Kicking off the semester with new faculty — Alyssa Gallipani

Interview by Madinah Muhammad

Photo by Scott Giglio

Pharmacy, dance and helping others — three major passions of new Fairleigh Dickinson University faculty member Alyssa Gallipani. She joins the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences as an assistant professor in pharmacy practice. Gallipani holds a doctorate in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) University. Her students will learn how to integrate knowledge gained from coursework and apply it to patients in a clinical setting in the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience III – Ambulatory Care course.

Alyssa Gallipani
FDU: What brought you to FDU?

Alyssa Gallipani: I was originally attracted to the close-knit community feeling of the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Everyone is very connected and interdependent. The mutual relationships among the faculty, the dean and even the students, present an ideal environment that allows me to be a part of the growth of the college.

Attending MCPHS University exposed me to a small school environment where everyone knew each other and developed long-lasting relationships. Having relationships with my peers is important and beneficial for me — and I soon recognized that FDU was a place that was consistent with the environment I enjoyed from that experience.

FDU: What kind of research do you do? Tell us about the contributions you are making.

AG: Currently I am doing research about interdisciplinary collaboration amongst healthcare providers. This ranges from collaboration of pharmacists with physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacy students and pharmacy residents, to provide optimal care for their patients.

Physician office practices have a responsibility to their patients to address various health needs, including diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. Pharmacists are at an advantage in that they can serve as a vital member within a team to provide comprehensive and well-rounded care. For example, my most recent research involved collaboration of a pharmacist, medical residents and physicians. They partnered on implementing a blood test that shows how genes impact a person’s response to drugs.

Collaboration is something I believe is truly important in the field of pharmacy. I hope to expand in interdisciplinary collaboration type research — especially in the more nontraditional settings such as office-based practices.

FDU: What sparked your passion in this field?

AG: I have always been attracted to the opportunity pharmacists have to help people get well. The overwhelming opportunity to make an impactful difference is what continues to drive my passion in this field. As a pharmacist, you do not just manage medications — you are also given the opportunity to educate other health care providers and patients. You develop and maintain long-lasting relationships with your patients that make being in this field rewarding.

FDU: How do you motivate and encourage students when they are facing challenges in class?

AG: I have learned that the way to motivate students in a direct patient setting is to enable them to see the difference that they are making — the end product of their actions. It is motivating for students to know that they are working on something that is valuable to their education and impactful to the people in the communities they serve. Interactions in direct patient settings enables students to transition from a practicing intern to a licensed pharmacist where they continue to make impactful contributions.

FDU: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

AG: I have danced all my life, even through college. I have been trained in tap, ballet, jazz, modern, pointe, and contemporary dance. Out of all of these, tap dancing is my favorite.