach functions.
Aida Oganesyan, PharmDAssistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Aida Oganesyan completed her undergraduate training from University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Western University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy in Pomona, California. Dr. Oganesyan continued her post-graduate training at Western University of Health Sciences with an ASHP accredited PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency within the geriatric population. Through the residency training, she obtained a post-doctorate teaching certificate. Dr. Oganesyan’s pharmacy practice experiences include outpatient and inpatient pharmacies, ambulatory care clinics as well as children’s outpatient clinic in a mental health facility. She is a registered pharmacist in California and also had training in pharmacy-based immunizations delivery.
Dr. Oganesyan’s research experiences and interests are in the areas of improving medication adherence and patient education in the geriatric population, providing patient-centered care in an interdisciplinary team approach, and investigating health outcomes in the continuum of care.
Michael Pondrom, PharmD, BCPPAssistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. Pondrom received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He completed a psychiatric pharmacy specialty practice residency at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Pondrom has been in practice for 16 years and has worked in clinical practice, community pharmacy, ambulatory care mental health, inpatient mental health, managed care, pharmacy benefits management and the pharmaceutical industry. He was previously a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy and has also served as clinical pharmacy specialist at the Southern Nevada Veterans Administration Health System. Most recently, he was a medical science liaison for Otsuka Pharmaceutical. He is board-certified in psychiatric pharmacy and is a member of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists. His areas of interest include behavioral health outcomes, psychopharmacology, and pharmacotherapy of mood disorders.
Ettie Rosenberg, PharmD, Esq.Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. Rosenberg earned her PharmD from University of Southern California, School of Pharmacy, and Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law. She is a California licensed pharmacist and an attorney member of the California State Bar. Dr. Rosenberg’s expertise integrates pharmacy practice and law, and her specialty is pharmacy law, ethics and regulatory compliance and corrective action plans, pharmacy standard of care, malpractice, pharmacy management.
As a forensic consultant in numerous cases, Dr. Rosenberg has provided expert opinion, testimony, and counseled attorneys for both plaintiffs and defendants on matters concerning drugs, drug-related injuries, regulatory compliance and pharmacy standard of care. WCU Doctor of Pharmacy students will find themselves challenged in courses/ coursework taught by Dr. Rosenberg including among other subjects and topics: Pharmacy Law and Ethics, Regulatory Affairs, and Compliance.
Gauri Sabnis, PhDAssistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Dr. Sabnis received her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in India from the University of Poona and Ph. D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Her doctoral and post-doctoral training efforts focused on the endocrine therapy of breast cancer. Dr. Sabnis has over 15 years of research experience. Prior to joining WCU, Dr. Sabnis was grand-funded Assistant Professor at University of Maryland, School of Medicine, where she worked on the strategy of re-sensitizing endocrine therapy resistant breast cancer through combination with targeted therapy. She has received numerous awards for her research from organizations such as American Association of Cancer Research, Endocrine Society and has published over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts in journals such as Cancer Research, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics and Endocrine Related Cancer. She also serves as a reviewer for over 10 peer-reviewed international journals. Dr. Sabnis has taught pharmacology to medical students, graduate students, and dental hygiene students for over 5 years.
Mark A. Sherman, PhDAssociate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Dr. Sherman received a B.S. degree in Botany and a B.A. degree in Chemistry from Miami University. He earned a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Southern California, and completed post-doctoral training in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Sherman has over 25 years of research experience. Prior to joining WCU he was a grant-supported Associate Research Professor at the City of Hope, where he specialized in physical biochemistry, molecular modeling, and antibody engineering. His findings are documented in 70 publications and 3 patents. For nearly 20 years he served as a part-time lecturer and Adjunct Associate Professor at the USC School of Pharmacy, where he taught medicinal chemistry to Pharm.D. candidates and pharmacology to graduate students. His current research interests include antibody humanization, cancer immunotherapy, and computer-assisted drug design.
Kyle M. Sousa, PhDAssistant Dean of Student Affairs
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Dr. Sousa received his B.S. in Microbiology from Pennsylvania State University and earned his Ph.D. in Medical Biochemistry from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
He completed his post-doctoral fellowship training at both the University of Michigan Medical Center and City of Hope National Medical Center where he worked extensively in discovery efforts to identify novel drugs targeting metabolic disease.
Dr. Sousa has published 23 research articles and is the co-author and co-inventor of 5 patents. His research has been published in Science, Cell Stem Cell, and Nature Chemical Biology and he has presented at national meetings. His current research efforts focus on the examination of bile acid signaling pathways and their role in mediating the effects of bariatric surgery. He currently serves as a reviewer for several internationally, peer-reviewed scientific journals, including the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, and has been the recipient of several research grants.
Dr. Sousa is a student advocate, scientific mentor, and avid aviation enthusiast. For the past four years, he has served as a judge for the Division of Biological Sciences at the CalTech Summer Undergraduate Fellowship (SURF) program.
Diem Thai, PharmDAssistant Dean, Experiential Education- Ambulatory Practice
Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Dr.Thai graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Biology then earned her Doctor in Pharmacy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Dr. Thai is a licensed pharmacist in both California and Maryland and brings over ten years of practice experience to the Office of Experiential Education.
Prior to joining the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Thai has worked in both independent and retail pharmacies to promote public health and improve the communities she serves. Dr. Thai’s interest include mentoring West Coast University School of Pharmacy students so that they may one day give back to the communities they serve.
Amber Verdell, PharmD, BCPS, BCNSPAssistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. Verdell received her undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Tennessee. She completed an ASHP accredited Pharmacy Practice residency at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Dr. Verdell then practiced as a clinical pharmacist at Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, Missouri. She completed an ASHP accredited specialized residency in Nutrition Support Pharmacy at the University of Arizona Medical Center, along with the Teaching Scholars certificate program. Dr. Verdell is board certified in both Pharmacotherapy and Nutrition Support.
Dr. Verdell’s practice sites have included large academic and small community hospitals , outpatient clinics, and home care, with the opportunity to teach pharmacy residents and students from several schools of pharmacy. Dr. Verdell’s research interests include parenteral nutrition safety, micronutrient status, drug-nutrient interactions, and transitions of care.
Celeste M. Vinluan, PharmD, BCPSAssistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. Celeste M. Vinluan received her Bachelor of Science degree in General Biology from University of California, San Diego. After practicing research in antibody purification for three years, she earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. After pharmacy school, she completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, New York. She also earned a teaching certificate from Long Island University Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
Prior to joining West Coast University, Dr. Vinluan was a Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Texas at El Paso Cooperative Pharmacy Program in cooperation with the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy. While maintaining a clinical practice site, she served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor for Texas Tech University’s Department of Internal Medicine and precepted fourth-year pharmacy students on their acute care rotation. She was awarded UT Austin College of Pharmacy’s El Paso Regional Preceptor of the Year for 2015-2016. Her research interests include transitions of care of elderly patients, interprofessional education, and impact of pharmacy practice outcomes in the inpatient setting.
Jason Wong, PharmD, BCPS, CGPAssistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Dr. Wong received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Buffalo and Doctor of Pharmacy with honors and Outstanding Academic Performance Award from the University of Florida. He completed an ASHP accredited PGY1 pharmacy practice residency at the White Memorial Medical Center and also received a Teaching Certificate from West Coast University. In addition, he is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS) and a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (CGP).
Dr. Wong’s credentials and qualifications are wide-ranging and cover various sectors of the pharmacy profession. Most recently Dr. Wong has been working as a Clinical Pharmacist at a community hospital. He also has an extensive background in pharmacy chain leadership serving as a manager, a clinical trainer, acting as a pharmacy advisor for the regional vice president, instructing a basic life support class, teaching a technician certification course and leading a medication therapy management program. He is a trainer for the American Pharmacist Association (APhA) Pharmacy-based Immunization Delivery Certificate Training Program and also a certified Basic Life Support instructor. He worked with local physicians and community organizations to provide health screenings and education to patients. Dr. Wong‘s research interests include transitional care, reducing hospital readmission and improving Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) score.
Prior to joining the West Coast University, Dr. Wong served at the Western University of Health Sciences as a facilitator for inter-professional education, and a preceptor for IPPE, APPE and Advanced Electives since 2006. Dr. Wong mentored over 50 students and received the APPE Preceptor of the Year recognition in 2014. As a professional with more than 20 years of clinical and management experience in ambulatory care and inpatient pharmacy practice, he is committed to generate an exciting and developmental atmosphere in which questions are welcomed, answers are sought, and collaboration is cherished.
Jennica Zaro, PhDAssociate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Dr. Zaro earned her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Southern California. Prior to joining WCU, she was a Research Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the USC School of Pharmacy, where she lectured in both PharmD and PhD/MS graduate student programs. Her research is focused on targeted drug delivery applications utilizing protein-drug conjugates or recombinant fusion proteins, for which she has received numerous grants from the NIH National Cancer Institute and the Ming Hsieh Institute. Dr. Zaro has published more than 30 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters, and is the co-inventor of several U.S. and international patents. In addition, she has held several roles in the pharmaceutical industry and served as a Director of the Translational Research and Histology Laboratories at the USC School of Pharmacy. Dr. Zaro serves as a reviewer for many peer-reviewed science journals as well as national and international grant review panels including the National Institutes of Health and the United Kingdom Medical Research Council.
Rodney Zolt, PharmDAssistant Dean, Experiential Education-Institutional Practice
Dr. Zolt spent the majority of his career with Kaiser Permanente, Southern California Region as one of the Area Pharmacy Directors. In this role, he assumed many local and regional responsibilities. He was on the inter-regional residency steering committee and liaison to all oncology practice sites for Kaiser in the State of California. His extensive leadership, mentoring, operational skills, responsibilities, and experience in development of programs and services, architectural design, education and residency mentorship, peer-review, and management, make him an excellent addition to the administrative staff here at West Coast University, School of Pharmacy. Dr. Zolt was awarded Pharmacist of the Year in 1995 by the San Fernando chapter of CSHP. In addition to his formal education, Dr. Zolt has successfully completed the following programs: Kaiser Permanente Middle Management Development Program, Certificate in Management Development in Health Care at the University of Southern California, Certificate in Advanced Leadership Development, Kaiser Permanente, and Certificate in Advanced Leadership ASHP. After leaving Kaiser Permanente, and before joining WCU, he was employed as interim Director for Pharmacy – Sutter HealthCare, Novato, California. He was able to bring about needed change and lead this medical center in preparation for regulatory surveys, including TJC, CDPH and the Board of Pharmacy.