Cynthia Watchmaker honored with university award

Cynthia Watchmaker, MBA, MEd, was honored May 17 with a UC San Francisco 2019 Chancellor Award for Exceptional University Management. The award recognizes a UCSF career of extraordinary professional performance and management acumen, one that shines as a role model for future generations of university managers.

Watchmaker is the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s associate dean of student affairs, leading the Office of Student and Curricular Affairs (OSACA). The office develops and provides administrative and student services to the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program with the aims of ensuring student academic success and readiness for pharmacy practice. Student recruitment, admissions, academic advising, student services, career and professional development, student wellbeing, and co-curricular activities all fall under Watchmaker’s management umbrella.

As a prelude to receipt of the award from Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, during UCSF’s Founders Day Awards luncheon ceremony held on the Mission Bay campus, Watchmaker’s management success was spotlighted in a video during which School of Pharmacy Vice Dean Sharon L. Youmans, PharmD, MPH, described Watchmaker as “a master collaborator.”

“This is one of Cindy’s great strengths that contributes to her being a successful manager,” wrote Youmans in her nomination letter for the award. “As a leader she is able to reach across the aisle within and outside of the School of Pharmacy to achieve the goals of not only her unit, but also the School and the campus at large.”

“Cindy is the epitome of integrity, accountability, trust, and professionalism,” Youmans added. “She exhibits an outstanding work ethic, never compromising her beliefs or standards. Her follow through and commitment to closing the loop on requests, deliverables, and communications is impeccable.”

Watchmaker’s contributions to the School of Pharmacy and UCSF at large are highlighted by Sharon L. Youmans, PharmD.

“She has been a tireless and essential member of the Dean’s Office education team, ensuring the well-being of our students. This award reflects the true scope and depth of her professional success,” said School of Pharmacy Dean B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD.

Watchmaker began her UCSF career in 1998 as director of OSACA. As her portfolio expanded, so did her influence on faculty, staff, and PharmD students. She is deeply involved in the development and rollout of the new PharmD curriculum, working closely with faculty members as they build the science and therapeutics components of the curriculum and leading the creation of student readiness curriculum components. She is leading the development of a new academic advising model for students and co-chairing a committee of students, preceptors, and alumni who are advising on the curriculum as it unfolds. She also represents the School on cross-campus committees, focused on topics from student health to shared education data.

Her former and current OSACA colleagues describe her:

Cindy views our unit as an incredible training ground for promising professionals… She encourages us to “spread our wings” and engage in activities that foster our own personal and professional growth.

For Cindy Watchmaker, the top priority is the education and support of our students—she fights tirelessly for their best interest.

Among her many skills, Cindy is a master of making people feel at ease, knowing exactly the right thing to say or do, and simply getting things done.

These days when I am tasked with professional communications challenges, my mind applies a filter to my words that I gleaned from my time with Cindy—one that is appropriately informative, timely, and imbued with a sense of genuine understanding and care.

Simply put, she is the reason I came, the reason I’ve been able to flourish as a professional, and one of the many reasons I’ve stayed.

I can honestly say that if one day I am honored with an opportunity to serve as an associate dean of students, like Cindy I hope that I can do the job with as much heart and dedication as she shows each and every day.

Watchmaker is the second School of Pharmacy recipient of this award. She joins Michael Nordberg, MPA/HSA, School of Pharmacy associate dean of administration and finance, the 2017 recipient of the UCSF Chancellor Award for Exceptional University Management.


School of Pharmacy, PharmD Degree Program

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.