September 28, 2021
Joseph Dikun is no stranger to the University of Mississippi and the School of Pharmacy. He has been a graduate student at the university for several years, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in pharmacy administration.
This year, he also became one of the school’s newest faculty members. Dikun now serves as an instructional assistant professor of pharmacy administration, as his role helps educate a new generation of student pharmacists.
Get to know Dikun in the Q&A below:
Where are you from?
What is your educational & professional background?
I received my B.S. in Biology from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio, in 2007. I then went on to receive my Pharm.D. from the Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, Ohio, in 2011. Finally, I have completed an Interprofessional Certificate in Applied Statistics from the Graduate School here in 2017. I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in pharmacy administration here at the University of Mississippi. The majority of my professional experience to date has been in community pharmacy management and research consultation.
What brought you to the University of Mississippi?
As a student, it was the advice of trusted advisors and mentors that led me to consider the University of Mississippi. The doctoral training here allowed the flexibility, like-minded colleagues and the intellectual opportunities I was looking for to support my growth.
What do you do in your role as a faculty member?
I am currently an instructional assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Administration. My primary responsibility provides a variety of teaching opportunities throughout the professional curriculum. In addition, I serve as a Personal and Professional Development (PPD) Advisor and as a member of the Student Faculty Relations Committee. The bottom line is, I am here to assist in the success of our student pharmacists.
What drew you to the School of Pharmacy?
When an opportunity for a faculty role came up in the School of Pharmacy, it was hard not to resist applying. The School of Pharmacy community strives for a commitment to research and clinical expertise that allows for a motivating and exciting environment to contribute.
What are some of your career highlights?
I have had the pleasure of serving the profession on a local, state, national and international level, but it all comes back to the moments with student pharmacists. Sharing experiences with trainees in Beijing, China, for several years, problem-solving alongside prior students in difficult community practice environments, receiving the “Friend of the Student” Award during my time as a graduate teaching assistant and co-advising our APhA-ASP chapter to regional & national recognition have been some of my fondest moments.
How do you describe your work or research to people outside of the field?
My research interests include understanding student professional development, how better we prepare student pharmacists for leadership and supporting community pharmacy practice advancement.
What do you hope students gain from their classroom experiences?
Each and every interaction I have with student pharmacists is a real honor. Someone has traded their time, resources and instilled trust in me. I hope to support professional socialization directly, challenge beliefs and stimulate an unwavering expectation for serving the profession.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Music is like oxygen for me, and a day is never complete without actually “listening” to music, strumming the guitar or writing melodies at the piano. I love live arts of any kind (especially concerts and theatre), film (especially documentaries), street photography, whittling, reading short stories and golfing/disc golfing.
Anything else we should know?
I’m still not sure what I want to do when I grow up! I’m sure student pharmacists can relate. I’m here to encourage them to keep their doors open and continue to do great things along the way as they decide where they best fit in our profession. My advice is to not avoid moments for growth, to not fear changing course as you learn more about yourself, and to, finally, seek out and even create how you wish to uniquely contribute to the profession. Excitingly, there is not one right way to do good for the patient.