Wulling Center Welcomes Two New Affiliate Members

The Wulling Center is a community of scholars engaged in advancing education through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) and through Educational Research.

Affiliate members are researchers from an organization outside of the University of Minnesota, who are working with the Center in targeted research areas.  The Wulling Center recently welcomed two new affiliate members that have been integrally aiding our education-related scholarship around the patient care process and student success.


Ben Aronson
Dr. Ben Aronson

Ben Aronson, Pharm.D, Ph.D., ONU Raabe College of Pharmacy

Dr. Aronson joins the newly forming Student Success Team. This team is exploring variables that help our students to thrive professionally.  His work in developing the Student Pharmacist Inventory of Professional Engagement (S-PIPE) is central to the team’s emerging model. Dr. Aronson says:

Professional engagement provides a backdrop for professional development and fit within the profession. I hope to help students find their passion in the profession, grow their passion, and explore their passions. Professional engagement also connects with student co-curricular learning and experiences, and I am very passionate about developing impactful, individualized experiences through professional organizations and outreach experiences.

In terms of his goals for education-related scholarship, he adds:

I believe by better understanding the factors that allow students to find their fit and grow their passions within the profession we can determine the influential promoting experiences.  The work of the Student Success Team at the Wulling Center seeks to understand determinants of success.  It will help to uncover the relative influence of various factors on success (e.g. well-being, engagement), as well as the relationship between determinants. The findings from this research will help to improve programmatic measurement of student success, and efforts to improve professional development in order to maximize student success.


Anita Sharma, Pharm.D., HealthEast

Anita Sharma Photo
Dr. Anita Sharma


Dr. Sharma was the driving force behind a number of our early scholarship efforts in Team Based Learning (TBL).  Most recently, Dr. Sharma has worked with Dr. Hager to develop and implement The Pharmaceutical Care Experience, which is an early experiential opportunity with the pharmacists’ patient care process (PPCP) for first year students.

Her goals include defining a framework for early experiential education in ambulatory care.  The College piloted a focused program in Summer 2016.  Dr. Sharma describes it:

Six students were matched with five practitioners in five clinics, and spent five half-days in clinic in the summer after their first professional year. Students interviewed patients to obtain their medication experience and completed post-clinic reflections about “lessons learned,” which were shared with peers online. In post experience evaluations, all students agreed or strongly agreed they are better able to bridge classroom patient care concepts with the realities of practice, and are more confident interviewing patients about their medication-related needs.

In addition to helping make the bridge from classroom to practice, Dr. Sharma is also passionate about skill development and examining the success of early experiences.  To that end, the pilot implemented a new model for longitudinal student reflection with analysis guided by indicators of transformative learning.  Dr. Sharma’s efforts add to Minnesota’s long history of innovation in teaching the PPCP.

Welcome to Drs. Aronson and Sharma!