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Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy

East Tennessee State University

The Community Pharmacy Practice Research Fellowship is a 2- to 3-year training program with particular emphases on community pharmacy practice-based research and prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment. The program fosters practice-related research skills through multiple avenues, including: completion of coursework across ETSU's Academic Health Sciences Center colleges; participation in interprofessional, externally funded, practice-based prescription drug abuse research projects; advancement of patient care skills through community pharmacy and ambulatory care practice experiences; and development of teaching skills through active participation in the Gatton College of Pharmacy professional curriculum. The Fellow has the opportunity to complete a public health certificate program or MPH degree through the College of Public Health, and a Teaching and Learning Certificate through the College of Pharmacy.

The overall aims of the Community Pharmacy Practice Research Fellowship Program in the Gatton College of Pharmacy at ETSU are:

  1. To provide an analytic, integrative, and authentic practice-focused training program of such scope and quality that trainees will develop the background, confidence, and capacity to undertake creative and independent practice-based research
  2. To equip pharmacists with a breadth of knowledge and skills to enable them to function in a teaching capacity in social and behavioral pharmaceutical sciences disciplines
  3. To develop the ability to evaluate research endeavors critically and to communicate scientific thought effectively in verbal and written form
  4. To advance practice-related knowledge, with particular emphasis placed on prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment
  5. To develop projects and new approaches which demonstrate and evaluate health care effectiveness and systems effectiveness in providing pharmacy services as an integral component of overall patient care

Current Fellows



Aaron Salwan, PharmD

Aaron Salwan, of Stow, Ohio, has been accepted into the Community Pharmacy Practice Research Fellowship Program. He graduated from Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy in May of 2017.

"My desire to fight the prescription drug and opioid epidemic brought me to Gatton," said Salwan. "I have worked to find community pharmacy interventions to help those with substance use disorders."

Dr. Salwan is an adjunct faculty member at East Tennessee State University. He has worked in a community setting, CVS Pharmacy, for seven years and is a member of the Summit County Opiate Taskforce in Akron, Ohio. Dr. Salwan has worked closely with the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADM) Board in his community with a focus on disposing prescription medications properly to help fight addiction. As a resident, Dr. Salwan will work with patients struggling with mental health issues and substance abuse and observe behaviors that will present opportunities for pharmacist intervention. Aaron will pursue a Master of Public Health in Community and Behavioral Health. Dr. Salwan’s career interests include behavioral health, substance abuse disorder and applying pharmaceutical knowledge to public health problems.



Tyler Melton, PharmD

Tyler Melton, of Sylva, North Carolina, started the Fellowship Program in July 2018. He received his bachelor’s in chemistry and biology from Western Carolina University in 2008, and he earned his PharmD from ETSU in 2012. Upon graduation he practiced as a staff pharmacist at Angel Medical Center, a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital located in Franklin, North Carolina.  Later he transitioned to a position as a Walmart Pharmacy Manager in his hometown of Sylva.  Most recently he worked for the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority, located on the Qualla boundary in North Carolina.  He has over 12 years of community pharmacy experience.

“My experiences as a student at the Gatton College of Pharmacy were formative and exciting,” Melton said. “The college supported, encouraged and provided me with diverse personal and professional opportunities that shaped me as a healthcare professional and prepared me to effectively practice pharmacy in the mountains of North Carolina.”

Those experiences led him to apply for the fellowship, along with the accomplishments of the fellowship director and Gatton faculty member Dr. Nick Hagemeier, who is nationally recognized for his research into prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment. Ultimately, Melton would like to pursue a career in pharmacy academia and prescription drug abuse research.

 Previous Fellows


Karilynn Dowling, PharmD

KariLynn Dowling, PharmD, MPH, BCACP, completed the Fellowship Program in June 2018.  Dr. Dowling is a 2014 graduate of the University of Montana Skaggs School of Pharmacy. She completed residency training at Penobscot Community Health Care in Bangor, Maine, as a member of the 2014-15 PGY1 Community Pharmacy and 2015-16 PGY2 Health-Systems Pharmacy Administration residency classes. As a resident, Dr. Dowling focused on controlled substance stewardship and program implementation for intranasal naloxone and medication-assisted therapy initiatives. During the Fellowship Program, Dr. Dowling primarily focused her research and professional development activities on harm reduction strategies, including significant involvement on the ETSU Research Development Committee grant, “Community Pharmacist Engagement in Hepatitis C and HIV Prevention: A Feasibility Study” (PI: Dr. Nick Hagemeier).  She earned her Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Community and Behavioral Health in May 2018.  Her career interests include drug abuse research, opioid use disorder treatment, and academia.  After completing the Fellowship Program, Dr. Dowling took a position as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the Gatton College of Pharmacy.



Daniel Ventricelli, PharmD

Daniel Ventricelli, PharmD, graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy in May 2013 and completed a Community Pharmacy PGY-1 Residency with the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy and Kroger in June 2014. As a community pharmacy resident, Dr. Ventricelli's focus was on medication therapy management, clinical program development, and teaching at the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy, where he held an adjunct faculty appointment. Dr. Ventricelli was also a member of the clinical treatment team on the Dual Diagnostic Unit at the Chestnut Ridge Center for Mental Health Services in Morgantown, West Virginia. While working on the Dual Diagnostic Unit he played an integral role in the treatment of patients struggling with substance use disorders. His practice interests include addiction services, diabetes care and medication therapy management. Dr. Ventricelli’s research at ETSU focused on prescription drug abuse and misuse communication among prescribers and pharmacists. Dan earned an MPH degree in Community and Behavioral health and completed the fellowship in June 2016. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of the Sciences, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.



Rajkumar Sevak, MS, PhD, RPh

Dr. Sevak earned a bachelors in pharmacy and masters in pharmacology in India. During the masters program, Dr. Sevak developed a strong interest in the impact of drugs on brain and behavior, and joined the Ph.D. program in pharmacology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. During graduate school, Dr. Sevak received rigorous training on the principles of pharmacology and behavioral analysis in the context of drug abuse. Dr. Sevak earned his Ph.D. in 2006 and completed postdoctoral research training on the abuse of prescription stimulants and methamphetamine at the University of Kentucky in 2009. Dr. Sevak has published several articles in reputable peer-reviewed journals including, the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology and the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and he has presented research at numerous scientific conferences. He has received several awards, including the Graduate Student of the Year from the University of Texas, Young Scientist Award from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and the Early Career Investigator award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. Dr. Sevak joined the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a faculty member in 2009. At UCLA, Dr. Sevak continued his research on abuse of stimulant medications that are prescribed in clinics and abused on the streets and was awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in research funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and private sources. His work at UCLA was recognized nationally in the receipt of honors and awards from reputed organizations, such as the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Sevak joined the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Gatton College of Pharmacy as a fellow and adjunct faculty member in July 2014 and completed the fellowship in June 2016. He earned a biostatistics certificate program during the fellowship. Dr. Sevak is presently completing a PGY1 residency at Auburn University.


Individuals interested in fellowship opportunities are encouraged to contact Dr. Hagemeier at or 423-439-6239.

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