Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

Core Faculty

Karen Hassell, PhDDean, School of Pharmacy

Contact Information
Email: KHassell@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Hassell graduated with a PhD in Pharmacy and Sociology from the university of Manchester in England. Before joining West Coast University she held senior administrative positions at Stonybrook University, in New York, at California Northstate University near Sacramento, and at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Hassell has earned the equivalent of over $5 million USD in research income over her career; her main research focus has been the pharmacy workforce, community pharmacy utilization, and pharmacy health policy; her work has generated over 150 peer-reviewed articles, 1 book, 5 book chapters, and more than 140 conference papers. Her publications have been cited over 2900 times; her h-index is currently 33 (GoogleScholar Citations, February 2019).

Dr. Hassell has taught research methods, social pharmacy, health disparities and public health, and health and workforce policy to pharmacy students; she has supervised over 10 PhD students; she has managed and mentored other academics, she regularly reviews grants and manuscripts for a wide range of funding bodies and academic journals, and has held a number of external advisory roles to government and the wider pharmacy profession. She has received national recognition for and been invited to speak at many national and international conferences on her research; most recently she was part of a team collectively awarded the Pharmaceutical Scientist of the Year Award in recognition of work in producing a ‘Road Map’ for the UK pharmacy profession.

Richard d'Assalenaux, PharmDDirector of Assessment
Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: rDAssalenaux@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
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.

Marina Dykhne, PharmD, APhAssistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: mDykhne@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Dykhne graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from California State University Northridge and received her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from Western University of Health Science, College of Pharmacy in 2016. She then completed a PGY1 Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Practice residency at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Pharmacy. Through the residency training, she obtained a post-doctorate teaching certificate. Her teaching experiences include clinical and classroom settings and small group facilitation.

During her residency she initiated several clinical services in the community and ambulatory care settings including pharmacist’s provided pre-visit consult service, pharmacist’s ran Tamiflu clinic and pain management protocol. Her clinical interest and areas of focus include chronic disease management and disease prevention in the areas of cardiovascular health, dyslipidemia, hypertension and diabetes. She is also involved in community education initiatives for opioid addiction management and prevention.

Fred Farris, PhDChair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Contact Information
Email: frFarris@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
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.

Parna Haghparast, PharmD, BCPSAssistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: PHaghparast@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Haghparast is a registered pharmacist with Board Certification in Pharmacotherapy. She has a variety inpatient, outpatient and academia related experiences through her post-graduate training.

Dr. Haghparast earned her Pharm.D. degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey. Later she pursued a PGY‐1 residency at The University of Texas Medical Branch‐Correctional Managed Care (UTMB‐CMC), where she provided care to inmates in a variety of pharmacist run-clinics such as ASTHMA/COPD, hypertension/hyperlipidemia, psychiatry, and anticoagulation. In addition, she was involved in medication use evaluation, drug class review and creation of a disease management guideline.

Following her PGY-1 residency, she followed her passion for teaching by completing a Post-Doctoral Academic Fellowship at University of Houston, College of Pharmacy (UHCOP). Throughout her fellowship she was involved in both clinical (inpatient and outpatient) and academia related responsibilities. At UHCOP, she was active in multiple faculty committees, served as a Pharmacy & Therapeutics (P&T) judge for the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) student chapter, was involved in pharmacy student admissions and interview process, and supervised a variety of health fairs. Her teaching experiences includes precepting students during Interprofessional Experiences (IPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice experiences (APPE), didactic lecturing in a variety of courses and serving as a core facilitator in weekly Therapeutics Skills Labs. She was also heavily involved with creating skills based exam rubrics and student skills evaluation.

Deborah Hass, PharmD, BCOP, BCPSInterim Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: dHass@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Deborah Hass received her B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Iowa, and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Florida. Her career has encompassed a diversity of roles including working as an outpatient oncology infusion clinic pharmacist in Cambridge, MA., a bone marrow transplant pharmacist at Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego, CA., a hematology/oncology clinical pharmacist at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, CA., and as a professor teaching Oncology Therapeutics at Midwestern University in Chicago, IL. Her service activities have included serving as Residency Director for the PGY2 Oncology Pharmacy residency program at Stanford, and she is currently an oncology specialist member of the Board of Pharmacy Specialty's Oncology Specialty Council.  She has contributed to the oncology sections of several textbooks, casebooks, and continuing education materials. She is the associate editor for the oncology section of the Tarascon Pharmacopoeia. She holds board certifications in oncology and pharmacotherapy.

Keri Hurley-Kim, PharmD, MPHAssociate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: kHurley@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Keri Hurley-Kim received her B.S. degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Sonoma State University, and then earned her Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Public Health degrees from Touro University-California in 2013. She completed a PGY1 Outpatient 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. During her residency, she obtained a post-doctorate teaching certificate. Dr. Hurley-Kim has experience teaching students both in the didactic and clinical settings, and has worked with students from multiple health care disciplines.

Dr. Hurley-Kim is a licensed pharmacist in California and holds an international certificate in travel health. Her areas of clinical interest include primary care, immunizations, HIV, travel health, and tobacco cessation. She practices as a clinical pharmacist in primary care at a federally qualified health center, and serves as a steering committee member for the Immunization Coalition of LA County. Additionally, Dr. Hurley-Kim is involved in research in pharmacists’ scope of practice and immunizations.

Adam Kassan, PhDAssistant professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Contact Information
Email: aKassan@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Kassan graduated from the Lebanese University in Lebanon with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, and worked for several years as a clinical laboratory scientist (CLS) in Lebanon. He is currently a licensed CLS in the state of California. Subsequently, he went on to earn his Master’s and PhD degree in Cell Biology and Biomedicine at the University of Barcelona, Spain. His research during these graduate years focused on lipid involvement in liver regeneration. Following this, Dr. Kassan moved to the University of California, San Diego to work in research as a postdoctoral fellow. The main focus of his research was the cellular mechanisms involved in ischemic heart disease. He also led research projects studying neuroscience in the field of mental health and neuronal regeneration.

Dr. Kassan’s involvement in many projects has given him extensive experience in research. He was awarded a grant by the National Institute of Health (NIH) for his works. Dr. Kassan has contributed to the scientific community through publications of many papers and presentations of his research at many national and international meetings, and has mentored many undergraduate students interested in research. He is currently serving as a reviewer for peer-reviewed scientific journals such as The British Journal of Pharmacology.

Su Lee, PharmD, MS, BCPS, BCIDPAssociate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: sLee@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
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, BCCCP, APhAssistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: jLouie@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Louie believes people are capable of incredible things…if they feel confident in their environment and have opportunities to contribute authentically to all areas of their lives. Dr. Louie is at her best when she is able to push beyond the boundaries to think outside the box, challenge her team to raise the bar and help navigate the path towards simple solutions.

Dr. Louie earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree and Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California (USC). 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) and Advanced Practice Pharmacist (APh). 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 leads the well-being initiatives for students and has a special interest in burnout prevention, resiliency, digital marketing and entrepreneurship. She hosts The Burnout Doctor Podcast and loves to reach beyond the classroom to help students and healthcare professionals. Dr. Louie is the CEO and Founder of Clarify Simplify Align, Find Your Script and Petite Style Script. She is a Certified KonMari Coach (KonMari Method) and uses this in her simple processes to avoid overwhelm and help others lead with confidence and curate lives they love.  Dr. Louie’s previous research experiences are in the areas of critical care, infectious disease and cystic fibrosis with prospective and retrospective studies showcased at international meetings.

Glenn Morataya, PharmDAssistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: gMorataya@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
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.

Nicole Nielsen, PharmD, BCACP, APhAssistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Email: NNielsen@westcoastuniversity.edu

Dr. Nicole Nielsen graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa and received her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.  She completed a PGY1 Community Pharmacy Residency at Lipscomb University and Marcrom’s Pharmacy in Manchester, Tennessee.  During her residency, she obtained a post-doctorate teaching certificate.  She completed a PGY2 Ambulatory Care Residency at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group in San Diego. Dr. Nielsen has experience teaching students in both the classroom (including the use of team-based learning [TBL] instruction) and clinical settings. She has extensive experience in the development and implementation of Observed/Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) assessments and was trained at the OSCE-ology Program in Canada.  Dr. Nielsen’s research interests include chronic disease state management, natural medicines, simulation, active learning methodologies and student mentorship.

Dr. Nicole Nielsen is a licensed pharmacist in California and Tennessee. In addition, she is a board certified ambulatory care pharmacist and an advanced practice pharmacist.  Dr. Nielsen is an active member of the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) and Phi Delta Chi professional pharmacy fraternity.

Dr. Nielsen is currently pursuing a Masters of Education in the Health Professions degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Rahul Nohria, PharmD Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: rNohria@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Rahul Nohria earned his pharmacy degree from Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy. He then completed a two-year fellowship at American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). The first year of the fellowship was dedicated to developing an interprofessional education video game called MIMYCX. The second year of his fellowship was focused on student affairs at the AACP headquarters. In addition, he obtained a teaching certificate through Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy. His current research interests include active learning strategies, interprofessional education, and communication. 

Busuyi Olotu, BPharm, MSPharm, PhDAssistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: bOlotu@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
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.

Michael Pondrom, PharmD, BCPPAssistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: mPondrom@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
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.Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: eRosenberg@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Ettie Rosenberg earned her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Southern California, and Juris Doctor (JD) from Southwestern University School of Law.

Dr. Rosenberg is active in AACP and was awarded Honorable Mention for her 2017 AACP Innovations in Teaching portfolio submission on “Implementation and Lessons Learned from a Mock Trial as a Teaching- Learning and Assessment Activity”. At the state level, Dr. Rosenberg is active in California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) as a Board Member for the CPhA Academy of Pharmacy Educators, and a member of the CPhA Legislative Committee.

Dr. Rosenberg led a WCU student/faculty initiative to launch the first Vote and Vax® Immunization Clinic in California on Election Day in November 2016. She is a Faculty co-Advisor for WCU School of Pharmacy APhA-CPhA –ASP student chapters.

Gauri Sabnis, PhDInterim Assistant Dean of Academic Affaris
Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Contact Information
Email: gSabnis@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
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, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Contact Information
Email: mSherman@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
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.

Joe Su, PhD Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Contact Information
Email: JSu@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Su earned his B.S. in Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He completed his postdoctoral training at Pacific University Oregon investigating the in vitro anti-inflammatory functions of natural products under the supervision of Dr. Deepa Rao.

Dr. Su's lab is interested in the use of natural products in complementary and alternative medicine, focusing on botanical entities popular in traditional medicine (e.g. Turmeric Root, Senna Leaf, Goji Berries, Boswellia Bark, Black Pepper Fruit). Despite tightening federal regulations on the dietary supplement industry, consumers continue to self-medicate with natural products that generally have not demonstrated clinically significant results ($6.9 billion in US retail sales in 2015, American Botanical Council). The primary challenge in understanding the safety and efficacy of natural products lies in elucidating their multiple active ingredient composition. Mechanistic understanding of these phytochemicals will not only lead to improved patient safety but also to improved patient-centered care. Our current disease state of interest is chronic inflammation, which is implicated in the top killers in the United States: heart disease and cancer.

Dr. Su is an active member of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Prior to academia, Dr. Su led operations at SUSS Technology, a dietary supplement manufacturing company in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Su is passionate about empowerment and success through positive reinforcement. Currently, he is applying these principles to his two toddler boys with mixed, yet interesting results! Joe is a super nerd who loves analyzing team-based games ranging from Dodgers baseball to League of Legends.

Rick Sylvies, PharmDAssociate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: rSylvies@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
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 over 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.

Justin Tenney, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, CNSC, AE-CAssistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: JTenney@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Tenney received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Cincinnati. He completed a PGY-1 Acute Care Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas where he taught at Roseman University. Prior to joining West Coast University, Dr. Tenney worked as a Pharmacy Consultant in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Sidra Medicine in Qatar where he also taught at Qatar University. Next, he worked as an emergency medicine pharmacist for Peacehealth in Oregon before serving in the Faculty of Medicine as a Lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. As a Lecturer, Dr. Tenney taught numerous courses to pharmacy, medical, and nursing students primarily focusing on emergency medicine, critical care, and respiratory therapeutics. During this time, he served on the Regional Ethics Board and maintained his emergency medicine and internal medicine clinical practice sites at Prince Wales Hospital to precept students in Hong Kong.

Dr. Tenney is Board Certified in both Pharmacotherapy (BCPS) and Geriatrics (BCGP) through the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. In addition, he is a Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC) through the National Board of Nutrition Support Certification and is a Certified-Asthma Educator (AE-C) through the National Asthma Educator Certification Board. Dr. Tenney is a licensed pharmacist in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Hong Kong and maintains certifications in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and pediatric advanced life support (PALS). His past research and current interests include eLearning techniques, global pharmacy practices, emergency medicine, and special populations.

Diem Thai, PharmDAssistant Dean, Experiential Education
Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: dThai@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
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.

Catherine Van, PharmDAssistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: cVan@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Catherine Van received her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry with summa cum laude from University of California, Irvine. She then earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Western University of Health Sciences, School of Pharmacy. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Rho Chi Honor Societies. 

Dr. Van completed an ASHP accredited PGY1 Pharmacy Practice residency at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, where she obtained a post-doctorate teaching certificate. During the residency, her focus was on inpatient glycemic management service. Besides that, she served as a preceptor for both IPPE and APPE pharmacy students while contributing to patient care in collaboration with other health care professionals. Dr. Van also has outpatient experiences through practicing as a staff pharmacist at community pharmacies where she provides medication therapy management service and immunization. Her areas of interest include glycemic management, cardiology, transitions of care, and interprofessional education.

Amber Verdell, PharmD, BCPS, BCNSP, APhAssociate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: aVerdell@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
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, BCPSDirector, Experiential Education
Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: cVinluan@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
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.

Cheryl Wisseh, PharmD, TTSAssistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contat Information
Email: cWisseh@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Wisseh received a Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007. Afterwards, she worked for several years in the biopharmaceutical industry in the areas of infectious disease testing and quality operations. She earned her Doctorate of Pharmacy from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and completed an ASHP-accredited PGY-1 Community Pharmacy Practice residency with a focus in ambulatory care at Duquesne University School of Pharmacy and Center for Pharmacy Care in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Wisseh provided medication therapy management, chronic disease state management and travel health consultations within an interprofessional setting at her residency site. She was also involved in several immunization clinics, community health outreach events, and delivered tobacco cessation classes on a group and individual consultation basis. She completed a teaching and learning certificate through Duquesne University School of Pharmacy and has teaching experience in both didactic and clinical settings. Dr. Wisseh has been involved in health literacy research in both ambulatory care and community pharmacy practice settings and her research interests include chronic disease management in underserved populations, the social determinants of health and non-profit organizations’ role in both areas.

Staff

Ayda Awaness, PhD, MSLaboratory Technician

Email: AAwaness@westcoastuniversity.edu

Dr. Awaness earned her PhD degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Baghdad, Pharmacy School in Baghdad, Iraq.  She worked as a professional pharmaceutical educator for pharmacy students at Al-Isra University, Pharmacy School Amman located in Jordan. Prior to joining West Coast University, she worked as a pharmacy educator in Los Angles Institute. She has many publications related to the field of pharmaceutics and pharmacology sciences. Dr. Awaness is interested in the field of formulation and evaluation of new dosage forms. In Addition, she is interested in improving a novel eye drop for the treatment of cataract.

Alexander Castaneda Program Assistant

Contact Information
Email: AlCastaneda@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Alex is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from Walden University. Once completed, he plans to continue his education by pursuing a Master degree in the same field and take additional courses in Higher Education Administration. Before being brought on to the WCU School of Pharmacy team, Alex was previously employed at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in San Diego, CA where he was brought on as the Flex Weekend Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program Assistant. After a few months and a new-found passion for Higher Education, Alex was quickly promoted to the role of the lead residential DPT Program Assistant, while also taking on the role of the university’s Tutoring Program Manager. He also has an extensive professional background in Plant Production Administration, Social Media/Marketing Management, and Cost/Wealth Management. Alex plans to work towards an executive role with West Coast University.

Christina Collard, MA Admissions Advisor

Contact Information
Email: cCollard@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Christina Collard received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from California State University San Bernardino and earned her Master of the Arts degree in Management from the University of Redlands School of Business. She is a current member of the prestigious Whitehead Leadership Society (WLS) at the University of Redlands, School of Business. Her career has encompassed a diversity of roles including Assistant Vice President, Senior Business Control Manager at Bank of America where she worked across 16 lines of businesses improving business processes.  In addition, she worked as an AVP Senior Mortgage Manager where she managed over 100 mortgage and credit card collections associates in a call center environment. Christina began working at West Coast University in 2018 as an Admissions Coordinator and soon after was promoted into her current role as an Admissions Advisor for the School of Pharmacy. She plans to pursue a Doctorate in Management and further her career in higher education.

Lou Karnaukh, MSExperiential Education Coordinator

Contact Information:
Direct: 323-473-5671  Ext: 47671
Email: lkarnaukh@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Lou earned her Bachelor of the Arts degree in Child Development and her Master of Science degree in Counseling from California State University Sacramento. Lou has over two years of experience working in the higher education setting. She is knowledgeable in job search strategies, interviewing techniques, resume development, career/major decision-making strategies, career program planning and development. Prior to joining West Coast University, Lou worked at the California State University Sacramento as Career Counseling Intern where she regularly met with students, lead workshops, planned and coordinated on campus career events, and mentored other interns. This internship provided her with valuable hands-on experience working with diverse student population as well as helped her discovered passion for Experiential Education.

Michelle Lannon, MAED, MPAExperiential Education Coordinator

Contact Information:
Direct: 323-454-5060  Ext: 47060
Email: MLannon@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Michelle Lannon was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and relocated to CA in 2004. She comes from a military family and has experienced living in a number of states across the US, but considers California home. Michelle earned her Bachelor of the Arts in Business Information Systems, her MPA and her Master of Arts in Education with a specialization in teaching technology all from Ashford University. She brings over 10 years in education experience, and over 20 years experience in customer service, administration and leadership to West Coast University. She has taught children on the spectrum, and truly enjoys being a part of the student experience. She has served on a number of committees during her time at Ashford, and has worked extensively with veterans programs such as Wounded Warriors and The Gary Sinise foundation

Annie MouradianAdministrative Assistant

Contact Information
Email: aMouradian@westcoastuniversity.edu                      

Biography
Annie was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and obtains a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from California State University Northridge. While at CSUN, she served as a board member in the Communication Association as the Publicist and held a position as a Student Ambassador through the San Francisco Regional Center. Annie has experience in a variety of professional settings and cultures including: administrative duties, client services, and public relations. She began working at West Coast University in July 2016 as the Receptionist and soon after was promoted into her current role as an Administrative Assistant in the School of Pharmacy. Annie is currently completing her Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies at California State University Northridge.

Amy Sanchez, MSAcademic Support Coordinator

Contact Information
Email: amSanchez@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Amy earned her Bachelor of the Arts degree in Psychology from California State University Los Angeles and earned her Master of Science degree in Psychology from Grand Canyon University. Amy joined West Coast University in 2014 as the Program Assistant for the School of Pharmacy and has then been promoted to her current role as the Academic Support Coordinator for the School of Pharmacy. Prior to West Coast Amy worked at California State University Los Angeles as a Travel, Recreational, and Wellness Program Assistant for the Center for Student Involvement where she managed and coordinated on campus health and wellness events and off campus recreational events, as well as worked closely with students, Greek life, and campus clubs and organizations. She plans to pursue a Doctorate in Psychology or in Educational Leadership as well as further her career within Higher Education.

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