Leading a science of sunscreen laboratory exercise with visiting high school students participating in Lipscomb’s Health Care Academy.
The Lipscomb University AAPS student chapter was established in 2013 and is comprised primarily of student pharmacists. Our principal goal is to build awareness of the pharmaceutical sciences to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students.
We aim to expose student pharmacists to nontraditional career paths and work to provide educational and networking opportunities with guest speakers in the pharmaceutical industry. In the past academic year, our chapter hosted three speakers from “big pharma” who presented on business development, health outcomes, and regulatory affairs, followed by smaller roundtable discussions.
In May 2019, our chapter took 16 members to Indianapolis to tour the facilities of Eli Lilly and Company. The trip included tours of the Lilly Corporate Center and Lilly Technology Center South and opportunities to attend an industry panel of fellows working in the medical, commercial, and corporate functions of the company. We were also introduced to the Eli Lilly’s Visiting Scientist Fellowship. At the end of the tour, we had a roundtable discussion with our hosts about the highlights of the day and were encouraged to create actionable goals to gain more exposure in the coming year. Overall, the trip provided great exposure to the basics in pharmaceutical industry at Lilly and Company.
On May 6-7, 2019, our student chapter took 16 members interested in pharmaceutical industry to Indianapolis to tour Eli Lilly’s facilities.
Furthermore, we remain active in community service and mission support. Our chapter volunteers annually at the American Cancer Society (ACS) Hope Lodge to host dinner and bingo for residents. The ACS Hope Lodge is dedicated to allowing patients traveling from far distances to stay for free with their families during their chemotherapy treatment in Nashville. Together, we prepare dinner on-site and play bingo with patients and their families.
Our chapter also volunteers at GraceWorks Ministries in Franklin, Tenn., to prepare and organize donations. GraceWorks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving those in need by providing food, clothing, furniture, and utility bill support to families in the Williamson County area. GraceWorks takes in donations and sells them at a store. Our organization has volunteered with GraceWorks in the past, and participants are happy to do it every year. This year we had 20 AAPS student members volunteer along with our faculty advisor.
Volunteering at GraceWorks Ministries in Franklin, Tenn., in April 2019.
We also work to serve globally via our Molecule of the Year fundraiser to support Lipscomb mission trips to the Dominican Republic, Malawi, and Honduras. The fundraiser provides the opportunity for student pharmacists and faculty to vote for a molecular structure to be made into a pewter holiday ornament. Proceeds are used to purchase over-the-counter medications for the medical mission trips.
Our student chapter also provides opportunities for members to participate in our AAPS K–12 outreach program. We partner with various high schools to introduce pharmaceutical science to students. Our chapter leads three laboratory exercises annually. These include a Drug Design laboratory where students are tasked with creating a ligand to fit specific receptor parameters, an Application of General Chemical Principles to Pharmaceuticals exercise, and a Science of Sunscreen lab where students investigate pathophysiology of sunburn and skin cancer, explore topical and transdermal drug delivery, and understand the mechanism of action of various sunscreens and excipients. HCA students also investigated the physics of UV radiation, defined SPF, and explored the mechanism of action of sunscreens while learning about active and inactive pharmaceutical ingredients.
We also dedicate portions of our membership meetings to provide chapter members professional development opportunities including an introduction to local pharmaceutical research opportunities, various research-student and faculty led journal clubs, and professional webinars. Our student chapter also hosts productivity events for members including curriculum vitae building, LinkedIn and scientific abstract writing workshops, and personal wellness reflection events.
Although we are only one professional organization offered to students here at Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy, our efforts to provide our members opportunities for personal and professional growth sets our chapter apart. With continued innovative event organization, the Lipscomb University AAPS student chapter has grown from 60 members to 84 in the past year, and we continue with a positive outlook for the 2019–2020 academic year.