On Oct. 23, 2021, Professor Robbie Kidd, Pharm.D., Ph.D., began his tenure as interim dean of Shenandoah’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy (BJDSOP). Dr. Kidd took over from Rob DiCenzo, Pharm.D., who started as dean in 2016.
Kidd, who said he was excited and honored to be chosen as interim dean, has been a faculty member at the BJDSOP since 1998, when its first graduating class was starting its third year of the program. “One of my claims to fame is having taught every student who has ever graduated from the BJDSOP. The people and the culture are definitely what make the SOP so special and what have kept me here for so long. The faculty, staff, students, and alumni are all incredible. We call ourselves a pharmily, and I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”
In this new role, Kidd said his number one goal is to refocus on the first half of the pharmacy school’s mission statement: “We are a student-centered learning community…” “It takes more thought, input, data, and discussion to be truly student- or learner-centered but that is why we are here,” he said. “My new standard question is, ‘What do/will the students think about that?’”
His student-centered focus is unsurprising. He is a two-time recipient of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) SU teacher of year award and is a fellow of the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE).
He also led the development and implementation of Shenandoah University’s SARS-CoV-2 pooled saliva surveillance testing program, which continues to be an important part of the university’s operations.
The testing role taken on by the pharmacy school is revealing, in terms of both the role pharmacy plays within the health care landscape, and what is required to best train the next generation of pharmacy professionals. “The pharmacy profession has been evolving for many years and at Shenandoah we have always strived to prepare our students for the future of pharmacy practice. Our dual degree PharmD/MS in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine is a great example,” said Kidd, whose research interests are in the areas of pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenomics, and who often involves students in his research projects.
“Since pharmacists are the most accessible health care provider, another great example is pharmacists’ expanded role in vaccinations,” he added. “In recent years, more than half of all flu shots in the U.S. have been administered at pharmacies, which has had a huge impact on public health. During the pandemic, pharmacists’ role in public health has dramatically expanded with COVID testing and COVID vaccinations.”
The pharmily is headed in a great direction already, as it focuses on both the current needs of its learners and the future of the profession. “I am grateful to everyone who has shared their ideas with me because together we are already making a number of positive changes within the school,” he said.