Highlights of Spring 2014

Dean speaks to Kingsville leaders at Town Hall

More than 40 leaders from the Kingsville community discussed college initiatives, including the expansion of the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) program to the Bryan-College Station campus with Indra K. Reddy, Ph.D., professor and founding dean of the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy. With a large applicant pool year after year, for example 647 applicants in 2013, vying for a class size of 90 students each year, additional capacity was needed beyond Kingsville due to the limited number of clinical training settings within driving distance of that campus. Pending approval of the expansion plan from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the college will accept an additional 30 to 35 students per class in August 2014. Since graduating its inaugural class in 2010, the college has added 309 pharmacists to the workforce; 45 percent hail from South Texas and one-third are practicing in the region.

Dean Reddy serves as panelist for AAPS webinar

As a Fellows Chair-Elect with the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS), Indra K. Reddy, Ph.D., professor and founding dean of the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy, joined Peter Bonate, Ph.D., Fellows Chair and global head of Pharmacokinetics, Modeling, and Simulation at Astellas Pharma in Chicago, and Gregory E. Amidon, Ph.D., Fellows Past-Chair and with Pfizer, Pharmacia, Pharmacia & Upjohn in Kalamazoo, Mich., for a webinar on Jan. 31 that focused on developing a nomination package according to the Fellows process outlined by the Fellows Committee.

Students receive more than $600,000 in scholarships

More than 150 professional student pharmacists received, on average, $4,000 each in scholarship money to help defray educational costs. The Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy provides a number of scholarships that support its mission of providing health care training for students who serve the underserved areas of Texas. The college has received the funding each academic year since 2012 as part of a four-year, $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Health Resources and Services Administration under the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students Program. Approximately 100 first-, second- and third-year professional student pharmacists received more than $3,950. Fourth-year professional student pharmacists, 53 total, were awarded more than $4,100. 

Faculty, staff receive service awards

The Texas A&M Health Science Center honored faculty and staff for five years of service with the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy. Brett Giroir, M.D., executive vice president and CEO of the Texas A&M Health Science Center, presented the service awards with Indra K. Reddy, Ph.D., professor and founding dean of the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy. Giroir presented each person a coin that represents being part of the Texas A&M family and a framed certificate of service. The recipients, who have been with the college since 2008, were Eva Bennett, lead office associate for the office of the dean; Joan Everett-Houser, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice; Michael Horseman, Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice; Maria Jaramillo, executive assistant to the dean; Narendra Kumar, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences; Carolyn Lacy, administrative assistant for the office of experiential education; Jayshree Mishra, Ph.D., research scientist for pharmaceutical sciences; Srinath Palakurthi, Ph.D., director of graduate studies and associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences; and Barbara Rice, administrative purchasing coordinator for the office of finance and administration.

Students, faculty receive awards at TSHP seminar
Students, faculty and staff of the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy shined at the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists Annual Seminar Friday, April 11, through Sunday, April 13, at The Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston, Texas.

  • Katie Kidd of Menard, Texas, third-year professional student pharmacist, won first place in the disease state management competition.
  • Mike De Luna, Pharm.D., Class of 2011, received the 2014 Pharmacy Mentor Award. De Luna is the Alumni Chair for the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacyand an oncology pharmacist at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in the Vasicek Cancer Center in Temple, Texas.
  • Jesse Castillo of Fort Worth, Texas, fourth-year professional student pharmacist, received the 2013 TSHP Research and Education Foundation Eustacio Galvan Memorial Scholarship for the second time.
  • Purvi Patel of Gatesville, Texas, fourth-year professional student pharmacist, received the TSHP Research and Education Foundation Phyllis B. Ginsburg Memorial Scholarship.
  • Madeline King of La Porte, Texas, fourth-year professional student pharmacist, received the TSHP Research and Education Foundation Jon Peyton Hudlow Memorial Scholarship.
  • Justin Shanks of Houston and Bryan Donald of Corpus Christi, Texas, received an honorable mention in the second-year professional student pharmacist section of the Clinical Skills Competition.

More than 60 people attended the Alumni & Friends Social and Dean’s Town Hall on April 11.

Dau, Douglas receive Walmart scholar award

Nhu Quyen Dau of Sugar Land, Texas, third-year professional student pharmacist with the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy, and Charles Douglas, Ph.D., MBA, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, were one of 85 student and faculty mentor pairs chosen from applicants across the nation for the Walmart Scholars Program. Dau and Douglas will receive $1,000 travel scholarships to attend the 2014 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Annual Meeting and the AACP Teachers Seminar in July in Grapevine, Texas.

Rho Chi chapter receives most improved in nation

The college’s Gamma Omega Chapter received the Most Improved Chapter Award, recognizing chapters who have made significant strides to increase their activities/projects in the past year, at the APhA Annual Meeting. A plaque was presented to the Gamma Omega Chapter at the Rho Chi Annual Meeting/Award Presentation March 30 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, Fla.

P1s and P2s interview for internships

P1 & P2 professional student pharmacists signed up for more than 350 interviews for summer internships on Feb. 11 and 12 at the Spring 2014 Intern Recruitment Fair at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy. The entire college joined the Mix & Mingle on Feb. 11 in the lobby. Professional student pharmacists interviewed for summer internships with companies including CVS/Caremark, Wal-Mart, H-E-B, Walgreens, Target, Kroger, U.S. Navy and PharmCare USA.

Student pharmacist team rises to Top 10 at midyear

The P4 team, Amber Bacak and Ashely Fox, made it to the Top 10 finalists in the National Clinical Skills Competition at the 2013 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting in December in Orlando, Fla. Thirty Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy professional student pharmacists with the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacy (SSHP) organization represented the college. SSHP shared their Discharge Counseling Program performed at Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in the Student Society Showcase to display the successful activities of our College’s chapter.  Fifteen P3 and P4 students presented posters describing their work. These students were third-year professional student pharmacists Nhu Quyen Dau, Meghan Dorosk, Jacob George and Katie Taylor; and fourth-year professional student pharmacists Neil Abraham, Jesse Castillo, Njemnu (Leonard) Fomuso, Gurbinder Jassar, Marium Kabir, Rachel Musgrove, Regina Roy, Nephy Samuel, Sarah Shanks, Martin Strait and Veena Todai.

Students, faculty, staff rally to raise more than $1,500 in Penny Wars

The battle lines were drawn on Nov. 18 as the college prepared for war – a penny war. The winning class won an hour of time Jan. 16. The collective effort of the Class of 2015, Class of 2016, Class of 2017 and the faculty and staff raised a total of $1,533.27 for the Dr. James Robertson, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund. Although the faculty and staff jug contained the most pennies and the most total money, the sum of positive points and negative points of the jugs fell into the Class of 2015’s favor.

Students support diabetes awareness day

Rebekah Martinez, first-year professional student pharmacist and chair for the SNPhA Diabetes Committee, encouraged students to wear a shade of blue for Diabetes Awareness Day. The professional student pharmacists at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy wore blue clothing in recognition of Diabetes Awareness Day on Nov. 14.

First-year students share health topics at fair

First-year professional student pharmacists worked in the fall semester to create pamphlets and posters for the Healthy People Health Disparities 2020. The project was a joint collaboration between four first-year classes: Clinical Communications, Intro to Patient Care, IPPE and Pharmacoepidemiology/Public Health. This event happens every fall to give the first-year students an opportunity to share information on health care-related topics.

Health fair features positive lifestyle for kids

Professional student pharmacists from the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy had a health fair at the Boys & Girls Club of Kingsville in the fall. The student pharmacists taught more than 70 children about various health topics to support a healthy lifestyle, including the similarities in the physical makeup of candy and medicine, the negative effects of tobacco use, and how to slow the risk of diabetes. “Doing this for the children is great,” said Monica Pham, a first-year professional student pharmacist. “We want to reach out to them and teach them healthy habits. Often, children fall into traps of an unhealthy lifestyle, including obesity and a high risk of diabetes. It has also been shown that children who fall into traps like this can begin to use tobacco.”

NCPA tours Moore’s Pharmacy 

Members of the student chapter of NCPA toured Moore’s Compounding Pharmacy Oct. 7 in Sinton, Texas, and gained insight into the business side of pharmacy. The professional student pharmacists discussed some pharmacy advocacy topics that are happening at the capitol and they were encouraged to be active in legislation. Bill Moore, registered pharmacist and owner of Moore’s Pharmacy, discussed some of the changes that the pharmacy profession has seen during his career. The students were also able to see the compounding room, where they learned about the processes that the technicians take when compounding, and the types of compounds they make at Moore’s Pharmacy. 

Community shares in cultural experience

The Kingsville community sampled the tastes, heard the sounds and experienced the cultures of the world at the 2014 International Extravaganza on April 26 at Santa Gertrudis School. Many regions were represented – Europe, Asia, India, the Islands, Mexico and South America. The Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy students exchanged ethnic foods, share an understanding of the health benefits of these ethnic foods, shared multilingual lyrics and music, and played multicultural games that originated in 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.

TPA offers students leadership symposium

Several Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy students discussed the expanding the roles of pharmacists and how to effectively lobby state legislature for bills supportive of pharmacists at the 2014 Texas Pharmacy Association (TPA) Leadership Symposium in April in Austin. TPA sponsored free memberships and Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy won second place in the TPA canned food drive contest, due largely to the efforts of Jessica Schneider, TPA’s student board director.  

Phi Lambda Sigma initiates 14 students, 2 faculty as members

The Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy chapter of Phi Lambda Sigma leadership society invited 14 students and two faculty members into the Gamma Mu Chapter on April 15 at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center. Joe DaSilva, FACHE, CAE, chief executive officer at Texas Pharmacy Association, presided over the induction ceremony. He also made a presentation to the entire student body earlier in the day. DaSilva shared the importance of understanding that being a leader sometimes means following, sometimes means not being in control and always means asking why not rather than why.

SNPhA demonstrates health care with Falfurrias High School

Professional student pharmacists with SNPhA volunteered on April 7 at the Falfurrias Health Fair at Falfurrias High School. SNPhA performed blood pressure, blood sugar and lipid screenings with a pharmacist, and two RNs.

Rho Chi initiates 16 students, 1 faculty as members

The Rho Chi Society Gamma Omega Chapter inducted 16 students and one faculty member into the chapter on April 3 at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center. Candidates for induction must have completed at least half of their didactic pharmacy doctorate degree program and be placed within the Top 20 percent of their class. The Rho Chi Society Chapter Gamma Omega started in 2008 at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy.

Students share health care information at air show

More than 30 Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy students participated on March 29 in the 2014 Wings Over South Texas air show at the Naval Air Station Kingsville. Students provided blood pressure screenings and health education materials. In addition, the college joined the Texas A&M University-Kingsville with a photo booth.

Andrea Luce, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice, was inducted into The Rho Chi Society and Phi Lambda Sigma in spring 2014.

Fadi Alkhateeb, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice and director of assessment, has been invited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy to serve as a member of the Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment Committee. 

Fadi Alkhateeb, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice and director of assessment, has been slated to the ballot for the secretary position for the AACP Assessment Special Interest Group. The elections will take place in May.

Robert Hutchison, Pharm.D., BCACP, associate professor of pharmacy practice, has been appointed to the Texas Pain Advocacy and Information Network’s (TxPAIN) multidisciplinary committee. Pain is the most common reason that Texans access the health care system. The mission of TxPAIN is to ensure high quality pain and palliative care for people of all communities & cultures in Texas through public policy, public awareness, & provider education.

Victoria Pho, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice, was selected as chair-elect to the AACP Geriatric Special Interest Group for July 2013- July 2014.