Spotlight: Kelsi Gulick

kelKelsi Gulick of Bigfoot, Texas

One thing Kelsi Gulick of Bigfoot, Texas, has learned is that if you love your job you never will have to work.

Gulick, who graduated on May 23 from the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy, plans to do just that as a community pharmacist.

She’s already made an impact in Pearsall, located in on her hometown county, where she shared the importance of immunizations during her H-E-B internship in summer 2013. She was rewarded through the changes she witnessed in the underserved community and also received the honor of Intern of the Summer in the Gulf Coast and Southwest Region for H-E-B.

Pearsall, 17 miles from Bigfoot, is in the middle of the more than 119 counties in Texas that are medically underserved, where patients do not have enough information or the resources for necessary immunizations. Gulick shared the importance of immunizations and the schedule of vaccines that children need to have for prevention of potentially life-threatening diseases.

Gulick was recognized by faculty members on May 20 at the College Awards Banquet for the Walgreens Innovative Community Practice Award, for striving to implement disease state management programs in a community practice.

She learned that caring is one of the most important components to successfully implement programs in the community.

“To ensure our future, we need to do three things: care for our patients, care for our pharmacy team members and care for our profession,” Gulick said.

During her time at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy, Gulick served in several student organizations, including the inaugural Ties & Tennis Shoes Committee. She directed the marketing and communications for the event.

She led the first Penny Wars in November 2013 that was between the three classes, faculty and staff which generated a lot of excitement for the event. Each group had a jar for donations in the Dean’s office. Pennies counted as positive points and nickels, dimes, quarters, bills and checks into the other jars counted as negative points.

“I quickly learned through working with Kelsi on the first Ties & Tennis Shoes Memorial Fun Run, that once she puts her mind to something, she’s unstoppable,” said Leslie Currie, MBA, staff advisor for Ties & Tennis Shoes and director of development with the Texas A&M Foundation. “It was Kelsi’s idea to organize a mini-fundraiser before the 5K, to create excitement.”

With little help, Gulick designed the fundraiser, organized a time line and managed advertising and communications. The result was beyond what anyone expected.

“All of the classes enthusiastically gathered pennies and plotted against faculty and staff with contributions of dollars and silver coins,” Currie said. In the end over $1,500 was raised; but more importantly the entire college community was buzzing with anticipation of the fun run. After tallying the positive and negative points, the winner of the Penny Wars was the Class of 2015.

Gulick served as secretary of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) and as a member of the Academic Affairs Committee in her third year. She was also a member of the National Community Pharmacists Association and the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists.

“Becoming involved in student-led organizations kept me focused on how pharmacists can impact the community,” she said. “Networking with other students made it evident that I was not alone in this endeavor and the camaraderie built will be a lifelong asset.”

Gulick completed her pharmacy prerequisites from Texas A&M University-Kingsville where she was a JAMP tutor for the College of Arts and Sciences pre-health department and served an undergraduate research assistant in the National Natural Toxins Research Center. She was homeschooled by her parents Marsha and Roy Gulick. In the Pearsall community, she developed her speaking and networking skills through her active involvement in the Texas 4-H program for 10 years and spent countless hours volunteering in the community.