Contributed by: Jenny Long, Class of 2017
The spring semester at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is always full of celebration, with some of the most anticipated events being the Rites of Passage Ceremony, Honors & Awards, and the Pharmacy Gala. This spring, the Rites of Passage Ceremony was held on April 15th in the Geary Auditorium at UC, while the Pharmacy Gala was held immediately after the ceremony in the Rotunda and Erma Byrd Art Gallery.
P3 Seol Park poses for a picture with retiring faculty member Dr. Dennis K. Flaherty
The Rites of Passage Ceremony recognizes P3 students by presenting them with a pin to wear on their white coats as they end their didactic curriculum and start P4 rotations. Many P3s, including Renee Neidich, were honored to receive this recognition as a result of the hard work and dedication needed to receive it. “This pin may not look like much, but it shows three years of hard work, dedication, long days with sleepless nights, breakdowns and tears, and smiles and good times.”
The pin received at the Rites of Passage Ceremony not only represents the hard work students have put into their pharmacy school careers, it also signifies a new chapter in their lives for the upcoming school year. Renee says, “It signifies the end of my didactic (in class), years of pharmacy school and opens the road for the last leg of my journey: P4 rotations and a year packed with experience and learning. This pin may not look like much, but it means the world to me.”
Faculty members Drs. Sarah Embrey, Karrie Juengel, Michelle Knight, and Alice Gahbauer strike a pose in the photo booth at the Pharmacy Gala.
In addition to the Rites of Passage, several students received awards and scholarships during the Honors & Awards Ceremony. Katie Oliver, a recipient of the Leadership Award and the Rita Carrico Memorial Scholarship, says that being awarded two scholarships was a highlight of the night. “Accepting two scholarships at The Rites of Passage Ceremony was a wonderful way to end my P3 year! Being recognized for the hours of hard work put into this curriculum, and experiencing that with my family, is a wonderful experience that I am grateful for.” Katie also says that the scholarship money rewarded at the Honors & Awards Ceremony will be helpful in paying for the expenses of the upcoming year of rotations. “I am so thankful for the scholarships and opportunities provided to me, as they will help immensely during my P4 clinical rotations.”
After the ceremony, students attended the Pharmacy Gala to enjoy a night of celebration with their classmates and families. This is the first year the event was held immediately after the Honors and Awards and Rites of Passage Ceremony, but Pharmacy Gala chair Sydney Bailey feels that the Pharmacy Gala was a great success. “I thought we had a great turnout and I think it was a great idea to have it right after the Honors and Awards and Rites of Passage Ceremony!”
P1 students Rachel Peaytt and Kathryn Howerton sign a picture to be gifted to retiring faculty member Dr. Dennis K. Flaherty.
Activities taking place at the Pharmacy Gala included signing a picture to give to retiring faculty member Dr. Dennis K. Flaherty, a DJ, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and a photo booth. According to Sydney, all of these activities were popular among students, “The rotunda turned out beautiful, and everyone seemed to love the decorations and photo booth!”
Planning the Pharmacy Gala was a great experience for Sydney, along with co-chair Linda Nguyen and committee members P1s Jasiris Boccheciamp, Nneoma Imo, Kelcey Duerson, and Sara Yagodich. “Planning the Pharmacy Gala this year was a lot of fun, and it was rewarding to see the event come together when the day finally arrived,” Sydney said. “I cannot wait to see what the future holds for upcoming Pharmacy Galas.”