Memory of Pharmacy Professor and Alumna Honored with Memorial Scholarship

Janie Robles, PharmD

Janie Robles, PharmD

Kind. Faithful. Dedicated. Professional. Passionate. These are all words colleagues, friends, and former professors use to describe Janie Robles, PharmD, AE-C, a Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Pharmacy Class of 2003 alumna.

“I had Janie as a student on her P4 APPE Adult Medicine Clerkship and I encouraged her to pursue the residency at Denver Children’s hospital,” said Charles Seifert, PharmD, School of Pharmacy regional dean at the Lubbock campus. Robles followed that encouragement and after completing a pediatric specialty pharmacy practice residency at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, she returned to her alma mater. 

Robles spent 17 years of her life educating future pharmacists as an associate professor at the TTUHSC Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy Lubbock campus. She also maintained a clinical practice at University Medical Center, where she served as a preceptor for students and assisted in the care of general pediatric and pediatric intensive care unit patients.

Robles’ passion for enriching the lives of children through pediatric pharmacotherapy was evident in her practice, her teaching, and her service. 

“Janie had very high standards for her students and she wanted them to always achieve those standards because she felt that her patients deserved no less,” shared Seifert. “The consensus of the residents and pharmacy students was that she was an incredible preceptor.”  

Student nominations for her 2023 Lubbock Faculty Preceptor of the Year Award, echoed this consensus with comments like: 

  • “Her rotation wasn't easy, but neither is being a pharmacist. I loved that she was willing to work with us but never stopped challenging us.”
  • “She was a great mentor who helped me grow my confidence to the point where I was willing to advocate for every patient and confidently teach the little ones how to use their discharge medications.”
  • “If you need to learn how to love your patients, Dr. Robles has the heart to teach it!”

At the time, most had no idea that Robles was fighting for her life. 

Robles had been diagnosed with chondrosarcoma, a cancer that develops within the cartilage cells and affects just 600 patients a year.

Brian Irons, PharmD, professor of pharmacy practice, remembers the day Robles shared her diagnosis with him. “While hardly a favorite ‘good’ day, we hugged, we cried, and bonded together that day in my office more so than any other in our 20+ year history. She often would email me with how she appreciated me being there for her that day. It meant a lot to me that such a small moment meant a lot to her.”

While she was battling cancer, Robles met with artist Brandy Fransen with Twist Out Cancer, an organization that provides psychosocial support to cancer survivors and their loved ones through creative arts programming. 

“The first time I spoke with Janie, she deeply impressed me with her quiet strength and beautiful resilience,” shared Fransen. “I knew right away that I needed to create something bold that reflected the light I saw in her.” 

Brandy Frasen painting

Brandy Frasen painting

In Fransen’s description of the painting she shares some of the obstacles Robles overcame, her favorite quote, and her reasoning for including things like flowers, stars and a moon in Janie’s painting.  She ends by saying “The moon is fragmented, but its bright light is far-reaching, just like Janie's.”

In August 2023, Robles’ battle with cancer ended. 

As news of Robles’ passing was shared with her colleagues, many of whom had become dear friends, the magnitude of her loss began to set in. 

“Janie was an amazing person and impact she had on my life and others can’t be measured,” shared Craig Cox, PharmD, professor of pharmacy practice and vice chair of experiential programs. “I will never forget the commitment she had to her family and students, her snack jar that supplied me jelly beans for years, her sly comments about how she couldn’t hear herself think because I was talking so loud in my office, and her strong faith.”

As simple moments with Robles became treasured memories, the desire to create something lasting and meaningful to honor her memory grew. 

Robles’ family, friends and colleagues all agreed an endowed scholarship was a fitting tribute and the Dr. Janie Robles Memorial Scholarship was established to benefit a fourth-year pharmacy student who has shown commitment to academic excellence and to serving children throughout their time at TTUHSC Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy.

“An endowed scholarship in Janie’s name is the perfect way to honor her memory,” said Seifert. “She would enjoy supporting students especially those interested in pediatrics.”

Even in her absence, Robles’ bright light continues to shine. 

If you would like to help honor the memory and continue the legacy of Dr. Janie Robles, you can make a gift of any amount here

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