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Dr. Jennifer Hookstra is new chair of SIUE Department of Pharmacy Practice

SOP Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice Jennifer Hookstra, BSPharm, PharmD, MBA, CDECS, FNAP. (SIUE photo)

Putting students first, a high quality of teaching and learning and a collaborative culture are a few reasons Jennifer Hookstra, BSPharm, PharmD, MBA, CDECS, FNAP, wanted to work at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s School of Pharmacy (SOP).

Professor Hookstra, who started at the University a month ago, is the new chair of Department of Pharmacy Practice.

“So far, I would give us an A for our approach to teaching and desire to create a supportive environment for students,” said Hookstra.

“The department is made up of so many hard-working individuals. I chose to come here because the faculty and staff are authentic and unabashedly dedicated to being student-centered, and it shows in their graduates.”

Hookstra has already formulated some ideas for the SOP, but she says collaboration is key to developing a roadmap.

“I would like the vision for our department to be co-created together based on our strengths and talents,” she noted. “My preferred style is strengths-based leadership, and I’d like to ground our vision for the future in who we are and what we do best.”

“We will take time together to rediscover our strengths and then lean into what sets us apart as a department, school and institution,” Hookstra continued.

However, Hookstra was clear and insistent about her desire to support faculty and staff.

“After our curriculum overhaul and recent accreditation, during the pandemic no less, we have been resilient and now need energy and recovery,” shared Hookstra. “I hope to facilitate space for the personal work our faculty and staff need to replenish and re-energize.”

“I would like to explore time, space and programming for our mid-career faculty to discover their passions and purpose,” she continued. “We have a relatively large number of faculty who have achieved promotion to associate and full professor. I’d like to find ways to infuse new energy that aligns with who they are, so that they feel supported for the second half of their career.”

Hookstra came to SIUE from the University of Washington (UW) School of Pharmacy, where she was the Lynn and Geraldine Endowed Professor and associate dean for Professional Education. Among her various leadership roles in higher education, Hookstra has served as the academic lead for interprofessional education (IPE) and supervisor for the Office of Professional Pharmacy Education, which included the areas of academic affairs, student affairs, enrollment management and experiential education.

She is a member of the Board of Directors for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and completed the AACP Academic Leadership Fellows Program in 2017.  Additionally, Hookstra is an associate editor for the “Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice” and is a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academy of Practice (NAP).

But as to her future work at SIUE, Hookstra said, “I would like for us to find new and better ways to let others know about the experience of studying and working here at SIUE. The faculty are fiercely committed to supporting students and each other to be the best we can be. Graduates of our program talk about how that kind of atmosphere and support is transformational and down-right magical.”

“I will strive to find ways for us to share more about our strengths and successes with others outside of our community,” she confided. “I want others from around Illinois and across the nation to know what a special place this is to become a pharmacist.”

Today’s pharmacists improve patients’ lives through the medication and education they provide. Dedicated to developing a community of caring pharmacists, the SIUE School of Pharmacy curriculum is a model that offers students a unique combination of classroom education, research, community service and patient care. The School of Pharmacy’s areas of excellence include a drug design and discovery core; pediatric practice; chronic pain research and practice; and diabetes research and practice. As the only downstate Illinois pharmacy doctorate program, the SIUE School of Pharmacy is providing highly trained pharmacists prepared for the rapidly changing healthcare environment.

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