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Newsmaker: Robert L. Maher Jr.

Age: 40

Residence: Shaler

Family: Wife, Kristen; daughter, Abigail; son, Robert

Education: Bachelor of Science in pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh, 1993; doctorate in pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh, 1997

Background: After being drawn into pharmacy through his father's store, Patton Pharmacy outside Altoona, Maher earned his license and worked in community pharmacies for two years before going back to Pitt for his doctorate. He first became interested in teaching while doing a residency in geriatric pharmacy in Durham, N.C., and took a job teaching at Duquesne University in 1998.

Notable: Maher was recognized this month as the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association's 2010 "Preceptor of the Year." As a preceptor, Maher takes sixth-year pharmacy students to his father's pharmacy or to branches of the Klingensmith Drug Stores throughout the region so they can do five-week rotations and apply their schooling to real-world situations like identifying drug interactions, offering patient counseling and pre-screening for health issues such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Quote: "We're teaching them to be members of the community, to be members of a larger medical team."

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