Dr. Randall Tackett Passes Torch as CAP Graduate Coordinator

Dr. Somanath Shenoy Assumes Duties

Forty-two years as a faculty member at the UGA College of Pharmacy, 38 of those as Graduate Coordinator….24,000 credit hours produced in just 20 years alone….a major professor for 13 doctoral students, three post doc fellows, 11 master’s students, and three honors thesis candidates….a teacher to almost 20 current faculty members, one of whom was Dean Kelly Smith….a member of 145 graduate student committees through the years, college- and university-wide….a mentor to 6,000+ professional students….an advocate for numerous College programs, including Toxicology, Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics (CET), Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, and International and Biomedical Regulatory Sciences….a frequent expert witness in criminal and civil cases nationwide involving illicit and illegal drugs and pharmaceutics….and most rewarding, a friend and colleague to many faculty, staff, and alumni.

It seems impossible that this list could be attributable to one individual. Yet, it is the success story of Dr. Randall Tackett, Professor and Associate Department Head in Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy (CAP). Tackett has moved on from his duties as Graduate Coordinator, one of the many responsibilities he has managed throughout his career at the College of Pharmacy. He will continue in his role as CAP’s Associate Department Head.

Dr. Somanath Shenoy, the Kenneth L. Waters Pharmacy Professor and CAP Assistant Department Head for Research and Graduate Education at the extended campus in Augusta, has assumed Tackett’s graduate coordinator duties, effective December 1. Dr. Shenoy has been with the College for almost 15 years.

“Two things happened during the 1980-81 academic year that would forever change the University of Georgia and the College of Pharmacy,” commented Dr. Henry Young, Kroger Professor and CAP Department Head.  “The Georgia Bulldog football team won the national championship, and Dr. Randy Tackett began his tenure as a faculty member, marking pivotal moments in the history of UGA.”

A student and then a teacher at CoP, Tackett graduated with a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology in 1979 and returned less than two years later as an Assistant Professor.  After four years, the young professor was asked by Dean Howard Ansel to coordinate the four CoP graduate programs at the time.  While this discipline changed and consolidated through the years, Tackett remained steadfast in his commitment to manage the Graduate Program.

“I like teaching and working with graduate students, because they are our legacy – the next generation of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists,” said Tackett. “These students are always so appreciative for what we do.  It’s a joy to guide them on their career paths and watch them be successful, which leads to the College being successful.”

He added, “Grad students are older, independent, and more mature, so they come to us dealing with real life issues, such as time management, financial and business plans for their educational and career choices, relationship issues, stress management, and more.  To help them navigate their journey is so rewarding.  They are not just graduate students; they are real people who need us to be more than just a teacher – they need us to be mentors and confidants as well.”

He had words of praise for the colleagues who supported him in his Graduate Coordinator position.  “I had wonderful support during my 38 years in this role, especially from administrative team members.  Most recently, I worked with Deborah Martinez, who shifted to Student Affairs this summer.  She was fabulous to work with and kept me centered!”

Resolve, determination, and tenacity are three of the many upbeat adjectives used to describe the amiable professor, who overcame recent adversity with the same positive outlook and sense of humor he always portrays. Following a diagnosis and months of treatment for Aplastic Anemia last year, Tackett’s prognosis is good as he continues his treatment. In fact, his tenacity was amplified as he taught five classes this fall.  He chuckled, “I’ve always heard you don’t teach about a disease, because you’ll end up getting it,” said Tackett.  “One week after I taught an Aplastic Anemia lecture, I was diagnosed!”

Congratulations to Dr. Tackett on a job well done.  We look forward to his continued service!

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