Alumni Dedication Helps Ensure Future Success for SOP Students
School of Pharmacy’s Alumni Association strives to promote and cultivate fraternity and fellowship among alumni.
By Sean Cooper
April 2, 2014
Established in 1926, the Alumni Association at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy supports the School through leadership, advocacy, networking, and charitable giving. Through engagement in a wide range of social, educational, and professional development activities, the Association fosters a life-long relationship between alumni and the School.
“Members of the Alumni Association are strong supporters of the School of Pharmacy,” says Brian Hose, PharmD ’06, president of the Association and owner of Sharpsburg Pharmacy. “They continuously donate their time as well as their resources to ensure that the experiences of current and future students are as special as they were for themselves, if not better.”
Demonstrating alumni’s commitment to ensuring that current and future students continue to have access to high quality educational experiences, Ellen H. Yankellow, PharmD ’96, BSP ’73, president and chief executive officer of Correct Rx Pharmacy Services, Inc., donated of $1.1 million to the School in 2013 to support a new fellowship designed to capture health outcomes and economic data about the value of clinical pharmacy services.
“In addition to partnering with the School to support her passion of demonstrating the value of clinical pharmacy services, Dr. Yankellow also serves as president of the School’s Board of Visitors,” says Jennifer McGinley, associate director of alumni affairs. “She is a great example of how our alumni continue to remain involved with the School even after they have graduated and gone on to pursue their professional careers.”
McGinley, who works in the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs – which supports the School by raising funds from individuals, corporations, and foundations, and by fostering an environment that encourages alumni engagement – adds, “We are fortunate to have such a strong Alumni Association with whom we enjoy working to fulfill our mission to lead pharmacy education, scientific discovery, patient care, and community engagement in the state of Maryland and beyond.”
In addition to donating their time and resources, members of the School’s Alumni Association also work to promote a sense of pride in the School through the engagement and recognition of other alumni’s achievements. It hosts class reunions, alumni receptions, and other fun activities, such as picnics and ice skating, to encourage alumni involvement, and is also involved in planning the annual graduation banquet to celebrate the School’s graduating class.
“Planning and hosting the graduation banquet each year offers alumni the opportunity to celebrate the great accomplishments of the newest members of the pharmacy profession,” says Hose. “It is a very rewarding experience.”
Members of the Association also assist with the School’s interview process for prospective students, helping to evaluate prospective students for admission to the School and prepare admitted students for their new lives as student pharmacists. The Association also supports multiple awards and scholarships for current students.
“Staying involved with the Alumni Association has offered me many opportunities to maintain strong relationships with the faculty and other alumni,” says Chai Wang, PharmD ’11, BCPS, AE-C, clinical pharmacy specialist at Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States. “It has also allowed me to give back to the students by offering my unique perspective on my scholastic experiences and providing a conduit for engaged discussion to better prepare our future practitioners for the changes in the profession and the job market.”
All student pharmacists and graduate students at the School become members of the Alumni Association following graduation. The Association’s Executive Board meets four times each year, which allows its members to plan events and maintain involvement with the School.
“Representing the Alumni Association and working with current students is a tremendously rewarding experience,” says Hose. “There are many ways for alumni to express pride in the School. Giving one’s time to volunteer in the Association is a great way to do just that.”
If you are an alumnus of the School of Pharmacy who would like to become more involved with the Alumni Association, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs at (410) 706-5893.