Marshall University and the School of
Pharmacy held a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday to signify the beginning of
the brand new school. The ceremony along with a white coat ceremony over the
weekend was the culmination of three years of developing a doctorate of pharmacy
program. Delilah Navarro is one of the first students in the program.
“This week has been a little stressful
because we’re getting everything started and it’s a new program and a lot of
the faculty doesn’t know much about us yet, but overall it’s really exciting.
I’m from Texas, far away and I didn’t expect such a welcoming,” Navarro said.
The School of Pharmacy got the green
light to start teaching classes this fall when it was granted pre-candidate
accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education in
June. Pre-candidate accreditation for the doctoral program extends through June 30, 2013.
on-site evaluation will take place during the upcoming school year. The
accreditation process consists of three steps, culminating with graduates of
the first class in 2016. The Dean of the School of Pharmacy
is Kevin Yingling.
“This place, the Marshall University
School of Pharmacy is that kind of place, it will make a difference for students,
for faculty, for research for the future of pharmacy this institution will make
a difference,” Yingling said.
The School of Pharmacy is located at the
Robert W. Coon Education
Building on the grounds of the
Huntington VA Medical center in Wayne
County, just outside of Huntington. The $9.3
million renovation project on the building resulted in 76,000-square-foot facility.
“Over the last three years the abilities
and skills of many people have shown the actions necessary to move a mountain
to change the medical education building into the Coon Educational Building
which houses the school of pharmacy and the Marshall University School of
Medicine,” Yingling said.
The doctorate program is a
two-plus-four, meaning students complete their standard classes during their
first two years, then move into the pharmacy program.
the 80 students in the first class, about half will enter through this track,
while the rest have already earned at least a bachelor's degree. Marshall
University President Stephen Kopp is excited for the opening of the school.
“This is a difference maker
for Marshall University, this is a difference maker for our community, our
region and our state, this is a school that will become nationally renowned
under Kevin’s leadership and the leadership of the faculty,” Kopp said.
The 80 students who comprise the inaugural class
hail from more than a dozen states. Approximately 40 percent of the class
members are West Virginia residents, followed by 29 percent from Kentucky and
the remainder from other states including Hawaii, Florida, New York and Texas.
Kopp said past experiences with schools of pharmacy have him excited about this
“This is not the first new school of pharmacy that
I’ve been involved with, this is my second one, I can tell you the quality and
caliber of the faculty and leadership of this school is second to none,” Kopp
Delilah Navarro said feels right at home in
“I feel like this is family and I’m taking it with
pride because this is a big accomplishment for a lot of us to even get into
pharmacy school and to be a part of the inaugural class is, it’s icing on the
cake,” Navarro said.
The program will accept 80 students per year and
double its faculty size from 15 to 30 within three years.