June 25, 2020
OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy recognized four of its faculty members for their excellence in and commitment to teaching, service and research during its virtual Faculty and Research Scientist Advancement.
“We are fortunate to have a team of faculty and research scientists that goes above and beyond,” said David D. Allen, dean of the School of Pharmacy. “It’s always a privilege for me to celebrate the work they do for our students, school and the profession with these awards.”
Noa Valcarcel was presented the Faculty Instructional Innovation Award, given to a faculty member who utilized cutting-edge teaching techniques.
The instructional assistant professor of pharmacology used numerous methods of language learning in her class Spanish for Pharmacist. A highlight of the semester came as Valcarcel, student pharmacists and other faculty members put together a service-learning outreach project, providing a free health screening to Oxford’s Hispanic community.
Through the event, student pharmacists became more aware of the area’s diverse patient population and were able to practice and counsel Spanish-speaking patients in a safe, supervised environment. The project was also recognized on the 2020 Honor Roll of the UM Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.
Lauren Bloodworth, clinical associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, was awarded the Faculty Service Award for her dedicated support to the school and profession.
Bloodworth is an active member of national and state associations, and mentors pharmacy students as faculty advisor for student organizations. She volunteered her time with the Mississippi Dental Association’s Mission of Mercy and coordinated the school’s involvement with the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi’s local walk, both of which saw high numbers of student volunteers.
She has focused her service efforts on Mississippi communities, providing care for high-risk patients in the state’s most underserved region with cardiovascular screenings and opioid initiatives, to name a few.
Michael Repka, chair and distinguished professor of pharmaceutics and drug delivery and director of the Pii Center for Pharmaceutical Technology, was recognized for his research with the Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. Faculty Research Award.
Known internationally as a pioneer in drug delivery using hot melt extrusion technology, Repka has helped bring in over $8.9 million in total grant and contract funding, including over $3 million during the last three years.
Repka is an inventor on several U.S. and international patents owned by the university. These technologies include a novel method of treating fungal nail and a topically applied bioadhesive formulation that compromises two active ingredients for the treatment of such conditions as skin rashes and mouth ulcers.
Jason Paris received the New Investigator Award that honors a new faculty member for their contributions to research and the school.
An assistant professor of pharmacology, Paris has secured multiple major funding opportunities, as the total for these grants is nearly $1.1 million. Paris has published a total of 58 peer-reviewed papers, including 11 published since he joined the school three years ago.
He has also influenced graduate and undergraduate students through his commitment to training and mentoring. He serves on multiple thesis and dissertation committees, while many of the students he works with have received awards and fellowships.