The UW Pharmacy Alumni Association proudly recognizes Dr. Dawn Ipsen, PharmD ’01, and Dr. Han Kiat Ho, PhD ’05, as the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Started in 1973 and originally presented at Commencement, the Distinguished Alumni Awards have a rich history of honoring UW School of Pharmacy graduates who demonstrate excellence in the profession, are connected to the School, and have a positive impact on the pharmacy practice and research community. Over the years, we have honored more than 50 deserving alumni, granting them the status of Alumni Legend.
Dr. Dawn Ipsen’s contributions to the education of future Husky Pharmacy leaders transcends precepting and her lifelong professionalism has impacted students, peers and the Puget Sound community in far-reaching ways. A Washington State Native, Dawn is the owner of Kusler’s and Clark’s Compounding Pharmacies, where she precepts PharmD students on their APPE rotations. In addition to providing custom compounded medications, pharmaceutical supplements and consultations for people, their pets and health care providers, Dawn and her teams seamlessly and rapidly transitioned to provide COVID-19 vaccines across Snohomish County starting on January 2021. In all, over 50 volunteers have provided 500 hours of service, administering over 4,000 doses to community members, health care providers and educators across the county.
In 2020, Dawn established the WSPA’s Compounding Special Interest Group, dedicated to legislative action and expanding opportunities for new, compounding professionals both within Washington State and across the nation. Dawn’s dedication to compounding pharmacy practice extends, too, through her service on the national Advisory Council for the Professional Compounding Centers of America, where she works to increase patient health and access, and to amplify pharmacy business health and vitality.
The UW School of Pharmacy and PharmD program are grateful to Dawn for her many years of service on the Student Preceptor Experiential Advisory Committee, working with faculty and students to develop student engagement activities through precepting. Dawn’s commitment to the next generation of Husky Pharmacists is evident in her 15 years of service as a preceptor at Kusler’s Compounding Pharmacy.
A 2005 PhD graduate of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Dr. Han Kiat Ho, PhD ’05, is currently the Deputy Dean of Students and Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy at the National University of Singapore. Also the Vice President of the Toxicology Society of Singapore, Han has published over 90 papers, which have been sited more the 3,000 times. He has been recognized with numerous honors as the 2020 Outstanding Educator Award by the National University of Singapore; the six-time recipient of the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award at the National University of Singapore; and the Liew Weng Chee Scholarship recipient through the Institute of Drug Safety Sciences at the University of North Carolina.
Inspired by the passion and dedication of former UW School of Pharmacy Dean and Professor Dr. Sid Nelson, Han has dedicated his career to educating students. In his current role, Han oversees academic and residential activities for all 40,000 students at the National University of Singapore while maintaining rigorous academic research exploring various aspects of liver diseases, including the management of drug-induced liver toxicity, liver fibrosis and liver cancer. Before his appointment as Deputy Dean of Students, Han served as the Deputy Head of the Department of Pharmacy, where he oversaw the creation of the Pharmaceutical Science bachelor’s degree program. Han is instrumental in ensuring the efficacy of pharmaceutical research by serving on the Health Sciences Authority of Singapore’s Advisory Panel, which facilitates the decision for approving the use of specific medications, including those for COVID-19 cases.