URI College of Pharmacy professors win national teaching competition

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KINGSTON, R.I. – May 4, 2009 – Three University of Rhode Island pharmacy professors are celebrating the University’s first victory in the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Innovations in Teaching Competition.

Clinical Assistant Professor Erica Estus of Wakefield, and Professors Anne Hume of Portsmouth and Norma Owens of Providence received the award for their work in a professional level elective course offered at URI since the fall of 2007. The class, “Advanced Pharmacotherapy in Geriatrics,” covers broad issues in pharmacotherapy for older persons, such as age-related physiologic changes.

“The elective emphasizes innovative active learning strategies and diverse teaching methods to engage pharmacy students,” said Estus on the award application. “The results demonstrate a significant improvement in knowledge, aging perceptions, and ability to communicate with older adults.”

“The purposes of the Innovations in Teaching Competition are to identify innovative teaching and learning strategies and assessment methods. The competition provides an opportunity to engage faculty in a process of documenting their scholarly approach to teaching and learning,” said Jennifer Patton, director of institutional research and data systems for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

For winning, the pharmacy professors will have the opportunity to present their work during the association’s annual meeting, which will take place from July 18 to 22 in Boston.

Though URI has not won the competition before, it has been recognized in the past. In 2006, Associate Professor Kelly Orr received an honorable mention in the competition for a research article she wrote titled “Integrating Virtual Patients into a Self Care Course.”