Speaker Bios

Speaker Bios

Speaker Bios 


Mitra Assemi, Pharm.D.
Associate Dean, Accreditation and Quality Improvement
Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy
School of Pharmacy
University of California, San Francisco

Mitra Assemi, Pharm.D., is an associate professor of clinical pharmacy, an experiential program director, and the associate dean for accreditation and quality improvement in the School of Pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco. Her passion focuses on curriculum development and training for student pharmacists, pharmacy faculty, pharmacists, and other health professionals and educators on topics relating to culturally and linguistically appropriate care and services. Her work in this area has been recognized nationally, including adoption of curriculum she has helped develop at major colleges of pharmacy, and publication of a 12-item validated scale for use to assess the impact of cultural competence training on student pharmacists published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy. Dr. Assemi’s areas of active research include curricular assessment, preceptor development and diversity within the profession. Her clinical practice serves diverse underserved adults with type 2 diabetes. She also developed and manages a pharmacy outreach program. This program targets junior high, high school and college students in California's central valley, provides information and opportunities to learn first-hand about the profession, and includes the school's Early Conditional Admissions Program (ECAP), which grants select high school graduates of health professions pipeline programs early admission into the Pharm.D. program.


Margarita Echeverri, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Educational Coordinator in Health Disparities, Cultural Competence and Diversity in the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education
College of Pharmacy
Xavier University of Louisiana

Margarita Echeverri, M.Sc., Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Division of Clinical and Administrative Sciences and serves as the educational coordinator in Health Disparities, Cultural Competence and Diversity in the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education at Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy. She is also a HumaNext Certified Facilitator in Diversity and Cross Cultural Competence, and in Creativity, Emotional Intelligence & Innovation at Work.

Currently, Dr. Echeverri coordinates the collaborative educational program on health disparities, cultural competence and diversity that Xavier and Tulane universities have been introducing across the curricula at their schools of pharmacy and medicine. She is responsible for curriculum development; design and implementation of content on health disparities, health literacy, cultural and linguistic competence; definition and assessment of learning objectives; and training of students along the 4-year of the academic programs.

Dr. Echeverri is an instructor and course coordinator for Pharmacy Skills Lab I (PHCY 3041L), which is a health and social science informatics course required for first-year students. She also teaches health communication, cultural competency and health literacy in Behavioral Pharmacy and Communication and Pharmacy Practice Lab.


Kathleen B. Kennedy, Pharm.D.
Professor and Dean
College of Pharmacy
Xavier University of Louisiana

Kathleen B. Kennedy, Pharm.D., earned the Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of California, San Francisco in 1978 and completed a residency in pharmacy practice. She completed the Management Development Program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in 2004 and the Academic Leadership Fellows Program with AACP in 2006. In 2004, Dr. Kennedy received the Malcolm Ellington Professor of Health Disparities Research Endowed Professorship and was appointed director of the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education (CMHDRE) where she served until January of 2009. As the director of the CMHDRE, Dr. Kennedy provided leadership in the development of the research infrastructure necessary to support health disparities research, education and training in the College of Pharmacy. Dr. Kennedy’s research has been in the area of behavior modification and cultural competence. 

Dr. Kennedy served as the co-principal investigator for the Tulane-Xavier NCI Cancer Health Disparities grant where her focus was on developing cultural competence training for future health professionals. She has served as a reviewer for NIH in the National Cancer Institute. In 2007, Dr. Kennedy organized the first national health disparities conference for mid-level healthcare professionals to address the successful translation of research into effective models of practice to impact policy and change behavior in the broader community.

Dr. Kennedy was appointed dean of the College of Pharmacy in May 2010.


D Magrini
Health Education Program Director
Mautner Project

For 20 years, D Magrini has focused her skills and energy toward the goal of reducing health disparities and improving access to culturally sensitive care for underserved and vulnerable women.

Magrini began her professional career in 1991 as a community health outreach and education specialist for vulnerable lesbians of color and as a member of the Women’s Health Consultants Collective (from 1991 – 94) who trained third-year medical students and seasoned providers how to conduct a sensitive well-woman exam respectful of the woman’s perspective.

Magrini also served as the program coordinator/liaison for the Women’s Health consultants program at Howard University. In this role she worked closely with medical school instructors to assure students’ learning goals were met and evidenced by evaluation. This position allowed Magrini to increase her administrative skills as program manager, while developing the more nuanced skill of matching the appropriate instructors with the appropriate student grouping to create a stimulating learning environment.  During her time at Howard, she learned the critical importance of mutual listening and learning strategies, not only with respect to those providing care but also in forming ongoing respectful partnerships with vulnerable communities of women at increased risk for under-service and poor health.

Magrini joined the Mautner Project as a health educator in 1994 and continued this work as the primary health educator at the Lesbian Services Program of Whitman Walker clinic in Washington, D.C. from 1997– 2006. She developed a range of successful strategies for getting different communities of women of color to participate in health promotion and early intervention programs. 


Michael J. Miller, M.S., Dr.P.H.
Associate Professor
College of Pharmacy
The University of Oklahoma

Michael J. Miller, M.S., Dr.P.H., has been a pharmacist for more than 20 years with experience in clinical, management and research environments in private, government and academic sectors. He has a B.S. degree in pharmacy from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.S. degree in pharmacy administration from The University of Arizona and a Doctor of Public Health degree in behavioral and community health sciences from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Miller is currently an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy: Clinical and Administrative Sciences at The University of Oklahoma (OU) College of Pharmacy in Tulsa. He teaches courses related to design, analysis and interpretation of research studies to ensure appropriate application to healthcare decision-making in the professional pharmacy program. He collaborates extensively on research projects with professional pharmacy and graduate students, residents and faculty across colleges of medicine and pharmacy and the medical library.   

Prior to appointment at OU-Tulsa in 2008, Dr. Miller was an assistant professor of pharmacy administration at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. In Iowa, he performed community-based health literacy research focused on improving pharmacy communication in the community-dwelling elderly. He also served as a consultant to a project intended to raise depression awareness among elderly Iowans. Dr. Miller was the co-principal proponent for a research study examining patient perceptions of a health literacy-based surgical consent form and process in the largest integrated health system in Iowa. In addition to his academic teaching and service responsibilities at the Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, he served as a literacy tutor for adults learning to read.         


Marc A. Nivet, Ed.D.
Chief Diversity Officer
Association of American Medical Colleges

Marc A. Nivet, Ed.D., is the chief diversity officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges. Dr. Nivet is known for creating innovative collaborations that have been recognized nationally as models of success and for writing and lecturing about diversity as a driver of educational excellence. Among the topics he is known to address are diversifying academic medicine, eliminating racial disparities in healthcare and best practices for increasing minority enrollment in health professional school. It is his belief that no institution can call itself “excellent” without being diverse.

He most recently served as the chief operating officer (COO) and treasurer for the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation in New York City, a foundation that supports programs designed to improve the education of health professionals in the interest of the health of the public. As COO, Dr. Nivet was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Foundation and managed an endowment of $150 million. Prior to the Macy Foundation, Nivet worked at the Sallie Mae Fund (the philanthropic arm of the SLM Corporation) as the director of state outreach. Before that, he worked for seven years as the associate executive director of the Associated Medical Schools of New York, where he oversaw several programs designed to increase enrollment and retention of minority students in the health professions.

Nivet received his undergraduate degree in communication studies from Southern Connecticut State University and his Master of Science degree in higher education/student development from Long Island University, C.W. Post campus.


W. Thomas Smith, J.D., Pharm.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor
College of Pharmacy

University of Florida

W. Thomas (Tommy) Smith graduated from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 1994 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Upon graduation, Dr. Smith served as the director of operations for Corum Health Services, Inc., a long-term care pharmacy in Saint Louis, Mo. In order to expand his interests in the areas of healthcare regulation and policy and disability law, Smith went back to school to study law. Dr. Smith earned his Juris Doctor degree in 2005, along with a Certificate in Health Law, from the prestigious Center for Health Law Studies at Saint Louis University School of Law. Afterward, Dr. Smith joined the faculty of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy where he taught the Introduction to Pharmacy Practice, Pharmacy Law and Ethics, and Biomedical Ethics courses. In 2007, the college presented Dr. Smith with the Student Enrichment Award.

Dr. Smith joined the faculty of the University of Florida (UF) College of Pharmacy in July 2008. During the fall semester, he coordinates and teaches the Pharmacy Law and Ethics course to residential Doctor of Pharmacy students in their third professional year of study, and Structure Process and Outcomes of Regulations to students in their first semester of UF’s online Master of Science in pharmacy program. Dr. Smith also teaches several classes on pharmacy law and ethics to first-year students in the Introduction to Pharmacy Health Care course and classes on the ethics of clinical research to Ph.D. and master’s students in the Introduction to Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy course.

Since joining the faculty at UF, Dr. Smith’s scholarly work has begun to focus primarily on disability education in pharmacy curricula and legal and ethical issues related to disability and healthcare. Dr. Smith has spoken on these issues at the Mississippi College of Law, the University of Florida College of Law, the 2010 American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting and Exposition, and the 2010 American Bar Association Annual Meeting.

Last updated on: 3/8/2011 4:17 PM 

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