Double Alumna Named New Dean of College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Anne Lin

For Professor Anne Y. F. Lin ’84P, ’86Pharm.D., FNAP, the opportunity to return to St. John’s University in a leadership position was too compelling to ignore.

Hired in September as the new Dean and Professor of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Dr. Lin returns to the University after serving for 14 years as Dean and Professor of Pharmacy at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Lin was an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy at St. John’s from 1987 to 1992, and an Associate Professor from 1992 to 1996.

“I already knew of St. John’s core values and they align perfectly with my own,” Dr. Lin said. “My work has always been about connecting what we do and learn at a university to the community at large. Knowing that St. John’s also values something I connect with was inspiring.”

A native of Hong Kong, Dr. Lin immigrated with her family to New York City in 1969 when she was eight years old. She graduated from The Bronx High School of Science with an ambition to study pharmacy, hoping for an opportunity to enroll at St. John’s.

That seemed unlikely—until the University offered her a sizable scholarship.

“As immigrants, we did not have a lot,” Dr. Lin recalled. “My parents always said that I had to look at state schools, not a private university, but St. John’s gave me a scholarship. I would not be where I am today without it.”

Introduced to St. John’s mission and educated by some of the best in her field, Dr. Lin opted to pursue her doctorate at the University as well. She was hired as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy shortly after earning her doctorate.

Dr. Lin said her nine years at St. John’s taught her some universal truths about education that she brought to several pharmacy colleges before settling into a leadership position at Notre Dame, where she worked from 2008 to 2022.

Respect, trust, teamwork, and unanimity of purpose are among those essentials. Dr. Lin says they are the essentials of any efficiently operating health-care unit.

“Every institution is different and has its own culture, but each presents its own opportunities and challenges,” Dr. Lin said. “What is important to remember is that we are one College. We have different programs, but for the College to succeed as a whole, all the programs have to succeed.”

“The best health-care professionals always function as a team,” Dr. Lin continued. “The fact that we have all these health-care programs in one College means these different health-care professionals can learn from each other all that is required to be effective.”

Dr. Lin returns to St. John’s at a time of significant expansion. The University’s inaugural cohort of nursing students began their studies in August. The University is also constructing the multimillion-dollar St. Vincent Health Sciences Center that will house pharmacy, nursing, and physical therapy majors and more when it opens in 2024.

While Pharmacy and other programs are well established at St. John’s, the nursing program remains more of a blank canvas. The University received approval from the New York State Education Department in April to begin offering a Bachelor of Science program in Nursing, and the initial cohort of students is expected to graduate in 2026. As Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Dr. Lin will have a hand in charting the program’s future path. “I’m excited to be here now,” she said. “I love building teams. I love to build new initiatives and to help people see that we are all in this together—to maybe get people to think differently and more creatively, to get them to think of things they haven’t thought of before.”

One thing that does not figure to change is Dr. Lin’s eagerness to teach. She has taught at all stops along her administrative journey, including at Notre Dame; Midwestern University College of Pharmacy in Glendale, AZ; and at the Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy and Nursing in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

“Once I get settled here, I’d like to find an opportunity to engage with students and teach,” she said.

For now, the married mother of two daughters, including one, Kristine, who earned her doctorate in Psychology from St. John’s, is reconnecting to the University that has always felt like a second home.

Another daughter, Kelly, recently passed the New York State Bar examination.

“Coming back here, I can see that St. John’s remains committed to offering a quality education that can truly transform lives,” Dr. Lin. “That has always been a value of mine regardless of where I have been in my career.”