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The Catalyst

MUSC faculty honored for teaching excellence in awards

Four faculty members will be honored for teaching excellence at MUSC’s annual faculty convocation at the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year, Aug. 19 in the Drug Discovery Building auditorium. The faculty members are:

  • Kristy L. Brittain, PharmD., assistant professor, S.C. College of Pharmacy, Educator-Lecturer
  • Brian T. Conner, Ph.D., RN, assistant professor, College of Nursing, Educator-Mentor: Clinical-Professional
  • Michelle Woodbury, Ph.D., associate professor, College of Health Professions, Educator-Mentor: Scholarship-Academic
  • Nicole M. Bohm, Pharm.D., assistant professor, S.C. College of Pharmacy, Developing Teacher

Kristy L. Brittain, PharmD., BCPS, CDE

By most student accounts several years ago, the South Carolina College of Pharmacy’s Self Care and Complementary Medicines course was not a highly anticipated stop on the way to graduation. Spread across SCCP’s two main campuses in Columbia and Charleston via video and audio feeds, it was a required course, however, so avoiding it was not an option.
In the fall of 2008, Kristy Brittain, a recent arrival to the MUSC campus, joined a number of SCCP faculty members teaching the course. A year later, upon becoming course coordinator, Brittain approached her counterpart at the University of South Carolina to explore a different approach to the course: team-based learning.
Today, after much effort, Brittain and her USC colleague, Patti Fabel, PharmD, are reaping the benefits of a course popular with both students and faculty. The transformation has gained national recognition and the pair has made presentations to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and other organizations.
This is but one example of her creativity and commitment to pharmacy education and practice. Among her many other awards is the SCCP Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences Excellence in Teaching and Innovation Award in 2013.
“In the classroom, you can clearly witness her enthusiasm about material and her gratification from teaching,” states MUSC Campus Dean Philip Hall, Pharm.D.
Brittain received her PharmD. from Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy & Nursing.


Brian T. Conner, Ph.D.,R.N.
Educator-Mentor: Clinical-Professional

The clock doesn’t stop when Brian T. Conner, Ph.D., RN, closes his office door on Friday and heads home. In fact, weekends just give him more opportunities to mentor his growing list of students, past and present.

    As director of undergraduate programs for the College of Nursing, Conner is the primary advisor for the CON’s undergraduate students. However, he also has mentored two Robert Wood Johnson scholars each semester for the past two years, and mentors the college’s Men in Nursing group and the post-baccalaureate nurse residents. He also serves as the Department of Veterans Affairs Nursing Academy college liaison and program coordinator.

In addition, he serves as student and faculty mentor for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Many DNP students work full-time, leaving weekends as their most opportune time to seek guidance, and Conner accommodates them all.

“With the number of students in the classes,” states one former DNP student, “I cannot imagine how Dr. Conner manages to juggle schedules to accommodate each student.”

Yet he does, and the mentor-mentee relationship that began in class often continues beyond graduation.
“He is an accomplished teacher and mentor that puts the success of his student before his ego” says a former student, “but most important, he helped me grow into the nurse – and person – I wanted to be.”

Conner earned his bachelor’s and master’s in nursing from the University of Phoenix and his Ph.D. from MUSC.


Michelle L. Woodbury, Ph.D.

“I believe that Ms. Woodbury is one of those rare and truly gifted teachers. She makes learning fun, interesting and most important – real.”

The above statement was contained in a 2001 nominating letter by Becki Trickey, Ph.D., in support of colleague Michelle L. Woodbury, Ph.D., for MUSC’s Developing Teaching of the Year award. Woodbury won the 2001 honor and is this year’s recipient of MUSC’s Educator-Mentor award in the Scholarship-Academic category. What Trickey said in 2001 remains true today.

Woodbury is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences and Research with a secondary appointment in the Division of Occupational Therapy. Her educational philosophy, she says, is rooted in her many years of clinical experience, and from that “I desire that my students … gain technical skills, but more importantly come to realize the enormous responsibility and privilege of treating someone’s loved one.”

Part of her regimen involves an intensive neurological “boot camp,” where students take their morning classroom lessons and apply them that afternoon working with patients recovering from strokes or spinal cord injuries. Although it is an exhausting exercise, it receives high marks from students.
“Dr. Michelle Woodbury is an outstanding teacher who is truly passionate about her subject matter and her students,” states a student in an evaluation typical of the feedback Woodbury receives.

She received her bachelor’s from Elizabethtown College, her master’s from Columbia International University and her Ph.D. from the University of Florida.

Nicole M. Bohm, PharmD.
Developing Teacher

Nicole M. Bohm, Pharm.D., is listed as a faculty member of the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP). She will be the first to say, however, that she remains a student while in the company of her patients and those gathered to learn from her.

“I urge learners to consider the patients their teachers, as they are for me,” she states in her philosophy of teaching. “I enjoy the humility of teaching. I learn each
nomination materials, she makes quite an impression on residents and other members of her medical team.

“Her excitement and passion in serving her patients, as evidenced by the many opportunities she took to engage and educate them while on rounds, was memorable,” says one former resident.
Another adds, “It was easy to see how well-respected she was by her physician and nursing colleagues.”

Ever the student, however, she often seeks evaluations of her classroom techniques and sits in on lectures by her colleagues.
“I hope that I can be the student I expect my learners to be,” she adds, “and promote a passion for lifelong learning.”

Bohm earned her undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Florida.


May 21, 2014



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