Student Advisory Board Helps Establish Sense of Community, Connection Among College of Pharmacy Undergraduates

 

The College of Pharmacy started a Student Advisory Board (SAB) to support its undergraduate degree program last semester. Since then, the SAB has worked to establish the community and build connections for students in the Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences program.

Consisting of nine students, the main purpose of the board is to build student excitement around the College of Pharmacy and careers in pharmaceutical sciences through recruitment, marketing, and event programming. Often the pharmaceutical sciences major can look intimidating, but the board’s goal is to make the program more accessible and works show current and prospective students how a degree in pharmacy can be used as a springboard into multiple career and advanced educational paths. 

With the pandemic, the connection between students has felt incredibly sparse, so community building has become an important part of the board’s mission. In an effort to bring pharmacy students together, the SAB hosts activities such as study nights, game nights, and trivia nights utilizing the platform Discord which provides voice and text channels so that students can connect virtually in real-time. 

For board members, working with the SAB has been a great opportunity to learn more about themselves and their peers as well as developed important organizational and communication skills. The students helped a lot with recruitment events such as the first virtual Fall 2020 Discover Pharmacy Open House, AACP Pharmacy School Virtual Fairs, as well as UA admissions outreach events. They did Q&A’s, recorded videos of their experiences, and chatted with potential new students. These events have provided them with the opportunity to improve their conversational and mentorship skills    

“Assisting with recruitment is really fulfilling for me because I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I came into college. For students looking to go into health science, this major will keep as many doors open for them as possible,” said junior SAB member Rachel Knight.

This Spring, the SAB will continue attending recruitment events and hosting virtual socials while also getting more heavily involved in social media, marketing, and some limited-capacity in-person event planning.

While the College of Pharmacy is most famously known for its PharmD and graduate programs, the undergraduate major has grown rapidly since it was first established in the fall of 2018. The board has made great strides in assisting with growth of the programs at the College of Pharmacy by educating prospective students about the PharmSci major and helping current students learn about their future educational and career prospects. They have provided invaluable support and community for those enrolled in the program.

“I really enjoyed the idea of being able to help our major with organizing community building events and bringing in new students,” said junior SAB member Ali Qasemi. “I just wanted to give back to the major that’s taught me so much so far.”