PCSP’s Dr. Giuseppe Gumina Wins National Award for Teaching and Leadership

August 1, 2023
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy presented Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy dean Dr. Giuseppe Gumina with a prestigious national award at the organization’s annual meeting on July 25 in Aurora, Colo.

Gumina won the 2023 James E. Wynn Memorial Award from the AACP’s chemistry section, presented annually to a pharmacy professor who “demonstrates excellence in teaching, is committed to student learning, and provides inspirational leadership.”

The AACP established the award in 2014 to recognize the late Wynn’s passion for pharmacy education and gift for teaching students.

For Gumina, the honor is professionally gratifying – and deeply personal. He taught from 2007-12 at South University School of Pharmacy in Savannah, Ga., where Wynn served as the founding dean more than 20 years ago.

“It means a lot to me,” he said. “It’s very rewarding personally because he was such a great leader and an inspiration to a lot of people.”

Gumina, who joined the PCSP faculty in 2013, is also an inspiration and leader. He has held leadership positions in the American Chemical Society and the AACP, where he graduated from the AACP Academic Leadership Fellows Program and is also a National Coalition Building Institute trainer. He is the author of more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and holds three patents.

Last February, Gumina stepped into an entirely new leadership role as the fourth dean of the PC School of Pharmacy. As he adjusts to new duties and responsibilities, Gumina remains grateful for the opportunity to continue teaching. He said there are rewards for being a researcher, but they are different from being a teacher.

“Ninety percent of what you’re doing in a lab results in failure – it’s just the nature of research,” Gumina said. “Most researchers work for years, may get millions of dollars in funding, and then retire and wonder, how many lives did I change? Some will make discoveries, but it’s very rare. One out of one thousand may actually develop something that saves lives. But when you work in academics, you’re teaching generations of scholars. Every year at graduation, you see the results in your students and know that you’ve changed lives.”

In addition to the pride he feels for his students, Gumina is equally proud of his colleagues. His award from the AACP is the third national honor the PCSP faculty has earned in the past year.

Dr. Elizabeth Henderson, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, earned a New Investigator Award for her research on “Lead Optimization of Tetrahydropyridines as Potential Breast Cancer Agents.” Earlier this year, Dr. Laura Fox, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences, was named the 2023 recipient of the Innovation in Teaching Award and the Pharmaceutics Section Innovation in Teaching Excellence Award for her work, “Learning Logs: A Tool for Training Students to Assess and Regulate Their Own Learning.”

Photo: PCSP dean Dr. Giuseppe Gumina (right) won the James E. Wynn Memorial Award at the annual meeting of the American Association of Schools of Pharmacy last week in Aurora, CO.