Pharmacy dean honored for efforts to link students, senior citizens

Kenneth Audus, dean of the School of Pharmacy, has been named the recipient of the 2011 Jim and Virginia Seaver Award from Douglas County Senior Services.

Audus was chosen for the award because of his work to partner KU students with local senior citizens in educational settings, such as flu shot clinics, bone density scanning programs and lunch seminars on pharmaceuticals.

Kenneth Audus

“He’s the kind of person who just rolls up his sleeves and gets it done,” Jessie Kwatamdia, program director at Douglas County Senior Services, said. “He’s a servant leader. He leads by serving others. Dean Audus wants students to have life experiences working with older adults. Often he shows up to show support for the programs and the students. He’s done so much behind the scenes and invested so much in the community.”

The award will be presented at a ceremony April 28.

Audus has been dean since 2004. He earned his doctorate and did postdoctoral research at KU before becoming a faculty member. He said he is honored by the award and will continue to encourage students to work with senior citizens.

“It’s appreciated and encourages me to continue,” Audus said of the award. “Seniors and students benefit from interactions together. As pharmacists, seniors are the major group our students will interact with. The 65 and over age group will double in number in the next 20 years. That’s lots of people with lots of questions about their meds.”

In his tenure as dean, Audus has led the school through an expansion and move into a new facility. The school’s new west campus facility opened in 2010. The new branch in Wichita will allow the school to increase its annual enrollment from 105 to nearly 200. The school also consistently ranks near the top in research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The support is considered an important part of a school of pharmacy’s national reputation. KU has been in the top five for 10 consecutive years and in the top six every year since 1995.

For more information about the award ceremony, contact Kwatamdia at 785-842-0543 or jessie@sunflower.com.

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