Mustapha Beleh Recognized for Outstanding Commitment to Student Instruction
Mustapha Beleh, PhD, Director of Education and Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry, has been honored for outstanding contributions to instruction as a 2021-22 Collegiate Lecturer, a title he will retain throughout his career at the University.
The University of Michigan selects up to four Collegiate Lecturers each year for exemplary and outstanding commitments to community engagement and student instruction.
Dr. Beleh earned his Bachelor’s in Science Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Alexandria University, Egypt in 1985. He worked as a hospital and community pharmacist for two years, before pursuing graduate studies in Medicinal Chemistry and earned his PhD degree from the College of Pharmacy at the Ohio State University in 1992. He then joined the faculty at the College of Pharmacy, South Dakota State University as an assistant professor. In 1995, Dr. Beleh returned to his homeland Egypt, where he worked as the Director of Research at Pharco Pharmaceuticals. He came back to the United States and joined the Medicinal Chemistry department at the College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan in 1999.
"It is so clear through his teaching style and his genuine interactions with students that Dr. Beleh truly wants us not only to succeed academically, but enjoy ourselves while doing so,” says Angela Chen, BSPS’20, PharmD’23, Dr. Beleh’s PDI student. “He is someone that I feel comfortable approaching about anything and the support he has provided has truly contributed to my wellbeing throughout pharmacy school."
“I am not surprised that every year Dr. Beleh receives recognition and awards due to his excellence in and out of the classroom,” adds Chase Jabbori, PharmD’22. “He makes an enormous impact on all of his students and truly cares about them from the bottom of his heart. He is one of the best people I have ever worked with and I do not think students will ever be able to thank him enough for all of his contributions and guidance.”
A teaching philosophy focused on student support
“I strive to be a teacher who can show students the way to become life-long learners, unearth their potential as future pharmacists and provide them with the help they may need to be successful in our program,” notes Dr. Beleh.
“I believe that one of the most important roles of any educator is responding to students’ needs and assuring help and guidance as necessary. I feel my attentiveness to student needs relieves their anxiety and equips them with the confidence to excel. I also recognize that students learn in different ways, thus employing a variety of teaching techniques is essential in providing them with diverse methods that may match the way they learn,” says Dr. Beleh. “I try to serve as a mentor, friend, and role model before being a teacher, and I am proud that some of my most important interactions with students happen during their advanced pharmacy practice experience year and after graduation, long after I have stopped being their classroom teacher.”
“Dr. Beleh’s teaching style goes beyond that of a normal college classroom,” explains Aaron C. Johnson, PharmD’23. “You can feel his passion for teaching through his animated lectures and how he finds unique ways to explain dense or difficult topics. Dr. Beleh is always motivating our class and pushing us hard to learn, while also appreciating that we are students with a lot to balance between school and personal lives. He deserves every award presented to him and I wish him even more success as he continues his teaching career.”
“Dr. Beleh’s first priority is always the success and well-being of his students,” says Michelle Azar, PharmD’21. “If you are struggling in his course, he will provide the help and resources you need. If you are seeking advice, he will always make time for you, no matter how busy his schedule is. His dedication is unparalleled and I cannot thank him enough for the guidance and support he has provided, and will continue to provide, throughout my pharmacy career.”
“Years from now when I reflect on my time at the College of Pharmacy, I will always think about Dr. Beleh and how dedicated he was to his students,” adds Hannah Hammoud, PharmD’21. “The way he can connect with students is truly a gift and I only hope I can help students one day the way he's helped so many of us!”
Throughout his career, Dr. Beleh has been involved in teaching Medicinal Chemistry to PharmD and undergraduate students as well as overseeing and coordinating the Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology course sequence. His current research interests center around the scholarship of teaching and advances in pharmaceutical education. Dr. Beleh has won a number of teaching awards including teacher of the year and the Dean’s award for excellence in classroom teaching at South Dakota State University, a special recognition award for teaching, the teaching excellence award, as well as numerous students’ appreciation awards at the University of Michigan. He is also a Computerworld Honors Laureate and a finalist for the 21st Century Achievement Award from the Smithsonian.