Helping UNTHSC be ‘the best in pharmacy’


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By Jan Jarvis


 
Andrew Weis grew up in a family of pharmacists. His father, mother and brother chose careers in pharmacy, as did he.

“Pharmacy has been in my blood a long time,” Dr. Weis said. “Collectively my parents, brother and I have 175 years of pharmacy experience.”

His dedication to the profession expanded beyond his own career with Cumberland Pharmaceuticals in 2011 when he saw a newspaper story about a pharmacy school in Fort Worth.

“It excited me so much that I decided to volunteer,” he said.

He’s been finding ways to support the UNT System College of Pharmacy ever since. In 2012 he introduced himself to founding dean Myron Jacobson, PhD, and asked how he could get involved, said Tina Machu, PhD, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, UNT System College of Pharmacy.

“He showed great enthusiasm for our brand new college and wanted to see how he could participate,” she said.

The next academic year he taught some classes. He also served on the curriculum committee that interviewed the first class.

More recently, his role has been philanthropy, starting with his establishment of the MET award for outstanding young pharmacy faculty, Dr. Machu said. The MET award was named for Dr. Jacobson, his wife and researcher Dr. Elaine Jacobson and Dr. Machu, using the first letter of their first names.

“I wanted to honor those teachers who were brave enough to take risk by coming to a new school,” Dr. Weis said. “The MET award was created to honor and inspire young pharmacy faculty.”

In May 2016, Katura Bullock, PharmD, received the inaugural MET award of $1,500. The following year it went to Amulya Tatachar, PharmD.

In 2016, he began offering the Student Travel Award Scholarship to defray costs for those who interview for residency positions in other cities. Recipients of the $500 award are Mark Gehrig and Katrina D’Souza.

This year he established the Weis Family Award for Clinical Excellence, which went to Vinodha Sadasivam. He also established the Weiss Family Academic Achievement Award, which went to Hyunjae Oh.

Dr. Weis said his goal in establishing the away is inspire students to find their true potential.

“I want to encourage students to explore the field and pick out what they like best,” he said. “I want them to listen to their heart and be the best in pharmacy.”

Dr. Weis is a champion of the profession of pharmacy and of the college, said Charles Taylor, PharmD, Dean and Professor, UNT System College of Pharmacy.

“His passion to make a positive difference in the lives of others culminates in many ways,” Dr. Taylor said. “He donates his time to mentoring our student pharmacists about the career paths available to them. He advises the college on emerging trends that present opportunities for our future. He invests in student pharmacist success through generous gifts that provide meaningful opportunities for our students.”

Dr. Weis said from the start he shared a common vision with the pharmacy school and wanted to be a part of it.

“I found a home here, philosophically speaking,” he said. “Knowing this institution and seeing its evolution and growth is really one of the highlights of my life.”

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