ACP Announces New Faculty, Staff Members

OAKWOOD, VA (August 29, 2022) – The Appalachian College of Pharmacy has announced the addition of several new faculty and staff members.

Dr. Amy Cochran has joined the staff as the director of experiential education; Karen Brown has joined ACP as its registrar (in training); Dr. Makayla Funk and Dr. Melanie Hagy have joined the staff in its post-graduate fellowship training program; Mossamat Afroza Begum has joined the staff as a research and faculty assistant in the department of pharmaceutical sciences; and Jason Helton has joined the staff in maintenance.

“We are so pleased to welcome these new faculty and staff members to the Appalachian College of Pharmacy family,” said ACP Dean Susan Mayhew. “We look forward to working with them in their various roles at the college going forward. We are blessed to have a low turnover among our faculty and staff which speaks well of them and the benefits of working at ACP.”

In addition to serving as the director of experiential education, Cochran will also serve as an assistant professor of pharmacy. Funk and Hagy are both working with the ACP transitions of care programs at Buchanan General Hospital and Clinch Valley Medical Center.

Cochran completed pre-pharmacy coursework at UVA’s College at Wise, East Tennessee State University and Radford University. She earned a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Shenandoah University in 2006.  

Cochran brings 16 years of experience with her to ACP with both hospital and community backgrounds. In her practice, she enjoys interacting with patients through community outreach events such as wellness days and immunization clinics.

A native of Buchanan County, she currently resides in Grundy. She enjoys music, movies and spending time with her husband, Charlie, and their three boys, Ace, Eli and Max. 

Brown, who joined the staff August 1, 2022, will replace current Registrar Vickie Keene upon Keene’s retirement this year. She is a native of Buchanan County and is a 1985 graduate of Grundy Senior High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Emory & Henry College in 1989; a Master of Science in curriculum and instruction from Radford University in 2001; and an Education Specialist Degree from the University of Virginia in 2009. She retired from the Buchanan County Public School System with 31 years of service as a former teacher and administrator. She taught mathematics in grades 6-12, and later served as an elementary, middle and high school principal. She retired as principal of Grundy High School in 2022. In addition to her primary role at ACP, Brown will also assist in tutoring pharmacy students in the areas of math related to pharmacy calculations.

Brown resides in Grundy with her husband, Troy. She has two daughters, Bailee and Peyton; and three grandchildren. In her free time, she and her husband enjoy spending time with family, concerts, travel and college football.

Funk, a native of Coeburn, did her prerequisites for pharmacy school at Southwest Virginia Community College. She holds an MBA from the University of Pikeville and graduated from ACP this past spring.

Assigned to the BuchananCares program at BGH, Funk does medication reconciliation, helps students coordinate the transitions of care program and assists with discharge counseling for patients.

Hagy was born and raised in southeastern Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2016 where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. In 2018, she moved to Vansant and has resided there since. She went back to school at Southwest Virginia Community College in 2018 to take the required prerequisite courses for pharmacy school before enrolling at the Appalachian College of Pharmacy where she earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree while simultaneously earning a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Pikeville Coleman College of Business, both in 2022.

As a fellow for ACP, she spends several days a week working on patient transitions of care at Clinch Valley Medical Center in Richlands and several days a week on campus at ACP helping to tutor current students.

In her free time, she enjoys reading, being outdoors, playing video games and spending time with her husband, Marc and dog, Dan.

Begum serves as a research and faculty assistant in the ACP department of pharmaceutical sciences.

She holds two master’s degrees — a Master of Social Science degree with a concentration in economics from National University, Bangladesh and a Master of Education degree in non-formal and continuing education from the Institute of Education and Research, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

She has teaching experience in Bangladesh. In 2018, she also volunteered at ACP.

Begum came to the United States from Bangladesh with her husband, Dr. Faisal Hossain, who is an assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at ACP. She lives in Oakwood and they have a two-year-old son.

In her free time, she enjoys cooking and spending time with family and friends.

Helton is from Oakwood and is a 2021 graduate of Twin Valley High School. He has previously worked as a security guard for a local security company. He enjoys music, football and attending church.

The Appalachian College of Pharmacy is the only three-year Doctor of Pharmacy program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Founded in 2003, the college accepted its first students in 2005. It is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Its mission is to cultivate a learning community committed to education, community outreach and the professional development of pharmacists. Its graduate pharmacists are now practicing throughout the United States.

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