School of Pharmacy


Jill VanCleave

Preceptor of the Year 2015-2016

Jill VanCleaveThe University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy awarded two Preceptors of the Year awards for the 2015-16 academic year. Dr. Jill VanCleave, who precepts students at Ridley’s Pharmacy in Laramie, WY was one of the award recipients. Jill was recently interviewed to find out what she does to earn the respect and admiration of her students so that other preceptors could learn from her. Here are her tips and ideas as to ways to educate and motivate students even in the busiest of rotation settings.

Jill has been a preceptor in some capacity for the past 10 years and formally for eight years. She has been with Albertson’s pharmacy, now Ridley’s pharmacy, since she started as a grocery bagger at the age of 16. Jill went into the profession of pharmacy through the encouragement of her father. He suggested it as a career as he thought it sounded like it would be a really interesting job. Jill considered pharmacy and teaching as possible professions when she started college. She found out she really loved pharmacy and now she is able to combine both interests as her role as a preceptor.

Getting to know students is important to Jill. She strives to learn what interests them, why they got into pharmacy, and what areas they would like to learn about while at her site. This results in students feeling as though they are a part of the pharmacy “team”, as expressed by those students who nominated Jill for Pharmacist of the Year.Jill says her patients also embrace having students at the pharmacy which contributes to the positive learning environment and the feeling of inclusivity for students while at Ridley’s.

Jill says she likes having students as they keep her current. She also keeps current on pharmacy topics and preceptor development through continuing education specific to preceptor education and reading articles in publications such as Rx Consultant and Pharmacist Letter. One of the keys to her success as an educator is complementing the things students do well, as well as pointing out things they may want to consider for handling future encounters and growth as a pharmacist. She strives to let her love of retail pharmacy shine through especially when students see her interactions with patients. Jill wants students to know pharmacists are on the front line and how they interact with others is critical to patient care.

One of the unique aspects of Jill’s rotation and something students truly value are the worksheets Jill has created for her students. In order to enhance what students learn from Jill and her staff, she created worksheets on various topics such as common over-the-counter meds and counseling tips for both P2 and P4 students. Through the worksheets Jill conveys her approach to and provides tips on the things she considers when performing the many responsibilities she has as a pharmacist.

One student who nominated Jill for Pharmacist of the Year stated, “Dr. Van Cleave went above and beyond as a preceptor. She pushed me to my full potential and was constantly challenging me to be better. I feel I learned more on this one month rotation than I did in my entire first year of pharmacy school thanks to her devotion as a teacher and mentor. She always found time to answer my questions and provided constructive feedback in a warm manner.” Thanks to Jill’s dedication to customizing the rotation to meet her students’ interests and needs, another student wrote, “This rotation was exactly what you would imagine a perfect community pharmacy rotation to be. The preceptor was a great mentor, providing a positive learning experience that has encouraged me to become the professional pharmacist that all students want to be.”

Return to Past Preceptors of the Year Page