Kathy Webster, PharmD, PhD
Founding Dean, Professor
Kathy D. Webster, PharmD, PhD, was named the KGI School of Pharmacy's founding dean and will help guide it through the accreditation process. Dr. Webster has extensive experience helping to establish and working with new schools of pharmacy, including the University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Pharmacy, where she recently served as professor and associate dean of academic affairs. Previously, she was the assistant dean and chair of pharmaceutical sciences and a professor at Feik School of Pharmacy, University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. She held several positions at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, including director of science education outreach, director of the pharmaceutical analysis laboratory and associate and assistant professor of medicinal chemistry. Also, as head of the analytical section there, she helped found and develop the Campbell University Pharmaceutical Sciences Institute (CUPSI), which provides contract services to small local and regional pharmaceutical companies. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and a PhD in medicinal chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
"The talents and resources possessed by KGI, as well as their biopharmaceutical and clinical partners, provide an opportunity to push the education of future pharmacists to a new level. I'm very happy to be a part of this truly unique, challenging and exciting endeavor."
Gail Orum-Alexander, PharmD
Associate Dean for Assessment and Faculty Development, Professor of Clinical and Administrative Sciences
Gail Orum-Alexander has spent the largest portion of her career focusing on advancing health professions education. Prior to joining KGI, she spent seven years as the Dean of the College of Science and Health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, where she was responsible for the development, implementation, and accreditation processes of such programs as Nursing, Pharmacy Technology, Physician Assistant, Public Health, and Radiologic Technology. In her capacity as a faculty member, Dr. Orum developed and taught pharmacology curriculum to nursing, physician assistant, and nuclear medicine technology students. She also held an adjunct faculty appointment at the USC Keck School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Physician Assistant Program. Her research involves the impact of medication non-adherence on health outcomes for medically disadvantaged populations. Dr. Orum has served as the principal investigator or co-investigator on several grants, some of which were funded by the US Department of Education, California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She holds membership in many organizations, and has served on numerous boards and committees including the National Library of Medicine Environmental Health Information Partnership, Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, and the Health Careers Connection Advisory Committee. In addition to her academic career, Dr. Orum has had the opportunity to practice in numerous pharmacy settings including investigational drug services, chain pharmacy, long-term care pharmacy, home infusion services and HMO. She earned the Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California-School of Pharmacy. As the associate dean for assessment and faculty development, Dr. Orum will oversee the development and implementation of assessment and faculty development programs for the School of Pharmacy (SoP).
Samit Shah, PhD, MBA, RPh
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Chair of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Sidney J. Weinberg Professor
Dr. Shah joins the KGI School of Pharmacy from South University School of Pharmacy (SUSOP), where he served as an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He received several awards related to teaching effectiveness at SUSOP and played key roles on the Assessment, Curriculum, Technology and Admissions committees. His research in the area of chemical biology has been published in top journals such as Angewandte Chemie, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nature Protocols and Nucleic Acids Research. His current research interests include the development of a novel siRNA delivery system that allows selective activation of RNAi in cancer cells and the study of metabolism-based drug-drug interactions. Dr. Shah earned a B.S. in pharmacy from North Gujarat University, a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Missouri–Kansas City (UMKC), and an MBA from South University. He received post-doctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Shah is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Georgia and Washington and has worked as a PRN pharmacist and pharmacist-in-charge at Rite Aid Pharmacy and HealthQwest Clinic, respectively. As the assistant dean and chair of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Shah has primary oversight of administrative functions for the biopharmaceutical sciences faculty and will take a leading role in developing innovative teaching, research and service programs for the School of Pharmacy.
"Advances in life sciences have resulted in the development of a number of new biotechnology-derived drugs and diagnostics in recent years. I’m looking forward to utilizing KGI’s strong ties with the biotech industry to help develop a state-of-the-art PharmD program that prepares the pharmacy leaders of tomorrow."
Armen Simonian, PharmD
Assistant Dean and Chair of Clinical and Administrative Sciences, Associate Professor
Dr. Simonian joins the KGI School of Pharmacy from Sharp HealthCare in San Diego where he was the system pharmacy informaticist involved with the evaluation, selection, training, implementation, enhancement and support of all pharmacy computer systems and automation at the six Sharp hospitals.
Armen Simonian completed his prerequisites at the University of California, Los Angeles, received his Pharm.D. degree from the University of Southern California and completed a specialized residency in pharmacy computer systems with the University of California, San Francisco. In addition to his informaticist role, he has accumulated extensive dispensing and clinical pharmacist work experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings throughout the Los Angeles and San Diego regions. Over the past two decades, Dr. Simonian has held adjunct clinical professor status at a number of pharmacy schools and has precepted a total of 90 pharmacy students and residents from across the country on 6-week experiential rotations in pharmacy administration and informatics. He has also taught pharmacy technician courses for the San Diego Regional Occupational Program and at San Diego State University.
Dr. Simonian has been active in the health-system pharmacy societies at the national, state and local levels. Both ASHP and CSHP have recognized him as a Fellow, acknowledging his practice excellence.
Andrea L. Cooper, PharmD, MPH, BCPS
Assistant Dean for Pharmacy and Industry Relations, Professor of Practice
Dr. Cooper joins KGI School of Pharmacy from Sanofi Pharmaceuticals, where she was a Senior Regional Medical Liaison in the therapeutic area of cardiovascular disease. In this field-based medical affairs role, her primary responsibilities focused on scientific support of research sites, disease state education, medical information support, and relationship building with cardiology thought leaders. Prior to her 12 years at Sanofi she was an Assistant Professor at the USC School of Pharmacy where she co-coordinated the 3rd year didactic cardiovascular therapeutics course and maintained an ambulatory care practice site at the VA West Los Angeles. At her practice site she precepted 4th year students and coordinated the educational experience for all USC APPE students rotating through the institution. Early in her career in pharmacy Dr. Cooper served as a military pharmacist in the U.S. Navy where she had the honor and pleasure of providing outpatient and inpatient clinical pharmacy services to U.S. service members and their families.
Dr. Cooper earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University Of Southern California School Of Pharmacy and her Master of Public Health from the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She is Board Certified in Pharmacotherapy and has a certificate in Ambulatory Care Pharmacy. Dr. Cooper is a licensed pharmacist in California and Nevada. She is a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the National Lipid Association, the American Heart Association, the Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society, and the Rho Chi Pharmacy Academic Honor Society. As the Assistant Dean of Pharmacy and Industry Relations, Dr. Cooper has primary responsibility for developing and maintaining industry relationships and opportunities for PharmD students in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and healthcare industry.
Minh Dang, RPh
Assistant Dean for Experiential Education
Minh Dang has a great deal of experience working with young professionals beginning their careers in pharmacy and in implementing educational programs for pharmacists. Prior to joining the KGI School of Pharmacy's administrative team, she served as the manager of professional and college relations at CVS Caremark where she was instrumental in developing the company's college recruitment and relations programs. She also played a vital role in expanding the CVS Caremark Preceptor Program, including appointing more than 275 certified preceptors and established a Structured Summer Internship Program. Previously, she was an assistant professor at UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and held several management positions at Albertsons/Sav-On, Inc. Ms. Dang is active on several advisory boards, including the community advisory boards of the Pharmacy Foundation of California and the San Diego Pharmacist Resource and Research Network. She holds a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science. As the assistant dean for experiential education, Ms. Dang will be responsible for securing affiliation agreements for experiential education sites and conducting and supervising site visits.
"I'm proud and excited to be a part in this pioneering effort that will train the next generation of PharmD's to deliver specialized medical care and work in a variety of professional settings. A key component of SoP's experiential learning program will be experiences not only in traditional practice settings, such as hospital or community pharmacy, but also in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry and government organizations."
Marcia Parker, MBA
Director of Admissions for the SoP
Marcia Parker is an experienced higher education professional with an expertise in health science recruitment and admissions. Before joining KGI, she served as assistant director of admissions for Texas Woman's University (TWU), where she led large-scale public speaking and health-focused recruitment events throughout the state of Texas. While at TWU, she also counseled and met with more than 1500 students annually, primarily health science students majoring in disciplines such as pre-pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy and occupational therapy. Prior to her work at Texas Woman's, Ms. Parker served as a graduate recruiter for the University of South Florida (USF) College of Nursing. While at USF, she recruited nationally for clinical doctorate and PhD programs. She also developed and initiated many of the admissions, recruitment, and open house functions used by the College of Nursing today. Ms. Parker earned an MBA from Middle Tennessee State University and a B.S. from the University of Tennessee. She also has completed graduate hours in instructional technology and multimedia at the University of South Florida.
Associate Director of Student Affairs for the SoP
Prior to joining the staff at the KGI School of Pharmacy, Kristen Felthousen was the Director of Career Services and Advising for Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Albany, New York. Her training and background is in human resources, finance and behavioral health. She received a Master of Science from Rochester Institute of Technology in Human Resources Development with a concentration in Management. She spent several years as a Clinical Recruiter and as a Human Resources Generalist. She also taught courses related to career development in addition to lecturing in numerous courses in the School of Pharmacy regarding topics concerning student and professional development. She is a trained facilitator of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Career Pathways Program, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) for career assessment. Kristen has also served as an advisor for a student chapter of the Academy of Student Pharmacists, (APhA-ASP) for the three years. She has also worked closely with the leadership of several additional student chapters of pharmacy professional organizations to develop educational and leadership development programming and initiatives. Ms. Felthousen also holds a B.A in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration from Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, which is also where she spent three years in Student Development and Campus Programming as an employee of the College.