Stay open minded, seize the day, and laugh- it's the best medicine!
Interview with Dr. Seena L. Haines, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, FASHP, FCCP, FNAP, BC-ADM, CDE. Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice. The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy.
Open your mind to the possibilities with Dr. Seena Haines
L: Hi everyone and welcome to two pills podcast. Today I am so excited to have dr. Seena Haines with us. In addition to being an aspiring yoga instructor, Dr. Seena Haines is a bit of a foodie who likes to travel. Her most recent travel adventures took her to Rome, Florence, Sorrento, and Venice, Italy. Unlike her last two visits to Italy, this time she managed to stay away from gelato. Her son, Ian, will be driving soon. Watch out! Her dog, Jed Walker, is a total sweetheart who likes peanut butter more than life itself. Dr. Stuart Haines managed to steal Seena’s heart after they attended an invitational conference on diabetes management. Their mutual love of teaching and learning make for super interesting conversations at home. Ok, maybe not so much. Welcome Doctor Haines!
S: Thank you it is a pleasure to be with you today.
L: Would you be able to tell us a little about yourself and your teaching style?
S: Sure, I am a Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. I have been there about three years. I have served as department chair. Before that, I was Associate Dean of Faculty at Palm Beach Atlantic University. I have been in Academia since residency training, going on 18 years. I love being in Academia. I feel like my calling came while I was in pharmacy school. I have spent most of my time studying more about teaching and learning. About how people learn. I am very interested in all teaching forms and modalities. My teaching style is a bit of a potpourri. I seek to actively engage my learners and I follow a multimodal approach. I strive to be engaging and inviting, with a learner-centered approach in how I design and deliver my teaching.
L: Perfect! Can you tell us about a time when a teaching strategy was effective and another time when one was not as effective?
S: I think I could give you the same example for that actually. I desired to do a YouTube Project in my disease prevention and health promotion course. The major project in this course would entail students forming into groups and coming up with a succinct message, which could be geared toward health professionals. It could also be geared toward patients. The students had free reign to come up with a creative and succinct message. They had a faculty coach. There was some initial resistance from the students, but we were able to bring in our IT services from the university to help them map out their approach. The project encompassed the entire semester. I bring this up because I received a lot of resistance on the first year of this journey. I was blown away, the faculty the students, we all took time to watch these videos at the end of the semester. They were amazingly creative and diverse messages. I came up with awards like the Oscars. Those videos went viral. We have had nonprofits post the videos on their websites. ASHP picked up some of the medication safety videos. I have done podium presentations on this project. A colleague and I submitted and received an AACP Innovative Teaching Award for this project.
L: I love that you had the idea for this project and then it went even beyond what you expected by being picked up by these external places. If someone wanted to do a similar YouTube projects with students, do you have any advice for them?
S: Definitely look at your resources such as support and expertise within your institution. Meet early to make a road map. I highly recommend collaboration from the inception. Like any kind of new teaching or project, you need to lay out very clear expectations for them to be successful. The assessment side is also key, so be sure to think about backwards planning when setting this project into motion.
L: What insight do you wish you had as a faculty member on your first day?
S: My first position was at a new School of Pharmacy and I was the first Pharmacy Practice faculty hired. That excited me as I am someone who likes to step into something new. It can be demanding and you grow exponentially. It also taught me the value of mentorship and helping others. As a new faculty member, you do not want to be an island to yourself. Reach out to others and build your network early on. Collaboration is key. One of your earliest goals should be to establish both internal and external networks. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. These networks will pay dividends tremendously.
L: Do you have any books, podcasts, or resources that you would recommend for faculty?
S: “Tomorrow’s Professor” Is a great teaching related blog that I have come to my inbox every day. Faculty focus is another wonderful resource. I love Daniel Pink and his book “Drive.” As a department chair, I think about his areas of mastery, autonomy, and purpose. For podcast, I think about “Choiceology” which is by Schwab. I have also really enjoyed the podcast on being. Hallway conversations can also stimulate great ideas.
L: Do you have any advice for those who are considering taking on a department chair role?
S: When meeting with your supervisor, vocalizing this interest is critical. They can bring opportunities to you within a department or within the school in terms of development. You can also seek out development opportunities outside of your institution even outside of medicine. When you are early on in these positions, leadership training is so valuable.
L: Who inspires you? Where do you get your best ideas?
S: Life is a book of possibilities and you have to be open-minded to receive them. My husband inspires me. He has been in Academia longer than I. We are in the same area of clinical practice. We have been able to write books together, present together, etc. I have networked with in professional organizations and worked with these colleagues on a multitude of projects.
L: My last question would be what is your overall prescription for success and happiness in this position and then just in general?
S: Be open-minded and seize the day. Take the trips you have been wanting to take. Why wait for retirement? Every day is a blessing. Greet the day with that book of possibilities. Continue to grow mentally, physically, spiritually, work on your bucket list. When I think about a healthy life, I think about being open and receptive, a positive outlook, and being mindful.