Highlights of Spring 2015

Students traveled to Austin for Texas Pharmacy Day

Texas A&M students represent at Texas Pharmacy Day 

Professional student pharmacists from the Kingsville and College Station campuses of the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy traveled on April 8 to Austin for Texas Pharmacy Day.

See College Awards winners.


P4, interprofessional team place second in CLARION National Case Competition

Mahmoud Sabawi of Portland, Texas, fourth-year professional student pharmacist at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy, placed second in the nation, along with his interprofessional team, in April at the CLARION National Case Competition at the University of Minnesota. He was asked to join the case competition team during his rotations at Scott & White in Temple, Texas. He joined two Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center doctor of nursing students and a Scott & White internal medicine resident in this competition.

’14 grad takes first in TSHP PGY-1 resident poster competition 

Class of 2014 graduate Rachel Musgrove, Pharm.D., received first place in the PGY1 resident poster competition along with Andrea Luce, Pharm.D., Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy assistant professor of pharmacy practice, and Monica Green, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCACP, at the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists 2015 Annual Seminar in San Antonio. The poster, “Evaluation of pharmacokinetic monitoring, adverse events and complications in patients discharged on intravenous vancomycin or aminoglycoside therapies,” assessed outpatient intravenous antimicrobial therapy at Ben Taub General Hospital and Lyndon Baines Johnson General Hospital in Houston. http://www.tshp.org/re-foundation-poster-competition1.html

Approximately 27 Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP) members and 12 faculty and staff members from the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy attended the conference. Six teams participated in the Clinical Skills Competition including third-year students Justin Shanks and Bryan Donald; third-year students Adaku Onwubuya and Uche Mbadugha; fourth-year students Amanda Fuentes-Chau and Pamela Bosse; second-year students Sasha Cruz and Whitney Strong; and second-year students Hannah Hodges and Kathryn Garcia. Four teams participated in Disease State Management Competition including Fuentes-Chau, Onwubuya, Nkwocha and Cruz. Students presented four posters, including Nkwocha, second-year student Jodie Keeling and Charles Douglas, Ph.D., Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences; Onwubuya, Mbadugha, first-year students Chinwendu Amushie and Junnie Mwaniki; White, Cruz, Strong and first-year student Honey Patel; and third-year students Chelsea Krueger and Klayton Ryman.

Interprofessional team serves 100 families in Project SHINE 

Professional students from medicine, nursing, public health and pharmacy served more than 100 families on April 18 in Project SHINE, Service & Help through Interprofessional Network Experience, in McAllen, Texas. The event was sponsored by Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) chapter. It began three years ago to support a student-driven health fair in South Texas. Project SHINE is a collaboration of various health care disciplines and community members offering health care screenings such as, blood pressure readings and blood glucose readings and on-site patient assessments at no cost to patients, said Adam Villarreal, a third-year professional student pharmacist and president of the APhA-ASP chapter. A Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthy Kids, Health Families grant supported Project SHINE in 2014 and 2015 to provide services including hemoglobin A1C readings, lipid and cholesterol readings, and immunization services to the community.

Texas A&M health professional students practice at Disaster Day 

Texas A&M Health Science Center medicine, nursing, public health and pharmacy students participated in Disaster Day in College Station on March 26. Professional student pharmacists on the College Station Campus identified drugs along with the appropriate dose and route of medication; recommended appropriate medications for pediatric and pregnant patients and patients with allergies; and answered patient and health care provider questions about medications. Fourth-year students Daniel Lam and Lawrence Kwan served on the Disaster Day 2015 planning committee with Bree Watzak, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice.

Reynolds stresses importance of learning to lead at The Rho Chi Society lecture, banquet

The Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy inducted 18 students in April into its Gamma Omega chapter of The Rho Chi Honor Society, which gives professional recognition in the field of pharmacy to students for academic excellence, at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center. The chapter also presented John R. “Jack” Reynolds, Pharm.D., interim vice provost for undergraduate education and professor of pharmacy at Northeastern University, to the students, faculty and staff at Dean’s Hour. Reynolds discussed how students can learn to lead as future pharmacists. Reynolds, who is currently the immediate past president of The Rho Chi Honor Society national organization and chair of the nominating committee, touched on the five core values of the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy – care, compassion, competence, community and collaboration – as he shared examples of how students can lead with meaning. He encouraged students to always take time to reflect on how they are learning to lead in all aspects of their individual, community and academic lives. In addition, Reynolds spent time with faculty discussing ways to improve discussions with parents and students. He joined the inductees, current members, faculty and staff at the banquet.

Waggener shares the importance of networking at PLS lecture, banquet

Professional student pharmacists learned the importance of networking at the Phi Lambda Sigma lecture by Jeanne Waggener, R.Ph., who is the president of the Texas State Board of Pharmacy and the Wal-Mart Health and Wellness Market 262 director. The Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy Phi Lambda Sigma leadership society invited eight students to be inducted into its Gamma Mu Chapter April 7 at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center. Phi Lambda Sigma, also known as the national Pharmacy Leadership Society, promotes the development of leadership qualities, especially among pharmacy students. View and download photos via Flickr at https://flic.kr/s/aHskaiQktz.

P2 receives summer internship with Mayo Clinic (photo)

Texas A&M second-year professional student pharmacist Sasha Cruz of San Antonio received a summer internship with the Mayo Clinic. She will study specialized pharmacy practice areas including critical care, cardiac surgery, cardiology, anti-coagulation, and many others. During the summer she will perform mini rotations shadowing various pharmacy specialties. At the end of the internship she will share a presentation with the clinic staff and receive feedback from peers on how to improve her skills.

Texas A&M has two Walmart Scholar teams for 2015

Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy third-year professional student pharmacist Jason Chau of Pflugerville, Texas, and Bree Watzak, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice, and third-year professional student pharmacist Chelsea Krueger of Plano, Texas, and Charles Douglas, Ph.D., MBA, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, were two of the 85 student and faculty mentor pairs chosen from applicants across the nation for the Walmart Scholars Program. Each student and professor team will receive $1,000 travel scholarships to attend the 2015 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Annual Meeting and the AACP Teachers Seminar in July in National Harbor, Maryland.

Texas A&M students learn about leadership 

Fourth-year professional student pharmacist Jessica Schneider of Schulenburg, Texas, third-year student Jason Chau of Pflugerville, Texas, and first-year student Sanjay Shiwprasad of Houston attended the Texas Pharmacy Association’s Student Leadership Symposium on April 7 in Austin, Texas.

Project PATH breaks ground at Kingsville park 

The Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy’s chapter for the Student National Pharmacy Association (SNPhA) broke ground on Project PATH on May 2 at Corral Park in Kingsville. PATH, which stands for Pharmacy Actively Transforming Health, is a student-driven event the city of Kingsville has joined efforts in order to create a safe, purposeful place for residents to play, run or walk. At the kick-off event, students shared healthy cooking demonstrations, Zumba workouts, health screenings, hands-on activities for families and medication counseling. The health fair was the grand opening for Corral Park after several student-directed improvements were already made to the park by students and Kingsville. SNPhA received $2,500 for the Prescription for Service Award sponsored by Wal-Mart to clean up the park and to construct a jogging path. The city of Kingsville and community members provided full support by contributing an additional $14,500 to expand PATH. The park’s star improvement is a walking/jogging path which will cover slightly under half a mile. Other improvements include stretching equipment, water fountain and a dog cleanup station. You may view the video about the project at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSjruh3Vlcg.

Kingsville community enjoy International Extravaganza 

The Kingsville community sampled the tastes, heard the sounds and experienced the cultures of the world at the 2015 International Extravaganza on April 11 at Santa Gertrudis School. Many cultures were represented – Europe, Asia, India, and Mexico. The Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy students served ethnic foods, shared an understanding of the health benefits of these ethnic foods, shared multilingual lyrics and music, and played multicultural games that originate from different parts of the world. The event, sponsored by a diversity grant from Walgreens, was coordinated through the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy student cultural diversity committee. You can also view and download photos via Flickr at https://flic.kr/s/aHsk9zaHeY.

College Station Campus reaches College Station community

The Class of 2018 on the College Station Campus conducted four Health Fair Service Learning Events this year. In November 2014, the students reached close to 600 residents in community health education and screenings. First-year students provided blood pressure screenings and education; information on dietary salt intake and the effects of excess sodium consumption on cardiovascular health; diabetes education; and education on acetaminophen toxicity and overdose. In addition, the Class of 2018 participated in monthly H-E-B Second Saturday events and the Bryan Texas Reds Event in September 2014.

College Station Campus students check blood pressure at Parent’s Weekend

Texas A&M pharmacy students on the College Station Campus gave blood pressure checks during Parent’s Weekend on April 18 in Rudder Plaza at Texas A&M University. Aggie students joined their parents for the special day. The students conducted blood glucose screenings and diabetes education.

Phi Delta Chi raises funds for St. Jude’s in Dodgeball tournament 

Phi Delta Chi hosted the Dodging Diseases Dodgeball Tournament on April 11 at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Recreation Center to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. With the help of all the teams formed and donations made, $1,210 was raised for St. Jude. First place went to team Daj Mahal (Bryan Hildebrandt, Richard Vuong, Andy Huynh, Chris Cavazos, Van Tran, Quyen Dau), second place to team The Yellow Surge (Jerry Garza, Benjamin Nye, Rudy Rangel, Edward Uzowulu, Kevin Ferrall) and third place to team Roger That! (Sybil, Jenni Tran, David Guzman, Jojo Tran, Sergio Garcia, Irene Trevino). You can also view and download photos via Flickr at https://flic.kr/s/aHsk6DtyN7.

P3 team receives first place in SSHP poster presentation 

Students with the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy presented posters on March 24 on the Kingsville Campus. Third-year professional student pharmacists Klayton Ryman and Chelsea Krueger won the competition with their poster “Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Rosuvastatin in Patients with Systolic Heart Failure.”

TSHP members collect stuffed animals, books for children 

Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists (TSHP) collected stuffed animals and children’s books for the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. TSHP members in the Teddy Bear and Children’s book drive collected 71 stuffed animals and more than 100 children’s books in April. 

Texas A&M students raise kidney awareness 

Professional student pharmacists at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy recognized World Kidney Day on the Kingsville Campus on March 12. The students wore green to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys, and the risk factors for kidney disease worldwide.

Students raise more than $25,000 in second Ties & Tennis Shoes Memorial Run

Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy students raised more than $25,000 in the second fun run, that included a 5K and 10K race, for scholarships and interprofessional activities for health care students. Despite the rain and cool temperatures, more than 300 community members, faculty, staff and students gathered for the Ties & Tennis Shoes Memorial Run/Walk at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy on Feb. 27. More than 250 runners registered for the race. You can also view and download photos via Flickr at https://flic.kr/s/aHsk5ru15P

P2 shares experience with high school pharmacy technicians 

Roderick Hess, who is a second-year professional student pharmacist at Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy, spoke with seniors recently who are enrolled in the pharmacy technician elective at the Career and Technical Education Program in the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District. “I discussed with them the path to pharmacy school, including what courses to take, PCAT preparation, experience necessary and overall things to focus on as they prepare to apply to pharmacy school,” said Hess of Alamo, Texas. “Not all indicated they were going to pursue pharmacy school but a handful were definitely interested.” Hess was invited to join the presentation with his preceptor, Jaime Solis, R.Ph., at his P2 site at Lee’s Pharmacy in McAllen, Texas.

P2 takes first in local APhA-ASP patient counseling competition 

The American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Patient Counseling Competition on Feb. 2 at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy encouraged professional student pharmacists to become better patient educators. Second-year professional student pharmacist Sasha Cruz received first place which included paid registration to attend and participate in the National Patient Counseling Competition in March at the 2015 APhA Annual Conference in San Diego, Calif. Third-year professional student pharmacist Vini Sayasana received second place. Second-year professional student pharmacist Whitney Strong received third place. The students placing in the Top 10 were: 1. Cruz; 2. Saysana; 3. Strong; 4. first-year student Carlos Saldana; 5. third-year student Chris Espino; 6. third-year student Uche Mbadugha; 7. third-year student Lisa Valdez; 8. first-year student Chiwendu Amushie; 9. third-year student Donald Barnhart; and 10. second-year student Shannon White. Students compete locally at more than 150 colleges of pharmacy in the nation. The top finisher competes on the national level and the Top 10 students are recognized.


Andrew Acosta, Class of 2018, and Kimberly Carson, Class of 2018, each received the Bexar County Pharmacy Association Endowed Scholarship.

Andrew Acosta, Class of 2018, Khoa Vo, Class of 2017, and Cynthia Zavala, Class of 2018, each received the Safeway Scholarship.

Sasha Cruz, Class of 2017, received the 2014 TSHP Research & Education Foundation Celso and Matiana M. Cuéllar Sr. Scholarship.

Kevin Ferrall, Class of 2016, received the Walgreens Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Scholarship.

Jacob George, Class of 2015, received the 2014 TSHP Research & Education Foundation Glenda Lawson McRee Scholarship.

Amanda Kennedy, Class of 2016, received the inaugural Dr. James Robertson Jr. Memorial Scholarship.

Elizabeth Nkwocha, Class of 2016, received two scholarships from Texas A&M University the Patricia A Ward College of Medicine Scholarship and the Southerland Aggie Leader Scholarship.

Leila Samadi, Class of 2015, received the Technology Scholarship.

Daniel Trevino, Class of 2018, received the D.D. Hachar Charitable Trust and the Lamar-Bruni Vergara Endowed Scholarship.

Cynthia Zavala, Class of 2018, Ruth Gonzalez, Class of 2016, and Jason Chau, Class of 2016, each received the Walgreens Diversity Scholarship.

Faculty & Staff News

Indra K. Reddy, Ph.D., professor and founding dean, was asked to lead and facilitate a session in July of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Leadership and Development Special Interest Group during the 2015 AACP Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland.

Reddy was featured in the inaugural issue of the Texas Pharmacy Association magazine. His story is the “Member Spotlight” for March 2015. You may view the story at  http://www.pageturnpro.com/Texas-Pharmacy-Association/64357-Texas-Pharmacy-Magazine-Spring-2015/index.html#6

Professor receives FDA grant for test development 

The FDA recently awarded Srinath Palakurthi, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences and director of graduate studies at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy, a $250,000 grant to support his development of a test method for determining the therapeutic equivalency of topical eye medications.

Texas A&M appreciates staff members 

Debra Wood, R.Ph., experiential education coordinator, and Shelia Robinson, M.Ed., education program assistant, participated in the Staff Appreciation Week Kickoff Rally & Maroon & White Wellness Walk on March 27 on the College Station Campus. Interim President Mark Hussey and Coach G Guerrieri, head coach for Texas A&M Soccer, rallied the university staff at the Celebrating Staff rally following the Maroon and White Wellness Walk, a 30-minute power walk across campus. Staff on the Kingsville Campus walked the 30-minute power walk on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus on March 28.

Professional appointments

Paul Holder, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice, was named a Fellow of the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists (TSHP) for 2015. Holder was recognized in April during the 2015 TSHP Annual Seminar in San Antonio, Texas.

Indra K. Reddy, Ph.D., professor and founding dean, was elected to serve as Chair of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) National Fellows Selection Committee for 2015. He led a selection process training webinar in early February that is available online to all nominators and will lead the selection process in May. 

Pho, V.B. (2015). AACP Geriatric SIG - Chair 

Zhu, L. (2015). Member of Editorial Board of the Journal of Drug Research and Development. http://sciforschenonline.org/editor-board/drug/lin-zhu/lin-zhu.php