By Ruchi Thakkar (Chair), Poorva Joshi (Vice-Chair), Abhishek Shettar (Treasurer)
AAPS-UM Student Chapter Members.
The University of Mississippi AAPS student chapter was established in 2003 and currently has approx. 58 active members who play a significant role. The primary chapter goal is to enhance interaction and knowledge-sharing among the members through various seminars and workshops. Our group focuses on promoting student participation in AAPS activities while providing opportunities for professional advancement, networking, and leadership development.
Within the past year, we offered two great seminar series. Ahmed S. Zidan, Ph.D., senior staff fellow at the Food and Drug Administration, gave a talk about the impact of 3D printing in pharmaceutical development and manufacturing. Clark Eid, Ph.D., director of project management at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, spoke about alternative careers paths for scientists and what project management entails.
Collaborations with others on campus allow for numerous professional development workshops. In conjunction with the Graduate Writing Center, we offered “Graduate Writing Tips” to assist in academic writing. Last spring the UM Career Center assisted with “Resume Writing and Personal Branding” for students to improve their networking and job seeking skills. With chemical engineering closely associated with pharmaceutics, our chapter helped organize a hands-on coating workshop for the School of Engineering students.
Faculty member Eman Ashour, Ph.D., with the chemical engineering students after conducting the hands-on coating workshop.
We kicked off the 2019 school year gathering with other School of Pharmacy student organizations for a Q&A session at the Graduate Student Orientation. The panel discussed common struggles faced by graduate students with an emphasis on mental health, the overwhelming moments in grad school, and the difference between graduate and undergraduate student life.
We are fortunate to have many exceptional members in our chapter. Two AAPS members, Apoorva Panda and Rishi Thakkar, were recognized for receiving the Best Abstract Award at the 2019 AAPS PharmSci 360 conference. Recently, two other student members, Srinivas Ajjarapu and Honghe Wang, received the prestigious American Association of Indian Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAiPS) graduate award. We also had five members inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest collegiate honor society for academic excellence, and seven into the Rho Chi Honor Society, which is the international honor society of pharmaceutical sciences.
Several members of the Graduate Student Orientation Panel in conversation with the new 2019 graduate students, which AAPS-UM chapter helped organize.
Our chapter has big ideas for the upcoming activities. Several initiatives where graduate students can de-stress and have fun, like a Halloween party, department informal dinner, bowling, and movie night, are already in motion. We plan to initiate various community service and volunteer activities as well, and will continue to organize guest speakers from industry and academia to inspire our graduate students.
The University of Mississippi AAPS Student Chapter will continue to provide an avenue and environment for our graduate students to thrive. We are excited for everything to come!