New deputy course directors bring strong skills focus

Doctor Daniel Malone and Doctor Jennifer Short have been recently named Deputy Course Directors of Pharmacy Education and the Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

In their new roles, Dan and Jen will focus on strengthening the presence of Monash University in the pharmacy and pharmaceutical science education sectors. Deputy Course Directors also play a pivotal role in meeting continuing educational challenges, such as the rise of e-based learning and understanding the shift in theoretical teaching paradigms and how they apply to students. Dan and Jen have a key responsibility in designing, implementing and regularly evaluating the curricular programmes of the Bachelor of Pharmacy, Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Masters of Pharmacy degrees.

Dan Malone

Dan is a Victorian College of Pharmacy alumnus and Senior Lecturer at the Faculty. He completed his secondary education at Xavier College. In addition to his position as Deputy Director, he boasts an impressive teaching portfolio, lecturing in mainly the pharmacy course in physiology, pharmacology and clinical pharmacy.

Dan brings an enthusiasm for improving student outcomes and a strong understanding of pharmacology and community pharmacy. Teaching awards include an Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching Citation in 2012 and a Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in 2017.

Dan’s commitment is not just to in-classroom teaching but also to coordination and structure of student experience. He has authored papers on using active learning methods in teaching and the impact of teaching staff on case- based learning.

Jennifer Short

Jen is part of the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences Drug Discovery Biology theme. Jen’s research investigates the role of blood-brain barrier transport proteins in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease and explores the usefulness of strategies that target the blood-brain barrier to enhance brain clearance of beta-amyloid. Jen currently lectures in units involving neuroscience, physiology and pharmacology in both the Bachelor of Pharmacy and the Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Jen is an education-focused academic and has worked within the academic teams to ensure that skill proficiencies are explicitly taught, regularly practised and robustly assessed throughout the curriculum. Deliberate scaffolding allows students to become more aware of their strengths and to become more empowered to seek opportunities for support where gaps in their skills are identified. Jen has been involved in mapping studies examining skill development in both degrees, and has published papers examining the impact of active learning strategies and the deliberate scaffolding of problem-solving techniques on skill development.

Jen also brings an enthusiasm for working across the education portfolio and a commitment to raising the teaching profile of the Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science. Her role as Deputy Director is imperative in engaging with local and international stakeholders to highlight the significance of Monash University’s reputation as number two in the world for pharmacy and pharmacology.

The roles of Deputy Director are essential in reaching a wider network of prospective students in a competitive tertiary market. Dan and Jen both share not just academic expertise of pharmacology but the experience of working with students and large cohorts to understand student needs and interests. These skills are crucial in targeting international student markets, where we are seeing an increased number of undergraduates.

We look forward to hearing more from Dan and Jen in the next edition of Alchemy.