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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Pharmacy and graduate students gather to discuss career options


    Courtesy of Ginny Geib

    Five guest speakers will present about possible career paths related to pharmacy during the Pharmacy Professional and Graduate Student Symposium tomorrow.

    For the second school year in a row, the symposium is being organized by the College of Pharmacy Graduate Student Council with the help of the PharmD student council, although the last symposium was held during the spring semester.

    “This is the second annual [Pharmacy Professional and Graduate Student Symposium] so our first one was last spring and we were just excited about the turn out and the speakers,” said Anika Dzierlenga, a pharmacology and toxicology graduate student and vice president of the College of Pharmacy Graduate Student Council. “The pharmacy students that we’re collaborating with wanted to do it again, in the fall this time, just because there might be more availability for pharmacy students so we turned right around and planned it again.”

    The idea for the symposium was initially brought forth by the president of the College of Pharmacy Graduate Student Council, Usir Younis. Younis is also president of the Arizona chapter of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, or AAPS.

    “For [AAPS], we’re required to meet at our annual conference,” Younis said. “I love our chapter, I think it’s great, but we don’t have very many members, which limits our capability to plan large-scale events; but other universities are holding these huge symposiums [and] I brought this idea to [College of Pharmacy Graduate Student Council].”

    Presenting speakers are Dr. Yosyong Surakitbanharn, Dr. Michael Shiue, Dr. Wisam Younis, Dr. Annie Wong and Dr. Lois Lehman-McKeeman, who will be the keynote speaker.

    “For graduate and PharmD students, we’re hoping that [the symposium] will open their eyes to non-academic related career opportunities,” Dzierlenga said.

    There are a lot of careers outside of academia that students can pursue.

    “We’ll have someone in the consulting pharmacy realm, a couple of people from industry, scientists coming, as well as someone from Bristol-Myers Squibb. So we’re hoping that these professionals will be able to give career advice,” Dzierlenga said.

    The symposium’s target audience is students who hold a doctorate of pharmacy degree and doctorate students in the College of Pharmacy. However, graduate students from different disciplines, especially the health sciences are encouraged to come as well.

    Specific undergraduate clubs like the Prepharmacy Club and faculty have been invited as well.

    The spring symposium had approximately 60 people in attendance, and this year, the College of Pharmacy Graduate Student Council is expecting approximately 100 attendees.

    Funding for the symposium is provided by the American Pharmacists Association and AAPS, as well as the R. Ken Coit Endowed Chair.

    The R. Ken Coit Endowed Chair in the College of Pharmacy was established in 2011 and the current chair holder is Dr. Ted Tong, the associate dean of academic and student affairs and professor in the College of Pharmacy. The position endows the chair holder with annual funds that can be used throughout the college.

    “They just loved what we were doing, and money was kind of a limiting factor for where it could go and so they also donated a generous amount of money to this symposium,” Younis said.

    Those who attend the symposium are asked to RSVP beforehand in order to partake in lunch and receive a registration bag, complete with a padfolio, notebook and pen. However, if guests don’t RSVP, they are still welcome to attend the presentations.

    The Pharmacy Professional and Graduate Student Symposium, which lasts from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., will be held in room 103 of the BIO5 building.

    Follow Connie Tran on Twitter.

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