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Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

The School of Pharmacy at WCU offers students a dynamic educational experience within an intimate environment where your faculty know you by name.

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You must be a licensed registered nurse or have completed an associate degree of nursing to apply for the program.

You must be a licensed registered nurse and have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or a bachelor's degree in a closely related field to apply for this program.

You must be a licensed registered nurse and have completed a Master of Science in Nursing degree to apply for this program.

You must be a licensed registered nurse and have completed a Master of Science in Nursing degree or a master's degree in a healthcare related field.

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PharmD Program Highlights

The Doctor of Pharmacy Degree program is an innovative experiential program that offers a multitude of opportunities to develop your leadership, clinical and communication skills alongside students in other health professions. 

Join us at WCU School of Pharmacy to meet and discover your new “pharmily”!

<p><strong>Student Centricity</strong></p>
<p>Student-centric approach to teaching and learning that engages students in their own success and advancement facilitated by a faculty- student partnership in which each partner assumes accountability for the teaching/ learning process.</p>

Student Centricity

Student-centric approach to teaching and learning that engages students in their own success and advancement facilitated by a faculty- student partnership in which each partner assumes accountability for the teaching/ learning process.

<p><strong>Location</strong></p>
<p>The WCU PharmD Program is located in metropolitan Los Angeles, within sight of the famous Hollywood sign, and moments from downtown LA.  Beaches, parks, surfing, mountains and hiking, Disneyland, Dodgers Stadium, the excitement of the Hollywood film studios, are all right on your doorstep.</p>

Location

The WCU PharmD Program is located in metropolitan Los Angeles, within sight of the famous Hollywood sign, and moments from downtown LA.  Beaches, parks, surfing, mountains and hiking, Disneyland, Dodgers Stadium, the excitement of the Hollywood film studios, are all right on your doorstep.

<p><strong>Interprofessional Education</strong></p>
<p>Learn and practice alongside students in other health professions, develop your communication and collaboration skills while participating on an interprofessional team, learn how to work as a team and share in clinical decision-making aimed at providing optimal care for every patient.</p>

Interprofessional Education

Learn and practice alongside students in other health professions, develop your communication and collaboration skills while participating on an interprofessional team, learn how to work as a team and share in clinical decision-making aimed at providing optimal care for every patient.

<p><strong>Support</strong></p>
<p>Get support as you prepare for the NAPLEX exam, including one-on-one guidance and tutoring.</p>

Support

Get support as you prepare for the NAPLEX exam, including one-on-one guidance and tutoring.

<p><strong>Curriculum</strong></p>
<p>Dynamic evidence-based curriculum combines hands-on practical experience with rigorous academic coursework</p>

Curriculum

Dynamic evidence-based curriculum combines hands-on practical experience with rigorous academic coursework

WCU School of Pharmacy is committed to providing students with a learning environment which emphasizes patient-centered care, interprofessional education, and offers all students a host of opportunities for leadership development.

Student Life at WCU

Join a diverse community of passionate, dedicated individuals at WCU.  With a culture that feels like a family, you will have all the support you need to be the best you can be. Join a study group to learn from your classmates or get some guidance through peer tutoring sessions. WCU’s class sizes grant you the opportunity to get to know your professors and get insight into the healthcare industry. Find a community that helps you build on your strengths and reach your academic goals.

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About the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree

Our traditional Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum is delivered by practicing pharmacists and subject matter experts, and among those, faculty with PharmDs, PhDs, dual degrees, and Post-Graduate Residencies or Fellowships.

Courses include essential practice topics such as Evidence Based Practice, Public Health, Integrated Patient Care (IPC), a series of six longitudinal skills labs and patient-case simulation experiences, with a focus on Interprofessional Education (IPE), hands-on practical experiences in real-life clinical settings in and around Los Angeles, and co-curricular opportunities interwoven throughout the four professional years.

WCU School of Pharmacy is committed to providing students with a learning environment which emphasizes patient-centered care, interprofessional education, and offers all students a host of opportunities for leadership development. We value and foster the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills, application of relevant scientific principles, research, and life-long learning to the delivery of innovative healthcare services.

The PharmD program and environment encourage meaningful service contributions to the School, the scientific community, the pharmacy profession, as well as student-engagement in promotion of health and wellness services to the community at large. The School of Pharmacy sponsors various student professional organization chapters on campus and prides itself in the successful development of student-leaders and advocates for the pharmacy profession.

Application Process

  1. First, complete the WCU Application Form located here
  2. Second (First Year Candidates Only) - complete the PharmCas application located here

Program Mission

The School of Pharmacy is a learning community that delivers a dynamic curriculum emphasizing evidence-based practice, prepares students to serve patients as a member of an interprofessional team, engages in scholarship, and serves the community through outreach.

Join the WCU Family! 

Click here for Admissions requirements, Pre-requisites, Learning Outcomes and Curriculum

Click here for the Program Prerequisites

Transfer students are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  All transfer students must meet the requirements of admission.  Additionally, students seeking transfer must submit the following items directly to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs:

  • A letter from the Dean of the college/school of pharmacy in which the student is enrolled that describes good academic and professional standing.
  • A letter of recommendation from a current pharmacy school faculty member.
  • A detailed letter (no more than two pages) from the student describing the specific circumstances why a transfer is being sought.

Official transcripts from all undergraduate, graduate, and/or professional schools attended. 

International applicants who wish to receive transfer credit for prerequisite coursework completed outside the U.S. must submit an official, detailed course-by-course evaluation obtained from a professional credentialing agency such as World Education Services.  Both transfer and international applicants who move forward are invited to participate in the traditional interview process, and their files are forwarded to the Admissions Committee review.

The priority deadline for receipt of all Pharmacy scholarship application materials is March 31st.  All offers must be accepted within 10 business days of receipt of the scholarship offer.  Funds remaining from unaccepted offers may be offered to additional applicants on a monthly basis. 

Presidential Academic Excellence Scholarship (up to five recipients per year)

  • $15,000 per academic year - up to $67,500 for the full 9 semester program
  • 3.50 and above cumulative GPA
  • Must have a Bachelor's degree
  • Renewable for 4 1/2 years - must maintain GPA of 3.25 or higher throughout the program
  • Student must have accepted admission offer at the time of the offer

Mark Hacken Trustee Scholarship (up to five recipients)

  • $10,000 per academic year - up to $45,000 for the full 9 semester program
  • 3.00 and above cumulative undergraduate GPA for the initial year offer
  • Member of an under-represented minority (African-American, Hispanic, and Native American)
  • Renewable for 4 1/2 years - must maintain GPA of 3.0 or higher throughout the program
  • Student must have accepted admission offer at the time of the scholarship offer
  • Must have accepted offer within 10 business days of receipt of the offer

Dean's Scholarship (up to twenty recipients)

  • Up to $5,000 per academic year
  • 2.75 and above cumulative undergraduate GPA for the initial year offer
  • Demonstrate excellence in service engagement
  • Renewable for 4 1/2 years - must maintain
    • GPA of 3.0 or higher throughout the program; and
    • Excellence in service engagement
  • Student must have accepted admission offer at the time of the offer
  • Must have accepted initial offer within 10 business days of receipt of the offer.

Scholarships for Current Students

Service Excellence Scholarship

  • Up to 10 recipients may be granted per year
  • Criteria:
    • Active participation in at least one professional organization
    • A proven record of leadership in community outreach and/or service agreement
    • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Scholarship Amount: $1,000 scholarship toward following year's tuition

Leadership Engaging and Advancing Pharmacy (LEAP) Scholarship

  • Up to 4 recipients may be granted per year
  • Criteria:
    • Leadership role in activities of a professional organization and/or student government
    • Leadership role in a project that promotes pharmacy profession/practice
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • Scholarship Amount: $2,500 scholarship toward following year's tuition.

Students interested in receiving the President's, Mark Hacken, and/or Dean's Scholarships, described above, must notify the program Dean of his/her interest as a part of the program application process. 

Scholarships will be applied toward required tuition and fees.  Students who withdraw prior to program completion will forfeit future disbursements. 

Scholarship for Fourth Year Students

The following scholarships may be offered over and above any other scholarship for which a student may qualify. 

Academic Honors Scholarship

  • Criteria:
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
    • Third year PCOA ranking of 75th percentile or higher
  • Scholarship Amount: $5,000 scholarship toward fourth year tuition

Academic Merit Scholarship

  • Criteria:
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
    • Third year PCOA ranking between 50th and 75th percentile
  • Scholarship Amount: $2,500 scholarship toward fourth year tuition. 

Each of the above scholarship offers for new and current students is exclusive of the other offers and each recipient will be selected at the discretion of the Program using a scholarship rubric.  A student will receive the amount for the highest level for which the student was eligible and selected.  For example, if the student is selected for both a Presidential Academic Excellence Scholarship and a Dean Scholarship, then that student will receive only the Presidential Scholarship.  Only one scholarship will be offered per student.

Learn more about Tuition and Fees for this program by clicking here.

To apply for financial aid assistance, we recommend applying alongside your admissions application in order for your consideration to be processed on your intended timeline. Learn More.

The West Coast University School of Pharmacy (PharmD) program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The Doctor of Pharmacy program at WCU of received full accreditation in 2018.

The accreditation term granted for the Doctor of Pharmacy program extends until June 30, 2024. The professional program of the School and its accreditation status is designated on ACPE's web site.

West Coast University School of Pharmacy's Doctor of Pharmacy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

190 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 2850
Chicago, IL 60603-3410
Phone: (312) 664-3575
Fax: (866) 228-2631
www.acpe-accredit.org.

Please note that licensure to practice as a Pharmacist is required in every state. However, the exam and licensure requirements vary by state. It is your responsibility to research the requirements in the state in which you plan to practice.

The Doctor of Pharmacy program combines a dynamic evidence-based curriculum with hands-on practical experience giving students a wider understanding of the entire healthcare field.

We use the combination of enhanced communication and teamwork skills, advanced technology and interprofessional education to educate and train students to become flexible, inspired and team-oriented pharmacists that improve patients' lives.

Mission

Our pharmacy school in California is a learning community that ensures its students receive the highest quality of education:

  • Delivers a dynamic curriculum emphasizing evidence-based practice
  • Prepares students to serve patients as a member of an interprofessional team
  • Engages in scholarship
  • Serves the community through outreach

Vision

In the Doctor of Pharmacy program, we are committed to providing students with a learning environment which emphasizes patient-centered care, interprofessional education, and leadership development. We are committed to fostering a culture of scholarship among faculty and students. We strive to lead the pharmacy profession to the forefront of an integrated and innovative practice.

Core Values

  • Professionalism
  • Collaboration
  • Integrity
  • Leadership
  • Compassion
  • Excellence
  • Diversity
  • Adaptability
  • Accountability

Benefit from Experiential Education

The curriculum's Pharmacy Practice Experiences include IPPEs, simulations, and APPEs, each designed to provide a structured learning process for the students to eventually be able to demonstrate the PLOs upon graduation. They are designed as a continuum of developing the student's abilities (knowledge, skills, and attitudes/values) that evolves as the student progresses through the curriculum. With IPPEs and simulations integrated across the PY1-3, and APPE's, students will have significant, structured time across each year to integrate, apply, reinforce and reflect on their practice abilities.

The overall goals of the Experiential Program are to: (1) Develop entry-level pharmacists to practice at most major pharmacy sites; and (2) Prepare students to achieve the various competencies detailed in the Program Learning Outcomes.

Please feel free to contact the Office of Experiential Education to obtain further information:

Office of Experiential Education

IPPE Overview

The IPPE program is designed as a three-week full-time experience over a 2-block schedule at the end of fall semesters and at the beginning of spring semesters. This schedule will be for the first three professional years (PY1 –PY3). Each student will complete his or her required IPPE in one of these blocks. In the other block during the same year, students not in practice sites will complete Community Outreach activities(PY1) or Patient Simulation/IPE (PY2 & 3).

Year Experiential Contact Hours Weeks
1
Community Pharmacy Practice 120 3
2 Institutional Pharmacy Practice 120 2
3 Selective Elective Pharmacy Practice 120 3
Total 360
Year: 1
Experiential Community Pharmacy Practice
Contact Hours 120
Weeks 3
Year: 2
Experiential Institutional Pharmacy Practice
Contact Hours 120
Weeks 2
Year: 3
Experiential Selective Elective Pharmacy Practice
Contact Hours 120
Weeks 3
Year:
Experiential Total
Contact Hours 360

Students will be required to complete a number of internet-based reflection exercises throughout the 15 day experience. Students will be encouraged to share experiences from their practice site. Exercises will be designed to allow students to self-reflect on their own experiences, encourage discussion among students about what their IPPE means for them, and assist peers to make their own IPPE experience more rewarding. Reflection exercises will be monitored and moderated by the OEE.

APPE Overview

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs) begin in the summer semester after the PY3. Students must satisfactorily complete all didactic course requirements as well as IPPEs prior to the start of APPE. During the PY4, each student must complete four required rotations in specified areas of community practice, institutional practice, ambulatory care, and acute care medicine as well as two elective rotations, examples of which include: Academic Teaching, Long Term Care, Hospice, Home Infusion, Regulatory Affairs/Associations, Pharmaceutical Industry, Nuclear Pharmacy, Drug Information, Global Pharmacy, Institutional Pharmacy Management, as well as advanced clinical electives in geriatric, pediatrics, critical care, emergency medicine, infectious disease/HIV, cardiology, GI/Nutrition, psychiatry, and oncology.

The APPE calendar has been aligned with the other California Schools/Colleges of Pharmacy, to ensure ease of placement and integration with APPE students from neighboring schools. There are a total of eight APPE time slots during the calendar year, which will provide each student one “off” rotation. The eighth block will be used for remediation purposes to allow students to make up any failed APPEs prior to graduation. Each APPE is a six-week long intensive, hands-on experience designed to prepare the student for the practice of pharmacy. The APPE curricular components are designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained in didactic courses and IPPEs to advanced pharmacy practice experiences.

APPE Experiential Contact Hours Weeks
1 Advanced Community Practice 240 6
2 Advanced Institutional Practice 240 6
3 Ambulatory Care 240 6
4 Acute Care 240 6
5 Elective 240 6
6 Elective 240 6
Total 1440
APPE: 1
Experiential Advanced Community Practice
Contact Hours 240
Weeks 6
APPE: 2
Experiential Advanced Institutional Practice
Contact Hours 240
Weeks 6
APPE: 3
Experiential Ambulatory Care
Contact Hours 240
Weeks 6
APPE: 4
Experiential Acute Care
Contact Hours 240
Weeks 6
APPE: 5
Experiential Elective
Contact Hours 240
Weeks 6
APPE: 6
Experiential Elective
Contact Hours 240
Weeks 6
APPE:
Experiential Total
Contact Hours 1440

Student Expectations when participating in the Experiential Education Program
The School of pharmacy expects its students to:

  • Always remember they represent West Coast University School of Pharmacy when visiting clinical practice sites and as such are expected to demonstrate professional and ethical behavior at all times.
  • Always be respectful and courteous to patients, other healthcare providers and all those you come into contact with as WCU-SOP representatives.
  • Be proactive about the opportunities to learn with their professional practice experiences, this will require students to actively participate and effectively communicate.
  • Always interpret the guidance and feedback from a preceptor as an opportunity to learn.
  • Actively engage in communications with physicians, patients, and other healthcare professionals, but only under the direct supervision and authorization of their Preceptor.
  • Never be afraid to admit they do not know the answer to a question or request, nor be afraid to ask for assistance when needed.
  • Never question the advice or directions given by a Preceptor in front of patients, or other healthcare providers.
  • Discuss any differences or conflicts with their preceptor in a timely fashion.

Information for Preceptors

Criteria for Preceptor Selection/Retention
The Preceptor should:

  1. Be a licensed pharmacist in good standing with the State Board of Pharmacy in the state in which they are practicing.
  2. Treat all patients ethically and with compassion.
  3. Demonstrate personal accountability for their clinical decisions and subsequent effect on patient outcomes.
  4. Utilize current clinical research and literature as a part of evidence-based clinical decision making.
  5. Have the appropriate professional training, experience and competence commensurate with their position.
  6. Demonstrate a commitment to their community professionally through participation and engagement.
  7. Engage in continuous professional development.
  8. Engage in the education of patients/caregivers, other healthcare providers, and student practitioners.
  9. Demonstrate efforts to collaborate interprofessionally with other healthcare professionals through effective communication and mutual respect.
  10. Serve as a mentor and role model for the student and be willing to provide quality learning experiences that emphasize continuity of care and optimization of patient health outcomes.
  11. Encourage self-directed learning, assess student performance, and provide ongoing constructive feedback
  12. Identify an acceptable replacement to supervise the student in the event of an absence.
  13. Communicate with the student in a timely manner regarding expectations, outcomes and evaluations.

Criteria for Practice Site Selection/Retention 
The practice site should:

  1. Meet all State and Federal legal and professional standard.
  2. Ensure that patient privacy and confidentiality are protected in compliance with HIPAA requirements.
  3. Portray a professional, ethical standard that is compassionate in its delivery of patient care.
  4. Have as its primary focus the provision of patient centered care and/or the achievement of positive health outcomes.
  5. Have a diverse patient population that can adequately support the learning outcomes of the experience.
  6. Have adequately developed technological capabilities as well as appropriate learning resources required to support an evidence-based practice-model.
  7. Have an administrative structure that is supportive and provides adequate staff time to support the learning outcomes of the experience.
  8. Be able to provide direct patient care responsibilities under the supervision of preceptor.
  9. Be able to provide communication opportunities for the student with patients and other members of healthcare team.
  10. Provide the student with access to all appropriate patient specific information.
  11. Support and engage in public health and wellness programs, and provide patient care services catering to the diversity of its patient population (only setting where applicable).

Preceptor Expectations
The School of Pharmacy expects its preceptors to:

  • Accept the responsibility and the challenge of guiding and training the student pharmacist in areas consistent with course learning objectives
  • Show a willingness to devote adequate time for proper instruction
  • Serve as a role model for the student pharmacist and exhibit exemplary professional ideals as reflected through appearance, attitudes, and accomplishments in practice
  • Assure that adequate practice opportunities are made available to the student pharmacist and that appropriate mentoring and supervision is provided
  • Follow the program outline to provide the student pharmacist with a consistent practice experience, and assess their performance relative to the course learning objectives
  • Set clear expectations for the student pharmacist regarding appearance, conduct, attitude, scheduling of hours, assignments and projects to complete, as well as general policies and procedures of practice
  • Work with the student pharmacist to identify his or her strengths and weaknesses
  • Routinely and frequently provide formative feedback to the student pharmacist on their performance
  • Provide a fair and constructive evaluation of the student pharmacist's ability (knowledge, skills and attitude/values) to perform designated activities
  • Complete evaluations in a timely manner at the mid and endpoint of each experience
  • Provide the student pharmacist access to professional references
  • Communicate any problems regarding the experience or significant behavioral deficiencies of the student pharmacist to the Office of Experiential Education

Preceptor Recourses and Benefits

  • Preceptor development programs currently offered by WCU-SOP:
    • The Collaborative Education Institute (CEI) Preceptor Development Program
      Website
    • The Pharmacist's Letter Preceptor Training and Resources Network
      Website
  • WCU library access, including access to drug information resources and clinical research portals
  • After precepting students for two consecutive years, submission of an application, and review by the OEE, preceptors will be offered an adjunct faculty appointment and provided the title of Adjunct Assistant, Associate Professor, or Professor, commensurate to their practice experience.
  • To assist in program management, the Office of Experiential Education utilizes the Experiential Learning Management System (ELMS), RXPreceptor:

Download WCU Preceptor Site Profile

Download WCU Preceptor Application Form

Pharmacy Education at WCU-SOP would not be complete without the wisdom and expertise provided by our preceptors. The true success of WCU-SOP can only be fully realized when we consider the selfless contribution of our preceptors who appreciate the value of giving back to the profession they care so much about.

For additional information about being a preceptor for WCU-SOP, please contact us at:
West Coast University | School of Pharmacy
Office of Experiential Education
590 N. Vermont Ave Los Angeles CA 90004
Telephone: (323) 284-4799
eFax: (213) 377-5489
e-mail: expedu@westcoastuniversity.edu

Graduation Data

Year Students Entering/Graduating On-Time Graduation Rate *
2020 60/53
88.3%
2019 54/43 79.6&
2018 42/33 78.6%

*Graduating during the same calendar year as declared upon matriculation.

Graduation Data

Year: 2020
Students Entering/Graduating 60/53
On-Time Graduation Rate 88.3%
Year: 2019
Students Entering/Graduating 54/43
On-Time Graduation Rate 79.6&
Year: 2018
Students Entering/Graduating 42/33
On-Time Graduation Rate 78.6%

*Graduating during the same calendar year as declared upon matriculation.

Job Placement – Class of 2019

Overall job placement % of Graduates in Position
All graduates (n=46) 63%
Board of Pharmacy Licensed Graduates (n=33) 87.8%

Job Placement – Class of 2018

Overall job placement % of Graduates in Position *
All graduates (n=34) 38%
Board of Pharmacy Licensed Graduates (n=20) 65%

*Placement data last updated February 2019

NAPLEX Pass Rates

Year First time pass rate
2021 77.3%
2020 72.34%
2019 66.67%
2018 65.52%

CPJE Pass Rates

Examination Window Overall Pass Rate * West Coast University
October 2020 through March 2021 50.8% 48.6%
May 2020 through September 2020 63.7% 53.1%
December 2019 – April 2020 45.7% 37.5%
April 2019 - November 2019 67.0% 68.4%
October 2018 – March 2019 48.9% 63.6%
April 2018 – September 2018 78.2% 78.9%

*Pass rate for all CPJE test takers

CPJE Pass Rates

Examination Window: October 2020 through March 2021
Overall Pass Rate 50.8%
West Coast University 48.6%
Examination Window: May 2020 through September 2020
Overall Pass Rate 63.7%
West Coast University 53.1%
Examination Window: December 2019 – April 2020
Overall Pass Rate 45.7%
West Coast University 37.5%
Examination Window: April 2019 - November 2019
Overall Pass Rate 67.0%
West Coast University 68.4%
Examination Window: October 2018 – March 2019
Overall Pass Rate 48.9%
West Coast University 63.6%
Examination Window: April 2018 – September 2018
Overall Pass Rate 78.2%
West Coast University 78.9%

*Pass rate for all CPJE test takers

MPJE Pass Rates

Year Overall Pass Rate1
2018 100%

For all students, the PharmD Student Handbook is designed to help you navigate through your time in our program. The Handbook collects academic standards, policies and procedures, student resources, as well as expected behaviors in a single location.  

Check it out here.

If you are considering getting your Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)– we invite you to attend an Information Session.

The School of Pharmacy encourages participation in student- specific events and activities that enable networking between students from different schools and programs, promote development of the future leaders of the profession, and/or reward student excellence, leadership, and community service.  WCU students have been recognized as leaders and/ or participated in these programs and events:

CAPSLEAD 2021-2022 WCU Team presenting at WPE's poster presentation. Names from left to right: Kevin Aprelian (2024), Dr. Marina Dykhne (Advisor), Lucy Telliyan (2024), Sabrine Yamauchi (2023), Alison Rufo (2023).

AACP Walmart Scholars Program

Over the past 17 years, AACP and Walmart have demonstrated a commitment to helping colleges and schools of pharmacy ensure there is an adequate number of well-prepared individuals who aspire to join the faculties at our institutions across the country. The goal of the scholarship program is to strengthen the recipient’s skills and commitment to pursue a career in academic pharmacy through their participation at the AACP Annual Meeting. More than 1,200 graduate students, professional (doctoral) students, residents and fellows have been selected to participate in the program with their mentors since 2005.  Congratulations to Tiffany L. Gurley (Class of 2020), a 2020 Walmart Scholar Recipient, and her WCU Faculty Mentor, Dr. Jessica M. Louie!

APhA-ASP National Patient Counseling Competition

Recognizing that effective patient counseling is very important, CVS Health and APhA-ASP sponsor the APhA-ASP National Patient Counseling Competition to encourage student-pharmacists in their efforts toward becoming better patient educators. Designed to reflect changes that are occurring in pharmacy practice, the competition aims to promote and encourage further professional development of the student-pharmacist and to reinforce the role of the pharmacist as a health care provider and educator. The competition begins on the local level as students compete to be the national representative from their school or college of pharmacy and ultimately compete on the national level in preliminary and final rounds at the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition.  

ASHP/ CSHP – ASP Clinical Skills Competition (2021)

The School of Pharmacy takes great pride in the achievements of two WCU SOP student-pharmacists, Maryam Ahmadi Nejad (P3) and Sepehr Afshari (P3) who competed with students statewide to  advance first to the semi-finals; and then advanced again at the CSHP Annual Meeting to qualify  for national finals  at the 2021 ASHP Midyear Clinical Skills Competition in December. Congratulations Maryam and Sepehr, and Faculty -Advisor, Dr. Catherine Van and Glenn Morataya!

CPhA-ASP Chapter of Excellence Recognition

This award recognizes all CPhA-ASP chapters that have achieved excellence in pursing CPhA’s mission and goals in promoting the health of the public through the practice of pharmacy. The Chapter of Excellence (COE) Award is a designation of achievement earned by those California student chapters meeting the criteria based upon philanthropic and/or disease state related activities in which the local pharmacy association collaborates with the student chapter either as a sponsor, or as volunteer-participant.

CPhA –ASP Innovative Chapter of the Year (2019, 2020, 2021)

A Trifecta for our CPhA-ASP Chapter! Among all the California pharmacy programs, and for the third year in a row, the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) recognized our WCU CPhA-ASP Chapter with the Innovative Chapter Award for embodying CPhA’s core values of visionary leadership, innovation, diversity of thought and opportunity, and entrepreneurship. Congratulations WCU CPhA-ASP Chapter!

CPhA Rx Boot Camp

CPhA sponsors the annual Rx Boot Camp, a leadership-training seminar for student-pharmacists from all California schools.  California’s only event designed for and by student-pharmacists offers students the opportunity to learn how they can influence pharmacy practice. Participants explore how they can use entrepreneurship, technology, and leadership to elevate the quality of care delivered to patients. Work with teammates to develop innovative solutions, pitch your ideas to entrepreneurs, and compete in a Shark Tank Style Competition!  Rx Boot Camp winners included WCU students in 2016: Jade Willia (Class of 2018) and in 2018: Emily Kieu (Class of 2021).

CPhA Western Pharmacy Exchange Quiz Bowl (2018, 2021)

Team WCU represented by Rojan Ghorbannejad, Dena Homayounieh, Janet Petrosyan and Veerpal Sandhu (Class of 2022), and  Alison Rufo (Class of 2023)took first place among 13 other schools at the Western Pharmacy Exchange event in Palm Springs.  Dr. Marina Dykhne and Dr. Nicole Nielsen supported Team WCU par excellence.  Congratulations 2021 Quiz Bowl Team for brining the Trophy back to WCU SOP and thank you Drs. Dykhne and Nielsen! Team WCU previously took first place in 2018.

CSHP Quiz Bowl (2021)

Team WCU represented by Rojan Ghorbannejad, Dena Homayounieh, Janet Petrosyan and Veerpal Sandhu (Class of 2022), and  Alison Rufo (Class of 2023)took first place among 13 other schools at the Western Pharmacy Exchange event in Anaheim, California.  Dr. Catherin Van and Dr. Glenn Morataya, Faculty Advisors, supported Team WCU par excellence.  Congratulations 2021 CSHP Quiz Bowl Team for bringing the Trophy to WCU SOP and thank you Drs. Van and Morataya!

Pharmacy Leadership Seminar

The School of Pharmacy is invited to nominate several students each year to represent our School at the California Pharmacy Student Leadership Seminar, hosted at the USC School of Pharmacy. The Seminar aims to bring together pharmacy student leaders throughout the state of California to focus on developing leadership skills and transforming the profession of pharmacy.  Four  WCU student-pharmacists,  Maryan Ahmadi Nejad; Brianna Hillo; and Emilya Grigorian (P3), and Cedric Nettey  P2) presented their innovation, a student mentor-mentee initiative focused on the theme “Aspire to Inspire” at the 2021 California Pharmacy Student Leadership Seminar hosted by USC School of Pharmacy on September 25th, 2021.

Core Faculty

Parto Khansari, PhD

Interim Dean, School of Pharmacy

Interim Dean, School of Pharmacy

Contact Information
Email: PKhansari@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography

Dr. Khansari holds a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences (Neuropharmacology) from University of the Pacific, M.S. in Biomedical Sciences from San Francisco State University, and a Bachelor degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from California State University Northridge. Dr. Khansari has held several administrative positions in pharmacy education and served as Assistant Dean and Department Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences at California Northstate University, CA and Associate Dean at Stony Brook University, NY. Dr. Khansari has received a certificate in “A Systems Approach to Assessment in Health Professions Education” from Harvard Macy Institute, MA.

As a Certified Team Based Learning (TBL) Trainer Consultant, she has led numerous national and international workshops and has published on innovative and active learning in pharmacy education.  She has mentored other educators to become TBLC certified trainers and has over 10 years of experience teaching pharmacology utilizing TBL pedagogy.

Prior to joining academia, over a period of 12 years, Dr. Khansari has held various positions at several biotech and pharmaceutical companies with increasing responsibilities to lead and support internal drug discovery and development in the area of ischemic stroke and inflammation. She has several peer-reviewed publications in this area and currently serves as Deputy Editor of Inflammopharmacology, Springer Journal.

Richard d'Assalenaux, PharmD

Assistant Dean of Assessment and Accreditation Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Assistant Dean of Assessment and Accreditation
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.

Gauri Sabnis, PhD

Interim Assistant Dean, Academic Affairs Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Interim Assistant Dean, Academic Affairs
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.

Ettie Rosenberg, PharmD, JD

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
Professor, Department of 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, both in Los Angeles.

Her contributions include: “Commentary: Digging Deeper: Examining DEA Proposed New Rule to Enhance Cultivation of Marijuana for Research Exposes Conflict of Interest for DEA (JCPhP, Summer 2020) “Research Brief: A Pilot Study on Pharmacy Law Education across Doctor of Pharmacy Programs” (AJPE, 2019); “Common Legal Issues Confronted in Pharmacy Practice: Avoiding Common Legal Issues Confronted in Pharmacy Practice: Evaluating Prescriptions with PRN Wording and Calling for Refills” (JCPhP, 2019); “New Schools; Innovation at Its Best! Implementation and Lessons Learned from a Mock Trial as a Teaching- Learning and Assessment (CPTL, 2018); “Interpretation of California's Marijuana Regulation after Proposition 64, and Pharmacy Practice Roles in Medical Marijuana Dispensing against Federal Enforcement Risks (JCPhP, 2018); Laws Expanding the Pharmacist’s Role in Patient Care (CPJ, 2017); “Deliberate Integration of Student Leadership Development in Doctor of Pharmacy Programs” (AJPE, 2016).

Dr. Rosenberg received Honorable Mention in the 2017 AACP Innovations in Teaching Competition (April 2017) for her portfolio submission “Development, Implementation, and Lessons Learned from a Mock Trial as a Teaching and Assessment Activity in a Required Evidence-Based Practice Course” pioneering an active learning strategy in pharmacy education which develops student competencies in both the affective and cognitive domains. The mock trial project has since expanded to incorporate a second PharmD program (2017-2018), a “virtual” competition between two PharmD programs (2019), and in 2020 a “virtual” mock trial in response to declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and implementation of remote-teaching/learning.

Dr. Eric Kobayashi, PharmD

Interim Assistant Dean, Experiential Education

Interim Assistant Dean, Experiential Education

Contact Information
Email: EKobayashi@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Eric Kobayashi earned his Pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy and completed an accredited PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Sepulveda Veterans Affairs Hospital Medical Center.  Dr. Kobayashi’s pharmacy practice career bridges 30 years of experience in acute care pharmacy, clinical informatics, and pharmacy administration.

Dr. Kobayashi has extensive experience in Pharmacy Informatics and Technology with a passion for engineering workflow management.  Dr. Kobayashi’s endeavors include establishment of a Pharmacy Informatics Program, collaborative formation of Pharmacy Shared Services, and joint transformation of Medication Management with innovative redesigning of patient care and technology workflows.

Dr. Kobayashi’s commit to teach, mentor, and coach is founded on his philosophy that servant leadership advances growth for those he serves as well as his own personal growth.  Having the opportunity to precept student pharmacists for over 15 years, Dr. Kobayashi looks forward to the journey of serving West Coast University School of Pharmacy student pharmacists in their development to become future pharmacists.

Fred Farris, PhD

Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Chair, 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.

Dr. William Ofstad, PharmD

Chair, Pharmacy Practice Department

Chair, Pharmacy Practice Department

Contact Information
Email: wofstad@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Ofstad earned his B.A. in Chemistry from Whitman College concurrently with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and a Pharm.D. from the University of California San Francisco. He completed an ambulatory care and cardiology focused Pharmacy Practice Residency with Kaiser.  His past administrative roles include serving as Assistant Dean for Education, Director of the Office of Teaching and Learning, Director of the Center for Team-Based Learning and President of the Northern California College of Clinical Pharmacy.  He has served as chair for multiple college and university committees and serves nationally on the steering committees for the Team-Based Learning Collaborative and Academy of Process Educators. His primary research focus is in teaching and learning including team-based learning, team building, simulation, and interprofessional education.

His practice experience includes ambulatory care pharmacy at UC Davis Medical Center and Sacramento County Department of Public Health.  He is a licensed Advanced Practice Pharmacist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist.  Among his goals as department chair is to promote a student-centered, collaborative, creative culture to advance the program through collective excellence in teaching, service and scholarship. He values working as one cohesive team, unlocking growth in everyone, cascading communication, essential integrity, and the transformation of education.

Dr. Ofstad is a father of two boys, Apollo and Orion, and husband to Amy, who is also a pharmacist.  He has an open door (open Zoom, open Teams) policy, so please feel free to connect anytime.

Eman Atef, BSc, Ms, PhD

Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Contact Information
Email: EAtef@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Atef earned her Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy from MCPHS-Boston University.

She has sixteen years of pharmaceutical sciences teaching experience. She taught at both MCPHS-Boston and CNSU- Elk Grove. Before WCU she held an associate professor position for 7 years at CNSU, where she taught in the PharmD program. Prior to that she taught for 9 years at MCPHS, led a research team and mentored many Masters and PhD students, in addition to directing the Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences Program.

She taught many courses in the PharmD and PhD programs such as Pharmaceutics, Pharmacokinetics, Advanced Physical Pharmacy, Dosage Form Design among others.

She authored scientific papers and presentations in formulation, pre-formulation, and pharmacokinetic simulation

Leanne Coyne, PhD

Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Contact Information
Email: LCoyne@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Coyne earned her B.Sc. in pharmacology and Ph.D. in neuropharmacology from the University of Sunderland in the U.K. Throughout her academic career, Dr. Coyne has taught in a variety of areas, including neuroscience topics including neuroscience, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and renal pharmacology, physiology, and pathophysiology.

After her Ph.D., Dr. Coyne went on to complete post-doctoral positions studying the electrophysiological characteristics of stem-cell derived neurons at the University of Durham in the U.K. and University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

Following her post-doctoral studies, Dr. Coyne continued her academic career, becoming a member of the founding faculty at California Northstate University’s College of Pharmacy. She then moved on the University of Tyler in Texas where she also served in administrative positions as the Director of Assessment and an interim role as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. While at the University of Tyler, Dr. Coyne began to study the impact of virtual reality on learning, a research interest that she has continued to pursue. Dr. Coyne moved back to California in 2019, as a Professor at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at California Health Sciences University and joined West Coast University in 2021.

Marina Dykhne, PharmD, BCACP, APh, CDCES

Interim Director, Experiential Education (APPE) Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Interim Director, Experiential Education (APPE)
Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: mDykhne@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Dykhne is Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist, Advanced Practice Pharmacist and Certified Diabetes Care Education Specialist. Dr Dykhne earned her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree and completed 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.

Dr. Dykhne is currently appointed as Assistant Clinical Professor in Ambulatory Care at West Cost University, School of Pharmacy (WCU SOP). Dr. Dykhne has twice been awarded as the Pharmacy Faculty of the Year (2018, 2020) by the Dean of the School of Pharmacy, Advisor of the Year (2018) and Professor of the Year P2 (2021) by the students of WCU SOP. She practices as a clinical pharmacist in primary care at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) where she focuses on chronic disease management and disease prevention in the areas of cardiovascular health, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes. Her research interests include expanding pharmacists' scope of practice, improving patients access to care and student teaching and learning outcomes.

Dr. Dykhne is a patient and student advocate and encourages student pharmacists to get involved with leadership organizations. She serves as the American Pharmacists Association/California Pharmacists Association/Academy of Student Pharmacist (APhA/CPhA/ASP) student chapter advisor and California Pharmacy Student Leadership (CAPSLEAD) advisor at West Coast University. Under her guidance APhA/CPhA/ASP student chapter became California Pharmacists Association Quiz Bowl Champions in 2018 and 2021, as well as won the Most Innovative Student Chapter Award three years in a row (2019, 2020, 2021).

Dr. Dykhne is greatly involved with the California Pharmacists Association. She served as the President of the San Fernando Valley Pharmacists Association Local CPhA Chapter and Inaugural Chair of CPhA’s Community Pharmacy Special Interest Group and currently serves on the Policy Committee and is a delegate for APhA. She is also the chair of the CAPSLEAD Executive Board.

Adam Kassan, PhD

Associate professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Associate 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.

Dr. Saro Arakelians, PharmD

Director, Experiential Education (IPPE)

Director, Experiential Education (IPPE)

Contact Information
Email: SArakelians@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Saro Arakelians graduated with a Pharm.D. degree in Pharmacy from Northeastern University, Boston, MA. He has more than 16 years of pharmacy practice experience since graduating from pharmacy school in 2006, in various pharmacy practice settings. These include ambulatory care pharmacy, acute care, hospital pharmacy, retail pharmacy, infusion pharmacy, industry, administrative and corporate, consulting pharmacy and pharmacy education settings. His passion for education has directed him towards many publications, as well as teaching opportunities. He has published over 500 articles and medication educational videos and strives to educate and share the pharmacy knowledge, as well as updates, in any setting he has had the opportunity to venture in. Some of his works have been published daily, weekly, monthly, and annually in Pharmacy Times and in ongoing basis.

Dr. Arakelians comes with a colorful background of managing and supervising pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, students, colleagues and has mentored many new graduated pharmacists in their career pursuit. Education, especially in pharmacy, is what Dr. Arakelians finds the most exciting, and is passionate about, and continues to participate in, through various platforms and opportunities.

Among his goals as the Director of Experiential Education is to promote a collaborative teaching method, creative learning culture to advance the pharmacy knowledge towards excellence in the students and future pharmacists. He values working as team, being open to new ideas, and equal opportunities for everyone to push for their best potential in life, especially when it comes to education and learning.

Finally, Dr. Arakelians has an open-door, open-call policy for anyone to ask questions about pharmacy world, for anyone who wants to learn and grow!

As he always says, "Knowledge is only good if you share it, and we should always stay hungry to learn through life!"

Su Lee, PharmD, MS, BCPS, BCIDP

Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Associate 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.

Maya Leiva, PharmD, BCOP

Associate Professor for Pharmacy Practice

Associate Professor for Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: MLeiva@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Maya Leiva, PharmD, BCOP is a Hematology and Oncology Pharmacist and holds a Board Certification in Oncology Pharmacy. She received her pharmacy degree at Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy in 2010. Prior to pharmacy school, she completed her B.S. in Microbiology and was an NIH Fellow in the RISE program while pursuing her M.S. in Microbiology. In addition to practicing in three states, she has held multiple faculty appointments at pharmacy schools across the U.S. She has served as a preceptor to pharmacy students and pharmacy and medical residents and fellows. She has subspecialties in supportive care, immunology, clinical informatics, disaster preparedness, oncology stewardship, and health equity.

She most recently assisted the Inova health System to complete its first Health Equality Index survey through the Human Rights Campaign and spearheaded the development of a cancer health equity program. Her clinical research interests include the use of phytocannabinoids in the supportive care of cancer patients, optimizing supportive care measures for patients experiencing treatment related toxicities, reducing health disparities among historically marginalized communities spanning from cancer screening to diagnosis and treatment, and implementation of oncology stewardship to reduce financial toxicities to patients and health care.

Her passion for addressing disparities also extends into her scholarship interests. She is committed to assessing how social determinants of learning impact the student experience in a terminal clinical degree as well as the longitudinal implementation of cultural humility and trauma informed care curriculum from didactic to experiential education throughout the life span of a clinician's career. She has a collaboration with UCSF and Fresno State Faculty around interdisciplinary education and the opioid crisis and additional collaborations with Dana Farber and the CDC Foundation.

Jessica Louie, PharmD, BCCCP, APh

Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Associate 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, PharmD

Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Associate 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, APH, MEHP

Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: NNielsen@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
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 recently completed a Masters of Education in the Health Professions degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Rahul Nohria, PharmD

Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Associate 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, PhD

Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Associate 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, BCCP

Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Associate 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.

Ayda Awaness, PhD

Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Contact information
Email: AAwaness@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Awaness has worked for many years in academia and retail pharmacies. She received her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree, followed by her Masters and PhD degrees in Pharmaceutics and Pharmacological Sciences, all from Baghdad University, School of Pharmacy.

She worked as Assistant Professor in the Pharmaceutics Department for many years; she then moved to Jordan and worked as Assistant Professor in Al-Isra University, Pharmacy School in Amman, Jordan.

Prior to joining West Coast University, she worked for many years as Pharmacy Educator at different educational institutions in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

Dr. Awaness has many publications related to the field of pharmaceutics and pharmacological sciences, but is most interested in the field of pharmaceutical formulations and ocular drug delivery systems. Her main approach is to improve a novel eye drop for the prevention and treatment of cataract.

Dr. Awaness is ASHP certified for sterile compounding; she has ASHP and AACP membership.

Parna Haghparast, PharmD, BCPS

Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Assistant 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.

Dr. Haghparast earned her Pharm.D. degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She completed an ambulatory care and psychiatry focused residency at The University of Texas Medical Branch‐Correctional Managed Care (UTMB‐CMC).  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 reviews and creation of disease management guidelines.

Post 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 activities.

At West Coast University, Dr. Haghparast serves in multiple School and University level committees. Additionally, she is heavily involved in coordinating and teaching in variety of therapeutics courses and skills lab. 

Dr. Haghparast enjoys scholarly activity and loves involving her students in her research projects. Dr. Haghparast has been involved in multiple research projects including book chapters and scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL). Her research interests include mental health, substance use disorders and chronic disease management.

Yuqin Hu, PharmD, RPh, MS

Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: YHu@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Hu received her B.S. in Biology and her M.S. in Zoology from Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an, China, and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from California Health Sciences University (CHSU). In addition, she did doctorate research in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) in Beijing. Prior to joining WCU, Dr. Hu served as an Academic Fellow and Post-Graduate Instructor, as well as an Assistant Professor, at CHSU.

During her initial career Dr. Hu taught biology in secondary schools as well as genomics and biology teaching methods at Xinjiang Normal University in Urumqi, China. Later she conducted molecular biology research via DNA mapping and genome sequencing at the University of California, Davis.  She has taught many courses in the PharmD program including Patient Care series, Pharmaceuticals, and Natural Medicine.

She is involved with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP), and the Team-Based Learning Collaborative (TBLC). Dr. Hu is passionate about teaching with focus on creating a safe learning environment, instilling critical thinking, and mentoring students to become well-rounded pharmacists. Her practice interests include clinical settings and innovative pharmacy services.

Dr. Catherine Hughes, PharmD

Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: CHughes@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Hughes received her Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She then earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the accelerated program at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Worcester. Dr. Hughes completed her ASHP accredited PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice residency in acute care at Adventist Health Glendale. During residency, Dr. Hughes served as a preceptor for both IPPE and APPE students on rotation while obtaining a post-doctorate teaching certificate through West Coast University, School of Pharmacy.

Her longitudinal project focused on the impact of pharmacist intervention on patients that suffered an acute myocardial infarction. Her areas of interest include internal medicine, infectious disease, and transitions of care. Dr. Hughes is also a member of Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society.

Tina Menedjian, PharmD

Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact Information
Email: TMenedjian@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Menedjian obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Her Doctor of Pharmacy degree was conferred by Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, in 2019. She then completed an ASHP accredited PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Kaiser Permanente (KP) Medical Center in Riverside, California, where she obtained a post-doctorate teaching certificate through ASHP. Her PGY1 provided versatile training in ambulatory care, acute care, and transitions of care pharmacy settings, in addition to longitudinal leadership and research development. Through training at KP, Dr. Menedjian also established a solid foundation and interest in preventative care and mind-body wellness. 

She maintains involvement with local pharmacy associations, the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP), and the Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS) Pharmacy Leadership Society. With her role as academician, she aims to inspire and mentor students to become clinically astute and compassionate providers, excellent collaborators within the multidisciplinary healthcare settings, and innovative leaders within the pharmacy profession.

Marc Salvatus, PharmD

Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Contact information
Email: Msalvatus@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Salvatus received his Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. He earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from West Coast University, School of Pharmacy, as a member of the 2018 inaugural class. Dr. Salvatus completed an ASHP accredited PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Adventist Health Glendale, where he obtained a post-doctorate teaching certificate through West Coast University, School of Pharmacy. During his residency, Dr. Salvatus assisted in the implementation of a pharmacist-driven protocol to utilize the MRSA PCR test for rapid de-escalation of MRSA-targeted antibiotic therapy for pneumonia. His current areas of interest include infectious disease and health information technology.

Joe Su, PhD

Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

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.

Catherine Van, PharmD

Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Assistant 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.

Staff

Alexander Castaneda

Program Assistant

Program Assistant

Contact Information
Email: AlCastaneda@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Alex has been with WCU since Summer 2019 and has contributed to the success of the program by providing administrative support to the School of Pharmacy. 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.

Alex also has an extensive professional background in Business Administration, Social Media Management, and most recently, Project Management. He recently received the “Asana Project Management” certificate from the University of San Diego, and is now aiming to become a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) in the near future.

Brenda Chum

Experiential Education Coordinator

Experiential Education Coordinator

Contact Information
Email: BChum@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Brenda Chum is from Long Beach, CA and received her Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Certificate in Health Care Administration from California State University, Long Beach. She has over 5 years of working in a school and medical setting. Brenda always enjoyed working with students and patients in both fields and it is very rewarding and exciting to be part of the WCU team as she have always wanted to be in a career that involved an educational setting.

Christina Collard, MA

Admissions Advisor

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.

Reanna Gibbs

Academic Support Coordinator

Academic Support Coordinator

Contact Information
Email: RGibbs@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Reanna has over five years of experience working as an academic advisor and coordinator for on-ground and online universities and colleges. She has worked at universities and college across the nation, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Reanna has worked alongside a diverse group of individuals and continues her collaboration in projects across the country. She uses her background and experiences to connect with students and help them achieve their academic goals.

Reanna earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Riverside while competing as a Division I collegiate athlete in both women’s soccer and women’s track and field. Following her bachelor’s degree, she coached collegiate athletics for several years, which included mentoring and advising student-athletes in academics and academic NCAA compliance. She completed her master’s degree at The University of Concordia, Irvine in athletic administration. 

Currently, Reanna is enrolled in a Doctor of Education program. In addition, she continues her involvement in cultural and non-profit organizations. She is a leader in her community and strives to learn how she can positively impact students and those around her. Reanna has a passion for helping others to dream big and make those dreams become a reality.

Annie Mouradian, MA

Student Affairs Advisor

Student Affairs Advisor

Contact Information
Email: aMouradian@westcoastuniversity.edu                      

Biography
Annie received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Communication Studies from California State University Northridge. As an undergraduate at CSUN, she served on the board of the Communication Association as the Publicist and held a position as a Student Ambassador through the San Francisco Regional Center.    

As the Student Advisor in the School of Pharmacy, Annie is able to integrate her knowledge and skills in communication with her passion for encouraging student growth and success throughout their academic journey. Prior to her current role as a student services professional, she served as the Administrative Assistant in the School of Pharmacy, maintaining operational efficiency and supporting over 20 faculty in both departments of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Aside from higher education, Annie has experience in various professional settings, including client services and public relations.  

Diana Santoyo

Experiential Education Coordinator

Experiential Education Coordinator

Contact Information
Email: DSantoyo@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Diana Santoyo earned her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Sciences degrees from the University of California, Davis. Diana is currently pursuing her Master of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from the University of Southern California. Prior to joining West Coast University School of Pharmacy, she worked at California Northstate University College of Pharmacy in the Experiential Education Department. Diana is passionate about collaborating with higher education stakeholders to advance educational equity and achievement for all students.

WATCH & LEARN

Are you wondering what the WCU School of Pharmacy is really like? Hear from our alumni!

FAQs
How does WCU School of Pharmacy support students preparing for the NAPLEX exam?

Faculty assist students in preparation for the NAPLEX through multiple mechanisms, including:

  • Board preparation courses in the fourth professional year (P4 ): PHAR 997, PHAR 998, and PHAR 999 (See Catalog). The courses/ topics run concurrent with the timing of students’ APPE rotations
  • A three-week NAPLEX Masterclass is taught by faculty during PHAR 999 immediately after students have completed all their APPE rotations (end of P4 year)
  • A one-week “live” (in-person) NAPLEX course taught by RxPrep is delivered during the PHAR 999 course, after students have completed all their APPE rotations
  • P4 students receive an RxPrep book with access to practice test questions
  • School provides P4 students one on one tutoring in calculations
How active are WCU School of Pharmacy Alumni with the Program?

The School, through the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) maintains contact with alumni in California, across the US, and internationally through professional association meetings, email, LinkedIn, social media, and alumni engagement events. OSA has invited alumni to engage current students and participate in on-campus or virtual events. Alumni also participated in video- interviews and testimonials about their experiences when in our PharmD program. We also take great pride in the fact that a graduate from our inaugural cohort (Class of 2018) returned to WCU to become a pharmacy faculty member after completing a post-graduate residency. Our alumni have also participated in panel discussions sponsored by Career Services to engage our current students in an audience Question and Answer format. Four alumni from the Class of 2018 are being video-interviewed so they can share their individual experiences while in the program in the School’s early years (2014-2018).

Where are the WCU School of Pharmacy graduates working today?

Our graduates practice in various pharmacy practice areas.  For more information please click here.

How many years is a PharmD program?

WCU's PharmD program takes approximately 4 years to complete.

Are all pharmacists PharmD?

To become a pharmacist, you need to have a Doctorate in Pharmacy, which is abbreviated as PharmD.

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