The Doctor of Pharmacy classes at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy selected their favorite instructors of 2017–2018. The winners were presented with an instructor of the year award at the 2018 annual Awards Ceremony held April 21 at the Rizzo Center.
- Overall Instructor of the Year Award: Dennis Williams, Pharm.D.
- PY3 Instructor of the Year Award: Ashley Marx, Pharm.D.
- PY2 Instructor of the Year Award: Jo Ellen Rodgers, Pharm.D.
- PY1 Instructor of the Year Award: Michael Jarstfer, Ph.D.
Dennis Williams is an associate professor in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics and the division’s vice chair of professional education and practice. He is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist and a certified asthma educator.
At the School, Williams is known for his performance in the classroom as well as in the clinic. He teaches infectious diseases and pulmonary modules, drug literature evaluation and the acute care elective along with physiology. A student favorite at the School, Williams was also named the overall instructor of the year in 2017 and 2014 and the PY2 instructor of the year in 2012.
Williams joined the School as a clinical assistant professor in 1983 and was promoted to clinical associate professor in 1991. In 1993 he made the jump to a tenure-track position as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 2000. As a vice chair of DPET, he has been responsible for professional education and practice since 2008. He held a similar position in the Division of Pharmacy Practice (now PACE) for the first half of the 1990s.
Williams also serves as co-adviser to the Carolina Association of Pharmacy Students and precepts four to six students each year on pulmonary medicine or infectious disease medicine clerkships at UNC Hospitals.
Ashley Marx is an assistant professor of clinical education in the Division of Practice Advancement and Clinical Education. She is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist with a research interest in infectious diseases. At the School, Marx coordinates the infectious diseases pharmacotherapy module at the School and is a lecturer for the School’s infectious diseases elective. She provides clinical rotations for pharmacy students and post-doctoral residents.
After earning her undergraduate degree in biology from UNC, Marx graduated from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in 2004. She returned to Chapel Hill in 2013 as an assistant professor. In addition to her roles at the School, Marx serves as a pharmacotherapy consultant for infectious-disease-focused medical teams.
Jo Ellen Rodgers
Jo Ellen Rodgers is a clinical assistant professor and the associate director of clinical fellowship programs in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics. She is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist and a former chair of the Board of Pharmacy Specialties Pharmacotherapy Special Council.
At the School, Rodgers has received a number of teaching awards and recognitions, including the Academic Excellence Award in Teaching in 2007 and 2008. Her primary research interest is in cardiovascular pharmacotherapy and the care of heart failure patients. Rodgers received her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and Pharm.D. from the School in 1994 and 1996, respectively. She maintains an active clinical practice with the UNC Heart Failure and Cardio-Oncology Clinic, and she routinely provides coverage for the inpatient UNC Cardiomyopathy and Cardiac Transplant Service.
Michael Jarstfer is an associate professor in the Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry, and was recently named assistant dean for graduate education. His studies focus on telomerase and telomere biology. He has won a number of teaching awards at the School, including the Academic Excellence Award in Teaching in 2005 and 2006. He is a past winner of the PY1 and PY2 instructor of the year awards in 2016 and 2014, respectively.
Jarstfer joined the School in 2001 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado. He received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Utah. Jarstfer is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Molecular and Cellular Biophysics Training Program, and the Institute for Developmental Disabilities.