I am ASCPT: Sean Hennessy

Author: [AUTHOR] Published on 7/1/2024 12:00:00 AM

Sean Hennessy

Sean Hennessy, PharmD, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology and Systems Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What was your favorite part about attending the 2024 Annual Meeting?
By far, my favorite part of the Annual Meeting is the poster sessions. I love meeting students, fellows, and early-career researchers, and learning about their research, and most importantly their backgrounds, their plans, and their aspirations. On several occasions, I have been greeted by someone who has presented their work to me at a prior Annual Meeting. It is always fun to learn how their career has progressed since we last spoke.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?br> I am most proud of the accomplishments of my mentees. Helping someone articulate and achieve their professional and personal aspirations can be more satisfying than achieving your own goals.

What is the most important leadership lesson you have learned the hard way?
I used to think that my job as a leader was to motivate people and hold them accountable. My current leadership goals are (1) to help members of my organization articulate and achieve their professional—and to some degree personal—goals; (2) to help people feel that they belong to something larger than themselves; and (3) to improve the quality, impact, and visibility of our research and educational programs. The people with whom I have the privilege of working are almost all incredibly motivated already.

What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
Figuring out what I want to do next. I am interested in so many things, but choosing which rabbit hole(s) to go down next can be difficult. Sometimes the rabbit hole is not as interesting, or the problem as tractable as I initially thought. Sometimes when I come back to it later with different tools or a different perspective I have better luck.

Do you have a favorite tip or trick for clinical practice or research that you want to share with fellow members?
Find or make fun in what you are doing. It is very easy to focus on achievement and “the grind,” and to forget to find or make joy in the day-to-day process of what you are doing. There are certainly times when we need to attend to the grind, but it is important for our long-term health and viability to find fun in what we do.

What is your favorite Society memory?
Watching the Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series in 2008 at a bar in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, with other members of the Scientific Program Committee.

When you are not working, how do you spend your free time?
Often on the water: sculling, white water kayaking, or surf kayaking. I am a member of two non-professional organizations, both of which are focused on boating. I also play tennis and ski—the latter with my adult kids.

How do you stay focused and motivated?
I stay focused by going down rabbit holes that interest me, and then writing about it in a way that interests others.

What was your childhood dream job?
I wanted to be a trash collector. Riding on the back of a huge trash truck seemed super-cool!

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
When I was in fifth grade, I won second place in my school's talent show for my comedy ventriloquism act.

Dr. Hennessy has been a member of ASCPT since 1991.

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