The University of Texas at Tyler Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy officials recently recognized preceptors during its Annual Preceptor Appreciation and Development Weekend.
“The preceptor development and appreciation event is vitally important to the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy. It is a weekend to recognize our preceptors who have supported the students and college with the giving of their time, knowledge and expertise,” said Dr. Holly Duhon, assistant dean for experiential education.
Stephanie Thurman, owner of Thurman’s Pro-Med Pharmacy in Mount Pleasant, received the Community Independent Award. She has worked with several of the college’s students and has emphasized the importance of building relationships with patients in the local community.
“The best thing about working with Mrs. Thurman was observing the small things that she would do that made such big difference in the lives of her customers,” said student Meri Tesfay of Dallas.
Ronda Dietzel, manager of the Brookshire Grocery Co. in Van, received the Community Chain Award. A member of the college’s admissions committee, Dietzel volunteers for student interviews and serves as a general preceptor.
“She left an impact on me that I will never forget. I cannot say enough about her and my time at Brookshire’s in Van,” said student David Dan of Tyler.
Chiamaka “Chia” Ike, a clinical cardiology pharmacist at the Louis & Peaches Owens Heart Hospital at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances, received the Institutional Award. She has served as a role model and mentor to her students, emphasizing the importance of how a pharmacist thinks when solving problems.
“Dr. Chiamaka embodies the true definition of what it means to be a preceptor. I really enjoyed how much she wanted me to grow as a student,” said student Jameson Johns of Winnsboro, Louisiana.

The college has completed its first year of educating students. First-year students are required to rotate between three different practice experiences: community chain, community independent and institutional pharmacies. The students work under the guidance of pharmacists, physicians and other healthcare providers who have been trained by the college to precept, or teach, at their practice site. These healthcare providers are appointed as preceptors and hold a position as adjoint faculty in the college.
At the conclusion of the school year, students are given the opportunity to nominate a Preceptor of the Year. The college’s Office of Experiential Education receive nominations, and an awards committee narrowed down the selection to three recipients – one for each type of practice experience.
Experiential education constitutes one-third of the UT Tyler curriculum, where students get to apply the knowledge obtained from the classroom and laboratory settings to professional practice experiences. In addition to the practice experiences, each student has the benefit of focused reflection time both individually and in a small group setting.
For more information, contact Duhon, 903.565.5596 or hduhon@uttyler.edu.
One of the 14 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 8,500 high-ability students. UT Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.