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University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Lasting bonds

October 1, 2009

Jon Schommer is a Professor and Director of Graduate Studies.

Jon Schommer is a professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems in the College of Pharmacy.

Jon Schommer connects students with pharmacy practitioners from around the country

By Kristin Cleveland

One of Jon Schommer's former students describes him as the "glue" that holds the Social, Administrative, and Clinical Pharmacy Program together. He has been director of graduate studies since 1999, and in that time the program has tripled in size, developed two new tracks, and consistently placed graduates in leadership positions for associations, health care companies, and universities.

Recruiting quality graduate students is no small feat given the opportunities available for pharmacists. One colleague/former student notes that Schommer's success is due in part to his tireless efforts to obtain funding and resources. More important, however, are the bonds he's created amongst students and practitioners from around the country. "During my dissertation years, he checked in with me daily," says another former student. "He made sure to consider not only my research, but my personal and professional development."

"I often hear... my former students repeat something I told them as they mentor their own students. It's then that I pause to think where I first heard it (from one of my mentors!), and... realize how teachers affect the future."

Jon C. Schommer is a 2009 recipient of the Award for Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.

As president of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science at the American Pharmacists Association, Schommer initiated many collaborations between practice, scientific, and student communities, and is still instrumental in its Career Pathways Program. This program identifies career opportunities for students as well as practitioners, and evaluates human resource needs across the profession. A fellow academy president notes, "He never forgot to also contemplate how any action or topic of discussion might affect or pertain to student pharmacists, postgraduates, or residents."