The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Welcomes Dr. Tatiana Bronich as the New Dean
The Office of the Dean has undergone changes at Northeastern’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SOPPS), but no matter who was ending or beginning their time at the helm, the school, faculty, and students have been in capable hands.
Those changes have been frequent lately as the school concluded its search for someone to fill the dean position on a permanent basis. Last year, Jack Reynolds stepped down from the post after serving for 10 years. Reynolds began his time as dean of the SOPPS in 2007, serving until 2014. He left to become the interim vice provost for one year and interim dean of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences for two years, returning in 2017 to lead the SOPPS again through 2020.
“The School of Pharmacy has had great leadership over the years,” Bouvé College of Health Sciences Dean Carmen Sceppa said. “I think the world of Jack — he was dean for 13 years — there is a great foundation resulting from great leaders.”
Reynolds saw the school through fluctuating enrollment, growth in faculty, and new challenges in fundraising; the latter issue was addressed by bringing on new endowment funds which opened doors to new opportunities for the school.
“I sensed it was time for a change,” Reynolds said. “I had been doing it for a long time.”
Jack Reynolds’ time at Northeastern began following his years as chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and the dean of the School of Pharmacy at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. He joined Northeastern in 2002 as chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice when he was convinced to make a change and come to Northeastern.
“What they were doing (at Northeastern) was very exciting,” Reynolds said. “The university was transforming itself. I was persuaded.”
Under Reynolds’ leadership, enrollment increased by 50%. The school also saw development in fundraising and curriculum. Reynolds saw himself as a servant-leader working together with faculty, students, staff, and alumni.
Reynolds’ departure meant looking for a replacement. While the school sought that replacement, Miriam Mobley Smith stepped in as interim dean. School leadership approached Mobley Smith about serving on an interim basis while a permanent dean could be found, and Smith agreed.
“I knew Miriam from her time at Chicago State,” Reynolds said, adding he was glad to see Mobley Smith pursue and ultimately get the post.
Reynolds’ last day was June 30, 2020, and Miriam Mobley Smith took over on an interim basis the next day. Mobley Smith had been no stranger to higher education. She was the dean of the College of Pharmacy at Chicago State University from ’07-’16. She spent over a year on the university’s board of trustees, a term that ended in July of 2020. Her career has also included sitting on the advisory panel for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid and a four-year term on the Illinois State Board of Pharmacy. Her experience was exactly what Dean Sceppa was looking for.
“Dean Sceppa decided it would be best to bring in someone externally,” Mobley Smith said. “She was looking for a change agent.”
Before officially coming to the SOPPS, Mobley Smith had multiple phone calls with Sceppa. Mobley Smith had a lot of questions, and she wanted to know the school’s timeframe for her and finding a replacement. She wanted to know Sceppa’s expectations for the following year. The task laid before Mobley Smith required a lot of work, but having worked in education, municipal government, and advising on a federal level, Mobley Smith was used to performing at a high level.
“I wanted Dean Sceppa to lay out the expectations,” Mobley Smith said. “Higher education is not the only administration I’ve been in. There was absolutely nothing she said that was scary to me.”
Mobley Smith took over in July of last year and served until this past June. She led the school in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic which gave more challenges than a dean would face during a typical school year.
Mobley Smith called her year at the School of Pharmacy a good one. She was impressed by the students and the involvement of the faculty.
“I had no idea how accomplished the school was until I stepped in,” she said. “I didn’t know about the co-op experience or how it helped to shape their early experiences. I met great people.”
Mobley Smith is happy to see Tatiana Bronich get started and is glad to see her working at a place like Northeastern, calling it, “A community of scholars. They’re dedicated individuals.”
The leadership has seen the school through a period of change within academia.
“We instill in students the fact that we have an ever-changing landscape. Tech and AI personalize health opportunities to develop leaders in a time where ever-changing aspects of healthcare are key,” Sceppa said. “We’re very excited about that.”
Sceppa spoke of the great leadership that has transpired during the tenures of Reynolds and Mobley Smith and was happy to see their work, “taking the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to greater heights.”
As the SOPPS enters its next phase under Dean Bronich’s leadership, Sceppa called it an exciting time.
“Tatiana is accomplished,” Sceppa said. “She is recognized nationally and internationally.” Sceppa is confident that Bronich’s background and experience will allow her to create the interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial opportunities that will help to move the school forward.