Mercer wordmark

Matthews Earns Outstanding Dean of the Year
from American Pharmacists Association's Student Group

January 19, 2012

Media Contact: David N. Hefner, , (678) 547-6244

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) announced that Dr. Hewitt W. Matthews, dean of the Mercer University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, is the recipient of the 2012 APhA-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Outstanding Dean Award. He was selected in recognition of his active promotion of student pharmacist welfare and professional development, strong advocacy for student pharmacists, and marked contributions to the APhA-ASP Chapter.

Established in 2004, the APhA-ASP Outstanding Dean Award recognizes the dean of a school or college of pharmacy who has made significant contributions to the APhA-ASP Chapter and promoted the welfare of student pharmacists through various community service, leadership and professional activities. Dean Matthews will be presented with the award during the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in News Orleans, March 9-12. APhA’s awards series is pharmacy’s most comprehensive recognition program.

Nominating Matthews, a student stated, “Dean Matthews recognizes that student organizations are key in promoting professionalism and enhancing the education of student pharmacists. He has written these views and values into the university mission statement and has furthered this mission by adding faculty support to student organizations. Dean Matthews practices an open-door policy with his students and also hosts a bi-annual meeting for the entire student body where he addresses concerns regarding the curriculum, organizational involvement and the educational experience at Mercer COPHS. Dean Matthews is a visionary leader and actively works with faculty, students and administration to improve the school.”

Dr. Matthews is dean and professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the Mercer College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences as well as the University's and vice president for the Health Sciences. He earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Clark College, a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Mercer and Master of Science in pharmaceutical biochemistry and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin.

A past student of Mathews commented, “Dean Matthews is an exceptionally compelling, engaging and sincere individual. In and out of the classroom, he challenged us to strive for excellence; he encouraged student pharmacists and made an effort to get to know us as individuals. The culture he creates and the support he generously gives fosters success. Thousands of student pharmacists have benefitted from his leadership, wisdom, encouragement, wit, advocacy and support over the two decades of his deanship.”

Matthews is a member of numerous professional organizations including AMCP, AACP, AAPS, APhA and ASHP. He has been honored with several distant awards for his achievements including Outstanding Leadership Award from the Magnolia State Pharmaceutical Association, Dean Facilitator, Academic Leadership Fellows Program from AACP, the Cahuncey I. Cooper Award from the NPhA and the ACA Dean’s Recognition Award for Outstanding Service to Community Pharmacy Practice.

About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States.

About the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Mercer University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has the No. 3 ranked pharmacy program among private universities in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. The College offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.), pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.), and physical therapy (DPT), and the master’s degree (M.M.Sc.) for physician assistants. Founded in 1903 as the independent Southern School of Pharmacy, the school merged with Mercer University in 1959 and in 1981 became the first school in the Southeast to offer the Doctor of Pharmacy degree as its sole professional degree. The College officially became a comprehensive College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2006, adding the Department of Physician Assistant Studies in 2006 and the Department of Physical Therapy in 2010. With an enrollment of more than 750 students and a distinguished faculty of basic scientists and clinicians, the College houses five centers focusing on research, teaching and learning. The College’s motto, “A Tradition of Excellence – A Legacy of Caring,” frames its philosophy of providing excellent academic programs in an environment where every student matters and every person counts. For more information about the College, please call (678) 547-6244 or visit