The Rho Chi Society, the Academic Honor Society in Pharmacy, named College of Pharmacy Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Wallace Murray, PhD, as 2011 Faculty Advisor of the Year.

The award was presented on March 27, 2011, at the Rho Chi National Meeting, held in conjunction with the American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting and Exposition in Seattle. College of Pharmacy Dean Daniel Robinson, PharmD, FASHP, accepted the award on Dr. Murray’s behalf.

The Rho Chi Society National Faculty Advisor Award recognizes the unique contributions and accomplishments of outstanding faculty advisers. The award is also intended to serve as a model for other advisers to stimulate chapter activities, diligence, and punctuality, according to the Rho Chi Society website.

Dr. Murray was instrumental in the establishment of the WesternU Rho Chi Society chapter in 2005. He previously served as a Rho Chi Society adviser at the University of Nebraska, where he also received the Rho Chi Society National Faculty Advisor Award. Dr. Murray is the only person to receive the award twice, Dean Robinson said.

“While it recognizes academic achievement, our chapter is very much involved in community service,” Dean Robinson said. “The chapter organized a disaster preparedness booth at the interprofessional health fair that was held on campus last fall. They have participated in a number of fundraisers, and they help to sponsor stimulating guest speakers for our student body as a whole. We are extremely proud of our chapter and of Dr. Murray.”

Membership is offered to the top 20 percent of students in each class. The mission of the Rho Chi Society is to encourage and recognize excellence in intellectual achievement, and to foster fellowship among its members. Further, the Society encourages high standards of conduct and character and advocates critical inquiry in all aspects of pharmacy, according to the Rho Chi Society website.

In their nomination papers, the WesternU Rho Chi Society cabinet cited Dr. Murray’s compassion and sense of selflessness when interacting with students as two of many reasons for selecting him as an award candidate.

“He’s always supportive of students,” said third-year College of Pharmacy student Alan Lu, who served as WesternU Rho Chi Society President in 2010-11. “He serves as a role model of how we should conduct ourselves in everything we do. He leads by example.”

Dr. Murray deflected praise to the students and his co-advisor, Emmanuelle Schwartzman, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Administration.

“Her ideas, imagination and dreams have been translated by students into quite an active organization,” Dr. Murray said. “This award is not mine. It belongs to the student members of the organization.”

Rho Chi members use their intelligence to serve others, he said.

“You’ll find a commonality among Rho Chi students. They are smart and they want to be engaged with others. They are highly motivated, compassionate individuals,” he said.

Students in different classes work closely with one another, helping to ease the transition each year to new officers.

“We are a fairly young chapter,” Dr. Murray said. “To have done so much in so little time speaks volumes of our students.”