Devra Dang awarded 2020 CETL Teaching Fellow Award

Left to right: Dennis Chapron , Devra Dang and Jill Fitzgerald, Director of Experiential Education at the 2019 UConn School of Pharmacy Preceptor banquet.
Left to right: Dennis Chapron, Devra Dang and Jill Fitzgerald, Director of Experiential Education at the 2019 UConn School of Pharmacy Preceptor banquet.

UConn’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) has awarded Devra Dang, Pharm.D. one of two 2020 Teaching Fellow Awards. This is an annual award presented to University faculty for their outstanding teaching and commitment to students. Jason Hancock, Ph.D. in Physics also received a 2020 CETL teaching award.

“The individuals considered for this recognition show a commitment to teaching, demonstrated knowledge of pedagogy, and an interest in fostering innovative teaching practices at the University,” says Aynsley Diamond, Director of Faculty Outreach and Engagement at CETL. “While these are the official qualifiers for the award, the truth is that each nomination is significant in its own right. The individuals nominated for the Teaching Fellow Award have shown exemplary contribution to their discipline, university, department, and their students. Following their nomination, a lengthy evaluation of each candidate takes place by committee. Each year the challenge is the same. How do you pick two winners from the best faculty the university has put forward?”

Dr. Dang is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. Her research areas of interest include innovative interprofessional education and collaboration, chronic disease management and care of underserved populations in primary care settings, medication adherence, and the value of medication therapy management by pharmacists in outpatient settings.

She is also a core faculty member for the Urban Service Track interprofessional education program. This program is designed to teach emerging health care professionals how to care for patients in urban, underserved areas and build their interprofessional teamwork skills. Dr. Dang’s efforts to promote student learning also earned her the 2019 Faculty Preceptor of the Year award, awarded by the 2019 School of Pharmacy Pharm.D. graduates.

“Devra Dang’s firm belief in the power of team medicine and her positive impact on complex patient outcomes is truly inspiring to our pharmacists in training,” says Philip Hritcko, Interim Dean. “Her practice site is a model for tackling multiple commorbidities with a team of diversely talented health care providers. We are so fortunate to have Devra as a School of Pharmacy faculty member.”

In the words of a former student, as noted in the nominating letter from a colleague physician:

“Dr. Dang teaches in a way that allows the students to make empowered decisions about patient care while also challenging them to think critically. She ensures that every student has a full understanding of each case, is able to grasp the intricacies of applying guidelines and textbook theories to real-life situations, and allows for lively discourse. [This clinic] is an incredible resource for all practitioners; when faced with a difficult patient, Dr. Dang uses the challenge as an opportunity to teach all of us to understand patients as individuals. [Her] knowledge of pharmacotherapy coupled with her empathy, holistic approach, and ability to impart knowledge makes her incredibly invaluable to learners, health care providers, and patients.”

Dr. Dang earned her bachelor’s degree from George Mason University in Virginia, and her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Maryland. Her pharmacy practice residency was completed at the University of Virginia Health System, and she went on to complete a specialty residency in Primary Care at the W.G. Magnuson Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.