Zada Cooper Leadership Symposium

Leaders to Convene for Second Annual Symposium

The second annual Zada Cooper Leadership Symposium, presented by the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, will feature national leaders and -- for the first time -- informative and interactive breakout sessions!  Professional headshots will be offered at no charge.  

May 6, 2017
7:30 am-12:00 pm
hotelVetro, Iowa City
201 South Linn Street
Iowa City, Iowa 52240

About the Symposium

Iowa pharmacy is known for its outstanding leaders. Nationwide, pharmacists and pharmacy students are fully aware that Iowa sets the bar for pharmacy education, collaboration, and innovation. The truth is that leadership is very much a part of Iowa pharmacy's history. 

Dating back to the early days of pharmacy education, the UI College of Pharmacy cultivated pioneers. One of those remarkable leaders was Zada Mary Cooper (1875–1961), who graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 1897, and continued as a faculty member until retiring in 1942. She was one of the founders of the Women’s Section of APhA, founder of Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and the Rho Chi Society, and secretary of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy from 1922 to 1942. She was an advocate of women in pharmacy, and later became known as the “grand and glorious lady of pharmacy.”

In that spirit of leadership, the college is pleased to present the second annual Zada Cooper Leadership Symposium on May 6, 2017, at Hotel Vetro in Iowa City.

Register Now!

Keynote Speakers

Lisa Gersema
Lisa M. Gersema, '84 BSPh, '86 PharmD, is the president of  the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). She is also the director of pharmacy and residency program at United Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she oversees a progressive pharmacy department supporting a 400-bed tertiary care hospital for adult patients. Previously, she was a decentral pharmacist, clinical specialist, and assistant director of clinical pharmacy at Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City and a Clinical Manager at United Hospital. In addition to earning her bachelor's and Doctor of Pharmacy from the UI College of Pharmacy, she completed a fellowship in clinical pharmacology. Gersema earned her Master's of Health Care Administration from Simmons College.

Gersema has served on the ASHP Board of Directors, chaired the Council on Pharmacy Practice, a member of the Commission on Therapeutics, and a Minnesota delegate to the ASHP House of Delegates. She is a past president and treasurer of the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP) and received MSHP’s Hugh F. Kabat Award and the Hallie Bruce Memorial Lecture Award (MSHP’s highest honor). 

Gersema has focused her career to advance a decentralized and integrated pharmacy practice model emphasizing accountability, collaboration, and team-based care.

Read more about Gersema here.

Nancy Alvarez
Nancy Alvarez, PharmD, is the assistant dean of experiential education and continuing professional development and clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice in the Chapman University School of Pharmacy, in Orange, California. She is a graduate of The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist.

She has diverse service experiences such as Phi Lambda Sigma National President, inaugural Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Certification Council member and Phi Delta Chi Grand Vice President for Collegiate Affairs. For the American Pharmacists Association, her service ranges from APhA-ASP National Member-at-Large to two terms on the APhA Board of Trustees. She was installed as the 162nd APhA President in March 2017. She participates in leader development for the Pharmacy Leadership and Education Institute as a facilitator, content developer, and program director. She is a California Pharmacists Association member and is part of the CPhA Leader Development Institute team. She established an APhA Foundation Student Pharmacist Scholarship first awarded in 2013.

Alvarez was recognized by the Arizona Pharmacy Association with 1994 Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year and 1995 Employee Pharmacist of the Year Awards. National recognition consists of the 1997 PLEI Prescott Leadership Award for outstanding leadership by a pharmacist within 10 years, 1998 APhA Good Government Pharmacist of the Year, and the 2007 APhA-APPM Distinguished Award in Administrative Practice. She was named an APhA Fellow in 2004. The UA COP Class of 2004 invited her as their White Coat Ceremony Keynote Speaker. She received the UA COP Jack R. Cole Distinguished Alumnus Award in November 2012.

Read more about Alvarez here.

Breakout Sessions

Leading Mindfully from the Inside Out
Presented by Bev Klug, MA, LMFT, director of Mindfulness-Based Programs, Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Health Care

What might it be like to live our lives with awareness, compassion, curiosity, non-judgmentalism and intentionality -- whether current circumstances are as we prefer or absolutely not what we want or expected? And what might it be like to lead from that place? Participants in this session will “stick their toe in the water” to explore this through experiential practices and brief discussion. It’s okay to wear shoes.

Valuable Speech, Valuable Feedback
Presented by the Pharmacy Communicators Association/Toastmasters International

This breakout session will venture into the world of Toastmasters table topics and evaluations. Learning how to better one's extemporaneous speech and provide valuable feedback to peers and colleagues are great tools in building communication and leadership skills. Join in a fun and exciting breakout session where participants will extemporaneously speak to some fun topics and learn how to use the "sandwich" method to provide valuable feedback to each other.

Yogic Tools for Presence, Resilience, and Greater Peace
Presented by Jennifer New, associate director, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

Humans take approximately 23,000 breaths a day. Arguably, breathing is one of the best avenues for regulating one's emotional and physical state. Using principles from yoga, Jennifer New (500-hour RYT) will guide a gentle session to give participants tools to both calm and energize.

Emotionally-Intelligent Leadership Adventure
Presented by Nikole Mac, director of leadership development, University of Iowa

You may have heard of servant leadership, strategic leadership, transformational leadership, etc. What do they all have in common? Come explore how to simplify research nuggets from Daniel Goleman, Heindre Weisinger, and others as participants learn more about their own leadership capacity and resilience, and ways to cultivate better outcomes with those they wish to influence and lead.


A limited number of hotel rooms have been reserved at hotelVetro for this conference. The block name is "College of Pharmacy," and reservations may be made by contacting the hotel directly at (800) 592-0355.