Dr. Metta Lou Henderson, a retired Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy faculty member, recently received an inaugural award, named after her, that recognizes excellence in academic members, from Kappa Epsilon (KE), a professional pharmaceutical fraternity celebrating its centennial anniversary this year.
Dr. Henderson received the first Dr. Metta Lou Henderson Award for Excellence in Academia at KE’s virtual convention held in August. Steven Martin, Pharm.D., ONU College of Pharmacy dean, presented the award in person to Henderson at her home in Tucson, Arizona.
The award criteria focus on four excellence areas: teaching, scholarship, leadership and service, and advancement of the profession.
“As a teacher, you demanded excellence for your students and brought out abilities in young pharmacists that they didn’t know they had,” Martin told Dr. Henderson during the award presentation. “As I’ve spoken to Ohio Northern Alumni across the country, they speak of your mentorship and caring nature, and how that helped shape the pharmacists they became.
Dr. Henderson says as a teacher, she most enjoyed “interacting with students and watching their accomplishments.” She also took pride in seeing students “move pharmacy forward.” Over the years, she says pharmacy practice has changed, with patients benefiting from additional services such as medication management, extensive patient counseling and immunizations. Pharmacy students have embraced these changes, she says.
Dr. Henderson began teaching at Ohio Northern in 1978 and retired in 1998. She was chairperson of Pharmacy Practice, became a Professor of Pharmacy Practice Emeritus in 2000 and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2008.
Other accomplishments include:
• Appointed Assistant to the Vice President of Academic affairs in 1980;
• Kappa Epsilon Key of Excellence recipient in 1981;
• First ONU Pharmacy Alumni Chair, beginning in 1988;
• Appointment by Gov. Celeste to a 4-year term on the Ohio Board of Pharmacy in 1989;
• Interim Chair of PHPR in 1993;
• Appointed as Associate Dean for Pharmacy Student Affairs in 1997.
Martin says Dr. Henderson’s scholarship is well known within the profession, particularly her writings on the history of pharmacy and women in pharmacy.
“Even during the time with women pharmacists, they were very active,” she explains. “In my research, I found so many women who were unknown but outstanding. Over time, women have been prominent leaders in our profession.”
Her own servant leadership spans several professional organizations, including Kappa Epsilon, where she has served office and mentored many.
“The Metta Lou Henderson Award you established at Ohio Northern is an example of how you change the lives of pharmacists in meaningful ways. Our profession has been truly impacted by your dedication and service to humanity,” Martin told Dr. Henderson.