RESPy AWARD: A Role Model for Pharmacy Students

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Calling Andrea Pallotta "the ideal role model for other students" in his letter nominating her for the Pharmacy Times/Wal-Mart RESPy award, Dean Johnnie L. Early II, PhD, RPh, Universityof Toledo College of Pharmacy, goes on to say that "volunteerismdefines Andrea's true passion."

Andrea settled on pharmacy as a profession in the 10th grade.This decision was sparked by a conversation she had with anolder student who was on the track team with her at RevereHigh School in Richfield, Ohio. "I didn't want to be a doctor ornurse, but I was interested in the medical field, and she suggestedpharmacy to me," she explained. This suggestion seemed tofit the bill, Andrea said. She feels it is a profession that will blendwell with raising a family.

Andrea has always been an active volunteer. She was a volleyballcoach in high school and worked with the SpecialOlympics in her senior year. She continued on this path in college,becoming a part of the Service Learning Community.

She also has been an active participant in an AlternativeSpring Break program. Instead of partying with other college studentsduring spring break, Andrea went to Arkansas in 2005 towork at the Heifer Ranch, organized by Heifer International. Thegoal of this nonprofit organization is to help end world hunger andpoverty through self-reliance. Heifer Ranch is a hands-on learningcenter providing education that promotes sustainable solutions toglobal hunger.

Saying that her participation in Alternative Spring Break was"a life-changing experience," Andrea followed up the next springwith a trip to Bay St. Louis, Miss. Acting as a student coordinator,she was part of a group of 17 students and 4 adults whohelped clean up the debris left in the town by Hurricane Katrina.

Andrea is president of Alpha Zeta Omega PharmaceuticalFraternity on campus. Thiscoed organizationaims toget students involvedin volunteeractivities,such asworking for theAlzheimer's Association,RonaldMcDonald House,or Adopt-a-Highway.

As a peer facilitator ofService Learning Community,she leads a group of10 to 15 students who dovolunteer work at JosinaLott Residential and CommunityServices. This nonprofitorganization in Toledoprovides services to individualswith mental retardationand developmentaldisabilities. Andrea saysthat this work has madeher "look at society in a differentway."

In addition to volunteering, Andrea works at a Department ofVeterans Affairs Center in the Anticoagulation Clinic inBrecksville (Ohio) during the summer months. During the schoolyear, she interns with Heartland Healthcare Services, a longtermcare pharmacy.

"Andrea brings a genuine warmth to all she does," said MaryPowers, RPh, PhD, associate professor of pharmacy practice atthe college. "She truly is a service-minded individual with unlimitedpromise who will bring a wealth of compassion to the professionof pharmacy."

Ms. Rosendahl is a freelance writer based in Fort Lee, NJ.

About the College

University of Toledo College of Pharmacy

Founded in 1904, the University of Toledo College of Pharmacyoffers a 6-year doctor of pharmacy degree. The college has affiliationswith more than 200 pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics throughoutOhio that provide "experiential training to complement the instructionon campus," according to its Web site.

The plan of study, notes the Web site, includes a 2-year "pre-pharmacy" curriculum, focused primarily on the science and mathematicalfoundation necessary to understand how the body works andresponds to disease and its treatment. The professional program ofstudy "focuses on biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, andthe design of chemicals that comprise today's medicines. Thisinstruction is complemented with the applied sciences of pharmacologyand pharmaceutics that provide insight to the student onhow drugs work in the body and the most effective way to deliverdrugs to the body."

The final years of classroom study heavily emphasize the administrativeand clinical sciences that prepare the student for structuringand providing effective patient care in a variety of practice settings.The professional program also includes opportunities forhands-on training in actual practice settings. The program of studyfor the student pharmacist is capped off with an 8-month experientialcomponent that offers training in a variety of practice settingswith faculty preceptors.