Meet the 2016-17 ASP Board Members

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.”

 

 

Student Spotlight: Michael Dessel ’15, DPT

michael_dessel_nyc_resizedFor Michael Dessel ’15, DPT his physical therapy (PT) experiences have been a study in contrasts. In 2014 he accompanied Casey Nesbit, PT, DPT, DSc, PCS Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, Meiying Lam ’15, DPT and Katherine Samstag ’15, DPT on a service-learning trip to Malawi. For his final clinical rotation, he went to New York City where he interned at Professional Physical Therapy, located between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue. Despite the juxtaposition of these two settings, the level of care he provided to his patients was the same. Dr. Nesbit can attest to his commitment to provide all patients with optimal care.

Dessel’s patient-centered philosophy came from both his experiences at Pacific and his own set of personal values. “We learned that you need to treat your patients with respect,” said Dessel. He saw this exemplified in the actions of the Pacific faculty and his fellow students. Dessel shares that in addition to respect, his core values are integrity, compassion, accountability and empathy. He believes that as a physical therapist it is important to convey to your patients that you have their best interest at heart. Dessel adds, “The key to understanding your patients is listening to what they have to say. Develop a rapport with your patients.” He finds that when meeting with a new patient it is important to take the time to understand why they are coming to see you. “We didn’t choose the patients, the patients chose us for a reason.”

Dessel working with a patient during his trip to Malawi.
Dessel working with a patient during his trip to Malawi.

Dessel speaks from experience when he says that as a PT student at Pacific you are exposed to “a variety of patient populations in regards to pathology, clinical settings and patients with different socio-cultural backgrounds.” Through local outreach programs students have the opportunity to interact with members of the community. Dessel took advantage of experiential learning opportunities and has been a part of several outreach programs. He emphasizes the importance of gaining hands-on experience while you are still a student: “Of course you need the theoretical and practical background, but working with real people is vital to learning and developing yourself into a proficient clinician.” He adds, “You learn how to become comfortable with treating people.”

When asked if he would recommend the experiential service learning elective he answered, “Absolutely! I loved that elective. Getting that experience, going global with healthcare provided perspective. It sure provided perspective for me. I think that is something that everyone should take advantage of.”

Dessel was offered a Physical Therapist position at Professional Physical Therapy upon completion of his internship and he is currently living in New York. As he embarks on his career he shares that he is grateful for the set of experiences that led him to the place he is now. He reflects, “I like to travel, I like to work in different settings and I’ve been fortunate enough to do that.” For Dessel learning doesn’t stop once a degree has been earned. “I want to continue to learn and be mentored to by the senior PTs,” shares Dessel. “I want to be the best physical therapist I can be.”

 

 

Introducing Pacific’s Chapter of the Student Academy of Audiology

SAA-groupFrom the beginning the School’s faculty and students set a precedent for establishing chapters of professional organizations soon after programs were launched. The doctor of audiology (AuD) program continued in this tradition when Pacific’s chapter of the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) was formed in November 2015, only a few months after the program launched. “The Student Academy of Audiology brings together students who have a passion for audiology,” said Veronica Koo ’18. “The goals of SAA are to provide a means for students to become more involved in the profession, encourage them to advocate for the rights of audiologists, promote leadership and mentorship and provide networking opportunities between students and professionals.”

The SAA is the national student division of the American Academy of Audiology (the Academy), which is the largest professional organization in the field of audiology. In essence, the SAA is a nationwide network of students. “SAA provides a place for students to interact and bond over their passion for audiology,” shares Koo. “In class students learn about best practices as audiologists and all the technical information we need to know to be the most effective and skilled audiologists that we can be. Through SAA, we are connected to fellow students across the nation who have the same enthusiasm for audiology. We learn about what other students are doing to help the growth of our profession and it encourages us to find our own way to give back to our field and the communities we serve.”

Sharing Pacific’s core value of community involvement the Academy advocates for SAA chapters to organize and participate in community outreach programs. “Local SAA chapters are encouraged to provide audiology services to their communities, which also brings greater awareness of the profession and the importance of our hearing,” said Koo. She emphasizes the importance of AuD students engaging with the community. She explains, “Many people are unaware of the profession of audiology and in turn are unaware of the importance of preserving one’s hearing.”

Outreach programs are beneficial to both the community and to students. Koo shares, “After learning how to diagnose and treat patients in the classroom, we truly learn how our knowledge can provide specific care when going out into the community and learning about the needs of those who would benefit from our services. Educating the community helps students solidify the knowledge obtained in class and develops empathetic audiologists who are more intimately aware of the population that they will serve in the near future.”

Pacific’s chapter of SAA has partnered with Entheos Audiology Cooperative . Entheos is a member-owned cooperative that believes it is a privilege to have the opportunity to provide hearing healthcare services. Their mission is to share their time and talent in parts of the world where audiology services are not readily available. According to Koo, “We are currently working towards sending students to locations such as Guatemala, Jordan, Mozambique, Zambia, Haiti and more. Students will be fitting donated hearing aids on children and adults who are unable to afford these devices and do not have access to audiology services in their country.”

To learn more about the SAA go to saa.audiology.org.