Pharmaceutical entrepreneur Dr. Jie Du donates $5M to establish academic drug development center at University of the Pacific

The Jie Du Center for Innovation and Excellence for Drug Development will promote innovation through education, training, mentorship

Pharmaceutical entrepreneur and University of the Pacific alumna Dr. Jie Du has donated $5 million to found the Jie Du Center for Innovation and Excellence for Drug Development at the university’s Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy in Stockton.

The gift has been matched by the Powell Fund Match established through an extraordinary gift of $125 million from the estate of the late Regents Robert C. and Jeannette Powell, doubling the impact of Du’s gift and resulting in a $10 million endowment to the School of Pharmacy.

“I wanted to do something that would make a meaningful difference for Pacific students,” said Du. “When I started my American life as a young student at Pacific who barely spoke English, I never dreamed that one day I could contribute to the success of the university’s School of Pharmacy. I’m deeply grateful for the education I received and this opportunity to prepare Pacific students as they embark on careers in pharmaceutical drug development and business.”

Du earned her PhD in pharmaceutics from Pacific in 1993 and served as the founder, president and CEO of JDP Therapeutics Inc. until it was acquired in 2019.

The Jie Du Center will serve to promote innovation in drug development through education, training and mentorship, while fostering collaboration between Pacific students and industrial scientists. Students will gain skills in pharmaceutical regulation, entrepreneurship and business to prepare them for navigating the challenges associated with new ventures in drug development.

“This transformative gift allows Pacific and the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy to create a distinctive academic center,” said Dr. Phillip R. Oppenheimer, dean of the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy. “The center’s key initiatives are focused on student success, including support for research, student travel for presentations and funding of innovative research equipment. These opportunities will play a crucial role in transforming our students into practice-ready scientists and professionals.”

Each year, hundreds of innovative ideas are assessed by investors for their scientific, clinical, regulatory and business merits, as well as commercial opportunities and limits. To prepare students for successful careers, they need a deep understanding of all aspects of the pharmaceutical and health care technology industries.

“Innovation is a precious commodity for the cutting-edge, highly competitive pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries,” said Dr. Bhaskara R. Jasti, a professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry at Pacific. “We are excited the center will provide a platform for entrepreneurial innovators to translate their ideas into products that improve the well-being of patients.”

In addition to Pacific students, programs offered at the center will be open to alumni and scientists currently working in the industry.

The center’s mission of training practice-ready scientists aligns with the university’s mission of preparing students for lasting achievement and responsible leadership in careers and communities, as well as Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy’s mission of preparing students for lifelong success in health and health-related careers.

The gift will count toward Leading with Purpose: The Campaign for University of the Pacific, the university’s historic fundraising campaign to advance academic programs of excellence and relevance, enhance student scholarships and improve facilities. The campaign is more than 80 percent of the way toward its $300 million goal.

Pharmathon 2020 Highlights Importance of Medication Safety

A virtual format did not dampen the creativity and enthusiasm of the teams participating in the third annual Pharmathon, hosted by the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy’s chapter of the Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO-Pacific). The eight teams, each consisting of three to four doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students, turned to online platforms, such as Google Hangouts and Facebook, to collaborate. They were given 48 hours to conduct research and create a solution for a health care related problem using publicly available data. The teams consulted with Sachin A. Shah, PharmD, FAHA, professor of pharmacy practice and regional coordinator for Travis Air Force Base, as well as current second year and third year PharmD students who intend on pursuing careers as industry pharmacists.

The theme of this year’s Pharmathon was pharmacovigilance and medication safety. Pharmacovigilance is the focus on the safety of drugs and medical devices and serves to detect, assess, understand and prevent adverse effects or any other drug related problems. Drug manufacturers are required to conduct post-marketing surveillance studies and report their data to the FDA. Consequently, this process has a direct impact on the lives of patients. The integration of pharmacists in pharmacovigilance is essential, given their expertise in monitoring the safety and efficacy of drugs.

During the public health crisis caused by COVID-19, pharmacovigilance studies are critical to avert adverse events experienced by patients. These are key considerations considered by scientists who are striving to find the safest and most effective treatment for COVID-19.

“Pharmathon tested the limits of our creativity and health care knowledge.”

After 48 hours of critical thinking, problem solving and sleep deprivation, the eight teams presented their research to faculty, students and a panel of three pharmaceutical industry experts on Zoom. Guest judges included Jeremy Lim ’12, PharmD, senior clinical scientist at Genentech, Reema Dirks, PharmD, senior medical science liaison at Amgen, and Mariah Clarisse Mayo ’17, PharmD, senior drug safety associate at Forty Seven Inc. After much deliberation from the judges, team members Dylan Holt ’22Jeffrey Hwe ’22Samantha Teshima ’22 and Diana Wong ’22 were deemed the winners for their project “The Influence of Smart Social Media on Medical Safety.”

“Pharmathon tested the limits of our creativity and health care knowledge,” said Teshima. Despite the challenges associated with hosting the event virtually, IPhO-Pacific successfully carried on the tradition of this unique, student-led event. “We are grateful for the technological advances that allowed us to participate in this wonderful Pacific tradition,” Teshima said. “A special thank you to Dean Oppenheimer for listening in, our peers for helping throughout the entire 48 hours, and the wonderful judges for taking time out of their busy schedules to evaluate the creative student presentations.”

Second place went to Derek Cheung ’22Renee Stutz ’22Lena Tieu ’22 and Tiffany Vu ’22, who studied the role of Google Trends, a tool that analyzes the popularity of top searches, in pharmacovigilance monitoring. Third place went to Aasim Ahmed ’22Cristella Ho ’22Justine Do-Huynh ’22 and Stephanie Zeng ’22, who focused on the impact of virtual reality on pain.

Alumni Induction from Associate Dean Nancy DeGuire

On behalf of all alumni of this great institution, I welcome you to this alumni family.

I use the word “family” because it really means that we are all connected by the relationships, endeavors, and education that we experienced under one roof, the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy. Your family sees you at your best, AND at your worst, yet loves you unconditionally. Healthy, well-functioning families provide each other with rewarding and caring relationships, and with essential mutual support which sustains us throughout the course of life and career.

This University, the school, and the gifts of friendship, knowledge, and wisdom we received here will forever connect us as family. You are the offspring that we honor and celebrate today.


To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, a servant of the others. Just as we will continue to be a place of familiar strength when you need us, you will be called upon again and again to help and support those who come after you.

Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn are the work of many generations. All this is put into your hands today as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day pass it on to those who follow you.

I invite you to stay with us as we continue to strengthen this homestead, our alma mater, and continue to build and support a top Health Sciences school that produces caring, skilled professionals of the highest quality. Stay with us as we celebrate our accomplishments, honor our history, nurture our offspring, and support our initiatives. The reputation of our alma mater and our professions rests on our shoulders.

Graduates, congratulations and welcome to this great family of alumni. We know that you will honor this legacy with the same pride, professionalism, humility, and care that your own families, and the school, have provided to you!

Thank you!

Nancy L. DeGuire ’89, PharmD, FACA
Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Associate Dean for External Relations, Director for Postgraduate Professional Education, Executive Director for the Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association

Members from our three health science alumni associations share their well wishes with our graduates.

Speech-Language Pathology Student Awarded Fulbright Scholarship

Speech-language pathology graduate Rachel Convey ’18, ’20 has received a Fulbright scholarship to study at Tampere University in Finland, under the direction of Nelly Penttila, PhD. She will be conducting research and mentoring graduate students.

“I am looking forward to being around a group of people who think differently than I do,” said Convey. “I want to learn more about their education system and how they teach speech-language pathology.”

Convey recently completed her master’s thesis “Visual Feedback in Voice Therapy for Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease.” She was inspired by her grandmother, who has Parkinson’s disease. Convey had the opportunity to observe her grandmother’s voice therapy and the experience led her to explore ideas for improving the experience for the client.


“I have a passion for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and improving services for this population,” Convey said.

Many individuals with Parkinson’s disease experience diminished lung capacity and decreased speaking volume. To address these challenges, speech-language pathologists around the world use the LSVT LOUD® (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) speech therapy program. Developed by Lorraine Olson Ramig, PhD, CCC-SLP, LSVT LOUD® is the widely adopted, research-based program of sixteen one-hour sessions spread over four weeks. The goal of the program is to increase vocal loudness to a healthy, normal loudness so the patient can improve communication with others.


Convey wanted to find a way to give real-time feedback during therapy sessions as to how loudly or softly the client was speaking. With the help of her father and brother, Convey designed and built a visual feedback device. The device, designed to be used in conjunction with the LSVT LOUD® program, stands approximately two feet tall. Attached to the front of the device is a chart with horizontal bars in shades of blue, with the darkest shade of blue at the top. A metal bar, which can be moved up or down, runs horizontally across the chart. During a speech therapy session, the clinician sits across from the client and the device is placed to the side, facing the client.

“Parkinson’s disease voice therapy is very rigorous and very tiring for both the patient and the clinician,” she said. “I hope this device can make it a more enjoyable process.”

During each LSVT LOUD® session, the clinician collects data using a stop watch and a decibel meter. Convey was unable to simultaneously record the necessary data and use the visual feedback device. Stepping in to help, Derek Isetti ’08, PhD, CCC-SLP, assistant professor of speech-language pathology, observed each of Convey’s sessions and helped record data.

“Dr. Isetti helped throughout the entire process, from getting the certifications I needed, to filling out the Institutional Review Board application, to conducting the research itself,” Convey said. “I could not have been successful without his help.”

Convey completed her bachelor of science and master of science in speech-language pathology at Pacific. She appreciates the encouragement and support from the Pacific family, throughout her educational journey and as she prepares for the experiences that await her in Finland in August.

Pacific PharmD Student Selected for FDA Rotation

Taylor Chan ’21 is passionate about improving the health care system in the United States, which prompted her to apply for a rotation at the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology. She is looking forward to discovering different ways pharmacists can be involved in both patient care and government.

The FDA White Oak Campus is located in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C. The Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology monitors the drug safety profiles of products that have been made available to American consumers. They follow the pharmaceutical sales, safety profiles and other drug related epidemiological studies in conjunction with drug companies.

“The rigor and intensity of the coursework and extracurricular programs I have experienced at Pacific have prepared me for any challenge I will face at the FDA,” said Chan. She is looking forward to meeting students and pharmacists from all over the U.S. “We come from many different backgrounds and communities that we serve; it will be interesting to see how our experiences will join together to work for the benefit of all,” she said. Her advice for students who are interested in pursuing a competitive or unique rotation placement is to work hard and be bold.


Growing up, some of her family’s most trusted friends were pharmacists. She set her sights on a career in pharmacy in high school because of her love of science and working with people. “Since coming to Pacific, I have been more exposed to the field and my perception of the profession has changed; I have found even more reasons why a career in pharmacy is right for me,” she said.

She was initially drawn to Pacific because of the accelerated Pre-Pharmacy Advantage Program. She shared that Pacific’s small campus environment has been ideal for her growth. “The past few years I’ve spent at Pacific have been some of the best of my life thus far,” Chan said. “I have been challenged beyond belief, met some of my best friends and found great mentors.”

Chan serves on the 2019-2020 American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) cabinet as vice president of correspondence. She serves as project manager for the Operation Diabetes Committee and the Children’s Awareness Committee. Chan is a member of the Phi Delta Chi, Alpha Psi chapter. She also represents the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy as an Associated Students of the University of the Pacific (ASuop) senator.

Seminar Brings Audiology Experts to San Francisco Campus


In January, Pacific’s Department of Audiology hosted the Experts in Audiology Research (E.A.R.) Seminar. Doctor of audiology (AuD) students and guests from academia and industry heard from world-renowned cochlear implant expert, Monita Chatterjee, PhD, director of the Auditory Prostheses and Perception Laboratory at Boys Town National Research Hospital in Nebraska. Her presentation, “The Music in Speech: Consequences of Hearing Loss and Cochlear Implantation,” delved into the ways the nuances of hearing and speech impact communication.

“Typically, we think of speech mainly with respect to intelligibility,” said Jayaganesh Swaminathan, PhD, research associate and adjunct faculty member at Pacific. “Dr. Chatterjee challenged us to think about other aspects of speech communication that are equally important, such as emotional prosody and pitch.” Emotional prosody is the various non-verbal aspects of language that allow one to convey or understand emotion, as conveyed through an individual’s tone of voice. Equally important are suprasegmental cues, the stress and intonation added to words or phrases. “For patients with profound hearing loss, the cochlear implant processor can severely distort the acoustics related to suprasegmental cues, which can in turn severely compromise their speech communication abilities,” Dr. Swaminathan said.

The seminar also featured an expert panel on cochlear implants led by Matthew Fitzgerald, PhD, chief of audiology at Stanford Health Care, Melanie Gilbert, AuD, research audiologist at University of California, San Francisco and adjunct faculty member at Pacific, Gabriella Musacchia, PhD, assistant professor of audiology at Pacific and Dr. Swaminathan.


Building on Dr. Chatterjee’s presentation, the panel discussed the effects of aging and hearing loss on emotion perception and the application of research to current clinical practice. “We also explored futuristic ideas with respect to improving cochlear-implant technology and how we may use music as a vehicle to improve speech communication in these listeners,” Dr. Swaminathan said.

The event also included a showcase of research posters by Pacific AuD students and networking opportunities. The seminar underscored the importance of collaboration within and outside the field of audiology. The audience included professionals with various academic backgrounds including audiology, engineering, physics and neuroscience. “Our research is highly interdisciplinary in nature,” Dr. Swaminathan said. “By collaborating with other universities and industries, we are able to gain invaluable insight into the research topics.”


OASIS Director Shares Stress Management Strategies

These are stressful times. To stay healthy and safe, we must face the challenges that come our way both individually and as a community. These time-tested strategies can help you stay grounded in the face of unforeseen obstacles.

Keep some semblance of normalcy in your daily routine

Even though you may be having trouble sleeping these days, try to go to bed and wake up at your usual times. The same is true with meals. If you had a regular meal schedule before, try to keep to the same rhythms. Have an afternoon walk planned? Make sure to take that walk. Not only will these habits help you stay physically healthy, they will help keep your brain active and contribute to your mental health.

Re-establish your study habits

It can be tempting to skip a virtual lecture or not follow through with your plan to review your notes for an upcoming quiz. I challenge you to stay focused on your studies. Take the time to review the study habits you have developed thus far. Which study strategies are still effective and which ones need to be adapted? You will likely need to be strategic, find creative ways to stay focused and productive. If you haven’t done so already, connect with study partners to help keep each other on-track and engaged academically.

Set a study schedule and stick with that plan

Don’t worry if you find yourself needing to take frequent breaks or if you have trouble concentrating. You are trying to accomplish difficult tasks during difficult times. Be patient, but also be consistent and abide by the guidelines that you set for yourself.

Stay connected

You may not be in the same room as your classmates, but rest assured you are not doing this alone. There will be times when you feel frustrated or sad, it is important to not face those daunting feelings in isolation. There will also be causes for celebration and you will want to share those moments with others. Keeping in touch with the people who are important to us may be more difficult, but the benefits of staying connected will be worth the effort.

We will get through this experience. Sometimes you will need to rely on others, and in turn, others will sometimes need to rely on you. Even in this time of social distancing, there are still many ways we can come together to support each other and achieve our goals.


Physical Therapy Students Help Distribute Wheelchairs in Ecuador


196 wheelchairs distributed

“We gave them a wheelchair, but they gave us a moment of hope and inspiration.”

– Kimberly Phongprateep ’20

In October 2019, Whitney Davis ’00, ’03, PT, DPT, PCS led four doctor of physical therapy students, Sierra Downum ’20, Karandeep Gill ’20, Jessica Matias ’20, Kimberly Phongprateep ’20, on an eventful trip to Portoviejo, Ecuador to distribute wheelchairs. The trip marked the latest chapter of the partnership between Pacific’s Department of Physical Therapy, Rotary International and Hope Haven West, a non-profit organization dedicated to “providing dignity through mobility.”

The team’s arrival on October 4 coincided with a time of civil unrest in Ecuador. Just a few days prior, on October 1, Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno announced a decree ending decades-old fuel subsidies, which were reportedly costing the country $1.3 billion annually. Revoking the subsidies triggered a spike in fuel prices. The economic impact was immediate and widespread. In response, protests quickly spread nation-wide.


At the height of the protests, the capital, Quito, was crisscrossed with barricades and streets were filled with tear gas. Less than 250 miles away in Portoviejo, peaceful marches blocked major roads, hindering access to the wheelchair distribution sites. Negotiations brought the protests to an end on October 14. Despite the obstacles created by the protests, the team distributed 196 wheelchairs.

The team observed when an individual receives a wheelchair it not only impacts their life but also their family. “You can see the immediate relief you give to these families and these individuals,” Downum said. She recalled an interaction she had with a male in his 20s who was diagnosed with brain cancer. “He was nonverbal, but he never stopped smiling,” Downum said. “He knew he would be wheeling out of there with a little bit more freedom. His parents knew that part of their burden was going to be lifted from their shoulders.”

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Matias worked with a female patient in her mid 20s whose wheelchair needed extensive adjustments as she was not able to sit fully upright. Her younger brother was her primary caregiver and worked alongside the team to modify her wheelchair.

Phongprateep deeply empathized with a patient who came in with her sister. “During our conversation she mentioned that it was just the two of them, both of their parents had already passed on,” Phongprateep said. “I thought about this patient who had grown to adulthood and all of the life experiences she and her sister may have missed out on. As a clinician, I know that our education and our efforts to help do not stop at one person, they ripple outward.”

Gill described his time in Ecuador as a genuine human experience. “I honestly feel I was able to grow and develop as a human being,” Gill said. “Throughout the week there were consistent moments where I felt ‘present.’ We gave them a wheelchair, but they gave us a moment of hope and inspiration.”

Read more about their experiences in their own words on the Beyond Pacific blog.

Prior to the trip, the students learned of the key events contributing to the current severe humanitarian needs in Ecuador.

  •  January 2016 | Torrential rain caused flooding and landslides
  • ■ April 2016 | A 7.8 magnitude earthquake in northern Ecuador caused significant loss of life, widespread destruction and the displacement of thousands of civilians
  • ■ July 2016 | An outbreak of the Zika virus is reported
  • ■ December 2016 | A 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit northwest Ecuador
  • ■ February 2017 | Portoviejo declared a state of emergency due to flooding
  • ■ June 2017 | A 6.3 magnitude earthquake further set back restoration efforts

Faculty Spotlight: Manuel G. Romero, PhD, ATC, CSCS, PES, CES


Prior to coming to Pacific, Manuel “Manny” G. Romero, PhD, ATC, CSCS, PES, CES, clinical assistant professor of athletic training, was on the athletic training staff of two NBA teams. He served as head athletic trainer and director of research and innovation for the Sacramento Kings. Familiar with working under pressure, he has been involved in several playoffs. He spent seven seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, culminating in two world championships.

“My recent clinical experience has allowed me to provide students with present-day clinical scenarios,” said Dr. Romero. “We often work through these as a team to create effective collaboration in real-world situations. Establishing strong connections between the students, content and clinical practice is important in athletic training education. My hope is that the connections I help students form will not only give them the skills and experience to be successful in their individual careers, but will be long-lasting and will help shape how they engage with society.”

Dr. Romero earned his bachelor of science in biology from Loyola Marymount University and his master of science in exercise science from California University of Pennsylvania. His desire to maintain a firm grasp on new technology and advances in sports medicine prompted him to earn his doctor of philosophy in athletic training from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in 2015. He is a National Athletic Trainers Association Certified Athletic Trainer and National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

“My recent clinical experience has allowed me to provide students with present-day clinical scenarios.”

Throughout his career, Dr. Romero has paired a hands-on approach with clinical knowledge. He also brings strong interpersonal skills to his work in rehabilitation, injury prevention and overall athletic performance. As an athletic trainer, he has employed cutting-edge technology, including the use of facial recognition and artificial intelligence to aid with movement assessments. His research interests include injury prevention and issues facing athletic trainers working in professional sports.

Pacific Faculty Researcher Awarded $1.15 Million NIH Grant

Research could lead to a better understanding of the risk of GHB overdose

Melanie A. Felmlee, PhD, assistant professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry, has received a four-year $1.15 million grant for research that focuses on the differences in the way males and females process GHB.

The grant is from the National Institutes of Health Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) Program for her project “GHB Toxicokinetics: Role of sex hormone dependent monocarboxylate transporter regulation and potential for altered overdose risk in transgender men and women.” This SCORE Research Advancement Award is co-funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


“This grant provides the support to significantly enhance and accelerate the research conducted in my lab at University of the Pacific,” Dr. Felmlee said. “With this research we hope to understand why GHB toxicity is different in males and females, inclusive of all at risk populations.”

Dr. Felmlee is passionate about bringing awareness to underserved populations who are at risk, through her research.

“I think when we design any study we should be inclusive,” Dr. Felmlee said. “While we are trying to look at the whole spectrum, we are focusing on the transgender population, which has largely been overlooked in GHB research studies.”

“With this research we hope to understand why GHB toxicity is different in males and females, inclusive of all at risk populations.”

The research has the potential for broader application.

“The monocarboxylate transporters I study are also involved in targeted therapeutic strategies for oncology, fertility studies and immune suppression,” Dr. Felmlee said. “Changes in these transporters in response to sex hormones has the potential to impact these broader fields of research.”

In addition to recognizing Dr. Felmlee’s research, this grant spotlights Pacific’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. The NIH SCORE Program is designed to increase the research support at institutions such as Pacific with a history of training and graduating students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. The university had to qualify first as a SCORE institution before Dr. Felmlee’s project was considered for funding. This is Pacific’s first NIH SCORE grant and Dr. Felmlee’s first NIH grant as a principal investigator.

This is Pacific’s first NIH SCORE grant and Dr. Felmlee’s first NIH grant as a principal investigator.

Dr. Felmlee’s research focuses on the role of sex differences on transporter regulation and toxicity of drugs. Her research on GHB suggests females are protected from toxicity, compared to males, because of the hormones estrogen and progestogen. This research will look at specific proteins that transport GHB across cell membranes and their regulation by sex hormone therapy.

“The transporters are regulated by sex hormones,” Dr. Felmlee said. “They are critical for determining how one’s kidney functions in terms of removing the drug. What my graduate research assistants and I have found is females at certain times in their reproductive cycle are more protected from GHB toxicity and they were able to remove the drug faster. The transporters are the key to figuring out why there are the differences associated with the sex hormones.”

GHB, or gamma-hydroxybutyrate, is a central nervous system depressant clinically prescribed to treat the medical conditions narcolepsy and cataplexy. It is also an illicit drug taken for its calming and euphoric effects, which make it a popular drug of abuse. In clinical doses it is safe. In comparison, illicit GHB is colorless and odorless, which makes it difficult to determine the dose, significantly increasing the risk of overdose.

It is challenging to measure the public health impact of recreational GHB use since it may not be reported by users and is often combined with other illicit drugs and alcohol. When a patient is taken to the emergency room due to an overdose, it is often identified anecdotally or by observing common symptoms. Rapid testing is not available and a GHB overdose can only be confirmed by a toxicology screening.

Pacific doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students and graduate students assisted with compiling the preliminary data, which was a critical component of the grant application. Pacific’s Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences Program graduate students will assist with the laboratory research. There will also be opportunities for PharmD students to be involved in components of the research.

Tips for Students for Adapting to Online Learning

As University of the Pacific transitions to online instruction, this change may lead to questions and feelings of uncertainty. Here are five tips to help you adapt to this unexpected change.

Be patient — with yourself and others

Remember that we are all adjusting to this change. There will be a learning curve and it may take time to adapt.

Be intentional

Check your Canvas notification settings and check into your courses often. It is also very important to regularly check your email for announcements from Canvas, as well as time-sensitive messages from faculty, the School and the University. Keep in mind, projects and assignments may have been adapted for an online environment, but course expectations remain the same. Read announcements and assignment details carefully before reaching out to the faculty member. Faculty are likely fielding a high volume of questions and may need time to respond.

Expect more written exchanges

Be prepared to communicate in writing more than before. Ask detailed questions; you may need to create context in a way that would be unnecessary in a face-to-face setting.

Remember teamwork is more important than ever

If you start to get overwhelmed or are struggling with a concept, pick up the phone, use FaceTime or your preferred method of communication to connect with a classmate. Rest assured, your network of support is still in place. Pacific’s faculty and staff are diligently working behind-the-scenes to help you become a highly competent health care professional.

Be positive

We are in unprecedented times, but we are facing this situation together. By working as a team, we can build strategies and apply creativity to overcome these unexpected challenges. A key characteristic of successful individuals from all realms of health care is their ability to think on their feet. This situation is an opportunity to hone valuable skills, from adaptability to problem solving.

Canvas Support

Canvas Support is available 24/7 to all students, faculty and staff. When you are logged into Canvas, navigate to the “Help” option found in the left-hand navigation bar. You can live chat with Canvas Support or call the Canvas Support hotline for students at 844.698.7483.

Pacific Technology Support

Pacific Technology is also here to help. To submit a question to Pacific Technology, go to

Stockton Helpdesk
Monday – Friday | 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
209.946.7400 |

San Francisco Helpdesk
Monday – Friday | 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
415.929.6514 |

Faculty Spotlight: Cherysse Lanns, AuD, FAAA, CCC-A


Cherysse Lanns, AuD, FAAA, CCC-A, assistant clinical professor of audiology and director of clinical education and training, knew from a young age that she wanted to work in health care. As an undergraduate student she had the opportunity to complete an internship at a local hospital, where she shadowed an audiologist. As she learned more about audiology, she came to appreciate the full breadth and variety of the profession. “As an educator, I make sure to enlighten my students about the many facets of audiology; from clinical to school-based, from teaching to research and manufacturing,” said Dr. Lanns.

She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Dr. Lanns is passionate about promoting the field of audiology and advocating for the hearing-impaired population. “I am honored to impact people’s personal lives with hearing aids or implantable devices, helping them regain the gift of hearing and communication,” she said.

She earned her bachelor of science in biology, with minors in health care and French, from Susquehanna University Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. She earned her doctor of audiology from University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. Dr. Lanns completed an audiology externship at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, New York.

“I am honored to impact people’s personal lives with hearing aids or implantable devices, helping them regain the gift of hearing and communication.”

In the classroom, the clinic and the community, Dr. Lanns strives to interact with others with intentionality. “I have always taken an active role in the community, from participating in fundraiser runs, to raising money to improve my local neighborhood landmarks and parks,” she said. “I also have taken opportunities for mentorship, by mentoring inner city high school students and practicing English over lunch with visiting students from abroad who were non-native speakers.”

She was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. She and her husband moved to California from Texas. “We are enjoying the sunshine and the mountains,” she said.