Sullivan College of Pharmacy partners with University Center of the Mountains

(From left) UCM Executive Director Dr. Deronda Mobelini, Dr. Cindy Stowe, Dean of The Sullivan University College of Pharmacy, and Dr. Jennifer Lindon, President/CEO of Hazard Community and Technical College. SUCOP has signed an agreement with the University Center of the Mountains, housed at HCTC.

Sullivan University College of Pharmacy (SUCOP) is partnering with the University Center of the Mountains (UCM) and Hazard Community and Technical College to facilitate the preparation of students in southeastern Kentucky to apply for Sullivan’s pharmacy program.

The partnership is designed to ensure that students interested in a pre-pharmacy education track have a clear understanding of the classes required to apply for admission to SUCOP’s year-round accelerated three-year Doctor of Pharmacy program, said SUCOP admissions services coordinator Jillian Gairing.


“We have had such wonderful students from that area of Kentucky come to our program,” Gairing said. “With this new partnership, we can interest even more potential students in our pharmacy program and in careers in pharmacy.”

Located at Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC), UCM is a dynamic consortium of postsecondary educational institutions bringing more bachelor’s and master’s degrees and educational opportunities close to home in southeastern Kentucky.

SUCOP joins an impressive list of UCM education partners that includes Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, Northern Kentucky University, UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health, Kentucky State University, Midway, Lindsey Wilson, University of the Cumberlands and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). SUCOP is the first pharmacy school among UCM’s partners.

The UCM mission is to provide improved access to higher education, addressing lifelong learning, economic and workforce needs, and community development within the Kentucky River Area Development District in southeastern Kentucky, said UCM executive director Deronda Mobelini.


“By establishing a clear academic pathway for Hazard Community and Technical College students through to Sullivan University’s College of Pharmacy program,” Mobelini said, “we will be able to provide increased awareness of this educational option for eastern Kentucky students as well as providing solid advising practices and additional student support services that will assist student in staying on track as they work toward their professional program goal.”

Gairing, who is serving as liaison between SUCOP and UCM, has office space on the UCM campus and will regularly meet with and advise students.

“My role will allow me to review transcripts, reach out to and meet students, do presentations in the community and let people know about The Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and the programs that we offer,” she said.

Hazard Community and Technical College President and CEO Jennifer Lindon said that “after finishing their general education and pre-requisite courses through Hazard Community and Technical College and the University Center of the Mountains, we have had several students complete their degrees with the Sullivan University School of Pharmacy.”

“We are excited to enter into this partnership with the SUCOP so that we can continue to produce top notch pharmacists from Eastern Kentucky,” Lindon said.

The partnership is part of SUCOP’s mission “to improve the health and wellness of individuals and communities through developing dynamic and thoughtful leaders (and) serving the needs of diverse populations.”

Mobelini said that the rural communities of southeastern Kentucky have a need for healthcare professionals interested in living in and serving the region. In addition, there is growing interest among young people in pursuing pharmacy careers.

“There continues to be a general need for pharmacists, and the UCM and HCTC’s work with area high schools in developing biomedical career pathways has established a growing interest in pharmacy and other healthcare fields among future college students as well as a better understanding of what it takes to earn a seat in programs such as the SUCOP program,” Mobelini said.

“Sullivan University College of Pharmacy is a quality program whose faculty and staff have already demonstrated a willingness to encourage and work with HCTC students by participating in the UCM’s regional Healthcare Academic Career Planning Conference for students, share information and ideas with other UCM partners, and, provide team advising support to HCTC science faculty, all to the benefit of our eastern Kentucky students,” she said.