Head and shoulders photo of Kathy Quarles-Moore

Clinical teaching award: Kathy Quarles-Moore

Pharmacy professor thinks of her students like her own children

Kathy Quarles-Moore 
Assistant professor, clinical pharmacy and outcomes sciences, College of Pharmacy, lab director of community and compounding labs 
B.S. Pharmacy, University of South Carolina 
2021 Clinical Practice Teaching Award 
Joined UofSC in 2008  

Dr. Walt Sowell taught my therapeutics class, and he would have a smile on his face every single day. He always had a positive outlook — so much so that you didn’t want to disappoint him. I wanted to make an ‘A’ in that class, and I did. I was there early, I would ask questions after class. He was my role model. He was the faculty adviser for Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International and because of him, I joined that organization. As his student, I just wanted him to be proud of me. I wanted to hear him say ‘good job’ or ‘that was great.’ It also inspired me to learn more on my own.  

When you're a pharmacist and you have rotation students, you're always teaching. And with your patients, you're always teaching. I never thought I would be a teacher here in the university. But once I was, I was going to be like Walt with that smile on my face because you never know how much you can impact somebody. One day he acknowledged my passion for pharmacy. I didn’t know that anybody recognized that in me until he said something. So that was an aha moment. 

I always smile at my students. I genuinely take on these students like they’re my own children — my family calls me a mother hen. I'm going to love them tough, but I'm going to love them well. I think when these P-1 pharmacy students come in, they’re scared to death. They know it's going to be tough. And here comes this teacher who smiles at them and knows their names by the second week.  

I want to teach the whole person. When I walk around to each compounding station, I talk about not only what they are compounding, but also their lives as well. Every semester during the emulsions lab, I bring in ice cream for them. This shows students that what I am teaching them to make is around them every day; it’s not just in the pharmacy. And let me tell you, they never forget that ice cream is an emulsion. 

What really has benefited me is having my P4 rotation students with me because I will ask them about things we did in earlier classes in P1 and P3. I’ll ask, ‘Is there anything different that I should do or could do? What would benefit you in that class? Did you like the way we did this?’ And I'll get feedback from them, and they know I am open-minded enough to hear it. And it gives me so many different perspectives, and sometimes I get good ideas out of it.  

You don’t even realize when you’re making an impact until a former student contacts you and says how your encouragement helped him land his dream job or now you are collaborating with former students who are now colleagues. 

Basically, I get paid for doing something that I absolutely love. I love every aspect of pharmacy. I love my students. I love my patients. 

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