Destination.Pharmacy Week – Day 4

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We’ve made it to day 4 of Destination Pharmacy Week.

On Monday we shared different career opportunities a student can purse as a pharmacist. Tuesday and Wednesday, we shared a bit about our curriculum and ways we prepare our students to be successful through an emphasis on innovation and leadership. Now today, we are sharing the success students find after graduation.

Over the last few years, we have seen 60% of our students practice in a community setting, 20% practice in a clinical or hospital setting and over 20% earn competitive PGY1 residencies.

Today’s first video features both Dr. Cassie Legari & Dr. Sarah Embrey.  Both are practicing pharmacists and faculty members within the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the UCSOP.  In this video they are sharing their insights on residencies.

As mentioned before, our graduates have had success obtaining competitive residencies and fellowships over the years.   Two recent graduates are Class of 2017’s Dr. Katie Oliver and Dr. Celine Quevillon.  Check out their video updates on what they have been doing since graduation:



Destination.Pharmacy Week – Day 3

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At the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP), illustrations of innovation are becoming a consistent part of our identity. Our focus is on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, encouraging students to develop ideas, compete for funding, and launch viable, successful products and businesses.

The Russell and Martha Wehrle Innovation Center is a supportive platform in which the UC community, including the student pharmacists, faculty and staff at UCSOP, can explore new measures and methods, ignite creativity, and promote inspiration. The Innovation Center acts as a hub and area of inspiration as its two main areas of focus are to support students in their dreams of creating new ideas, and providing the resources needed to build a business.

Today our Student Pharmacists, Faculty and Staff will participate in the University of Charleston’s annual I-3 ((Ideas, Invention, Innovation) Innovation Showcase.  Be sure to follow along on Facebook as we stream live throughout the day.

At the UCSOP, we are also training our students to become great leaders.  Students have many opportunities to take on leadership roles through student organizations and the Pharmacy Student Governance Association.

Today’s featured videos are from current Student Pharmacists Leila Fleming, Class of 2019 and Loic Noubossie, Class of 2018.  Leila will be talking about her experiences with innovation, while Loic talks about his former role as a student leader.

Remember to follow along on Facebook as we stream live throughout I-3 Day.

Make it Quick: The Art of the Elevator Pitch

Contributed by: IPhO

An elevator pitch is a brief verbal communication that is given to potential employers, that is intended to focus on a candidate’s education, skill set, background, and interests. Elevator pitches are extremely important and useful when working in the pharmaceutical industry.  Employers do not have the time to sit and hear a candidate speak about an entire CV/resume, so an elevator pitch allows a candidate to hit the highlights as it pertains to that job opportunity.  At its core, an elevator pitch is a way to present your best self to an employer in a way that avoids the usual “awkward” casual conversations that sometimes arise.

So, what needs to be included in an elevator pitch

  1. Student’s Name
  2. Student’s current program of study and projected year of completion
  3. Short review of student’s education, experience, key strengths, skills, and interest
  4. Explanation of why the student is interested in this particular company or position
  5. A strong closing that ends with the exchange of business cards or the student asking about how to follow-up with the company.

Other things to be considered:

Non-Verbal Cues:

  • Eye contact – this should be maintained but it’s not a staring contest.
  • Handshake – this should be firm and reflect confidence. No “limp fish” or “death grips”.
  • Smile – the student should exhibit a pleasant demeanor and smile so as to appear friendly.

Verbal Cues:

  • Fluent & Conversational – the student’s goal should be to hold a conversation with ease.
  • Disfluencies (um, uh, like, etc.) – the student should try to avoid an excessive amount that might distract the employer from the content of the pitch.

Example of a weak pitch:

Hi, I’m Koffi and I am a student at UCSOP. I’m studying pharmacy and I would like to work in a hospital when I graduate. What does your company do?

Example of a strong pitch:

Hello, my name is Koffi and I’m currently in my first year of the PharmD Program at UCSOP. I am interested in expanding my knowledge of community pharmacy practice through an internship with CVS. I have had the opportunity to job shadow at Wal-Mart and Walgreens and I really enjoyed learning about the operational setup as well as how different pharmacists counsel patients differently. I have also worked a few summers as a receptionist in a physician’s office so I know the importance of meeting the needs of patients and responding to inquiries accurately and promptly. May I have your business card to follow up about possible opportunities with your company

Destination.Pharmacy Week 2018 – Day 2

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It is Day 2 of Destination.Pharmacy Week!

Today we taking a closer look at what classes students take throughout our PharmD program.  Our Doctor of Pharmacy program is a 4-year program in which students spend the first three years in the classroom.  Their fourth year is then spent outside of the classroom, completing various rotations.

The overall goal of the curriculum is to develop a competent, highly engaged, generalist practitioner who can successfully practice pharmacy at an entry-level.  Our curriculum emphasizes the management of disease states and the assurance of quality of care. The curriculum is also designed with a comprehensive focus on patient care, medication therapy management, and disease management.

To see our full curriculum, click here.

To give you more insight, we have two special videos to share today.  These videos feature faculty members from the UCSOP’s Department of Pharmaceutical & Administrative Sciences: Dr. Rebecca Linger and Dr. Aymen Shatnawi.

In addition to the regular curriculum, each year students select an elective to take.  One popular elective offered is Dr. Linger’s Ethnopharmacology of Appalachia.  To give you an idea why it is so popular, and what this course is all about, watch the video below:

In the third year, our students take a course in Pharmacogenomics and Medical Genetics. You may be wondering, what exactly is pharmacogenomics?  Check out Dr. Shatnawi’s video below to find out:


For the chance to see a live class, be sure to follow the UCSOP on Facebook. We will be going live from various classes throughout Destination.Pharmacy Week.


Destination.Pharmacy Week 2018 – Day 1

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Welcome to Day 1 of the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy’s Destination.Pharmacy Week! We are starting this week by highlighting a few of the many career paths one can take as a pharmacist.

Today’s videos feature two faculty members, Dr. Michelle Knight and Dr. Michaela Leffler.  Dr. Knight will be talking about careers in pharmacy and the expanding role of a pharmacist.  Dr. Michaela Leffler, who is also a graduate of the UCSOP, will be talking about clinical pharmacy.


Have you thought about what path in pharmacy you would like to pursue?

To explore even more pharmacy career opportunities and learn why pharmacy may be the perfect career for you, visit:

At the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, we are preparing our students for all paths.  Our graduates find success right after graduation whether in a community pharmacy, a clinical setting, or even by earning competitive residencies and fellowships.

For more information about how the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy can help you on your journey to becoming a great pharmacist, please contact us at 304-357-4889, or visit our website:

Smoking: Lung Cancer and COPD

In the United States about 15 out of every 100 people who are of legal smoking age partake in the recreational use of cigarettes or other tobacco products. Many of these people are unaware of the immediate risk this imposes on their health and lives. Another important factor to consider is that by smoking it also imposes on other’s lives. When considering smoking there are two primary diseases that are correlated with the topic; those are lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Both disease states are prevalent across the United States and have been on the rise with due to the high number of people smoking.

The number one cause of COPD in the US is cigarette smoke or smoke from another source such as cigars. COPD is caused by long time exposure of irritants to the lungs. Once again this not only affects the individual smoking but secondhand smoke will also increase the chances of a person to develop this disease state. Treatment for COPD relies on medications to relieve symptoms because at this time no therapeutic option will cure this disease state. It is a lifelong illness with severe symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, a cough with mucous, and a pursed lip breathing mannerism which is a tale-tale indication of a person with this disease. Stopping smoking will decrease the progression and complications associated with this pulmonary illness.

Lung cancer is the next big hit list item which is caused by smoking. Cancer is when cells of the body grow abnormally and the body is unable to control the progression of cell mutations. Smoking will cause your cells in your lungs to mutate and alter their physiochemical properties. The five-year survival rate is 55% in cases where the disease is found and it is still localized within the lungs. Lung cancer has the potential to spread across many organs and all over the body which decreases survival rates dramatically. Once a person has stopped smoking for ten years then the risk of getting lung cancer is half that of someone who still smokes.

November is national lung cancer awareness month so what better month to think about quitting smoking than now. It is just in time for the holidays and you will have plenty of support to help you along the way. Making the first step is considering the option to quit. There are multiple healthcare professionals who are also knowledgeable and willing to help someone along their way in making this life-changing decision. The easiest option would more than likely be the local pharmacist who knows about different options to help an individual on your journey. Pharmacist can be there to educate about the benefits of quitting and to educate on the varieties of nicotine replacement options to make it easier for someone to quit. Many insurance companies will also provide support and allow individuals to have therapy products covered by them. Bring the awareness is the first step, taking action is next.


Kiss Away Cancer

Contributed by: Lambda Kappa Sigma

Lambda Kappa Sigma (LKS) is a professional organization for women in pharmacy. Founded in 1913, the organization is established in 49 campuses with 38 alumni chapters. Lambda Kappa Sigma provides lifelong opportunities for women in pharmacy. As an organization we offer prospects for professional achievements and personal growth. LKS is not only an organization you are a part of during your time in school, but we sustain these relationships throughout life. We strive to lead with integrity, inspire excellence and impact our community.

The organization is new here at the University of Charleston School Of Pharmacy. As founding members we are trying to establish ourselves and gain awareness as an organization.  In addition, we are promoting our mission of leading with integrity, inspiring excellence, and impacting community.  We are forming relationships with each other that we plan on continuing well beyond graduation. This year, our focus has been impacting community by raising awareness. In October we held events focusing on the awareness of breast cancer, domestic violence, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Our “Kiss Away Cancer” event was held to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen campaign. Through this weeklong event we were able to donate $100 to the foundation.  Additionally, we held a Tweet – A – Thon to raise awareness about breast cancer, with 13 tweets reaching over 200 followers.

Our “Put a Nail in Domestic Violence” event was an easy way for students to support domestic violence awareness. LKS members painted one fingernail purple for students. We painted approximately 40 nails and distributed 10 purple ribbons for students to wear throughout the day. With this event, we provided pamphlets with information regarding the prevalence of domestic violence.

Finally, we participated in the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Charleston WV. Our LKS volunteers helped with registration. Checking in hundreds of people that were there to advocate for the cause and work towards a cure.

In addition to the events that we held for our community, we gathered items to donate to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. We were able to reach out to a shelters both in Houston and Puerto Rico to provided them with essential items such as diapers, toothbrushes, tissues, and other necessities.

Women Making History: Mary Putnam Jacobi

Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi was a female pioneer in medical history. Throughout her life, she raised awareness for women’s education, produced many articles, and became a well-respected scientist of her time.

Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi, born Mary Putnam, was born in London, England on August 31, 1842. Her parents, George and Victorine Putnam, were American, and they returned to the United States in 1848. She spent her young life growing up in New York and graduated high school in 1859.

She wanted to further her education in medicine, despite her father’s opinion of women not practicing medicine. She attended the New York College of Pharmacy and graduated from there in 1863. She received her M.D. from the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1864. She then moved to Boston to study medicine at the New England Hospital for Women and Children.

Since, Mary Putnam was not happy with her education in America, she moved to Paris, where she became the was one of the first female students at the Ecole de Medecine and graduated in 1871. She received a bronze medal for her thesis and moved back to the United States in 1871. Once in New York, she combined private clinical practice and teaching at the New York Infirmary and Mount Sinai Hospital. She was the first woman to gain admission to many different medical societies.

During this time, Putnam supported the idea of both women and men training together to learn medicine, stating that the women’s institutes did not prepare them to practice medicine enough. Through her lecturing at different institutes, she raised the educational standards towards women.

In 1863, Mary Putnam married Dr. Abraham Jacobi, who is referred to as the “father of American pediatrics.” After her marriage, Mary Putnam Jacobi continued her career with both lecturing at different medical school and working as a consultant physician, where she opened a children’s ward in the New York Infirmary in 1886. With her ability to diagnose and continue to push for educational rights between men and women, she is considered one of American’s great physicians.

During her time practicing medicine, she joined many different medical associations, where she became the first woman to belong to the New York Academy of Medicine. She also became the second woman member of the Medical Society of the County of New York. She also belonged to the American Medical Association.

During this time of her practicing medicine, Mary Putnam Jacobi continued to publish articles of many different women’s health issues. Jacobi’s essay, “The Question of Rest for Women during Menstruation,” won her the Boylston Prize at Harvard. This essay was a reply to another doctor’s article, who questioned the role of woman in society and professions. Dr. Jacobi’s essay provided statistics and illustrated how a woman could contribute to her role in society during her cycle. One of her last articles written was a detailed description of her brain tumor titled “Description of the Early Symptoms of the Meningeal Tumor Compressing the Cerebellum,” which eventually killed her on June 10. 1906.




“Changing the Face of Medicine| Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 3 June 2015, 1 Oct. 2017.

“Mary Putnam Jacobi (1842-1906).” Open Collections Program: Women Working, Mary Putnam Jacobi (1842-1906), Accessed 1 Oct. 2017.

MacLean, Maggie. “Maggie MacLean.” Civil War Women, 26 June 2015, Accessed 1 Oct. 2017

Source of Photo: “August 31: Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi| Green-Wood.” GreenWood, Accessed 1 Oct. 2017.

Agatha Christie: A True Poison Expert

Agatha Christie has carved her place out in history by being the best selling mystery author of all time. In many of her books, she used poisons to kill her victims and this was no coincidence. A little known fact is a big part of her being able to paint an accurate portrayal of poisoning is because of her vast knowledge of chemicals from her training as a pharmacy dispenser.

Christie was originally named Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller at birth in the United Kingdom on September 15, 1890. She was born into a time when it was rare for a woman to receive a formal education. However, her mother insisted she learn how to read and even sent her to finishing school when she turned 16. (1)

During WWI, Agatha volunteered as a nurse in Britain. It was there that she first became interested in the science of medicine. After the end of the war she began training at a dispensary. The training involved practical and theoretical chemistry. At this time, many medications were compounded by hand at dispensaries, therefore giving her hands on experience on making medications.

She began to transition this hands on experience into her fictional books in 1920 when her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. The victim in this book was poisoned when someone added bromide (precipitating agent) to her sleeping tonic. As a result of the addition of the bromide, the medicine settled in the bottom and formed a lethal dose. Agatha Christie’s accurate descriptions of poisons have even been said to be used while diagnosing a patient. In her novel, The Pale Horse, she described thallium poisoning symptoms so well that after reading the book, a nurse at a hospital recognized these symptoms in one of her patients. (3)

At the end of her career, Christie had written 82 detective novels and detailed overdose signs of over 28 unique chemical compounds. Her literary work earned her several awards and in 1971 she was even made a dame of Great Britain. It is clear that her pharmaceutical knowledge was part of the driving force of her literary career. (2)



  1. Agatha Christie. (2012). Retrieved 04:07, September 28, 2017 from
  2. Harkup, Kathryn. A Is for arsenic. New York, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016.
  3. Sova, Dawn B. Agatha Christie a to Z: The Essential Reference to Her Life and Writings. New York: Facts on File, ©1996.

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy Launches Live Blog Talk Radio Series

A three-part live blog talk radio series on safe medication use will begin on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. The radio show is part of the Script Your Future campaign and is hosted by Dr. Susan Gardner, Assistant Dean for Student and Professional Affairs and Dr. Sarah Embrey, Assistant Professor at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. The three-part radio series is co-sponsored by Forest of the Rain Productions and the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. The following topics will be discussed with UCSOP faculty, students, staff, and community partners:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 – 7:30pm —Harm Reduction

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 – 7:30pm —Medication Adherence/Diversion

Wednesday, March 14, 2018—7:30pm –Medication Adherence and Medication Safety Outreach in Elementary Schools

Listeners may call in to the show to ask questions. The call in number will be announced during each broadcast. The website shown below will allow listeners to access the broadcasts:

A live broadcast link will be shared each Thursday via Twitter @UCSOP and at: For more information pertaining to UCSOP events, community outreach, and academic offerings, please visit our website at and follow us on social media. Facebook: Twitter: @UCSOP #UCSOP