Joseph A. Zorek is an educator, pharmacist, and Fulbright scholar. To the latter, Joe attributes his enduring interest in people occupying different spaces in society whose collaborations, while neither easy nor seemingly natural, are necessary to achieve great things. It is this passion for intersections that led Joe to interprofessional practice and education, a field devoted to improving healthcare delivery by building mutual respect, trust, and understanding across the health professions.
Joe earned his bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Iowa alongside certification in secondary social studies education. After several years of teaching at this level, Joe pivoted to healthcare by earning his doctorate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy and completing a 2-year residency at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy in Amarillo, Texas. Joe's passion for education led to a faculty position at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy, where he was promoted, first to Director of Interprofessional Education, then to Associate Professor, based on the strength of his research, teaching, and service record.
Joe is the recipient of several accolades, including the Rufus A. Lyman Award and a Baldwin Award, both of which annually recognize the best articles published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and the Journal of Interprofessional Care, respectively. His work exploring the regulatory environment in health professions education has been widely cited, including within prestigious venues such as the New England Journal of Medicine and reports from the National Academy of Medicine. Joe represented the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education on a collaborative project with the Health Professions Accreditors Collaborative, which resulted in the co-authored Guidance on Developing Quality Interprofessional Education for the Health Professions, a national consensus guideline.
Joe currently serves as Director of the Quality Enhancement Plan, Linking Interprofessional Networks for Collaboration (LINC), at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. LINC seeks to advance interprofessional education across five schools and numerous educational programs by building consensus within, and facilitating collaborations amongst, key stakeholder groups; this includes academic administrators, faculty, staff, and students. In addition to this role, Joe is proud to be walking the interprofessional talk as a tenured faculty member in nursing, where he teaches advanced pharmacotherapeutics to graduate nursing students and strives to elevate health professions education through creative and impactful scholarship.