Getting to Know Joe Dubes & Pat George
The Purdue College of Pharmacy often shines the spotlight on our outstanding students, but today we are pleased to highlight two individuals who have gone above and beyond to help our students navigate their path to success in the Pharmacy program for more than three decades. Joseph E. Dubes, III (BS 1971) and T. Patrick George (BS 1983), both Purdue Pharmacy alumni, have assisted countless students within the Office of Student Services (OSS), and they have found that it is not uncommon for relationships that began as student and advisor to grow into lasting friendships beyond graduation. Please take a moment to get to know Joe and Pat in the following interview.
How did you first become interested in pharmacy?
Joe Dubes, Senior Director for Student Services & Academic Advisor: I spoke with some pharmacists in Lafayette about the profession and decided that it might be a good fit for me as I was interested in healthcare. Don Bloom was one of the first pharmacists that I worked with as a student, and he had a tremendous impact on my appreciation and love of the profession.
Pat George, Director for Professional Program Admissions and Recruitment & Academic Advisor: My high school chemistry teacher thought it fit my personality.
Why did you choose to attend Purdue University?
JD: I was from Lafayette, and I knew that the Purdue College of Pharmacy was a quality school with outstanding faculty and staff. I also knew Dean Tyler and Dr. Cwalina through church and respected them highly.
PG: My high school chemistry teacher knew about Purdue’s reputation and told me to apply. I am first-generation college so I simply did what he told me to do.
Why did you decide to work for the Purdue College of Pharmacy?
JD: Dr. Bob Chalmers encouraged me to apply for the job in the Purdue University Pharmacy. I respected Dr. Chalmers and his reasons for making the recommendation; therefore, I left the retail job that I enjoyed to pursue the job in the Purdue University Pharmacy in July of 1982.
PG: Chip Rutledge was finishing his first year as dean of the College when I was interviewed by Associate Dean George Spratto in 1988. Mr. Bothel was retiring, and I knew this was a very unique opportunity to join Ms. Losey and Mr. Dubes in OSS. Although it sounds funny now, I was sent an itinerary for my interview day. I had never had an itinerary before so I thought that was pretty cool. I interviewed with multiple people throughout the College, and I was impressed with how seriously they were taking the interview process. I simply knew I wanted to be a part of it.
What do you enjoy most about your role in advising students?
JD: The students are wonderful to work with, and I enjoy their enthusiasm and desire to learn. They are professional, and they work hard to achieve their goal of graduating with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree or a BSPS degree. All of us in the Office of Student Services are fortunate to interact with students and help to facilitate their career goals.
PG: My students are my patients. I was worried about leaving patient-care but quickly realized I get to counsel and advise the students and if we have a trusting relationship, they will leave me even better than when we first met. This was the most satisfying aspect of being a pharmacist and I have been blessed to do this continually for over 25 years.
Does being a Purdue Pharmacy alumnus help with your advising duties, and if so, how?
JD: There is no better feeling than to recruit a bright new mind to your profession and your alma mater. Obviously, knowledge of the profession and institution provides an academic advisor a unique opportunity to recruit, advise, and encourage students. In addition in my career, I have been fortunate to have mentors like Drs. Chalmers, Sperandio, Evanson, Spratto, Knevel, Cwalina, Mason, Ms. Losey, and many others who exemplify the Purdue Family, and they helped me to develop my “Purdue Pharmacy” advising capabilities.
PG: Absolutely. I understand the ups and downs of pursuing a pharmacy degree at Purdue, and this allows me to have a special bond with the students. I have practiced pharmacy so I truly know what is on the other side, and I am excited for each of them. We will be colleagues for life and always have the Purdue Pharmacy experience in common.
If you could share only one tidbit of information about the Purdue College of Pharmacy with prospective and/or current students and their parents, what would it be and why?
JD: We are a family, and we care about students, parents, and one another. The personal touch never gets lost within the Purdue College of Pharmacy family because it is part of the fabric that sustains and nurtures us to grow as mentors and professionals.
PG: I call it the Midwestern adage. If the sun is up, you should be busy; when you go to bed, you should be tired. Great things happen every day in our College and across the entire University and tomorrow we are going to get up and do it again. I often say our students will be alumni for a much longer time than students. We need to make sure they know someone cared they were here and build a positive, meaningful relationship that will last a lifetime.
This interview was conducted in March 2017.