RESPy Recap 2009

Pharmacy Careers
Volume 0

2009 Pharmacy Times/Walmart RESPy Award Winners

Pharmacy Times and Walmart are celebrating the fourth successful year of the RESPy (Respect, Excellence, and Service in Pharmacy) Award. Pharmacy Times and Walmart have partnered to present the RESPy Award to extraordinary pharmacy students who have made a difference in their communities by demonstrating excellence in pharmaceutical care and advancing the profession of pharmacy. As Ron Chomiuk, vice president of Walmart Pharmacy Operations, stated, “Pharmacy students are the future of our profession, and those selected for this award demonstrate that they are embracing these values through service to their community and will continue to act on these values as pharmacists.” Pharmacy Times and Walmart would like to congratulate all of the 2009 winners!

And the Winners Are...

January 2009

Dachelle Johnson

Medical University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy

Dachelle Johnson, pharmacy student at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), was “the epitome of student involvement,” said Arnold W. Karig, PhD, campus dean of the College of Pharmacy at MUSC. Johnson was involved in many different school organizations, and she had been an active leader at the MUSC College of Pharmacy. She spent considerable time organizing, coordinating, and participating in pharmacy and general community health programs, and demonstrated a high level of effort to advance the pharmacy profession through her academic accomplishments.

Johnson enjoyed collaborating with other health care professionals to improve patient outcomes, the gratification obtained from direct patient care, and the countless opportunities that are available within the profession. She quickly became involved in various professional organizations on campus, which allowed her to participate in many volunteer activities and learn new leadership skills.

February 2009

Lindy Wood

Washington State University College of Pharmacy

Lindy Wood demonstrated excellence in the completion of voluntary service activities and professional/ public health—related activities outside the classroom, and made great effort to advance the profession of pharmacy. In fact, her nomination letter stated that “Lindy Wood is an extraordinary pharmacy student, and her volunteer work within the Spokane community and the Inland Northwest indicate her devotion to bettering the pharmacy profession.”

In high school, thanks to her sister who also became a pharmacist, she realized that becoming a pharmacist was not just about counting pills—“I realized that, as a pharmacist, I could have a lot of personal interaction with patients and help them understand their medications.” At Washington State University (WSU), she worked in various community groups in Spokane, Washington, including the Parkinson’s Resource Center and the Inland Northwest Alzheimer’s Association. Wood had the opportunity to learn from a fellowship-trained movement disorder neurologist, Anthony Santiago, MD, an opportunity that she found invaluable. Wood also served as president for the Epsilon Chapter of Rho Chi, the pharmacy honor society at WSU. After graduation, Wood hoped to complete an ambulatory residency with the geriatrics team at WSU. After that, she was interested in pursuing a fellowship to obtain further training in geriatric care.

March 2009

Jamie Lynn Robinson

Washington State University College of Pharmacy

When Jamie Lynn Robinson was a high school student and hospital volunteer, she knew undoubtedly that she wanted to become a pharmacist. She has not looked back since.

Along with Robinson’s pharmacy coursework and being a single mother to 2 girls, she also found time for extensive community involvement and volunteer efforts, showing her commitment to the field of pharmacy.

Robinson started volunteer work as a teen at Harrison Medical Center in Washington. Her work ethic won her a paid position as a pharmacy technician, and she went on to donate time to the Snake River Community Clinic and Idaho State Veterans Home in Lewiston, Idaho, as a pharmacy intern.

Robinson also volunteered her time at Peninsula Community Health Services, the local 340B community clinic. After volunteering for 3 years, she became a paid pharmacy intern, and she planned to continue working at the clinic after graduation.

In addition to serving patients through volunteer work, Robinson carved out time to serve her community while supporting the pharmacy field, as a member of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists and the Cougar Health Awareness Team.



April 2009

Jennifer Thackray

University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy

Jennifer Thackray, from the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy (OUCOP), not only pursued a career in pharmacy through coursework, but also immersed herself in various organizations and volunteer activities from day one at the school. The ambitious achiever also lent her skills to several health fairs during her time at OUCOP, offering counseling on medications and conditions. As a Neighbor-for-Neighbor volunteer, Thackray dispensed donated medications to the working poor.

Thackray led a station at Drug Warehouse to teach seventh graders about pharmacy, helping to instill her love of the profession into the youngsters.

A member of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists, Thackray represented OUCOP in 2008 at the organization’s National Counseling Competition. Other involvements included membership in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmaceutical Leadership Society, and the Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity.

In order to jump-start her undoubtedly bright future in the field, Thackray devoted time to internships and worked alongside other pharmacists and clinicians, along with Habitat for Humanity, United Way, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

May 2009

Kristen Calabro

University of Arizona College of Pharmacy

Kristen Calabro decided to pursue pharmacy at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy (UACOP) after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in molecular and cellular biology. Upon entering pharmacy school, Calabro quickly became involved in a variety of student organizations and patient outreach activities, soon taking on leadership roles (eg, the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists [APhA-ASP], where she served as her chapter’s delegate, and was later elected vice president of social affairs).

It was Calabro’s involvement with APhA-ASP that led her to become patient education chair on the student council at the UACOP, in which she organized a health fair, among many other volunteer efforts.

Calabro also took part in Legislative Day at the Arizona State Capital, where she provided skin health awareness and spoke with lawmakers about pharmacy. On top of other volunteer endeavors, Calabro upheld a high level of academic achievement.

June 2009

Alina Eisen

University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Throughout pharmacy school at the University at Buffalo, Alina Eisen was able to partake in various leadership roles, summer internship programs, and organizations, which allowed her to develop professionally and make positive contributions. For example, as co-coordinator of the annual University at Buffalo Pharmacy School Charity Gala in 2007, she helped raise $8500 for the Children’s Hearts Fund, a restricted-gift fund within the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation.

In addition, Eisen organized several wellness clinics for senior citizens. Serving as a student ambassador and recruiter for her school, Eisen participated in the National Institutes of Health Graduate and Professional School Fair in Bethesda, Maryland.

As communications officer for the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, as well as a member of the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, Eisen’s involvement in the field did not go unnoticed. Throughout her schooling, she was recognized with a number of honors and awards.

The ambitious student also completed 3 internships during her years of schooling. Eisen said her greatest accomplishment was the development of an e-learning course on drug quality for the US Agency for International Development’s Global Health eLearning Center during her 2008 internship with the US Pharmacopeia in Washington, DC.

September 2009

John “Jake” Galdo

University of Georgia College of Pharmacy

With a great amount of passion and a “pay-it-forward” attitude, John “Jake” Galdo was not just completing coursework to fulfill his mission— numerous volunteer activities gave him a chance to help others before officially donning the white coat.

The most rewarding of Galdo’s efforts was volunteering at the Mercy Health Center—a nonprofit health clinic for indigent patients—in Athens, Georgia, said Galdo. There, he was at the helm of the clinic’s prescription assistance program, in addition to providing diabetes education classes.

In spring 2009, Galdo was the primary organizer of PharmFest, a health fair that provides outreach education to the local community. Galdo’s fluency in local Spanish made him a particular asset to the event, as it is targeted toward the local Hispanic population.

In his hopes to advance pharmacy in the public health arena, Galdo works hard to show the physicians with whom he works that collaboration is not only possible, but necessary. With patients, he makes it clear to them that pharmacists are approachable and helpful when questions arise.

October 2009

Somer Smith

Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy

Somer Smith’s passion for pharmacy was sparked during her teens. As she sat with her grandfather, an Alzheimer’s disease patient, during her daily visits, Smith observed the difference she was able to make in his life, as well as the host of medications he took.

Since then, Smith has worked as a pharmacy technician, going on to intern at Baptist East Hospital in Montgomery and USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, where she stressed the importance of counseling patients. Smith also volunteered performing blood pressure and cholesterol checks throughout her community.

All the while, she maintained topnotch academic standing, winning scholarships and memberships in several honor societies. Smith’s studies were rounded out by a number of extracurricular activities, including student government, the Academic Honesty Committee, pre-pharmacy club, Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International, and American Pharmacists Association (APhA)-Academy of Student Pharmacists, among others.

For the past 2 years, Smith participated in Alabama’s Pharmacy Legislative Day. She also represented her school as an APhA delegate at the national conference in San Antonio, Texas, in 2009.

November 2009

Andria Budwine

University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy

Andria Budwine represents the third generation of women in her family to pursue a career in health care, having gleaned inspiration from her grandmother, mother, and aunt. “As a child, I realized health care must be special, because it was apparent that my family members loved what they did,” said Budwine.

Her academic excellence won her a number of scholarships over the years, as well as membership in the National Scholars Honor Society and the P4 Class Member of the Year award. Budwine’s extracurricular activities also earned recognition, including the Student Body Helping Hands Award, as well as the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists Most Active P4 Member Award, and top 10 placement in the organization’s patient counseling competition.

Budwine’s many volunteer activities have included participation in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) t-shirt fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and coordinating the organization’s CAUSE Wounded Soldier Drive, coordinating and working in the Kroger Flu Clinic, and taking part in the American Heart Association Heart Walk.

December 2009

Steph Swain

Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

In addition to the countless hours of studying, tireless volunteerism, and avid involvement in pharmacy organizations Steph Swain completed, she already had a hand in shaping propharmacist health care reform legislation (drafted by Senator Jack Hatch [D, Iowa]). She not only worked on the bill’s sections that expanded the role of pharmacists, but also presented portions of the bill at a Senate subcommittee meeting. During her time as the Max W. Eggleston Executive Intern in Association Management through the Iowa Pharmacy Association (IPA), she gained a true sense of the value of advancing pharmacy by working with lawmakers.

Swain participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, also taking part in runs, auctions, and educational seminars for the Juvenile Arthritis Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Serving as both president-elect and president of the Drake University chapter of the American Pharmacists Association- Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhAASP), Swain led members to become involved.

Through her membership in APhAASP, she participated in the Student Leadership Institute in Washington, DC, also attending the organization’s regional and national meetings. In addition, Swain became the founder and publisher of the

APhA-ASP Drake Chapter Newsletter

. She also worked with the IPA to update “Katy’s Kids,” a medication safety program for children.


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