The Student Services Special Interest Group of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) has established an annual excellence award in honor of the late James Robertson Jr., PhD, who served as the Texas A&M Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy’s first associate dean for student affairs. The recipient of this award, Michael W. McKenzie, PhD, professor and senior associate dean of student services at the University of Florida, was recognized at the annual AACP meeting in Anaheim, California, in July.

Robertson, who was a cornerstone to the Rangel College of Pharmacy, passed away after complications with pneumonia in 2012 in Corpus Christi, Texas. He served as an associate dean at the college from 2005 until his passing in November.

“Dr. Robertson had a genuine passion and excitement for students,” said Mary Chavez, PharmD, FAACP, interim vice dean and professor with the Rangel College of Pharmacy. “His legacy is being passed on to the next generation of pharmacists through his championship of professionalism.”

As the associate dean for student affairs, Robertson was instrumental in the college receiving a four-year scholarship grant award of $2.6 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Health Resources and Services Administration under the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students Program. All-together, his work resulted in more than $4.1 million in grants and awards for the college.

“Dr. Robertson did everything with our students in mind,” said Indra Reddy, PhD, professor and founding dean of the Rangel College of Pharmacy.  “He ensured that our current and future students have opportunities for success, and this award is a testament to his benefaction.”

The inaugural Dr. James Robertson, Jr. Leadership Excellence in Student Services award was presented with a letter of congratulations from President Barack Obama at the annual AACP meeting in July.

— Dominic Hernandez

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