Kelly M. Smith named dean of UGA College of Pharmacy

Athens, Ga. – Kelly M. Smith, an academic leader with a record of advancing research and pharmacy education, has been named dean of the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy.

Smith is currently associate dean for academic and student affairs at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, and her appointment at UGA is effective August 1.

“Dr. Smith is a proven leader who is committed to elevating the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten. “She is a tireless advocate for students and ambitious about raising research productivity to new heights.”

Smith has served as associate dean for academic and student affairs at the University of Kentucky since 2009. In that role, she spearheaded the expansion of dual degree and graduate certificate programs while enhancing support and career preparedness services to students. She served as interim dean in 2015 and 2016 and in that role oversaw the college’s self-study and successful reaccreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education while also helping elevate the college’s level of external research funding.

“The University of Georgia is excited to welcome an accomplished alumna to serve as the next dean of the College of Pharmacy,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “With a stellar record of scholarship and academic leadership, Dr. Smith is perfectly positioned to lead the college and its outstanding faculty, staff and students into the future.”

Smith’s research and instruction primarily focus on pharmacy practice models and workforce development, particularly through student career development and residency training. She is a national leader in her field and the author or co-author of nearly 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, books, book chapters and other publications. She is president-elect and vice chair of the American Society of HealthSystem Pharmacists and has served on the editorial advisory boards of several journals, including the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, and Orthopedics.

She began her academic career as an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky and served in a series of positions of increasing responsibility. As director of residency program advancement, she launched the Kentucky Pharmacy Residency Network, the nation’s first statewide collaboration to support pharmacy residency training. She directed the University of Kentucky’s Drug Information Center and served for 10 years as UK HealthCare’s Postgraduate Year One Pharmacy Residency Program director, which was named as the nation’s best by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists under her leadership. She has served as the college’s diversity and inclusivity co-officer since 2016 and has helped double the diversity of its student body through enhanced recruitment efforts.

Smith has received several honors over the course of her career, including being named Pharmacist of the Year by the Kentucky Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Kentucky Pharmacists Association. In addition, she is a Fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. Her teaching awards include the Michael J. Lach Faculty Award for Innovative Teaching Practice from the UK College of Pharmacy and being named one of the nation’s 25 Top Pharmacy Professors by Sechel Ventures, an independent forecaster of health care workforce trends.

A native of Statesboro, Georgia, Smith earned her bachelor of science in pharmacy and her doctor of pharmacy degree from UGA and completed her drug information residency training at UFHealth Jacksonville in Florida.

“To return home to work with such accomplished and passionate students, staff, faculty and alumni is a dream come true,” Smith said. “There is no better time than now for the UGA College of Pharmacy to advance science and create pharmacy leaders who will elevate health care across Georgia, the nation and the world.”

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