by Alex Boesch, Student Public Relations Writer
For years, Walgreens has provided collegiate pharmacy schools with funds to promote diversity in the health care industry. This year, a donation to Cedarville University will help Cedarville’s school of pharmacy achieve this goal, while building relationships with middle and high school students to make pharmacy a diverse profession for the foreseeable future.
The Walgreens Diversity Donation Award given to Cedarville continues its longstanding relationship with the community pharmacy chain. The funds will provide scholarships for students who embrace and promote diversity, as well as enhance programs targeted at increasing the enrollment of diverse groups in the school of pharmacy.
“This year, we submitted a grant idea to work with local middle and high schools to create a pipeline of diverse students from there to our program. We hope to encourage many students to consider pharmacy as part of their career goals," said Dr. Aleda Chen, associate dean and professor of pharmacy practice.
The school of pharmacy is collaborating with Dr. Kevin Jones, dean of the school of education, on how to best implement this outreach. Jones brings experience organizing a variety of after school programs, which Chen believes is important in reaching students who may be interested in a career in pharmacy.
“We want to have longstanding relationships with students at a variety of events,” said Jones. “We want to have students that attend recurring events. By developing these relationships with diverse students, we hope to create great pathways for students explore health care professions.”
Schools like Springfield High School and Emmanuel Christian Academy in Springfield, Ohio, are likely candidates for the first of these events seeking diverse pharmacy school candidates.
Steve Grawe, a healthcare supervisor with Walgreens, is excited to be a part of promoting diversity at Cedarville.
“It’s encouraging to know that the diversity donation we were able to bestow upon the university is going to have an immediate impact on two well-deserving students this year,” Grawe said. “I’m extremely excited to see the additional funds come to life as new programs and endeavors are implemented to promote diversity in the profession of pharmacy. It gives me a great sense of well-being to work for a company like Walgreens and to partner with universities like Cedarville University that advocate for diversity in so many unique ways.”
“We have been thankful to the Lord for bringing us a fairly diverse pharmacy student population,” said Chen. “I think people’s different perspectives have created an outstanding environment where we can learn and grow together. We will work hard to make sure that diverse students get the best possible education and that we can benefit our diverse communities.”Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual-enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Doctor of Pharmacy program, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visitcedarville.edu.