UHCOP Chapter of Industry Pharmacists Organization Ranked Among Top 5 in Nation in First Full Year of Operation
After only its first full year of operation, the UH College of Pharmacy Chapter of the Industry Pharmacists Organization secured a "Top 5" ranking among IPhO student chapters nationwide, while two of its members earned national appointments.
Led by founding president Chimeka Ike, Pharm.D. ('17) and vice president Gifty Gyebi, Pharm.D. ('17), the chapter was approved in October 2016, but was considered ineligible to participate in the chapter reporting/ranking process for the 2016-17 academic year.
The chapter's first priorities during its first official year of eligibility were to make students aware of the organization and the non-traditional career opportunities available for pharmacists in industry as well as recruit members. In addition to collaborating with other organizations on a roundtable event with industry representatives and professional development programs, the chapter continued its "Pathway to Fellowship" program in which past industry fellows shared their experiences and advice for becoming a competitive candidate.
Pharm.D. candidate Angelica Asadi, who served as 2017-18 chapter president, said it was "unexpected honor" to achieve such a high national ranking in such a short time.
"We were very dedicated to not only increasing student knowledge about industry pharmacy, but also giving students the professional development tools necessary to pursue a career in this field, and I am proud to see that our dedication made an impact."
Asadi added that she believes the chapter's success is also a testament to the strength of student organizations at UHCOP.
"Our college encourages student leadership and involvement and has created an environment where all organizations large or small can strive and strengthen each other in the process," Asadi said. "Being a new organization, we lacked resources and the budget necessary to implement all of our student development ideas; however, through collaboration with other organizations we were able to implement all that we had planned.
"After only two years of chapter activity, it is remarkable to see that our incoming P1s know that industry is a possibility, and our outgoing P4s are preparing to pursue a career in this field, and we are truly proud of everything IPhO has done to contribute to that."
Following the completion of her chapter term, Asadi is now serving as National Student Officer of Professional Development and Chief Internship Officer. In these respective roles, Asadi promotes the professional growth of IPhO chapters nationwide and oversees the IPhO Virtual-Flex Internship program which allows participants to gain insights into real-world industry operations as well as collaborate on projects and network with industry professionals.
Current Chapter President-elect Jennifer Nguyen also was selected to serve in a higher office within IPhO. Nguyen has been appointed 2017-18 Region Student Officer for the Western Region, with oversight responsibility of the seven collegiate chapters in the region.
In this role, Nguyen works closely with the IPhO leadership staff, fellows and industry pharmacists to ensure the success of the regional chapters, serving as a liaison to fellowship programs, and identifying and sharing best practices among chapters.
Established in 2012, IPhO has grown to more than 50 chapters nationwide with several thousand student, fellow and industry pharmacist members. In a survey of 1,300 industry pharmacists conducted by IPhO, occupational areas were almost equally divided among clinical research, commercial functions, medical affairs, medical information, medical science liaison, and regulatory/safety.