American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists Board from left, Wesley Sweis, Brandi Tacdol, Bianca Khishaveh, Jason Yudiono, Emily Highsmith, Stephanie Hong, Joshua Lin
American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists Board from left, Wesley Sweis, Brandi Tacdol, Bianca Khishaveh, Jason Yudiono, Emily Highsmith, Stephanie Hong, Joshua Lin

The 2016-17 American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) executive board has been selected and the leadership baton has been passed. ASP acts as the student body government, which serves as an umbrella organization that oversees all of the pharmacy-related student groups on campus. The 2016-17 ASP president Jason Yudiono ’18 describes the ASP board as “the collective voice of the student body.” Wesley Sweis ’18, vice president of student affairs adds, “The ASP board is committed to the students. We strive for academic excellence, social and community involvement, as well as innovation.”

“My admiration for the previous board is what led me to being a member of ASP board,” said Stephanie Hong ’18, vice president of communications. She admired their enthusiasm and all that they were able to accomplish during their term. Bianca Khishaveh ’18, vice president of membership and finance, was also inspired by the leadership of previous board members. She shares, “During my first few days at Pacific the previous ASP board spoke to us during orientation. Experiencing the positive energy and impact that they had on us I knew that I too wanted to be a role model to the incoming freshmen and my fellow classmates.”

For Emily Highsmith ’18, vice president of professional affairs, the motivation for pursuing this leadership position was to get a deeper understanding of the pharmacy profession and to have the opportunity to support her fellow classmates. She said, “I wanted to be a member of the ASP board because I wanted an opportunity to make a broad impact with my leadership. I also view ASP as an opportunity to network with local practicing pharmacists and for me to get a feel for the direction pharmacy is headed.”

According to Highsmith, “The goals of our ASP board are to serve and represent the student body, provide patient care opportunities and to spark excitement about the future of pharmacy.” Highsmith shares that one of the goals of the 2016-17 board is to implement a project that will serve veterans. “Another goal of ours is to promote inter-professional collaboration through our health fairs,” said Brandi Tacdol ’18, vice president of legislative affairs. Joshua Lin ’18, vice president of correspondence, wants to enrich the student experience by tapping into the potential of the pre-pharmacy student body. He elaborates, “Like many of my predecessors, I want to try and further solidify the interaction between the pharmacy and pre-pharmacy students. Both campuses are so physically close, but interaction has always been limited. I want to be someone who builds the bridges and gives them the chance to be involved in pharmacy affairs.”

As they step into these high-profile leadership roles, each student reflects on the traits that they believe characterize a strong leader. Sweis shares, “I think a strong leader must possess organization, patience and the ability to delegate well.” Khishaveh adds, “Strong leaders are honest, accountable, creative and focused.” Tacdol emphasizes the trait of humility. She says, “The traits of a strong leader include someone who is humble, self-motivated and determined.”

In Hong’s opinion the key traits of a leader are charisma and confidence. Yudiono believes that in addition to charisma the essential characteristic is “being able to listen to the people you are leading.” Echoing Yudiono’s sentiment that good communication is a vital component of leadership, Highsmith said, “Strong leaders know when to step up and voice their opinions and when to step back and listen to others’ opinions.” Lin adds, “Above all else a leader needs to be understanding and approachable.”

Yudiono’s advice for those considering leadership roles is to “speak to people that are currently in the leadership position that interests you.” Highsmith recommends making the most of your time by focusing on leadership opportunities in an area that you are passionate about. Lin adds, “Pharmacy school can be hard and academics will always be a primary focus, but if you take the time to step out and fill the shoes of a leader I promise you will not regret the immense rewards you get in return.”

“Leadership will challenge you to work well with others and to communicate efficiently,” said Tacdol. “Joining ASP was the best decision I’ve made so far during my time as a pharmacy student. I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone, it has allowed me to grow as an individual and as a leader.”

 

 


By Anne Marie H. Bergthold
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