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Birnie Among 2023 Women of Excellence Honorees

March 10, 2023

The Rochester Business Journal has selected Dr. Christine Birnie, dean of the Wegmans School of Pharmacy at St. John Fisher University, as a recipient in the 2023 Women of Excellence awards.

Christine Birnie

Established in 2018, the Women of Excellence awards recognize high-achieving women for their professional experience, community involvement, leadership, and sustained commitment to mentoring. Forty winners were selected by a panel of judges comprised of previous Women of Excellence and Circle of Excellence honorees.

Birnie received her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and continued her studies at the same institution, completing a doctoral degree in the area of pharmaceutics. She has worked in a range of pharmacy settings including community and hospital pharmacy and is a registered pharmacist in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida.

Upon completing her doctorate, she joined the pharmaceutical industry before transitioning to the faculty of Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. There, she helped to develop the compounding laboratories and pharmaceutical science curriculum in the newly founded school. She began her tenure at the Wegmans School of Pharmacy in 2006, first as a founding faculty member, later as chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and in 2017 was appointed dean.

Birnie’s primary teaching responsibilities have included pharmacy calculations, pharmaceutics, and the compounding laboratory. She developed and taught an elective course, Introduction to Medical Missions, which includes students from nursing and pre-professional disciplines. She also precepts fourth-year students in clinical rotations related to international medical missions and local service learning rotations.

Her research interests include the development and formulation aspects of semi-solid dosage forms, stability of compounded products, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. She has stayed active in scholarship, publishing and presenting poster/podium presentations and is a regular speaker nationally on the topics of pharmacy missions and international pharmacy.

An avid proponent for service and volunteerism both locally and abroad, Birnie has participated in more than 22 student-based medical mission trips around the world and leads a medical mission trip to India annually. In the local community, she serves on several boards, including St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center, Mary’s Place Refugee Outreach and India Connection. Birnie is actively involved in the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), having served in numerous delegate and planning committees. She is a 2012 graduate of the AACP Academic Leadership Fellowship program and is a member of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences, American Pharmacists Association, and the Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International.

Birnie has been the recipient of several awards, including Teacher of the Year (2006), CPFI’s Warren Weaver Service Award (2008), St. John Fisher  University’s Diversity Innovation Bricoleur Award (2010), was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Award to India (2013), and was named a Rochester Champion of Pharmacy by the Pharmacy Society of Rochester and Rochester Society of Health System Pharmacists (2018).

Birnie is joined by several Fisher alumnae in being honored. Mary Therese Friel ’07, Tammy L. Butler ’15 (Ed.D.), and Leah George Van Scott ’13 (MBA). The Women of Excellence awards will be presented at a celebration at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.