James S. Benson FDAAA/FDA Centennial Scholarship Fund

Description of Scholarship Program

To help commemorate the FDA Centennial, the FDA Alumni Association has established a scholarship fund for students enrolled in the Temple University School of Pharmacy’s Quality Assurance/Regulatory Affairs graduate program.

FDAAA Names Temple Scholarship in Memory of Jim Benson

FDAAA has decided to name its scholarship fund for students enrolled in the Temple University School of Pharmacy’s Quality Assurance/Regulatory Affairs graduate program in honor of Jim Benson, a founding member of the Board of FDAAA and FDA’s former Acting/Deputy Commissioner and CDRH Director. Jim recently passed away.

The FDAAA Centennial Scholarship Award was created in 2006 in honor of FDA’s centennial. The endowment created the first scholarship in the school’s QA/RA program.

At the time, FDAAA said it established the endowment not only to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Pure Food and Drugs Act but also to encourage academic training in regulatory and quality issues. FDAAA selected Temple after reviewing graduate programs of schools nationwide.

The fund will now be known as the James S. Benson FDAAA/FDA Centennial Scholarship Fund.

In 2006 donations to the fund came from pharmaceutical trade associations, including the PhRMA Foundation, drug firms, and FDAAA members.

Nancy Myers, chair of FDAAA. Urged current members who want to honor Jim Benson to donate to the fund.

“Jim was a highly regarded and admired member of the FDA and FDAAA communities and I can think of no better way to honor him than to name this program in his memory and for current FDAAA members to contribute to his memory,” she said. “The FDAAA Executive Committee believed that adding Jim’s name to the Temple award is a fitting recognition of his contributions to the FDA community and to FDAAAA.”

Joe Levitt, former chair of FDAAA, said naming of the scholarship fund for Jim was especially appropriate. “Jim was always a champion of education in his many years at the FDA. He began his career in the education division of radiological health. Plus, Jim was a driving force in the creation of the FDAAA/Temple Scholarship Fund by spearheading the fundraising efforts that created the initial endowment of the program.”

Jim’s wife Cynthia has been invited to attend the June 12 Spring Fling and to accept the honor in Jim’s memory. Cynthia is an FDA Alumna, having worked for several decades in CDRH.

Christopher Van Vessem, Assistant Dean For Development and Alumni Relations, Temple University School of Pharmacy, remarked, “I am sorry to hear that Jim passed away. What a fitting gesture to make on Jim's behalf.”

Temple University School of Pharmacy is a pioneer in providing advanced academic coursework in quality assurance and regulatory affairs, which refer to the quality practices and regulations governing the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology, healthcare and consumer products, and related industries. The school was the first to create a master’s program in QA in 1968. In the 1990s, the school created the first academic certificate programs in drug development, clinical trial management, and medical device regulation.

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The FDAAA Centennial Scholarship Award was announced at the FDAAA annual meeting April 5, 2006 in Washington. Pharmacy School Dean Peter H. Doukas, Ph.D., and Wendy Lebing, assistant dean, quality assurance/regulatory affairs graduate program, received the award from FDAAA Chairman John C. Villforth and Robert W. Sauer, chairman of the FDAAA Scholarship Committee.

FDAAA Establishes Scholarship Fund for Temple Pharmacy School’s QA/RA Program

Centennial Scholarship Award

Representatives of Temple University’s School of Pharmacy accept award of Centennial Scholarship Fund from the FDA Alumni Association at the FDAAA annual meeting last April. From left to right: FDAAA Board Member Robert Sauer; Board Chairman John Villforth; Board Member Burton Love; Temple School of Pharmacy Dean Peter Doukas, Ph.D.; Pharmacy School Director of Development Christopher VanVessem; Assistant Dean – QA/RA Wendy Lebing; Robert Myers, President of the Parenteral Drug Association; Linda Suydam,D.P.A., President of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association; and Peter Corr, Ph.D., Vice President - Science, Pfizer Inc. and Chairman of the Board of Directors - PhRMA Foundation.

The endowment, currently more than $ 52,000, creates the first scholarship in the school’s QA/RA program. FDAAA established the endowment to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Pure Food and Drugs Act and to encourage academic training in regulatory and quality issues, according to Villforth. FDAAA selected Temple after reviewing graduate programs of schools nationwide. “It was a logical choice, after seeing Temple’s outstanding program and long-standing relationship with the Food and Drug Administration,” said Sauer. Since 2000, the school has worked closely with FDA in sponsoring an annual conference, “FDA and Industry in Dialogue.” FDA staff also lecture for and teach in the QA/RA program, which is based in Fort Washington, Pa. Each semester over 700 students enroll in QA/RA courses, which are taught by industry experts representing virtually every major pharmaceutical corporation in the U.S., according to the school’s Website.

Donations to the fund have come from pharmaceutical trade associations, including the PhRMA Foundation, drug firms, and FDAAA members. Donations are still being accepted.

Upon receiving the award, Doukas said, "Temple School of Pharmacy is most appreciative and honored to receive this generous FDAAA Centennial Scholarship on the occasion of the Agency's Centennial. We thank the FDAAA on behalf of the students who will benefit and for the recognition of the QA/RA program that it symbolizes."

Temple University School of Pharmacy is a pioneer in providing advanced academic coursework in quality assurance and regulatory affairs, which refer to the quality practices and regulations governing the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology, healthcare and consumer products, and related industries. The school was the first to create a master’s program in QA in 1968. In the 1990s, the school created the first academic certificate programs in drug development, clinical trial management, and medical device regulation.

Scholarship Award Recipients

2019 Recipients

Hilda Guerrero

Hilda Guerrero

Hilda Guerrero holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, Texas. She has fifteen years of combined QA and QC experience in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical fields. She started her career working as a QC Research Technician at Hoechst-Celanese followed by a position at Professional Compounding Centers of America, a pharmaceutical distribution center for drugs used in compounded medicine. She then moved to VGXI Biopharmaceutical as a QA Specialist, focusing on internal auditing and supplier auditing in GMP and regulatory compliance, gaining knowledge in the downstream and upstream aspect of biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Currently Director of QA/RA for Baylor College of Medicine, National School of Tropical Medicine, Houston, Texas, she is responsible for GMP and FDA regulatory activities for neglected tropical disease (NTD) vaccines currently in clinical phase I/II trials in the US, Brazil and Africa. In order to comply with eCTD IND submissions, she initiated and setup the validation software system that is currently used at BCM to submit regulatory applications through the FDA ESG system. Hilda entered the RA/QA graduate program in the Fall 2016, completing the Drug Development certificate before matriculating into the MS in Spring 2018. She particularly enjoys that she can immediately apply concepts from her courses to her daily work. With sincere appreciation and gratitude, she wishes to thank the FDA Alumni Association for the honor in receiving the James S. Benson FDAAA/FDA Centennial Scholarship in 2019.

James Mason

James Mason

James Mason received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2006 and then served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. In 2009, he was Commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service and began working for FDA as a Field Investigator (CSO) conducting domestic and international drug GMP inspections. In 2016, he became a Pharmaceutical Specialist and now serves as a Compliance Officer for the Office of Pharmaceutical Quality Operations in Parsippany, NJ, where his primary responsibility is handling violative pharmaceutical inspections for FDA regulatory actions. He is a Board Certified Sterile Compounding Pharmacist (BCSCP) and Pharmaceutical GMP professional (ASQ CPGP).

See the full list of former Centennial Scholarship Award recipients

How to Apply for Scholarship

The FDAAA scholarship is open to current and new students in Temple’s QA/RA graduate program who are not eligible for tuition reimbursement at their organization. The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of both financial need and academic merit. The first award will be given for the fall 2006 semester and will consist of the tuition costs for one QA/RA course (exclusive of computer and technology and other applicable fees). A selection committee consisting of the dean, assistant dean, director of graduate studies, and at least two QA/RA faculty members will make the final selection. The recipient will be announced in early September.

For further information, contact:

Temple University School of Pharmacy
Quality Assurance/Regulatory Affairs Graduate Program
Attention: Wendy Lebing, MALD, MS, Assistant Dean
Phone: 267-468-8560
Fax: 267-468-8565
Web: www.temple.edu/pharmacy_QARA
E-mail: qara@temple.edu

FDAAA Centennial Scholarship Application Form

How to Donate to Scholarship Fund

There are many students in the Temple University School of Pharmacy’s Quality Assurance/Regulatory Affairs graduate program who have no source of funding for their education and would be grateful to receive financial support. You can make a difference in a student’s life by sending donations to the FDAAA Centennial Scholarship Fund. All donations go directly to the FDAAA Centennial Scholarship and are tax deductible, as permitted by federal law. (FDAAA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.) For more information please contact:

Christopher Van Vessem
Director of Development
School of Pharmacy
Temple University
3307 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140

Contributions can be made by check or credit card:

Credit Card Donation: