School of Pharmacy adapts to pandemic, maintaining student focus

The COViD-19 pandemic set off a chain of events affecting the world. For professional pharmacists, pharmacy students, educators and businesses, things are continually changing.

“Faculty, students, staff, preceptors and others are remarkable in their ability to adapt and be resilient in the ever-changing circumstances of the pandemic,” said Charles D. Peterson, dean of the NDSU School of Pharmacy. “We are grateful to work with such a talented team that continues to serve patients and assist our students in their education and for the Class of 2020, completion of their degrees.”

Peterson noted that units at all levels of NDSU, as well as professional boards and organizations, have worked tirelessly as a team to overcome obstacles and innovate during unprecedented times. “We assisted our exceptional faculty, provided feedback mechanisms for students as the world changed drastically and quickly,” said Peterson.

Instructional tools, mental health and financial supports and other tools were offered by NDSU to assist students. Virtual tools and social media were used to continue instruction, foster ongoing connections and celebrations during this unique time in history.

Students also showed their thanks in various ways as faculty and staff worked together to maintain NDSU’s student focus.

As Matthew Solberg, Class of 2020 put it: “I would like to recognize the absolutely terrific job Teri Undem did throughout this whole process of moving online. With 85 of us in flux with COViD, sites were shutting down and kicking us out. She was able to find placement for all of us,” said Solberg. “Her ability to improvise and work nonstop will allow all of us to graduate on time. She went well above and beyond her job description and worked tirelessly to ensure all students could fulfill our academic and professional obligations.”

Faculty, preceptors and all members of the School of Pharmacy Experiential Pharmacy Education group worked as a team to meet students’ needs during the ongoing pandemic.

“Again, we are reminded during this time of the power of the ABC’s of Pharmacy in North Dakota (Association, Board, and College), as we work collaboratively together to meet the needs of those in the pharmacy profession and their patients,” said Peterson.

As of June 2020, NDSU provided a preliminary Smart ReStart plan for students returning in Fall 2020. Many of the details will be finalized closer to the start of the semester, based on state level guidance and circumstances at that time.

Classrooms and class sizes are being analyzed for social distancing, technology for instructional flexibility is being reviewed, as well as course and semester schedules, dining, residence, student life and remote work options. Information updates are found at


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