The field of pharmacy has its rising stars, and one of the newest is Sheena Khirsukhani, an outstanding student at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy. We are pleased to announce her as this month's winner of the Wal-Mart/ Pharmacy Times RESPy Award for respect, excellence, and service in pharmacy. Sheena is the third recipient of the award, which is presented to a student who has demmonstrated excellence in pharmaceutical care.
An energetic volunteer, Sheena has served as president of Kappa Epsilon (KE), a service fraternity. "Being part of KE has rounded out my educational experience," she said. "I am able to balance my course work and volunteering, and both benefit. It helps me focus on my real goal of helping patients in the future."
As a member of KE, Sheena was a committee chairperson for the Breast Cancer Survivor Baskets program at Baptist Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla. She helped to collect donations for gift baskets filled with items such as gift certificates for a spa, lotions, nail polish, and magazines. All the items are designed to pamper and help women recuperating from breast cancer surgery to feel better.
Sheena also works on another program as a member of KE?the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation 5K race, held in October, which raises money for breast cancer research. "Sheena is a very caring person," said Carol Motycka, PharmD, Jacksonville assistant dean and campus director of the College of Pharmacy. "She is always the first one to volunteer to help someone." In addition, "Sheena has unbelievably strong leadership qualities," the dean said. Sheena, now 24, became an active volunteer as an undergraduate at the University of Central Florida's College of Health and Public Affairs, from which she graduated with a BS degree in molecular biology and microbiology. "It started when I got involved with the UCF's Pre-Professional Medical Society," said Sheena. The society did a lot of community service in Orlando. At the same time, she has not neglected her studies. "She is an excellent student," said Michael W. Mc- Kenzie, PhD, RPh, senior associate dean for professional affairs at the college, in his letter nominating Sheena for the RESPy Award. She is "an effective leader, as reflected in her selection to Rho Chi, the national pharmacy honor society, and Phi Lambda Sigma Honorary Pharmacy Leadership Society." She has been listed on the Dean's Honor Roll each semester, he added. "She is a very deserving, hardworking person?she is someone who is going to make a difference in pharmacy."
Sheena credits her parents with being a strong influence on her. Her mother, Josie, originally from the Philippines, is a nurse who sparked Sheena's long-time interest in health care, and her father, Roop, helped her develop intellectually, wherever her interests took her. "I want to thank my dad for helping me persevere," Sheena said.
Sheena expects to graduate with a PharmD degree in May 2008.
Ms. Rosendahl is a freelance writer based in Fort Lee, NJ.
About the College
The University of Florida College of Pharmacy (UFCOP), founded 75 years ago, has established a blended-learning distance education doctor of pharmacy degree. Led by Dean William H. Riffee, PhD, the college prides itself on its ranking as one of the top 10 colleges of pharmacy in the nation.
The college has 4 campuses?the founding campus at Gainesville and satellite campuses at Jacksonville, Orlando, and St. Petersburg. The college expanded its enrollment to enable "place-bound" students the opportunity to attend pharmacy school?with 50 students in each class, or 200 at each campus, said Carol Motycka, PharmD, Jacksonville assistant dean and campus director. "All the core lecture material is video-captured and streamed onto the Internet. The lectures and other class materials are made available to students through a content management system called WebCT. Students can watch the lectures 2 to 3 hours after they are captured. [Students] can rewind, fast-forward, or rewatch the lectures at a later date if they choose," she said.
Also available at UFCOP is a Working Professional Doctor of Pharmacy Program. In this program, most of the course work, which is available on-line, is completed by the student at home or at the workplace. The program can be completed in as little as 3 years (9 semesters, 3 per year).