Opening Doors of Opportunities with Kaiser Permanente Southern California

Undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds participate in the the Apothecary Circle Pharmacy workshop at the USC School of Pharmacy. (Photo by Isaac Mora)

The USC School of Pharmacy recently joined hands with long-standing community partner, the Kaiser Hospital Foundation, in hosting students from the Apothecary Circle Pharmacy (ACP) Program, a youth workforce program that provides underrepresented undergraduate students with a way to explore the pharmacy profession and begin developing skills.

On Friday, June 12, students from UC Riverside, California State University Los Angeles, La Sierra University, Citrus College, California State University, Fullerton, and Mt. San Antonio College visited the USC School of Pharmacy for a lunch reception and an interactive workshop with faculty, alumni, and students.

Dean Vassilios Papadapoulos joined faculty members, current students and alumni in welcoming the Apothecary Circle Program students at a lunch reception.

USC School of Pharmacy alumni Kari Trotter Wall, PharmD ’09, Danielle Cortez, PharmD ‘ 17, Christopher Hajou, PharmD ’17 and Nana Numapau, PharmD ’14 led the workshop and answered students’ questions about their backgrounds, experiences at the school, and career opportunities in pharmacy.

Allison Bryant, Associate Director of Student Affairs and Financial Aid and Interim Diversity Liaison noted the Apothecary Circle Program gives students a first-hand look at opportunities in pharmacy, introducing competitive students to the school, familiarizing them with the various educational and career programs, support services and scholarships available to them, and ultimately encouraging them to apply to the school for their graduate education.

“The Apothecary Circle Program allows interested underrepresented students to hear about the many career pathways open to pharmacists,” she said. “It also brings diverse applicants and alumni together and shows the students just how strong the Trojan Family is.”

Dr. Edith Mirzaian, Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy added, “We value diversity in educational backgrounds and both work and life experiences among our student body. Our support towards the Apothecary Circle Program is geared towards building confidence in these students about who they are and a belief that opportunities at the USC School of Pharmacy are achievable.”

Alumnus Nana Numapau, PharmD ’14, shared his experiences with the Apothecary Circle students.

One member of the Trojan Family, Numapau, now Associate Director of Health Economics and Outcomes Research at Boehringer Ingelheim, traveled from Arizona specifically to share his experiences with the Apothecary Circle students, saying it was a way to “pay forward” the help he received from faculty members and other mentors at USC.

“The four years I spent here at the USC School of Pharmacy were challenging yet incredibly rewarding,” Numapau said. “The faculty and mentors I had shared their time, advice and industry connections with me which were instrumental in shaping my focus.”

To learn more about the Apothecary Circle Pharmacy Program, click here.