June 22, 2022
For a pharmacy student, the classroom is only part of their education. Getting that real-world experience can make all the difference.
Fortunately for students at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, Robert Metzger is here to help. Metzger works with the Experiential Program, which places pharmacy students in practice settings where they can learn by doing . He also works with the preceptors, making sure they have what they need to support students.
This year, the student body selected Metzger as a recipient of the annual Friend of the Student Award.
Get to know more about Metzger, his work and his life in this Q&A:
Where are you from?
I am originally from Raymond, Mississippi and grew up there before moving to Oxford to attend Ole Miss. After graduation, I moved to Augusta, Georgia for a couple of years while completing a Master’s program and working at Augusta University. I now reside in Flowood, Mississippi with my wife Gina and our children Gemma, Hadley, and Oliver.
When and why did you come to work with the School of Pharmacy?
After completing my Master’s degree, I was looking for an opportunity to move back closer to home and came across a posting for a position at the School of Pharmacy in Jackson. I had a great interview with Dr. Kris Harrell and Dr. Leigh Ann Ross and was soon after offered the position and started work here in December 2008.
What are your responsibilities with the School of Pharmacy?
I work in our Experiential Program with Dr. Laurie Fleming and Krissy Gilbert on the Jackson campus. Our office is responsible for all rotation activities completed by Pharmacy students in the P1 – P4 years. In my role, I work a great deal with our rotation scheduling through all 4 years of the program and helping students navigate the requirements for their individual rotation sites. I also work with all our preceptors that are hosting our students for rotation experiences and keeping them informed of all the happenings within our experiential world. We have a really great team in our Experiential Office that I believe provides a first class experience for our students and preceptors throughout the year.
What are some highlights of your time with the school?
I have always been very blessed to work with great leaders and colleagues in my time at the School of Pharmacy and consider that a great highlight of my time here. Another highlight was when we transitioned to our own building here on the Jackson campus. Previously, we had been split between two buildings so it was nice to finally all join together in our own space and improve our collaboration as a department.
What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
The best professional advice I ever received was simply to work hard and make yourself an indispensable asset to those around you. I try to live that every day and put everything I have into the work that I do.
What are your hobbies?
In my free time I enjoy spending time and traveling with my family. We enjoy attending Ole Miss football games, going to the beach, and making annual trips to Walt Disney World.
How did it feel to be honored by the students?
It really is an incredible honor and especially so considering it comes from the students. I truly enjoy the work that I do and having the opportunity to work with and help students progress through their pharmacy education. It means a great deal to me personally to know that I was able to have that type of impact to garner such great recognition from the students.