USC School of Pharmacy Rho Chi Chapter Receives National Award

 Karey Kowalski, incoming Rho Chi president, guides school children on a tour of Colonial Drug, a 1920’s pharmacy exhibit at the Heritage Square Museum in Pasadena.

Karey Kowalski, incoming Rho Chi president, guides school children on a tour of Colonial Drug, a 1920’s pharmacy exhibit at the Heritage Square Museum in Pasadena.

The Theta student chapter will be recognized at the Rho Chi Annual Awards Presentation for their impressive scope of activities.

The Theta Chapter of the Rho Chi Society at the School of Pharmacy has been selected to receive the National Chapter Achievement Award, which recognizes its commitment to fulfilling the society’s mission through various activities.

Under the leadership of Emily Choi, chapter president, and Associate Dean Michael Wincor, chapter advisor, the Theta chapter was able to continue its excellent traditions, such as the tutoring program and Mental Health Project, while also pursuing new endeavors this year through the Colonial Drug project and networking events with local Rho Chi chapters.

“The plethora of events held by the Theta Chapter were geared to accomplish the goals of the Rho Chi Society – to encourage excellence in intellectual achievement, foster fellowship amongst members, and advocate critical inquiry in all aspects of pharmacy,” says Choi.

One of the main ways the group encouraged academic excellence at the School of Pharmacy was by providing numerous group and individual tutoring sessions for first and second year pharmacy students. This year, the Theta Chapter served as the main tutoring source at the School of Pharmacy. Through strategic planning at the beginning of the year and innovating the tutoring program to best fit the needs of students, the chapter provided tutoring to over 400 pharmacy students.

To foster fellowship amongst its members, the Theta Chapter organized the Fourth Year Clerkship Workshop where fourth year Rho Chi members mentored and shared advice with third year members regarding rotations and residency.

“A new goal I wanted to accomplish was expanding fellowship with members of other local Rho Chi chapters,” says Choi. “This year, the Theta Chapter held two successful networking events with the Gamma Sigma Chapter at Western University of Health Sciences and the Gamma Rho Chapter at Loma Linda University.”

The School of Pharmacy’s Rho Chi chapter continued its outreach to the Los Angeles community through the Mental Health Project, where members provided mental health education at a safety-net clinic and at various health fairs. At the health fairs, members provided screenings for anxiety, depression, suicide risk and sleep quality, as well as offering referrals to the participants for nearby clinics if appropriate. Through mental health education at the Weingart Center and the three health fairs held throughout the year, the chapter reached approximately 150 participants.

“The Mental Health Project provided the chapter an opportunity to reach out to the student body and local community, while fostering an environment for member unity,” explains Choi.

Lastly, the chapter initiated a new project where members served as docents at a new pharmacy exhibit, called the Colonial Drug, to promote the field of pharmacy to museum guests at the Heritage Square Museum in Pasadena, California.

“By serving as docents, Rho Chi members were given the platform to educate museum guests on the history of pharmacy, how pharmacy has evolved since the Colonial Drug era, and the value of pharmacists to the health care team,” says Choi. “It was a great way for Rho Chi members themselves to learn about the history of pharmacy, which is a subject not taught in pharmacy school, as well as to promote the field of pharmacy to the local community.”

In honor of their Chapter Achievement Award, a plaque will be presented to the Theta Chapter at the Rho Chi Annual Awards Presentation on Sunday, March 30 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.

“I am pleased that the seeds which were planted many years ago in the Theta Chapter have blossomed during my presidency, while new seeds were planted this year that have an endless amount of potential,” says Choi.