Pharmacist receives prestigious teaching award



CEDARVILLE — McKenzie Shenk, a 2017 Cedarville University doctor of pharmacy graduate, received the Nicholas G. Popovich Award from the Indiana Pharmacy Teaching Certificate (IPTeC) Program.

The IPTeC Program is a statewide training program for pharmacy residents, fellows or other pharmacists interested in teaching.

The Nicholas G. Popovich Award is given annually to one IPTeC participant based on his or her attributes, teaching portfolio, character, passion for pharmacy academia and interest in teaching.

Each participant in the program is required to submit a teaching portfolio for review by faculty from the three Indiana schools of pharmacy. Shenk, formerly of Mishawaka, Ind., was chosen as the award recipient out of 20 nominees.

“I am honored to receive the Nicholas G. Popovich IPTeC award, as I am passionate about teaching and contributing to the development of future pharmacists,” Shenk said.

According to Shenk, Cedarville University faculty members helped shape her mindset toward a career in teaching pharmacy in higher education.

“The faculty in the school of pharmacy were great role models in teaching, scholarship and service,” she said. “I also value the emphasis they put on caring for students and genuinely wanting them to succeed. Their example influenced my desire to grow as a well-rounded educator and to prioritize what is best for learners.”

Dr. Zach Jenkins, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Cedarville University and Shenk’s preceptor, encouraged her to consider a teaching career.

“Dr. Jenkins provided me with a lot of tools that helped me navigate teaching and precepting experiences once I graduated and started my residency,” Shenk said. “I appreciate that my professors cared about my interests and goals and connected me to relevant experiences as a student.”

Shenk completed her first year of residency training at Eskenazi Health, a hospital in Indianapolis. She expects to complete her second year of residency at Eskenazi June 2019.

During her second year of residency, Shenk hopes to develop as an educator and positively impact health care.

“Eventually, I desire to incorporate teaching into my future practice,” She said.