Cumberland High grad honored for leadership, community service

Cumberland High grad honored for leadership, community service

CUMBERLAND – Cumberland native Susan dosReis has been recognized for her leadership and service to the community for her role as a university professor and researcher at the University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy.

Earlier this spring, dosReis was named one of this year’s Top 100 Women by Maryland’s Daily Record, a business, legal, and government publication, which “recognizes high-achieving Maryland women who are making an impact through their leadership, community service and mentoring.” She was selected out of 540 nominees.

“I was quite surprised (and) flattered,” dosReis, a professor and vice chairwoman for research for the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, said of the recognition.

She and her husband, Alex MacKerell, a fellow professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy, live in Baltimore. “For 25 years The Daily Record has recognized high-achieving women in Maryland who are impacting their communities through leadership, service and mentoring,” Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, publisher of The Daily Record, said in a statement. “These women pay it forward, mentor and recognize the accomplishments of other women.” Due to COVID-19, an awards dinner has been rescheduled until Monday, July 27.

In her role, dosReis teaches and mentors students in the school’s pharmacy program as well as PhD candidates, and she also supports other faculty members’ individual research by overseeing research activities within their department.

She said their work is grounded in global and population health as it relates to the pharmaceutical world, which is “what we’re dealing with right now” with the COVID-19 crisis.

Her research focuses on understanding medications and their outcomes for children with mental health conditions to help parents who are deciding whether to use certain treatments, adding that she’s also worked a lot with the state’s child welfare agency.

She also currently serves as an adjunct appointment in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine.

Paying it forward is important, dosReis said, noting that she remembers those who took the time to encourage her to strive for goals she “probably wouldn’t have on (her) own,” including a teacher at Cumberland High School who suggested she go to pharmacy school. “That set off a whole trajectory of what I would do next,” she said.

“As a society we need to think about how we impact others and make it a better place to live,” she added.

A 1986 graduate of Cumberland High School, dosReis received her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island and her PhD in pharmacoepidemiology from the University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy.

Her parents, Joao and Tina, of Cumberland, gave her and her sister, Lisa Edwards, of North Kingstown, the opportunity to “have a better life” than they did, she said.

Cumberland, where she lived until her early 20s, always felt like a comfort zone, she added, and she was given a lot of support and opportunities in town. With family still here, she said she still has strong ties to Rhode Island.