Youssef Bessada named 2024 School of Pharmacy Teacher of the Year

The UConn School of Pharmacy Pharm.D. Class of 2024 has selected Youssef Bessada as its 2024 Teacher of the Year.

Youssef Bessada on Sept. 13, 2022. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

Bessada joined the UConn School of Pharmacy in 2020 as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice where he co-precepted students in Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) rotations within internal medicine, infectious diseases, and critical. He then became a full-time faculty member in 2022 as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice.  Prior to UConn, Bessada earned his Pharm.D. degree at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  Upon graduation, he was a resident at UConn Health’s John Dempsey Hospital and then at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“I am beyond grateful to the students for this outstanding recognition,” says Bessada. “Having trained at UConn Health I got to see, firsthand, how amazing the School of Pharmacy students and faculty were in pushing the boundaries of our profession. I couldn’t have been more excited to join the faculty and be a part of the transformational pharmacy education approach. To now receive this honor from the students is nothing short of electrifying and humbling and pushes me to only continue to grow in my dedication for our students and our community.”

“Dr. Bessada has made big splash here at the School of Pharmacy,” says C. Michael White, Department Head of Pharmacy Practice. “He has high standards but is so willing to meet students where they are and work with them to achieve at a high level, that students respond by achieving more than thought they were capable of. Students really relate to him and feel safe discussing their insecurities and appreciate sharing their successes as well. We have such a strong department with caring and passionate faculty that it is quite an honor for Dr. Bessada to be recognized as Teacher of the Year so early in his career. I suspect this will not the last award that he earns for his teaching.”

Bessada attributes his teaching success to the colleagues he works with at the School, recognizing them as a major contributing factor: “I owe a lot, if not all, of my growth in this role to my peers and mentors at the School of Pharmacy. They have invested a great deal of time and compassion in my development, and I only hope to return the favor by continuing to be best educator I can be.”

Bessada will receive his award during commencement weekend in May.