Stepping Out of the Classroom: A Visit to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

On November 1st, students currently enrolled in PHAR 535 (Introduction to Psychiatric Pharmacy) and 546 (History of Pharmacy) were treated to one last Halloween fright! Students and their professors visited the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (TALA) in Weston, WV, which currently functions as a haunted house by night and educational, historical landmark by day.


Exploring the TALA Pharmacy

The lunatic asylum housed individuals from West Virginia and surrounding states from approximately 1864 until 1994. Patients were placed in the asylum for multiple reasons ranging from snakebites, childbirth, and of course, mental instability. The tour featured multiple buildings located on the more than 300-acre grounds currently owned by the Jordan family, who bought the asylum in order to preserve a piece of history and prevent its destruction.


Walking the halls . . .

Students participating were able to step back in time and view medical treatment for psychiatric illness from a historical perspective. In addition, students visited the remnants of the asylum’s pharmacy, an onsite museum where both medical artifacts depicting psychiatric treatments and remedies of the past, and a gallery of patient artwork. The goal of the visit was to allow UC SOP student pharmacists to view the progression of psychiatric treatment from the mid-1800s to today.

“During the tour, I was able to see how much the field of medicine has changed throughout the years. Located on the grounds is a hospital, as well as an old pharmacy, which depicted many of the drugs and instruments used during the time the asylum operated. The experience was interesting and did a wonderful job of showing us just how far we as medical professionals have advanced over the past few centuries. Personally speaking, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to visit a piece of West Virginian history and to see how different things were years ago. I recommend visiting this institution for those who are medical personnel or even just seeking an adventure.” -Chadrick Small (P2), PHAR 546

“Visiting TALA was a unique experience that I was able to attain through my Psychiatric Pharmacy course. Attending TALA enabled me to see just how far medicine has come since the opening of the hospital. One of the most interesting facts I learned while in Weston was how women were admitted into lunatic asylums in the early 1900s. Women could be admitted to the hospital for whatever reason her husband deemed fit. Examples of reasons included wives reading too many novels or talking too much. I was surprised by this information because although I knew that women were not considered equal to men at that time, I did not realize that husbands were entitled to treat their wives so poorly. Overall, I greatly enjoyed visiting TALA for a tour of the facility. It was an interesting experience that I most likely would not have gotten if it had not been for my Psychiatric Pharmacy course. The experience expanded my knowledge of the history of psychiatric medicine and I am happy to have had the opportunity to attend.”  –Jenny Long (P2), PHAR 535

Learn more about TALA by visiting:

Contributed by Peter Relvas UC SOP Pharmacy Student & Graduate Intern, Office of Professional and Student Affairs

UCSOP Promotes Diabetes Awareness

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is always looking to bring health awareness to its surrounding communities. Luckily, UCSOP is privileged to have students who passionately share this interest. This past week, a total of thirteen students and two faculty members reached out to six local high schools to try and make a difference in our community. Students teamed up and presented for approximately 15 minutes on a myriad of topics including obesity, diabetes, and the pharmacy school admission process.

On October 30th, P3 student, Juhee Kim presented at Charleston Catholic High School with P1 Glenda Athus and Dr. Susan Gardner, Assistant Dean of Professional and Student Affairs. “This was the first time I really got to interact with high school students who plan on going into the healthcare field. I felt like a pharmacist, educating individuals on the dangers of diseases and it was a satisfying experience to say the least,” said Kim.


P3 students Rend Hermiz & Al Fein role model a diabetes management discussion to students at George Washington HS in Charleston on Oct. 28 while P3 student, Jelena Radan facilitates.

Dr. Gardner, who also attended a session earlier in the week at George Washington High School, commented, “One of the things that makes our program so special is the commitment our students have to health education and community outreach.” The events are part of a month-long diabetes awareness initiative. And so, the topics of discussion at the high school sessions pharmacy school admission and UCSOP’s upcoming Diabetes Awareness Day, scheduled for November 8th. The UCSOP sponsored event consists of free cholesterol tests, blood pressure screenings, and diabetes risk tests. Pharmacy students will also share informative displays, make presentations, and offer door prizes.

Pharmacy school admission was another common topic of discussion for the high school audience, and UC campus tours will be offered during Diabetes Awareness Day on Saturday. The high school students asked questions pertaining to the different roles of pharmacists and the future of the profession. Current pharmacy students and Dr. Gardner were more than happy to answer questions and help outline the journey to becoming a pharmacy student, and ultimately, a pharmacist.

Community outreach programs, like those mentioned above, help pharmacy students develop their communication, clinical, and leadership skills, while helping local residents live healthier lives. UCSOP’s ability to offer such opportunities makes it a great choice for students looking to give back to their communities and help advocate good healthcare. Stay tuned for more updates on how UCSOP and its dedicated pharmacy students continue to make a difference in their community! And, please join us on Saturday for during our Diabetes Awareness Day!



Contributed by, Peter Relvas, UCSOP P3 student and Graduate Intern in the Office of Professional and Student Affairs. 

The UCSOP Fellows Program

Are you interested in gaining and strengthening your leadership skills while completing pharmacy school? If so, the UCSOP Fellows Program would be a great opportunity to consider. Upon acceptance to UCSOP, students with a 3.25 undergraduate GPA and a 50 or better on the PCAT, are invited to apply and interview for this scholarship and leadership program. Ten students from the incoming class of student pharmacists are selected to participate each year.

2018 Fellows

Class of 2018 UCSOP Fellows

In order to be eligible to interview for the program, students must meet the GPA and PCAT requirements and score well during their on campus admissions interview. Only students interviewing for admission prior to December 2014 are eligible.

If these criteria are met, admitted students are invited to complete an essay on one of several topics offered, and a phone interview with a faculty or staff member and a current Fellow. Once these activities have been completed, the admission subcommittee reviews all information to make their recommendations to the Dean. The Dean then notifies students receiving acceptance into Fellows Program.

As a Fellow you will have numerous opportunities to enhance your leadership skills. These opportunities include, but are not limited to: assisting at interview days and open houses for prospective students, attending state pharmacy conferences, participating in leadership luncheons, and completing a group research project. One of the more difficult requirements to continue membership in the Fellows Program is to maintain a culumative grade point average of 3.25 or higher during your time at UCSOP. To be eligible for the funding portion of the program, these requirements must be completed. The $15,000 scholarship is divided into two disbursements (December and May) and is awarded at the end of the semester after verification of the completion of requirements and GPA.

As mentioned, one of the requirements to be a Pharmacy Fellow is to complete a research project. Below we have shared information regarding the two recent research projects that are being completed by the current Fellows.

Fellows Project 1: Pseudoephedrine Survey –One of the ongoing Fellows research projects is a survey of pharmacists and pharmacy students about pseudoephedrine sales.  As you may know, pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in methamphetamine, and there has been a great deal of debate about whether or not it should be sold over-the-counter.  It is an especially dire problem in West Virginia.  In 2013 alone, West Virginia law enforcement shut down 530 meth labs.  Another 207 have been seized by July of this year alone.  Prominent pharmacy chains such as CVS and Rite-Aid have already discontinued sales of single-ingredient pseudoephedrine in West Virginia.  There are also tamper-resistant formulations, such as Zephrex-D, that have recently become available.

The purpose of this survey is to gauge the opinions of pharmacy professionals, as well as pharmacy students, regarding over-the-counter sales of pseudoephedrine.  As drug experts, it is our duty as pharmacists to lead on issues such as this, especially when they affect so many people in our state, whether directly or indirectly.  Forming a consensus within the profession will then allow us to then go on to advise our legislators about the next step in combatting the methamphetamine epidemic.  This survey provides only a small part of gleaning such a consensus.

Fellows Project 2: Sepsis Survey–One of the missions of the University of Charleston Pharmacy Fellows is to conduct research that can impact the health and well-being of our community. West Virginia is an overwhelmingly rural state, and many West Virginians receive emergency medical care from Critical Access hospitals. These hospitals have no more than 25 beds and must provide emergency care, be able to stabilize trauma patients and ship critically injured or grievously ill patients to larger hospitals.

Interestingly, folks in rural areas often delay seeking medical care, and when they do finally make it to the hospital they can be in worse shape than their urban counterparts. This can impact survival rates of serious conditions such as stroke, heart attack, and sepsis. Sepsis mortality is on the rise in recent years as evidenced by data presented in the following article:

Gaieski DF, Edwards JM, Kallan MJ, Carr BG. Benchmarking the incidence and mortality of severe sepsis in the United States*. Critical care medicine. 2013;41(5):1167–74. Available at:

From the Sepsis Mortality article 2013 – “In fact, by our most conservative estimate, using the methods of Dombrovskiy et al (13), there were 229,044 deaths from severe sepsis in 2009, which would place severe sepsis as the third most common cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and malignant neoplasms.”

These data, along with the increased incidence of sepsis in rural populations shows that critical access hospitals can impact sepsis treatment in a positive and meaningful way.

Starting in the spring of 2014, supported by the West Virginia Rural Health Association, the UC Fellows embarked on a project designed to assess the effectiveness of sepsis treatment at all of West Virginia’s Critical Access Hospitals. This research is designed to identify hospitals that have sepsis order sets and treatment protocols in place, as well as assess the effectiveness of these institutions and their ability to diagnose and initiate treatment of sepsis within one hour of patient presentation.

Each of the Fellows involved in this research project received research training and received certification from the National Institute of Health (NIH). This research is currently in process, with additional data being collected during the fall of 2014. We expect to have preliminary results by December. This research will help critical access hospitals identify areas of improvement, implement proven sepsis treatment strategies, and reduce overall sepsis mortality in the state.


Sarah Bostic, Aaron Dailey & Josh Dunn (Class of 2106 UCSOP Fellows)

What our students say about the Fellows Program:

My name is Sarah Bostic and as a P3 Fellow I have had many opportunities to assist in activities at UCSOP. Going back in time to when I was offered admission, I almost didn’t accept the invitation to join the Fellows Program. When I received my admission letter from UCSOP, stuffed inside was the opportunity to apply for the Fellows Program. I was so excited about being accepted at UC that I forgot to complete my essay until about a week before the due date! If I hadn’t remembered, I would probably still be kicking myself for being so stupid and not applying to the program!! The Fellows Program has allowed me to be involved in ways that I never would have been on my own. For example, assisting with the interview days has allowed me the opportunity to give advice to prospective students along with hopefully relaxing the students before their interviews. It has been enlightening to have a P1 student come up to me and say “Hey, I remember you from my interview day; you gave me a tour of the building!” This opportunity has been a blessing for me over the last several years. While it has been difficult at times to manage the requirements, it has made me a better person and student. I would highly encourage you to apply if you have the opportunity.

Hi. I’m Josh Dunn. The Fellows Program has helped me to become the best pharmacy student I can possibly be. The high academic standards combined with the research/community service requirement has helped me to focus on not only learning the material presented throughout the pharmacy curriculum, but applying that knowledge in a practical way. I’ve had opportunities to network, gain valuable clinical care experience and present at state meetings. In short, it’s been awesome!

This blog post was contributed by P3 Fellows and Student Pharmacists, Sarah Bostic, Aaron Dailey, and Josh Dunn.

Taking the Pharm on the Road!

We are taking the Pharm on the road! 

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy admissions team is coming to a town near you! Our fall “Road Show” kicks off on September 10, 2104! Stop by a visit with us to learn more about our curriculum, team (faculty/staff), and students! Learn more about:

  • our focus on rural health, advocacy, and interprofessional collaboration
  • the many outreach activities members of our professional organizations engage in regularly
  • our two to one technology program (featuring MacBook Airs and iPad minis for all UCSOP students)
  • our commitment to excellence in pharmacy education and patient care

Members of our Office of Professional and Student Affairs including: Ms. Jamie BIMG_7680ero, Director of Student Affairs; Ms. Stacie Geise, Admissions Specialist; and Dr. Susan Gardner, Assistant Dean for Professional and Student Affairs will be traveling across the country in the coming months visiting colleges and attending career and professional fairs. Look for our logo, stop by our booth, and ask questions!

Our stops include:

  • September 10–West Virginia University Graduate Fair in Morgantown, WV
  • September 22–Radford University in Radford, VA
  • September 23–James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA
  • September 24–University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA
  • September 25–Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA
  • October 7–Morehead State University in Morehead, KY
  • October 8–Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI
  • October 11 & 12–University of California Davis Pre-Professional Health Fair
  • October 13–Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA
  • October 14–University of West Georgia in Carollton, GA
  • October 15–University of Georgia in Athens, GA
  • October 21–Ohio State University in Columbus, OH
  • October 21–University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • October 22–East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN
  • October 22–Penn State University in University Park, PA
  • October 23–East Carolina University in Greenville, NC

Can’t make it to one of these events? Contact us at 304-357-4889 today!


A Look Back at UC’s Summer EPiC Camp: An Intern’s Perspective

A Look Bak at the University of Charleston’s Camp EPiC 2014: A Student Intern’s Perspective

by, Morgan Jacobs, UCSOP, Office of Professional & Student Affairs Summer Intern 2014 & 2014 Graduate of Bethany College

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy and UC healthcare professional schools hosted their first Camp EPIC, Exploring Professions in health Care, during the week of June 22, 2014. The week long camp was funded by a WV Higher Education Policy Commission grant, which allowed thirty West Virginia high school students to explore different career paths in healthcare. The goal was to hopefully influence them to pursue their education, beyond high school, in the healthcare field.

Throughout the week, the students were provided with active learning opportunities and knowledge from various healthcare professionals. They also got the chance to participate in service activities at local nursing homes, as well as entertaining activities, such as ointment making, medicinal plant walks, and a photo scavenger hunt.

 Sunday, June 22– The campers arrived for check-in on Sunday afternoon! They each got paired with a roommate and got to spend the week staying in UC’s dorms to get an idea of what college dorm life is really like! Once everyone was settled, the parents were invited to stay with their camper for the opening session, where the rules and conduct expected of the week were outlined, as well as an overview of all the fun that would be taking place throughout the camp! Dinner was then served in the cafeteria, which is where the campers ate the majority of their EPICmeals through the week. After, the campers got to sit in on an Intro to College presentation where they were presented with information about college, such as financial aid and the admissions process. Afterwards, the campers and their counselors competed in a photo scavenger hunt where they had to take a group photo with the various items on the list around UC’s campus. To finish up the first day of camp, an ice cream social was held so the campers could get to know each other and their counselors!nd –EIPC Sunday

Monday, June 23– The first full day of camp kicked off with a College 101 session where UC SOP interns shared their college experiences and the do’s and don’ts they encountered during their college years. The campers were able to interact and ask questions they had about college. The rest of the day was spent at CAMC-General, where the campers got to interact with physicians and experience the simulations available at the hospital. The campers were able to get a hands-on experience with starting IVs, virtual surgery, and ear and eye scopes. They also didn’t come away empty handed! Each camper got to participate in CPR training and walked away CPR certified with a certificate to prove it! But the fun didn’t stop there! That evening, the campers were divided into two groups. Group B went to Charleston Gardens and got to interact with the patients, while group A attended Uncork and Create (don’t worry, nothing was “uncorked” except some sparkling grape juice!) and paint awesome pictures of the state of WV!

UCC Monday

Tuesday, June 24– On Tuesday, the campers spent the day on UC’s campus visiting different classrooms used by the professional schools. They started off their morning in the athletic training room, learning to tape ankles and wrists and about the different career options in athletic training. For lunch, everyone attended a cookout on the UC riverfront lawn and participated in some fun relay races like the sac and three-legged race. After lunch, the campers attended sessions about occupational therapy, radiology, and dentistry and all the different things each profession has to offer. That evening was spent similar to Monday’s, except group A attended Edgewood Summit to sit down and interact with the patients, while group B got their chance to be artists at Uncork and Create.

Wednesday, June 25– Wednesday was in my opinion, the best day, Pharmacy Day! The day started by introducing the campers to the many career paths in pharmacy. Following that, the students got the chance to make an ointment with Mr. Remirez and IVs with Ms. Condee! After lunch, the campers were taken to the SOP’s mock pharmacy, PharmUC, and got to 

role play pharmacist/patient scenarios. During a healthy snack break, the campers listened to a presentation about nutrition. Even though it rained, it didn’t stop the campers from having a blast spending their evening at Kanawha State Forest participating in a medicinal plant nature walk with Dr. Linger!

Thursday, June 26Sutures Thurday– Thursday was all about nursing and physician assisting! The campers started out the day in UC’s PA school discussing what a PA is and their daily life. Many of them had never heard of a PA and found the profession to be very interesting. They spent the remainder of the morning doing a Q&A with PA students and participating in a skills lab. After lunch, it was time for nursing! The campers were able participate in assessment, skill, and simulation labs with the UC School of Nursing, and sit down and have a Q&A on the profession. Since it was the last night of camp, the campers spent the evening with pizza and a movie to just relax and enjoy some down time.

Friday, June 27– The last day of camp started with a game of Jeopardy to see what the campers had learned throughout the week. The different categories contained questions from all the different professions the students were introduced to over the course of the week. After that, Ms. Condee and the pharmacy faculty introduced the campers to “Stan,” the SOP’s simulation model and taught the proper way to use an EpiPen and inhaler. To bring camp to a close, Dr. Reardon presented a photo slideshow he had created documenting the week’s activities while everyone celebrated with cake! 

Last Day

Not only did the campers enjoy everything the camp had to offer, the counselors, faculty, and staff also enjoyed the opportunity to educate the campers on all the healthcare field has to offer. The week went by so quickly! It must be true that “time flies when you’re having fun!” Overall, we hope throughout the week we were able to introduce the campers to a field they could see themselves practicing in the future.






Special thanks…

First, to the WV Higher Education Policy Commission for providing us with a grant, without which the camp would not have been possible.

To all the campers who came near and far to spend the week with us and see all the awesome stuff healthcare professions have to offer!


To the P1 and P2 students who came and dedicated their week to helping out with the camp! Couldn’t have done it without you!

Lastly, to the SOP faculty who dedicated countless hours to planning months in advance so the camp could go off without a hitch!

Last Day Cake


**The faculty and staff of the UCSOP would like to thank Morgan and her fellow summer interns, Hailey Price, Rebecca Hilleary and Joshua Holmes for their work with the EPiC Camp this summer**

PharmCas is Open–Apply to UC Early Decision Today!

Thinking about applying Early Decision?

UCSOP is the place to be! Apply early decision and get a jump start on your pharmacy career! Have questions about the early decision process? Below you will find answers to some common questions about the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP) Early Decision Program.

Q: Why should I apply Early Decision instead of Regular Decision?

  • You are competing with a much smaller pool of applicants.
  • Avoid the Waitlist – the later you apply, the greater chance you have of facing the dreaded waitlist.
  • Regular interview dates are limited and fill up fast; get a jump start and be among the first to interview.
  • By applying through the Early Decision Program, you can sit back and relax during your last year of undergraduate work while your fellow classmates are stressing over the application process!

Q: Should I apply to other schools at the same time?

The Early Decision Program is a binding option and an applicant must enroll in UCSOP if admitted. An Early Decision applicant may only apply to one pharmacy school during this time. If an applicant is not offered admission through the Early Decision program before the October deadline, they may begin applying to other schools at that time.

Q: What is the Early Decision application deadline?

The Early Decision Application deadline is September 2, 2014.

Q: What do I need to submit by the deadline?

You must submit a completed PharmCAS application that includes:

  • All official transcripts from every college/university you’ve attend
  • Official PCAT Scores – must take during or before July 2014
  • Two Letters of Reference (1 must be from a faculty member)

You must also submit a University of Charleston School of Pharmacy Supplemental Application at:

"I applied early decision and found the process to be easy. It was a relief to know where I was going to pharmacy school early. I was able to focus more fully on my studies." -Emily Jarrett, Class of 2017

“I applied early decision and found the process to be easy. It was a relief to know where I was going to pharmacy school early. I was able to focus more fully on my studies.” -Emily Jarrett, Class of 2017

If all requirements are not received by the September 3rd deadline, PharmCAS will automatically change your status from an Early Decision Applicant to Regular Status. Your application will not be reviewed by the UCSOP until all requirements have been received.

Q: When would I interview?

Interviews for Early Decision candidates will be held on September 19, 2014.

Q: How long does it take to find out if I am accepted for Early Decision admission?

All Early Decision Applicants will be notified of their admissions decision by the PharmCAS deadline (October 2014).

Q: What happens next if I am accepted?

If you are accepted through the Early Decision Program, you will be required to submit a non-refundable $1,000 Early Decision Tuition Deposit. This amount can be split into two $500 payments. The first payment will be due within one week of your notification of acceptance. The second $500 payment will be due by May 1, 2015.

Q: Can I change my mind after I am accepted for Early Decision?

A student who is accepted through the Early Decision Process is not eligible to apply to any other PharmCAS pharmacy school during that admissions cycle.

Q: What are the PCAT dates to qualify for the Early Decision process?

July 17-18, 2014 or earlier
Register at

Q: Who do I contact if I have a question about my application or the Early Decision process?

Office of Professional & Student Affairs

or –

Stacie Geise
Admissions Specialist

UCSOP Students Declare Their Favorite Activities in the Charleston Area (Part 2)

We are continuing to highlight favorite activities of the UC pharmacy students.  Owing to Charleston’s location where I-64, I-77, and I-79 meet, students and faculty alike will venture out for a little fun.  So when we ask them where their favorite weekend getaway was, they all headed out in different directions.  Swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, skiing, shopping, fine dining, antiquing, and many other activities are available in these locations:

Weekend Getaways (too many link to post them all!)

Summersville Lake

The Greenbrier

Lewisburg, WV

Columbus, OH

Hawk’s Nest State Park and New River Gorge

Sandstone Falls


Snow Shoe


Sports are always a big part of the West Virginia lifestyle, and UCSOP students enjoy attended UC sporting events, basketball, tennis, and football, especially the rivalry games against nearby WV State University.  They also will travel to Morgantown to see WVU play, and enjoy the WV Power Baseball games ( in Charleston.

Live Music

Whether it is a relaxing weekend evening listening to a performer in Taylor Books, or a major concert at the Charleston Civic Center, or somewhere in between, Charleston has plenty to offer.  The last post talked about Live on the Levee, which is a student and faculty favorite, and offers free concerts by the river every Friday night during the summer.  Another favorite venue is the Clay Center, which hosts, the WV symphony, and a variety of shows throughout the year, including the Nutcracker performed by the Charleston Ballet in December.  Additionally students enjoy music at small, downtown establishments, such as The Boulevard Tavern and The Empty Glass.  You may even find an open mic night if you want to try out your talents.

P2 student Eric Tong at the New River Gorge Bridge.

P2 student Eric Tong at the New River Gorge Bridge.

Eric Tong at Hawk's Nest

Eric Tong at Hawk’s Nest

Hannah Hutchinson and her daughter hiking near Beckley, WV

Hannah Hutchinson and her daughter hiking near Beckley, WV

P3 student Katie Lilly and her family like to hang out at Summersville Lake.  If you look carefully, you can see people at the top getting ready to make the big leap into the lake!

P3 student Katie Lilly and her family like to hang out at Summersville Lake. If you look carefully, you can see people at the top getting ready to make the big leap into the lake!

First Fridays in Pharmacy (F2Rx)

Beginning Fall Semester 2014, the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy will be offering complimentary transcript evaluations and opening houses on the first Friday of each month.

Friday, September 5, 2014
Friday, October 3, 2014
Friday, November 7, 2014
Friday, February 6, 2015
Friday, March 6, 2015
Friday, April 3, 2015

*Please note that there are no First Fridays in December 2014 or January 2015.

Students interested in attending the UC SOP are invited to meet with our Director of Student Affairs, Ms. Jamie Bero for complimentary transcript review anytime between 10am and 12noon on First Fridays. Students should bring transcripts (unofficial transcripts are acceptable) to the School of Pharmacy and they will be reviewed to determine any outstanding prerequisites. A recommendation will be made on how best to complete outstanding prerequisites in the most time efficient manner to be able to apply to pharmacy school.

Jessica R

Also on First Fridays, UC SOP will host an Open House for prospective students staring at 12noon. The even includes lunch followed by a power point presentation highlighting the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy accomplishments; what sets us apart from other schools of pharmacy in the nation; and an overview of the admissions process. A tour of the school and of East Apartments will also be included.

To register for one of our First Friday Open House events visit:

For additional information, please contact:

Office of Professional & Student Affairs

or –

Ms. Jamie Bero
Director of Student Affairs

Want a more intensive Open House experience? Consider our ExRx (Experience Pharmacy) Open House experience. To learn more visit:

UCSOP Students Declare Their Favorite Activities in the Charleston Area (Part 1)

In the same unscientific survey where some UCSOP students reported their favorite Charleston area food options, they also listed some of their favorite activities.  So if you are thinking that Charleston is too small to offer any fun, think again, and check out this list of favorites.  Unlike the food, most of the time there were so many different answers, there was not a clear winners in the categories, so here is an overview of some of the favorites. And if you have a favorite that we have missed, leave us a comment.

Again, before checking out this list, there is something that you have to understand about Charleston, WV.  When talking about the city of Charleston, people often include surrounding areas in that conversation.  So when asked for favorites, students automatically included activities from surrounding areas.  So check out all the fun, and maybe rethink your impression of Charleston, WV!  As with the food post, we are also including some faculty and staff favorites here as well (yes, faculty and staff like to have a fun too!).  Part 2 of this post will cover favorite local events, weekend getaways, sports, and live music.

Favorite Outdoor Activity

This list included a variety

of year-round activities, including skiing, hiking, playing tennis, riding motorcycles and ATVs, zip-lining, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and participating in a variety of activities on Magic Island.  Live on the Levee is a series of free concerts in the summer on the river bank in downtown Charleston, and is also a faculty favorite.  All summer long there are a variety of musical acts every Friday night, with plenty of places to pull up a chair, food trucks for dinner or snacks, and just a short walk to some other Charleston favorites, such as Taylor Books and Ellen’s Ice Cream on Capital Street.  Many of these activities take place in the large variety of parks and wooded areas around Charleston, such as Kanawha State Forest, which is great for picnics, Frisbee, walking, studying, and has hiking and biking trails, as well as a pool.  And the students did not even mention white water rafting – a WV staple for summer and fall fun.  Try rafting the New River if you are a novice or the Gauley River if you are more experienced.   Playing golf is a faculty and staff favorite.  For those of you that have kids, I have included a like to a USA Today article about fun with kids in Charleston, but it highlights some of our student favorites also.  I guess when it comes to fun we are all just big kids!

3rd Floor Administrative Assistant Marea Dodd learning to golf.

3rd Floor Administrative Assistant Marea Dodd learning to golf.

A great shot of the crowd and the boats at Live on the Levee.

A great shot of the crowd and the boats at Live on the Levee.

Faculty member Ron Ramirez and his wife having fun at Live on the Levee.

Faculty member Ron Ramirez and his wife having fun at Live on the Levee.

Staff member Erika Riggs and her family are preparing to go zip-lining.

Staff member Erika Riggs and her family are preparing to go zip-lining.

Favorite Place to Shop

Student tending to gravitate toward shopping at area malls, including the Charleston Town Center Mall, the Huntington Mall (it is really in Barboursville), Beckley’s Crossroads Mall, as well as downtown and Corridor G shops.  Corridor G is a road that head south from Charleston into the coal fields of WV, but at the Charleston end has many shops and restaurants, including Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Lowes and Home Depot, Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, Marquee Cinemas, Red Lobster, Long Horn, Olive Garden, O’Charley’s, and many others, all in different shopping plazas.  So you may hear people direct you to Corridor G, Southridge, Ashton Place, Dudley Farms, but it is all the same general area.  There are also hotels in that area if you are coming for a visit.  The Charleston Town Center is an excellent mall that has a variety of shops, including Macy’s, JCPenney, Sephora, Coach, White House Black Market, local cell phone providers, a bank, several restaurants and a food court, just to name a few.

Favorite Weekend Hangout

Once again the favorite hangouts included a variety of locations, including movies, coffee shops, the pool, and the mall.  Local independent bookstore Taylor Books is a student and faculty favorite.  They have coffee, beer and wine, desserts, quiche in Sundays, live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and an exhibit of local art.  Oh yeah, and some comfy seating for reading.  Below are links to Taylor Books’ Facebook page, Waves of Fun pool and water park, which at least one student specifically noted as a favorite weekend hangout (located in Hurricane, WV), and Moxxee Coffee.

Dr. Anne Teichman and her family enjoy spending time at the Kanawha City Pool, which is not far from the UC campus.

Dr. Anne Teichman and her family enjoy spending time at the Kanawha City Pool, which is not far from the UC campus.


UCSOP Students Declare Their Favorite Food in the Charleston Area

In a very unscientific survey this past semester, some UCSOP students sent in their favorite places to grab lunch, a burger and more.  So whether you are planning a visit to Charleston, moving to campus to start the fall semester, or even if you are one of our current students looking for a new place to try, check out this list of favorites.  And if you have a favorite that we have missed, add it in to the comment section below.

Before checking out this list, there is something that you have to understand about Charleston, WV.  When talking about the city of Charleston, people often include surrounding areas in that conversation because there are many smaller communities near the city that are definitely worth a visit.  So when asked for favorites, students automatically included restaurants from surrounding towns, including South Charleston, Teays Valley, Cross Lanes, and Sissonville.  So buckle up and start your food tour of the Charleston area!

Best Pizza

When it comes to pizza, Pies & Pints Pizzeria is an overwhelming favorite among students (faculty too!).  This local specialty pizza place started with a shop in Fayetteville, WV, where you can still visit the original, then opened in Charleston, and has now become a regional chain with locations in Morgantown, Columbus, Dayton, and opening more locations in the near future.  Check out their website and Facebook page for more information

Other local favorites for pizza are Lola’s, Graziano’s, and Husson’s.

Best Burgers

Students do not mind hopping in the car and taking a ride to Teays Valley (about 20-25 minutes west) to chow down on the fat patties at Fat Patty’s.  This local chain has four locations, and serves burgers, sandwiches, salads, and more.  You can order their beer-battered fries by the bucket!  So whether you are in the mood for the Lasso patty covered in BBQ sauce or the Luau Cow topped with ham and pineapple, or just a classic burger, Fat Patty’s has something for you.

Other popular places for burgers are Five Guys, Cold Spot, B&D Gastropub, FireSide Grill (Teays Valley), Bluegrass Kitchen, and Vandalia Grill.  And Carney’s is a new restaurant in Cross Lanes that is a faculty recommendation for great burgers!

Favorite Lunch Spot

For lunch students are all over the place in their favorites – Vietnamese, Chinese, crepes, or they may just grab a sandwich.  Two favorites are located about 10-15 minutes from campus in South Charleston – Pho Vinh Long and Yen’s Sandwich shop.

Sorry, no website for these locally owned restaurants, but check out the articles below about the great soups (BTW, even the small bowl is big!) at Pho Vinh Long, and the unique (and inexpensive) sandwiches at Yen’s.

Other favorites lunch spots include Tricky Fish, Café Creperi, Taste of Asia (also in South Charleston), Pita Pit, The Wheelhouse, M&M Mart and Deli, Bellicino’s, and First Watch.  Las Trancas Mexican Restaurant is a faculty favorite.

Favorite Restaurant

This one got a lot of responses, with no clear winner.  Some of them also showed up in the lists above, and some are chains and some are local.

Popular choices were Soho’s (at the Capital Market), Adelphia Sports Bar, Pies and Pints Pizzeria, Bluegrass Kitchen, Fazio’s, Main Kwong, Su Tei, Cracker Barrel, Lone Star, Chop House, Tidewater, Top Spot Country Cookin’ (in Sissonville), Black Sheep Buritto & Brews, and the buffet at the Mardi Gras Casino and Resort in Cross Lanes.  A faculty favorite is the South Hills Market and Café.  Check out the links below to see what’s on the menu.