Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy Dean Mark Luer, PharmD, has appointed Jessica Kerr, PharmD, as associate dean of professional and student affairs, and Monica Kempland, PhD, as experiential education coordinator.
Kerr’s appointment is subject to SIU Board of Trustees approval.
Kerr has served as interim associate dean since September 2018. During her interim term, Kerr developed multiple programs that have aided in amplifying recruitment and admissions efforts. ASSET, a new student ambassador program for the School, received a tremendous response with 32 current students serving as mentors, student advisors for the Pre-Pharmacy Association and assisting with development opportunities.
Additionally, Kerr established the School’s Rxcellence program. The community pipeline initiative creatively connects current students with high school students in the region to inspire and share the possibilities of a career in pharmacy.
In 2020, Kerr will launch the EXPLORING Pharmacy program to engage 14-21-year-olds interested in learning more about the profession prior to applying for school. She is also actively collaborating with the School’s Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator to advance programming for populations including veterans and underrepresented minorities with the goal of further diversifying the SOP student body.
“Dr. Kerr is a forward-thinking individual who is highly student-centered,” said SOP Dean Mark Luer. “Her skill as a faculty mentor, experience as a leader in the profession and background in admissions, academic standards, and community engagement are significant. She understands the profession and is creative in developing new initiatives. We look forward to her success in this new role.”
“Student success is my goal,” said Kerr, who joined the SOP in 2005 as a faculty member in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. “As associate dean, I have the ability to make an impact on a higher scale, and I plan to do that while listening to those I serve.
“This role is exciting and challenging every day. With the help of faculty, staff and students, the SIUE School of Pharmacy will continue its growth as a premier institution, and I am proud to support that mission.”
Prior to her appointment as experiential education coordinator, Kempland worked as the director of SOP Student Services. She brings 12 years of academic advising experience to the role with extensive doctoral research experience focused on student development theory, pre-professional health advising and anxiety reduction among college-aged students.
“Dr. Kempland has a PhD in higher education administration and understands the specialized needs of the Doctor of Pharmacy program,” Luer noted. “Her past experiences in student advising well position her to integrate personal and professional development within the experiential education components of the curriculum.”
As experiential education coordinator, Kempland works cooperatively with a variety of external healthcare sites to ensure students are able to apply the skills and knowledge learned in the didactic curriculum to a real patient population.
Kempland coordinates the personal and professional development curriculum for current Doctor of Pharmacy students, preparing them to become leaders and innovators in the pharmacy profession. She will also be facilitating students’ engagement in co-curricular activities, and collaborating with pharmacy preceptors who guide SOP students in their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences, which comprise approximately 30 percent of their PharmD education.
“I appreciate providing support and encouragement to students, and am inspired by the dedication that our PharmD students have not only toward achieving their educational successes, but also in truly helping others,” Kempland said. “I hope to encourage our students to reflect upon their strengths, knowledge and leadership that they have honed through involvement in personal and professional development opportunities, to allow them to serve others through professional practice.”
PHOTO: SIUE School of Pharmacy, from left, Associate Dean Jessica Kerr, PharmD, and Experiential Education Coordinator Monica Kempland, PhD.