School of Pharmacy Hosts Orientation for Incoming Students

Activities prepare members of the Class of 2017 for their new lives as pharmacy students.

School of Pharmacy Hosts Orientation for Incoming Students

By Malissa Carroll
August 19, 2013

On August 13, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy kicked off orientation for members of the Class of 2017. Activities designed to introduce incoming students to the School of Pharmacy and set expectations for the next four years spanned four days and included remarks from Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FAAPS, FCP, dean and professor of the School of Pharmacy, an overview of the curriculum, an introduction to student organizations, and a discussion about the importance of professionalism.

“The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy ranks among the top schools of pharmacy in the nation, and I would like to congratulate each of you on becoming members of our Class of 2017,” said Eddington. “As future pharmacists, you will learn more about medications than any other health care provider, and as the role of pharmacists continues to expand, having a Doctor of Pharmacy degree will offer you a great amount of flexibility and diversity in your career options. I encourage you to use your time at the School of Pharmacy wisely and begin to build those networks that will serve you well as you progress in your career.”

“Orientation provides us with an opportunity to highlight all of the resources that are available to you as students at the School of Pharmacy, including the faculty and staff in the Office of Student Affairs,” added Cherokee Layson-Wolf, PharmD, CGP, BCACP, FAPhA, associate dean for student affairs and associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science. “We understand that the Doctor of Pharmacy program is not always easy, and we want to ensure that you have all of the tools that you need to succeed both as pharmacy students and as practicing pharmacists.”

Eddington spoke to students about the options available to those who are looking to enhance their educational experience at the School, including dual degree and residency programs, while emphasizing the importance of time management to ensure students keep up with their coursework. Richard Dalby, PhD, associate dean for academic affairs and professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC), presented students with a sound overview of the curriculum and advised the class about the importance of actively engaging in their education.

“Faculty will not provide you with all of the answers,” said Dalby. “Instead, they will give you the tools that you need to assimilate information and make your own decisions in a profession that rapidly changes. You will learn a lot more by immersing yourself in the different subject areas and attending classes actively prepared to participate in the conversation.”

Students also participated in different activities designed to help them better understand what to expect during the next four years and had a number of opportunities to network with each other, as well as with the School’s faculty. They were also sized for their white coats, which they will receive during the White Coat Ceremony on September 9.

“Orientation has been very helpful to me,” said Felicia Bartlett, a first-year student pharmacist who received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. “It has been great getting to know everyone, both students and faculty, and I can’t wait to start classes and begin building my pharmacy background.”

The Departments of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) also hosted orientations for new students in their graduate programs. Incoming students in the PSC graduate program were introduced to the different types of research conducted in the department through a series of presentations by faculty and current graduate students. New students in the PHSR graduate program met with Ebere Onukwugha, MS, PhD, director of the department’s graduate program and assistant professor in PHSR, and Colleen Day, academic coordinator for the PHSR graduate program, to set expectations for coursework, teaching assistantships, and research rotations. Both departments hosted luncheons attended by faculty, post-doctoral fellows, staff, and current students to welcome their new students.

Classes at the School of Pharmacy begin August 19. Students on the Baltimore campus will be welcomed back with an afternoon ice cream social. An ice cream social is also scheduled for the School’s Shady Grove campus on September 6.

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