Brian Seagraves, an academic professional in the College of Pharmacy, helps prepare students for careers in which they deliver high-quality health care with compassion, empathy and an overwhelming desire to help others.
Where did you earn degrees and what are your current responsibilities at UGA?
I earned my Doctor of Pharmacy degree at UGA in 2004. I currently serve as the course coordinator and lab coordinator for the “Essentials of Pharmacy Practice” courses in the clinical and administrative pharmacy department of the College of Pharmacy.
When did you come to UGA and what brought you here?
I joined the UGA faculty in January 2016 after 12 years of private pharmacy practice. While in private practice, I was a preceptor for numerous pharmacy students and discovered that I really enjoyed teaching and decided that I wanted to teach full time.
What are your favorite courses and why?
My favorite courses are the pharmacy practice labs, where I have the opportunity to work directly with students. These labs allow me to give the students the “ins and outs” of the practical application of theory in a clinical setting.
What are some highlights of your career at UGA?
I received the Healthcare Georgia Foundation’s Joseph D. Green Community Service Award for my work as director of the Hepatitis C Treatment Clinic at the Mercy Health Center in Athens.
How do you describe the scope and impact of your research or scholarship to people outside of your field?
My scholarship in the field of hepatitis C has allowed others to understand the hepatitis C disease state, its treatment, and the importance of detecting and eradicating this public health concern.
How does your research or scholarship inspire your teaching, and vice versa?
Since my job is to prepare pharmacy students for practice, it is particularly important for me to bring all new information into the classroom. Everything I learn is translated immediately into the labs.
What do you hope students gain from their classroom experience with you?
I hope the students gain confidence to go out and care for patients. I want them to be and feel prepared to deliver high-quality health care. I want the students to gain a good sense of community and an overwhelming desire to help others. I also want them to feel fulfilled and successful in their pharmacy career.
Describe your ideal student.
My favorite students are highly motivated, involved, confident, not afraid to challenge themselves and very compassionate with their patients.
Favorite place to be/thing to do on campus is…
While my lab is my favorite place on campus, I thoroughly enjoy my skateboard or cycling commutes through Athens and across campus to my office. There is nothing quite like feeling the wind on your face while enjoying the beautiful scenery of campus.
Beyond the UGA campus, I like to…
In addition to cycling, skateboarding and traveling with my wife, I enjoy brewing beer, gardening and beekeeping.
Community/civic involvement includes….
I love people and I believe that community and civic involvement is the key to a thriving and successful society for all of its members. I’ve always been service-oriented. In fact, I subscribe to the philosophy of service above self. I am a native Athenian. Throughout my life this community has done so much for me. So, I have a debt to this community that I’ll never be able to fully repay. Before returning to school to earn my Doctor of Pharmacy degree, I served the citizens of Athens as a sheriff’s deputy for Clarke County. My time serving as a peace officer taught me skills such as cultural competency, interpersonal communication, compassion, empathy and a “can-do attitude.” These skills have aided me greatly in the care of patients entrusted to me. I hope to effectively transfer these traits to the next generation of pharmacists. In addition to my responsibilities to my students, I am currently the director of two free hepatitis C treatment clinics—one at Mercy Health Center and one at Athens Nurses Clinic—and I am a board member of both Athens Nurses Clinic and Women to the World.
Favorite book/movie (and why)?
I am a sci-fi fanatic—yes, I attend Dragon Con in Atlanta every year. I’d have to say I particularly enjoy the comic stylings of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis in the original “Ghostbusters.”
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
Of course, every time I get to see my students’ look when they have an epiphany, it is priceless. However, the day I was offered the faculty position at the College of Pharmacy was the day I began the most rewarding career I can imagine.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
My belief is that UGA and in particular the College of Pharmacy has the brightest students anywhere, bar none. I am very fortunate to be a part of the UGA community.
(Originally published Oct. 8, 2017)