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Gattas Receives 2019 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award

Published on 13 December 2019

Nicole Gattas, Pharm.D., FAPhA, BCPS, director of experiential education and associate professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, was the recent recipient of a 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award from Emerson.

“Dr. Gattas brings extensive experience in developing courses and providing patient care,” stated Bruce Canaday, Pharm.D, FASHP, FAPhA, dean of the School of Pharmacy and professor of pharmacy practice at the College, who nominated Gattas for the award. “Students respond to her innovative approach to teaching and ability to work closely with them to explore career opportunities and identify future practice areas.”

Headquartered in St. Louis, Emerson created its Excellence in Teaching program to promote quality education throughout St. Louis. Each year, the program honors nearly 100 educators from across the St. Louis metropolitan area who demonstrate excellence in the field of education. Those recognized represent a wide range of educators from the elementary, secondary and collegiate levels.

“I’m honored to be selected among such great educators in our area,” Gattas said. “I strive to be a mentor to my students, and it is important for them to know I am someone they can trust and come to for advice.”

Though initially interested in teaching when she was younger, Gattas ultimately decided to attend the University of Iowa to pursue pharmacy. While there, she realized she could blend her interests in both pharmacy and teaching into a lifelong career.

“I was really enjoying pharmacy school, but at one point, I considered changing my major to education,” Gattas stated. “When I spoke with the College of Education, they actually pointed out that I could be a pharmacy professor. I had never thought of that before. It ended up being a great way to combine my interest in teaching with the pharmacy education I was already pursuing.”

After graduation, Gattas selected a residency that would allow her to complete her teaching certificate. She joined the College as a faculty member in 2003, and since then, has fine-tuned her methods of teaching and mentoring her students.

“My approach to teaching involves developing relationships with students and letting them know I am accessible and here to help,” Gattas explained. “My goal is to help them find their pharmacy passion. When students come to me, I try to help them discover the path that will allow them to come home each night and say, ‘I love pharmacy. I love my job.'”

Gattas was recognized during the annual Excellence in Teaching Awards ceremony at The Ritz Carlton in St. Louis on Nov. 17.

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