Faculty and Students Honored at 2024 Celebration of Excellence

By Nick Nobel
April 16, 2024

Faculty and students were honored for their amazing work and accomplishments. On Wednesday, April 3, The University of Texas at Austin’s Pharmacy Council honored and celebrated top educators and student pharmacists from across the college at its 2024 Celebration of Excellence. 

A headshot of Dr. Chris Whitman smiling to camera in a navy blue suit and tie over a white collared shirt.

Class of 2027 Teaching Excellence Award Winner
Dr. Christian Whitman

"He was dedicated to teaching, even when he was injured, especially when he did a final review for us from his hospital bed. I think he is well deserving of this award."

Fellow nominees: 
Dr. Maria Croyle 
Dr. James Karboski
Dr. Seongmin Lee
Dr. Kimberly Nixon
Professor Sharon Rush
Dr. Holli Temple
Professor Terry Weaver


A woman holding an award and smiling.

Class of 2026 Teaching Excellence Award Winner
Dr. Tyler Kiles

"I see her name on the schedule for our courses and I know I'm going to enjoy that content in the course."

Fellow nominees: 
Dr. Travis Carlson
Dr. Ashley Garling
Dr. Matthew Herpin
Dr. Kristin Janzen
Dr. James Karboski
Dean Samuel Poloyac
Dr. Laurajo Ryan
Dr. Jenna Summerlin


A woman holding an award and smiling.

Class of 2025 Teaching Excellence Award Winner
Dr. Samantha Catanzano

"I loved coming to class every lecture even at 8 am because I was excited to learn."

Fellow nominees: 
Dr. Sarah Kubes
Dr. Nina Vadiei






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Outstanding Faculty Advisor
Professor Terry Weaver

"Professor Weaver always makes an effort to connect and talk with us outside of our required meetings in class and if he ever sees us in the hallways. Even from the first meeting, he has always made us feel comfortable and a source to answer our questions. He is an opening ear that I am glad to have."

Fellow nominees:
Dean Renee’ Acosta
Dr. Maria Croyle
Dr. Ashley Garling
Dean Diane Ginsburg
Dr. Kristin Janzen
Dr. James Karboski
Dr. Tyler Kiles
Dr. Seongmin Lee
Dr. Lindsey Loera
Dr. Rebecca Moote
Dean John Richburg
Dean Justin Samuel
Dr. Robert Williams

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Pharmacy Educator of the Year
Dean Ashley Castleberry

"Dean Castleberry is one of the driving forces behind one of the most beneficial courses offered at UT, our Pharmacy Practice Lab sequences."

Fellow nominees: 
Dr. Jamie Barner
Dr. Ashley Garling
Dr. Kristin Janzen
Dr. Kathryn Litten
Dr. Tyler Kiles
Dr. Jenna Summerlin
Dr. Christian Whitman



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Ambulatory IPPE Preceptor of the Year
Dr. Morgan Stewart

"She takes the time to help students personally and professionally. She helps students find opportunities advance their career and makes sure they have what they need to have a successful career in pharmacy."







Community IPPE Preceptor of the Year
Dr. Elysha Donaldson

“She is very engaged in my learning about community pharmacy and very empathetic to my learning requirements. She goes above and beyond to help her students.”

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Institutional IPPE Preceptor of the Year
Dr. Brandon Dittmar

"Dr. Dittmar created a great and comprehensive schedule for his IPPE students. He was very prepared for the rotation and really made sure that we learned from a plethora of other pharmacists and healthcare professionals."

All fellow IPPE Preceptor of the Year nominees:
Laurie Delomel
Niaz Deyhim
Andy Doan
Ashley Durham
Annette Enabador
Martha Evans
Brian Fagan
Edward Hajek
Sarah Hallowell
DeeDee Hu
Gretta Leckbee
Erin Mullins

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Outstanding Teaching Assistant
Rex Moore

"Rex is super helpful in pharmaceutics and I feel that I can ask him any questions without being judged."

Fellow nominee:
Joel Cepeda
Rachel Clark
Le Nguyen
Dann Rivera
Michael Sandoval
John Schroeder
Luna Sorawee
Ted Sohn
Adriana Vargus


A woman smiling and holding an award.

Outstanding Tutor
Chaitali Patel

"She’s an excellent tutor for biochemistry in the fall. She’s supportive and explains concepts really well."

Fellow nominees:
Casey Carswell
Jaxon Carter
Phuong Do
Cecelia Hambelton
Jason Longoria





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Outstanding Academic Assistant
Collin Blackwell

"Collin is patient, kind, and one of the most humble students I have met. He spent hours going over problems with the students and told them to ask him questions on Slido (whatever that is)."

Fellow nominees:
Philip Baily
Abby Barnett
Adam Campos
Madison Dishaw
Vanessa Esparza
Camryn Kaderka
Siân Behrendt-McLeroy
Sarah Patrick
Melody Richards
Riley Russell
Amberly Torres

Service Event of the Year
Project Collaborate’s El Bari Community Health Center 8th Annual Health Fair

Fellow nominees:
CommUnity First! Village Medication Review event hosted by Know Your Medicine
The DKMS Bone Marrow Donor Drive hosted by the UT-NCPA
The Biochem Exam Review event hosted by Kappa Epsilon
The Pie a Professor event hosted by Kappa Epsilon

A group of people under a large party tent and standing at a table with a Project Collaborate sign.

A man wearing a suit and tie and glasses.

Benjamin Reed Leader in Pharmacy Award
Collin Blackwell

"Collin's leadership in Texas Pharmacy is unmatched. He exemplifies all that this award stands for because he leads and serves from the heart. He is motivated, driven and hard working."

Fellow nominees:
Esther Albuquerque
Brianna Earskine
McKenzie Erwin
Sofia Garcia
Damaris Jacota
Amber Johnson
Elizabeth Longo
Jennifer Tran


Dr. Carolyn Brown Champions
Cené Abroms
Katie Traughber
James Baffoe
Julianne Mercer
Bilkisu Gandi

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Congratulations to all the winners and nominees! Download the full Celebration of Excellence presentation to view the Student Superlative Award Winners.