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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 12/08/11
Media Contact: Angela Koenig, 513-558-4625
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Focus on Staff With Marilyn Schwiers, Administrative Director, James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy

Focus On highlights faculty, staff, students and researchers at the UC Academic Health Center. To suggest someone to be featured, please email

After one stint of employment at the university and years of entrepreneurial endeavors, Marilyn Schwiers has found her home back at UC. Her current role as administrative director in the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy keeps her in touch with the academic and clinical side of pharmacy practice.

When did you come to UC and what is your background?
"I actually held a position at UC up until 1979 but left when the entrepreneurial spirit bit me. I gave up the security of a paycheck and benefits and spread my wings to open my secretarial service with the unknown of salary, and the only known benefits of long hours—seven days a week—and the satisfaction of meeting my customers’ need. I truly believe entrepreneurship was inherited from my father’s genes—he owned a grocery store from 1951 to 1963, then a stand in Findlay Market until 1968.

"When I gave up my business, I spent a year in Atlanta assisting a physician with the establishment of his pain clinic practice. Back in Cincinnati I worked in the legal arena. I returned for my second tour of duty with UC in 1997 as an executive staff assistant in administration and finance, and then secured a promotion with the College of Pharmacy in 1998 as assistant to the dean."

What is the greatest change in the students you’ve seen in your time here?
"The age variance. The traditional 18 to 19-year-old college student is a thing of the past."

Do you have any hobbies or anything that you love to do besides work?
"I volunteer for special exhibits/events at the Cincinnati Museum Center where I get to meet lots of hometown folks as well as out-of-town visitors, and share with them all the wonderful things that happen at the museum such as culture fests, organ concerts, the OmniMax and "Holiday Junction,” or just spending a day at the museum. And, I am an avid Bearcat sports fan from baseball to basketball (both men’s and women’s) to football."

In your opinion, what is the most exciting time for the pharmacy student?
"Our students are exposed to the daily life of a pharmacist through their clinical rotations in hospitals, public health clinics, and community and retail pharmacies. Here they learn what it is like to be a pharmacist. Today’s pharmacist has to be more than a person behind the counter wearing a white coat. Your pharmacist needs to know more than the name of a medication and how many pills go into a bottle. He/she has to be thoroughly versed in what medication treats which disease, various medication interactions, and be a good counselor to their patients. That is why pharmacists are considered in the top three of most respected professions."

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