Kevin Mai, PharmD 2018
Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how?
There are many instances of personal connections made by faculty that help me translate WesternU as home. The Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Mark Iannuzzo, is constantly available to students as a resource for anything and everything. The door to his office remains open and welcomes students who are in need of assistance, who have questions, or who just want to chat for a while. Secondly the Dean, Dr. Daniel Robinson, is an inspiration to all the students. He makes the effort to talk with students and get to know them all the while advocating for the profession and running the college. Dean Robinson has helped to encourage me to run for local and regional leadership positions through his willingness to listen to students.
Marvin Ortiz, PharmD 2018
How have you seen the University’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family?
One of the best activities I have been involved in on and off campus is the Pomona Community Health Action Team. I have loved the collaboration that exists with the team members from each of the nine colleges within the WesternU family. Together we are able to provide the full spectra of clinical services to the Pomona Community and its underserved populations. I am very proud of the work we do, however, what I am even more proud is our preceptors: our professors. They embody the mission of WesternU’s humanistic philosophy. They spend their week teaching us in class, teaching their third and fourth year students at their clinical practice sites, advising our student organizations, and yet they still consistently choose to give up their Saturdays in order to precept us. I am amazed by their commitment to the community and their commitment to us as students and our development as professionals. What I learn from them is more than clinical knowledge and practical skills, it is the tools to live out my life in service to my community as modeled by them.
Grace MyAnh Tran, PharmD 2018
Describe your best clinical experience and why it was memorable.
During one of our health fairs in Anaheim, we provided free blood pressure and blood sugar screenings to the community. Many of the people we served were low income or homeless. I remember one lady in particular who was shocked to see her blood pressure results. She was tearing up while she told our preceptor and I about her situation, and she was concerned about getting treatment. We calmed her down and found a solution using free clinics. This was the first time I felt the responsibility of a health care provider to the patients we serve.
Elizabeth Akhparyan, PharmD 2017
How have you seen the university’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family?
WesternU has evolved a system of education which prepares pharmacists who prioritize humanism, caring and science. Four years ago, I dreamt a dream that I would one day be able to wear my white coat and interact as a health care provider. Today as a third year Pharmacy student, WesternU is not only the school which I attend, but is also my second home. WesternU has created an environment that prioritizes communication and care as a core. Our instructors all work with the common goal, to provide for us direction while continuing to inspire the passion we have for patients, serving as our mentors tirelessly. Our Dean individually assess that we have the perfect conduit to develop with competency. If I had to narrow my choices for Pharmacy School, I would have undoubtedly made the same choice. WesternU is a home to future pharmacists, who were raised in an environment with love, care, and attention. Now, I strive to preserve and practice with all these values as a caring member of an inter-professional team.
Clarissa Ko, PharmD 2019
Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how?
The people at WesternU embody a sense of community and are very supportive and encouraging in helping students to strive to perform their best. The faculty especially have shown great willingness and passion to help students understand material by emphasizing important topics in class, answering all questions students have, and opening their schedule to meet with students.
How has your involvement in co-curricular activities (e.g. clubs or student government association) impacted you and/or the community you serve?
My involvement in co-curricular activities has helped me grow as an individual. It has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and gain valuable teamwork, leadership, and organizational skills that will be beneficial in the future. Engaging in such opportunities allows building connections with faculty, peers, and pharmacists currently working in the field. It also allows students to learn more about different areas of pharmacy to discover their interests.
Cynthia Jackevicius, BScPhm, PharmD, MSc, FCSHP, BCPS
WesternU distinctive: The block system is unique to the Doctor of Pharmacy Program at WesternU. It allows students to focus on one major therapeutic topic at a time and concentrate their learning in this area. Many students choose WesternU since they enjoy learning in this system.
Best Advice: WesternU is unique in that the school focuses on health professions education. It is a small campus so it is very welcoming and easy to get involved in student activities, such as those with professional associations.
On interprofessional education: Incorporating an IPE curriculum is an ideal way to teach health professionals since upon graduation, health professionals all work with each other to manage patient’s health issues.Read more about me…
Anandi Law, B.Pharm, PhD
On research: A WesternU intramural grant helped fund one of my earliest research proposals when I joined here. The project was a survey of (40% of) California community pharmacies to determine the status and extent of disease management programs. The results from that project were published in a fairly high impact journal for pharmacy practitioners and researchers (Journal of American Pharmacists Association) and helped establish my work in this area as well as expand the scope of my practice based research as community (chain and independent) pharmacies contacted me to help start such programs in their settings. Currently WesternU is trying to expand its research infrastructure and I am looking forward to hearing more about the increased resources.
WesternU distinctive: There are various unique aspects of the Pharm.D. program that define us: The block system is unique in the fact that students focus on only one area at a time; although personally I was more at ease with traditional programs, time and data have shown that the block system seems to be successful in increasing focus and depth in a topic area. It also helps faculty have focused time for their teaching and research during different times of the year without interruption. The Advanced Elective is another unique aspect – it serves as a capstone project for our students and is valued by all constituents – since it allows the student to take a project from conception to completion.
On interprofessional education: The IPE initiative is really exciting in its attempts to have health care providers learn and develop positive attitudes and respect and have realistic expectations of other health care professionals so the team concept that we preach in patent-focused care moves to reality.Read more about me…
Roger S. Klotz, BS.Pharm
Why WesternU: I was a preceptor for the College of Pharmacy from 1999 to the present time and had worked with the Associate Dean and the Dean at other Universities so I had a good understanding of their planned direction. I am particularly excited about the Universities commitment to interdisciplinary care. Have practiced in multiple health care environments I know how critical inter-professional communications and skills sharing is to patient care and good outcomes.
Value of a WesternU education: Ultimately, the greatest value of a WesternU education will be the interdisciplinary care education as well as the blending of basic sciences with clinical practice education.
On interprofessional education: Having 16 years of practice at an acute care university affiliated pediatric hospital in a major metropolitan area I saw on a daily basis the benefits of an interprofessional team approach to patient care. Learning for all students from other disciplines will provide the student with additional information, professional prospective, and help build the student’s confidence. An important factor in providing quality care is to know when to seek additional input and which disciplinary to call upon for the additional input.
Sam Shimomura, PharmD
Beyond the classroom: I am the advisor to the CSHP/ASHP Student Chapter. The students and I have participated in numerous community-service activities, including health fairs; flu shot clinics, poison prevention programs and a fundraiser for the Salvation Army.
WesternU distinctive: The pharmacy students work in small teams during the didactic portion of the curriculum. This helps students to develop communication, interpersonal and leadership skills. This experience also prepares students to work on the health care team once they start their clerkships. The planned inter-professional education curriculum will also enhance the student’s ability to work effectively in teams.
Value of a WesternU education: The most valuable part of the WesternU education is the opportunity to work closely with a very diverse group of students and faculty from many different cultures, races, religions, educational and professional backgrounds. The addition of the colleges of optometry, podiatry, dentistry and biomedical sciences only enhances this experience.
Best Advice: WesternU is an excellent place to receive a highly scientific and clinical education that also emphasizes caring for the whole patient.Read more about me…
Bradley T. Andresen, PhD
How do you think the interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum will enhance student’s professional lives? IPE will provide student pharmacists the opportunity to practice clinical interactions with multiple professions that they would not normally see in their early clinical rotations. As with any skill this increased practice leads to increased ability, allowing student pharmacists to be more knowledgeable and confident when interacting with other health professions.
Corey Edwards, PharmD
How did your involvement in co-curricular activities (e.g. clubs or student government) influence your personal life? I learned that the idea of separating business and personal life is not best suited to the profession of pharmacy. This is a lifestyle that has the potential to change who you are and the impact you have on everyone around you. Student organizations are they key to giving students tools, experiences, and confidence that will allow you to be effective practitioners and advocates for your profession.
What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? WesternU is a great institution if you have the fortitude to discover what it has to offer. A degree is merely a piece of paper, but what you do with it gives it value. If you choose WesternU, that is only the begining. Make the most of it because it’s a great opportunity with limitless potential.
Ihinosen Ogbeide, PharmD
What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? The faculty here are very helpful, knowledgeable, and care about success of the students. One of the reasons I chose WesternU is because of the warmth and compassion from the staff. When I came for a tour they were very welcoming and that made me want to come here. The program is very fast paced and requires continuous hard work and dedication to achieving your goal. It is quite an exciting experience and there are opportunities to get involved actively in the pharmacy profession.
Giano Panzarella, PharmD
What would yout tell a prospective student about WesternU? The pharmacy program is intense and applicable from the get go. Concepts can immediately be taken from the classroom and used in the real world. Overall I feel WesternU students have a large knowledge base that often merits surprise and accolades from our preceptors.I chose WesternU for its tightly woven community setting. I felt so lost in the fracas at larger Universities fearing I wouldn’t be able to make my mark. I feel that larger Universities encourage you to accept the status quo and follow the herd, whereas WesternU is the kind of place where innovative ideas can thrive. Also the hexagonal classrooms promote participation and learning. I would like prospective students to know that they have a voice here at WesternU. The curriculum is progressive toward student needs and our opinions and suggestions matter.
Roy Morita, PharmD
Time commitment: The block system took a little while to get used to, as there is a quiz, test, team assignment or individual assignment every two to three days. After you get used to it, it’s amazing how much information can be covered in a short amount of time.
Best thing about WesternU: Diversity. WesternU has many non-traditional students, including mid-career/foreign students, parents, older, non-science majors, etc. in addition to traditional students. This diversity adds to the learning experience by allowing you to meet many very interesting people.