In the Spotlight: Vern Duba

June 26, 2017

Vern Duba in NYC
In the Spotlight is an initiative to celebrate the incredibly talented people and teams within the college and to facilitate awareness and understanding of the unique individuals who make up the pharmacy family. Team members in a variety of roles and departments are featured on a rotating basis.

This month, we are learning about Clinical Assistant Professor Vern Duba.

Tell us about your role at the College of Pharmacy.

I am a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science’s Division of Applied Clinical Sciences. I also have a joint appointment as instructional services specialist in the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA). I am course coordinator for Health Information Retrieval and Informatics and Career Pathways in Pharmacy. I also participate in several other courses in the PharmD program. I serve as the faculty advisor for the Pharmacy Communicators Association (PCA). In OAA, I help with the Faculty Mentoring Program, pre- and post-admission compliance activities, the Pharmacy Teaching Center, and ICON support.

What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer?

For me, summer starts the Friday night of Iowa Arts Festival. I enjoy outdoor music, talking with the visual artists, and stopping by Rodney’s Jamaican Jerk and BBQ food stand.

If you had to describe yourself using three words, what would they be?

Starbucks

Scrabble

Streep

What is your favorite childhood memory?

I grew up 100 miles southwest of Omaha. Each year, usually early September, our farm was a stop on the migration route of Monarch butterflies. I have fond memories of spending time in a cottonwood grove, where if I stood quietly without moving, the Monarchs would land on my arms, head, and shoulders. They would rest in the trees to warm up, hydrate in the mud of a little creek running through the pasture, and feed on the milkweed pods, wild carrot, and red clover. It seems it was always windy and as a result rather noisy under those tall trees. The visual image of thousands of orange and black wings against the cottonwood leaves is something I will never forget.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

I have been to the east and west coasts of Canada but have not seen the Canadian Rockies. I recall the amazing landscapes during the 1988 Calgary Olympics coverage. Banff National Park is high on my “Do-Before-It’s-Too-Late” list.

If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?

Apparently you have not seen my office lately.

Tell us about your personal photo.

I enjoy vacationing in New York City. Prior to 9/11, I would stand in line at TKTS, a same-day discount sales booth in 2 World Trade Center, to buy cheap seats for evening Broadway shows. This is a photo of me at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The basin with running water is the footprint of the former 2 WTC.


This "In the Spotlight" has been brought to you by the UI College of Pharmacy Staff Council.