Texas A&M pharmacy students lead the way for student organizations

Poster on membership systems selected as ‘outstanding’ at world’s largest gathering of pharmacy professionals
January 31, 2018

Boa Choi, ’19 and Lois Kim, ’19, Texas A&M Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy students, received an award from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). On December 3, 2017, they presented a poster at ASHP’s midyear clinical meeting and exhibition in Orlando, Florida, which earned the outstanding professional development project award from the national organization. Their poster was titled “Midyear reimbursement through utilization of membership point tier system.”

Choi and Kim’s poster illustrated how the Student Society of Health System-Pharmacists met its objective of active member participation through financial support to attend ASHP’s midyear meeting. Members engaged in activities such as attending chapter meetings and clinical skills competitions to accrue points, while developing professional skills, throughout their school years.

A point tier system is used to incentivize students for active membership, determining how much reimbursement they can receive from the College of Pharmacy for attending the ASHP meeting. The financial assistance enables third- and fourth-year students to attend the midyear conference, where they can identify opportunities to pursue residencies or postgraduate fellowships.

“As members of the pharmacy student council, Boa and Lois represent the Rangel College of Pharmacy well and presented a thoughtful and well-organized poster,” said Indra Reddy, PhD, professor and founding dean of the college. “Their service as officers in the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists should be commended. I am very proud of Boa and Lois.”

Each pharmacy school attending the ASHP midyear conference could submit one poster for the student society showcase. Nationwide, there were more than 100 posters in competition. The poster projects were evaluated on content and information, creativity and resourcefulness, service and impact, and overall impression.

Choi said, “Our poster project shows how student engagement relieves financial burden. This project was a great opportunity to reflect on how grateful we are to our previous leaders, who came up with this idea of reimbursement for participating in our organization, and our gratefulness to Dean Reddy for supporting this. This was an opportunity for student and professional development.”

Kim said, “This is one of the largest pharmacy conferences in the world, where students can learn what opportunities are out there for pharmacists. Our poster was presented during the student showcase, where all student society chapters gathered. Our Texas A&M chapter had the opportunity to put our name out in the national level and to exchange ideas with other schools as well. We got to show how our reimbursement system gives students the opportunity to attend a popular conference that will greatly benefit them.”

With an award-winning poster with a simple message, financial assistance to attend professional conferences increases participation in student organizations, these students have showcased organizational effectiveness.

— Tamim Choudhury

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