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St. John’s Professor S. William Zito Earns AACP’s Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) will honor S. William (Sandy) Zito, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean and Professor at St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, for his excellence as a teacher, his outstanding achievements as an author and mentor, and his overall impact on pharmacy education and the profession.

He will receive the Robert K. Chalmers Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award on July 16, during the Opening General Session of Pharmacy Education 2017, the AACP Annual Meeting, in Nashville, Tenn.

“The Chalmers award is one of the highest honors one can receive in academic pharmacy acknowledging a distinguished career in the areas of instruction, scholarship, service and overall impact on pharmacy education,” said Russell J. DiGate., Ph.D., Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  “To be recognized by one’s peers is one of the greatest honors one can have in their career. Having known Dr. Zito for many years, his receipt of the Chalmers Award came as no surprise. He is an exemplary teacher and scholar.”    

Dr. Zito’s teaching experience encompasses more than 30 years of courses in medicinal and analytical chemistry in both professional and advanced programs.  He has mentored dozens of successful Ph.D. and Master of Science trainees, many going on to industry positions.

“I am honored to receive the Chalmers award and to join the distinguished company of recipients of this prestigious pharmacy educator award,” Dr. Zito said. “I am fortunate to have had many research and teaching mentors during my career who have given me the ability to bring medicinal chemistry into a clinically oriented pharmacy curriculum.”

Through his role as Advisor of the Rho Chi Society (Pharmacy Honors Society), Dr. Zito works to build scholarship into the experience of pharmacy students.  He is the 2015 recipient of the national Rho Chi Advisor of the Year award. He has shared several other teaching awards, including the 1997 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Innovations in Teaching Award and the 2000 AACP Lyman Award. His current research interests are focused on anti-diabetic compounds from natural sources and he has authored over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals. 

His professional service also includes serving the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) as Chair of the Section of Teachers of Chemistry and Chair of the Council of Faculties as well as on the AACP Board of Directors. In addition, he served as AACP’s appointee to Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) 2002-2008.

“The stellar list of recipients for these top AACP awards is reflective of the commitment to excellence in community service, education, research, and the diversity of our members’ accomplishments,” said AACP Executive Vice President and CEO Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph. “From genomics to faculty and student leadership, the scholarship of learning and cutting-edge pharmacological research, Drs. Zito, Taylor, Schmidt, Gallimore and Popovich represent the ‘best of’ pharmacy education.”

The award, named for the late Robert K. Chalmers, former AACP president and distinguished educator, consists of an inscribed Steuben glass owl sculpture and a $5,000 prize.

Pharmacy Education 2017 will be held July 15-19 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. The conference offers educational programming, exhibits, networking events and award presentations.

Founded in 1900, AACP is the national organization representing the interests of pharmacy education. AACP is comprised of all accredited colleges and schools with pharmacy degree programs, including more than 6,500 faculty, 64,300 students enrolled in professional programs and 5,800 individuals pursuing graduate study.