Mike Kelly Named 2017 College of Pharmacy Teacher of the Year

July 06, 2017

Michael W. Kelly, ’73 BSPh, ’88 PharmD, ‘89 MS, has received the 2017 College of Pharmacy Award for Teaching Excellence.

In his position as Associate Dean for Professional Education, Kelly oversees admissions, student services, and the professional program curriculum for the college. He also is an active teacher in the college—mainly on the topics of substance abuse and older adults. Kelly is committed to the welfare of students, said current and former students and faculty colleagues who wrote letters of support for him.

Kelly is popular and highly-respected among students. They say he is personable, approachable, and engaging. Dayton Trent, a current Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) student, called him a “charismatic leader”.

Kelly is often the first person students meet when they interview for the PharmD program at the UI College of Pharmacy. Another current student, Fischer Herald, said he had already been accepted to two other major pharmacy schools when he interviewed at the college. “One of the main reasons I chose to come to the University of Iowa was due to my interaction with Dean Kelly during the interview day,” Herald said. “I knew he was someone that I wanted to get to know better, and ultimately that was a core reason I am currently at Iowa.”

Kelly’s commitment to students doesn’t end once they get a foot in the door. For each course he delivers, PharmD students evaluate his teaching; those ratings are consistently high.

Michelle Fravel, ’06 PharmD—a faculty member at the college and clinical pharmacist at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics—nominated Kelly for the award. She worked with Kelly recently on the committee that brought to life the transformative, patient-focused, student-centered Learning and Living Curriculum which kicked off in 2015-16. Going further back, she was his student.

“We wanted to think through a case like him and provide thoughtful recommendations regarding drug therapy as he did.”
~ Michelle Fravel, faculty colleague and former student

Kelly also served on the curriculum’s implementation committee.

“Mike’s commitment to our students at the College of Pharmacy is, I believe, unmatched,” wrote Fravel. “He supports our students on an individual level when they experience academic or personal challenges, behind the scenes in curriculum development, in the classroom with engaging teaching methods, and in extracurricular activities by supporting our student organizations.”

“I can think of no one more committed to the success of our students and our curriculum.”

Kelly incorporated active learning into his courses long before it was popular, and uses unique and creative teaching methods. He has also helped lead interprofessional education efforts on the health sciences campus for more than 20 years.

Kelly received three degrees from the University of Iowa—BSPh and PharmD degrees in 1973 and 1988, followed by a Master of Science degree in Hospital/Clinical Pharmacy. During his final year earning the MS, he was a Psychopharmacy Research Fellow for the college. After graduating, he served on the faculties of two Oklahoma universities as a clinical specialist in psychiatric pharmacy practice until 1994. He returned and joined the UI College of Pharmacy in 1994. He worked as a clinical pharmacist in the UI Carver College of Medicine until 2004, when he was appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the UI College of Pharmacy.