Reflections: UCSOP Summer Internship Experience

As an undergraduate looking to one day attend pharmacy school I was looking for any chance I could get to gain experience in the field of pharmacy. When the opportunity to become an intern at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy came up I had to take it. I quickly began the application process and soon was asked to interview for the position. After two rounds of interviews I received a phone call offering me the internship, which I quickly accepted.

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Beautiful view of the WV State Capitol building from UC’s campus.

I moved into East Apartments in the beginning of June to begin the internship. On the first day I received a very warm welcome from the faculty and staff of the School of Pharmacy. We toured Charleston, visited the Capitol building and Cultural Center, and became oriented with our new home for the next 8 weeks.

While we received many tasks to work on for the duration of the internship, our biggest project for the month of June was to serve as Head Counselors of the ExRx: Experience Pharmacy Summer Bootcamp. The camp was a week-long experience for high schoolers and undergraduates who were interested in pharmacy school. We spent the weeks leading up to the camp planning events, setting up activities, and preparing for the arrival of the students to the dorms. While we were leading the activities, we also got to immerse ourselves into the curriculum and learn about pharmacy school as well. After the camp ended we were invited to attend two School of Pharmacy alumni events; Blues Brews and BBQ, and Wine and all that Jazz. While the week of camp was long, we learned so much about UCSOP as well as meeting current students and alumni of UCSOP.

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Killian Rodgers, summer intern, and I volunteered at the animal shelter giving medication to dogs.

Throughout the month of July we got to work very closely with a P4 student who was on rotation with UCSOP administration. We also got the opportunity to work in the research lab under Dr. Linger. We spent the week assisting her running diagnostic tests, purifying proteins, and preparing a poster presentation. Also in the month of July we were able to shadow Dr. Juengel from UCSOP at WV Health Right. Both experiences allowed us to see different sides of pharmacy, and different paths we could take with a PharmD. Throughout the month we also volunteered at the local animal shelter and the health department. Both volunteer experiences served to broaden our horizons on what can be done with a PharmD, as well as giving us a sense of community and communication skills that are often used in pharmacy school.
Overall the experience allowed me to become even more excited about one day obtaining my PharmD. I got to experience several different paths of pharmacy that I didn’t know existed and I made connections with pharmacists and administrators that are invaluable. The eight weeks flew by as I grew to love Charleston more every day. To anyone who is currently and undergraduate and looking to attend pharmacy school this internship is a great way to further develop skills and experience that will be so useful when it comes time to apply!

UCSOP Works with National Youth Science Camp

Since its start in 1963 West Virginia’s National Youth Science Camp has been encouraging recent high school graduates to pursue further education in the science field. Two students from each state are chosen to attend the month long camp that is centered at Camp Pocahontas in Bartow, West Virginia. This year the campers kicked off their journey by visiting the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. Over 100 students arrived on campus the morning of June 16th and were welcomed by Dr. Paul Hill, the chancellor of West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. Dr. Hill spoke about the history of the National Youth Science Camp as well as his involvement as the CEO of the U.S Chemical Safety Board. The camp encourages students to take STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) classes and become more involved in the science field in their future studies. After the morning lecture the campers toured UCSOP and engaged in interactive sessions in the sterile IV and compounding laboratories.

Following the opening of the camp at UC the students traveled to Camp Pocahontas to begin their month long adventure. Their schedules for a typical day were full, beginning at 7:00am each day and ending around 11:00pm. The students experienced many guest lectures on varying topics from developments in cancer treatments to studies in foreign language in the medical fields. In addition to lectures, students had the opportunity to engage further into the sciences with hands on activities proctored by guest scientists of varying fields. Dr. Rebecca Linger, a professor at UCSOP, and P2 student Rachel Peaytt, traveled to the camp Sunday June 26th to conduct a week-long directed study block for the students. Their program was entitled Assaying Antioxidant Content of Medicinal Plants. Beginning the multi-day process Dr. Linger led the campers on a medicinal plant walk in search of plant samples. The samples were spectrophotmetrically tested for flavonoid content, giving the students an opportunity to see chemical interactions through color changes. The students were given the opportunity to learn about medicinal plants, as well as gain experience in plant material extraction and assay.

While the students developed their interests in science they also developed outdoor leadership through the camp. The campers participated in various outdoor activities including camping, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, and mountain biking. With several overnight camping adventures, the students got to explore much of the beautiful West Virginia scenery including Canaan Valley and the Cranberry Glades. The students also got to spend time exploring the science behind telescopes and space exploration at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia.

Through the many hands-on activities, guest lectures, and outdoor activities the students developed a sense of what’s going on in the science community. This camp allows students to grow or develop their interest in science, while encouraging them to pursue their careers and continue their education. Dr. Linger and Rachel thoroughly enjoyed their experience with their involvement in the camp, and hope to continue building a relationship between UCSOP and the National Youth Science Camp.

UCSOP Offers Summer Camp for High School & Undergraduate Students

Contributed by: Taylor Pickens, ExRx Boot camp Alum and Class of 2020

Are you interested in learning about the pharmacy profession? Registration for the 2016 Experience Pharmacy Bootcamp is now open. Tuesday, June 21 will mark the first day of the second ExRx BExRx-postcardootcamp event held at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, in Charleston, WV. This unique four-day event is designed to give high school juniors, seniors, and undergraduate college students the opportunity to experience pharmacy in an interactive, hands-on fashion. Students will take part in organized activities beginning Tuesday morning, June 21 and ending Friday afternoon, June 24. Some of the week’s events will include hands-on simulation, compounding, and IV lab experiences, as well as sessions on the history of pharmacy, medicinal plants, pharmaceutical career options, mock interviewing, and many other activities.

Students learn to compound IV products at ExRx Bootcamp

Students learn to compound IV products at ExRx Bootcamp

This unique experience is a prime opportunity to gain insight and preparation for that next step toward a future in pharmacy. Whether you are interested in learning more about a pharmacy career as a whole, or need help preparing for the application process, ExRx Bootcamp will prove to be a worthwhile experience. Emily Chattin, a freshman pre-pharmacy scholar at the University of Charleston says, “I would highly recommend attending this event. You are educated on what it takes to succeed before, during, and after pharmacy school, make lifelong friendships and connections with your preceptors. You also get to do fascinating experiments in the lab.”

Participating students will be housed in UC residence halls, with meals provided by the UC dining hall. Cost for the four-day camp is ONLY $99.00 per student, and includes meals, lodging, linens, towels, as well all activities. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. If you would like to register, or are interested in receiving more information, please contact Ms. Jamie Bero at jamiebero@ucwv.edu, or call (304)720–6685.

Registration forms and information can also be accessed online at: http://www.ucwv.edu/pharmacy/ 

Experience Pharmacy This Summer!

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The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is inviting high school juniors, seniors and college undergraduates to Experience Pharmacy in June 2015. Faculty and staff will conduct an intensive three-day summer camp for students interested in pursuing a career in pharmacy. The ExRx (Experience Pharmacy) Bootcamp will be held Monday, June 22 through Thursday, June 25, 2015 at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy in Charleston, WV.

Gannett mannequinParticipants will have the opportunity to learn about various pharmacy career paths, participate in activities in the compounding, simulation and IV labs, and tour the School of Pharmacy. They will also receive advice on preparing and applying for college and pharmacy school. There will be interesting sessions on the history of pharmacy, medicinal plants, medication adherence and patient consultation.

Evening activities will include: a scavenger hunt, a service project, a board game night, ice cream social and pizza, movies and s’mores night.

Students will stay in the UC residence halls and meals will be provided in the UC dining halls. The $99.00 fee includes meals, lodging, linens, towels, curricular materials, and activities. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available.IV Wednesday

For more information or to register please contact Ms. Jamie Bero at jamiebero@ucwv.edu or by telephone at 304-720-6685. Registration forms are also available at: www.ucwv.edu/pharmacy