In May 2022, the School named Chanel Whittaker, PharmD, BCGP, FASCP, the first assistant dean of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives.

Chanel Whittaker headshotWhittaker is also a professor of practice, sciences, and health outcomes research, director of the University of Maryland PGY-2 Geriatrics Residency Program, and director of education and training at the School’s Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and AgingWhittaker has been on faculty at the School of Pharmacy since 2005.

Whittaker is a board-certified geriatric pharmacist and a fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. Her practice and teaching specialties include geriatric pharmacotherapy and chronic kidney disease. She has practiced in several ambulatory and community settings providing services to older adults in the Baltimore area, including the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

In 2013, Whittaker completed a fellowship in ethnogeriatrics with the Stanford Geriatric Education Center and has since leveraged this training to develop and incorporate new cultural competencies into the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum and national standards for training PharmD students and residents in geriatrics. She has developed several evidence-based educational programs and resources to increase access to health information and improve the medication literacy of older adults and caregivers.

She is an American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Tideswell scholar and one of the few pharmacists who has participated in AGS’s Emerging Leaders in Aging Program. Whittaker is currently in the second cohort of the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Faculty Leadership Program.

Whittaker served in a leadership role as a co-chair of the School’s inaugural EDI Task Force along with Wendy Camelo-Castillo, MD, MSc, PhD, assistant professor of practice, sciences, and health outcomes research, and Mandy Oglesby, PhD, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences. With emerging expertise on antiracism in pharmacy and in increasing access to health literate education in the community, Whittaker has worked collaboratively with School leadership, faculty, staff, and students to conduct internal and external environmental scans of EDI strengths and opportunities within the School and to learn about programs on campus and nationally. The Taskforce has also developed an initial strategic plan for EDI, of which Whittaker is now spearheading implementation.

Whittaker maintains some of her teaching and clinical responsibilities while leading EDI efforts and is working collaboratively with the EDI Task Force, which transitioned to an advisory council. Her charges as assistant dean for EDI include:

  • Partner with School of Pharmacy leadership, faculty, and staff to integrate EDI priorities into the School’s 2022-2026 strategic plan and cultivate a reputation for inclusive excellence.
  • Collaborate on the promotion of inclusive excellence and antiracism pedagogy in teaching, learning, and professional development.
  • Lead and coordinate new initiatives that demonstrate the School of Pharmacy’s commitment to a culture of inclusion and belonging for all its students, trainees, faculty, staff, and visitors.
  • Partner with offices, departments, and programs to examine, revise, and create policies to cultivate an equitable and inclusive talent pipeline that results in meaningful diversity throughout the organization.