Pharmacy Student Leaders Attend Distinguished Conference

Four representatives from the Cedarville University School of Pharmacy recently attended the OPA’s Young Pharmacy Leaders Conference. They are pictured here with OPA Executive Director Ernie Boyd. Photo courtesy of Kelly Wright.

by Nathan Pilling, Public Relations Writer

October 29, 2013

Four representatives from the Cedarville University School of Pharmacy recently attended the prestigious Ohio Pharmacists Association’s Young Pharmacy Leaders Conference in Columbus, OH. There, three students and one faculty member learned about general leadership tactics and other ideas to apply to the field of pharmacy.

Jason Holmes, Jordan Long and Rebecca Widder, who represented the students from the school of pharmacy, were selected as leaders from their class based on their class work and their positions within various campus organizations. Kelly Wright, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice, also was nominated to attend the conference based on her leadership characteristics and current service to the profession.

“These sorts of opportunities are valuable because they not only allow our students to learn about valuable topics like leadership, but they also allow our students to make networking connections within the profession that they might not have been able to otherwise,” said Wright.

The conference consisted of five hours of leadership discussion in relation to pharmacy practice.  Four main sessions focused on how elements of leadership can positively impact pharmacy outcomes and improve results and relationships within the work environment. Special attention was also given to furthering involvement in professional pharmacy organizations and advocacy for pressing issues in health care, even for the students still in pharmacy school. These leadership sessions were complimented by discussion groups focused on individual “action plans.”

Student representatives from each of the seven Ohio schools of pharmacy and various pharmacists from around the state were given opportunities to talk throughout the conference so that each could benefit from the experiences and thoughts of others. For one student, this was the most valuable part of the experience.

“One of my favorite parts of the day was just talking with students from other schools,” said Widder. “Most of our time was spent discussing leadership topics with those at our table. Not only did we get more out of the content of the conference this way, but it was also a great way to build relationships with people from other schools.”

As he looks back on the conference, Holmes also found it valuable, as it pushed him to take practical steps of leadership once he returned. “I think this event was one of the most beneficial of my pharmacy schooling so far,” he said. “Not only did it contribute to my growth as a leader in developing some essential skills, such as communication, organization and motivation, but it also challenged me to dream big and set meaningful goals now.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Inspiring greatness for over 125 years, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.