Phi Delta Chi’s Alpha Psi Chapter Celebrates Their Diamond Anniversary

deans-letter-phi-delta-chi-reunion-03“We love what we do and we love doing it together as a family,” said Kevin Chan ’19. The spirit of camaraderie is interwoven throughout the rich history of the Alpha Psi chapter of Phi Delta Chi. In 2016 the chapter celebrated their 60th anniversary. This milestone was celebrated at the Alpha Psi Diamond Jubilee held during Pacific Homecoming.

“Had it not been for my joining the fraternity during my freshman year, I might not have graduated from Pacific,” Ralph L. Saroyan ’64, RPh said. “The support and fraternal love I gained from this brotherhood provided the encouragement I needed when my studies were not going well.”

When Saroyan was initiated on May 1, 1960 it paved the way for his career at Pacific, which would include being awarded Order of the Pacific, the University’s highest honor. “Had I not been in Phi Delta Chi I would not have been brought back to the University,” Saroyan said. He explains that through being involved in Alpha Psi he formed a connection with Dean Ivan “Cy” Rowland, PhD. Dean Rowland approached Saroyan when he decided to create the role of Director of Student Affairs. Saroyan shares, “I was blessed that Cy Rowland saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.”

Jack Schlegel ’67, RPh joined Phi Delta Chi in 1963. “Without Dean Rowland’s support, as well as that of Alpha Psi, I am not certain that I would have been able to complete pharmacy school and enjoy the remarkable career I had in the profession,” Schlegel said. After serving as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, Schlegel relocated to Washington, D.C. His illustrious career includes serving as the CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, CEO of the American Pharmacists Association and CEO of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as his current position as president and CEO of Schlegel & Associates. “My experiences as an Active in Alpha Psi clearly helped develop and hone leadership skills that served me well throughout my career,” Schlegel said.

Chan shares the impact the fraternity has had on his personal and professional growth. “When I first joined as a brother, I lacked a sense of responsibility and had little knowledge of what I wanted to pursue in the field of pharmacy,” Chan said. “The fraternity has given me a vision of who I want to become and the essential resources to strive after my professional and personal goals. It is extremely important to form connections with fellow peers, because having a support system is crucial to any success. The best part about the brothers of Phi Delta Chi is the diverse group of individuals you get to work with, which can allow you to gain new skill sets by working with such unique personalities.” Chan adds, “Our alumni have been an essential part of the fraternity’s success by offering career and academic advice.”

1883 | Phi Delta Chi, the country’s first professional pharmacy fraternity, was established. Their motto is alterum alterius auxilio eget, “each needs the help of the other.”

1955 | A school of pharmacy was established at Pacific.

1956 | The Alpha Psi chapter was officially chartered. At that time Dean Rowland was Phi Delta Chi’s Grand President. Dean Rowland’s legacy is the fraternity’s focus on leadership development. Today Phi Delta Chi emphasizes “Leaders in Pharmacy” and “Brothers for Life.”

1958 | The North Wing of North Hall, what is now Hand Hall, was designated as housing for Alpha Psi brothers.

1978 | Alpha Psi hosted the Grand National Council at North Lake Tahoe.

1981 | The chapter received the fraternity’s prestigious Emory W. Thurston Grand President’s Award. That year Saroyan was elected Grand President, serving the fraternity on the national level. Both Saroyan and Dean Rowland served as Grand President for a record four terms, a total of eight years. Also, representing Pacific, Max Polisky, PhD and Robert “Bob” Supernaw ’72, PharmD, key figures in the School’s history, both served as Grand Vice Presidents.

1989 | The new chapter house was dedicated. Rowland Hall, the two-story brick building located across from Burns Tower, is named in honor of Dean Rowland.

1997 | The chapter became a co-ed fraternity — that year of the 21 new Brothers initiated 13 were women. Saroyan shares, “Since going coed in 1997, Alpha Psi chapter has never been stronger as demonstrated by their ranking in the top ten national chapters for the past two decades.”

2008 | Alumni established the Alpha Psi Education, Scholarship & Leadership Foundation a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public-benefit corporation. The mission of the Foundation is to provide support for pharmacy students through scholarships and leadership training. The founding members believe that by that investing in the development of pharmacy students it contributes to the pharmacy profession and advances in health care, which benefit society at large.

2015 | For the second time, Alpha Psi received the Emory W. Thurston Grand President’s Award. Logan Brodnansky ’17, explains that for a chapter to be awarded the Thurston Cup is “the highest honor our chapter can receive.

2016 | During Pacific Homecoming 2016 the chapter celebrated their 60th anniversary. President Pamela A. Eibeck spoke at the Alpha Psi Diamond Jubilee, congratulating the Foundation on their focus on leadership development and their commitment to supporting students through scholarships.


Doctor of Pharmacy Graduates’ Future Plans

The graduates from the doctor of pharmacy Class of 2016 are pursuing a wide variety of exciting opportunities ­­- from a fellowship at the preeminent pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly to a residency at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. As Commencement approaches we asked them to take a moment and reflect on their time at Pacific and their path ahead.


Utsav Patel ’16 has been matched with a Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) managed care residency at Kaiser Permanente Central Valley in Stockton. I am looking forward to continuing to develop my skills in the field of managed care, as well as add on to my clinical knowledge as I rotate through the ambulatory care rotations offered in this program,” shares Patel. The connections that he made while at Pacific were influential in leading him to this residency. He explains, “I was able to speak with managed care pharmacists that I had connected with when I was a student. They were able to offer me great advice for the different managed care programs available in California.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. James Uchizono. I have known him since my time as an undergraduate and as such he has had a great impact on me professionally and personally. We would meet occasionally and talk about everything ranging from school to personal life and he would always have great advice, which pushed me to aim higher in everything I pursued.”

Professional goals: “I hope to design and implement a clinical program related to mental health that can be widely adopted.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “My time spent in the Medicare Part D elective, especially during outreach season. Being able to go out into the community and practice what we have learned through the Medication Therapy Management interventions and also helping the beneficiaries cut down on their prescription drug costs.”


Saranpreet Nagra ’16 has been matched with a visiting scientist fellowship in the Clinical Innovation Department at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, Indiana. “I am looking forward to being immersed in a company and environment which fosters innovation,” shares Nagra. “Eli Lilly, and specifically their innovation department, is very well known for being very forward-thinking and being open to pursue ‘long-shot’ ideas.” He adds, ” I was able to learn about this specific fellowship position through references from recent alumni and peers.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “I’ve been extremely lucky during my short time here to have multiple mentors, both faculty and alumni, who were willing to go above and beyond to help me reach my potential. One of my mentors, Dr. Sachin Shah, has always been willing to do whatever possible to help me reach my goals and has served as an amazing guide in helping me to navigate the opaque process of applying to fellowships.”

Professional goals: “The biggest thing I hope to contribute to the profession of pharmacy is the idea that the value of the PharmD is far reaching and can supersede the traditional roles in the pharmacy.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “One of my favorite memories during my time at Pacific was our chapter’s APhA-ASP Operation Immunization winning National First Runner Up at the APhA 2016 Annual Meeting and Exposition. It was amazing to see our team and university get some national spotlight for the countless hours our committee put in to help make our communities healthier through direct patient care and education.”


Martina L. Rigmaiden ’16 has been matched with PGY1 pediatric pharmacy residency at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California.

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Joel Wagner has been my constant support system throughout my time at Pacific.”

Professional goals: “I hope to bring awareness to the pediatric population and continue to be an advocate for health-system pharmacy and those who wish to pursue a residency to grasp the inpatient clinical aspect of pharmacy.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “When a professor came up to me and said, ‘I can’t believe your performance on the final exam.’ [I was terrified, but] the professor revealed that out of the whole final exam I had only missed half of a point. It was very rewarding to know that all the hours, sleepless nights and office hours consulting with my professor paid off and I completely grasped the concept.”


Sophie Hoang ’16 has been matched with a medical affairs fellowship at Novo Nordisk in Plainsboro, New Jersey. “I look forward to learning about the pharmaceutical industry and how new products are launched to create a global impact,” said Hoang. “Participating in various projects, organizations and committees have helped me to create long-lasting relationships with professors and mentors. Not only have they recommended me to potential employers, but also supported and guided me along the way.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Ed Sherman served as the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) advisor during my time as president of the NCPA Pacific Chapter. He opened my eyes to the world of independent pharmacy and encouraged me to participate in the NCPA Student Business Plan Competition.”

Professional goals: “I hope to create a global impact through the launch of new medications, better access to care in rural communities and to ultimately improve patient outcomes across the world.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “One of my proudest moments was planning the Alternative and Integrative Medicine Committee Health Fair in collaboration with the Tzu Chi Foundation.”


Tinh An “April” Nguyen ’16 will be the inaugural fellow of the global regulatory program at Biogen in Boston, Massachusetts. She has also been offered an adjunct position at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “I can’t wait to face so many new amazing opportunities, apply what I’ve learned from the California Pharmacists Association to the Massachusetts Pharmacists Association, make a difference and expand Pacific’s legacy!” exclaims Nguyen.

Professor who had a profound impact: “I was a research coordinator with Dr. Sachin Shah for a study on energy drinks and their cardiovascular safety, which was recognized nationally and internationally across multiple news media, including CBS, NPR, UK Daily Mail and Times of India. I’ve been fortunate to work with a mentor who built my foundation of technical skills in the pharmaceutical industry and cardiovascular clinical research.”

Professional goals: “I want to continue to make a difference in the lives of the patients we serve and be an advocate for the profession of pharmacy.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “Staffing the inaugural Rx Boot Camp with students from 12 schools of pharmacy across California inspired me to become the 2016 Rx Boot Camp Director in the state’s first student-led pharmacy conference, which is focused on collaborative practice and communication. I also have fond memories of organizing the first APhA-ASP Health Fair at the Midtown Farmers Market which provided services to 400 community members in Hmong, Spanish and Vietnamese.”


James Wall ’16 has been matched with a clinical operations oncology fellowship at Roche Group in San Francisco. In addition, he has been offered an adjunct faculty position at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. “I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge in the area of oncology,” said Wall. “This opportunity will allow me to pursue my interests in oncology therapeutics while simultaneously allowing me to contribute to the development of novel treatments.” He adds, “I would not have this opportunity without the guidance and support of the faculty at University of the Pacific.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Marcus Ravnan [’94] had a significant impact on my development as a pharmacist. I thoroughly enjoyed his therapeutics courses due to his unique style of teaching. His residency/fellowship elective course should be considered by any student with the desire to pursue post-graduate training. Dr. Ravnan continued to make himself available as a mentor during my clinical rotations.”

Professional goals: “Over the past few decades the pharmacy profession has changed dramatically, expanding to include more clinical functions. I would like to continue this expansion and enhance the pharmacist’s role in both the acute healthcare environment and the general medical community.”



Meet Our Graduates

It is the season of tassels and mortarboards. Representing the disciplines of pharmacy, speech-language pathology and physical therapy almost 300 graduates will have their degrees conferred at the Commencement Ceremony on May 21, 2016. A few of our graduates share their plans after graduation and what memories will stand out to them when they look back at their time at Pacific.


Renée C. Fini ’15, DPT accepted a position as a physical therapist at Fritter, Schulz & Zollinger Physical and Occupational Therapy, a private outpatient clinic in Gilroy, California. “I am excited to be able to enhance my manual skills with the orthopedic population along with the ability to fine tune my aquatic therapy skills,” said Fini. “I was lucky enough to be chosen [for an internship at this clinic] and I had a great connection with the clinic director during my rotation. I applied for a position that opened up recently and was hired to join the team.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Hands down, Dr. Jim Mansoor! Dr. Mansoor really took me under his wing and advised me in a way that I really understood; a ‘tell it like it is,’ down-to-earth approach. I will always be grateful for his time and effort given during office hours to help me understand concepts that I struggled with.”

Professional goals: “I don’t want to just ‘help people,’ but I would rather ‘help change peoples lives.’ I look forward to someday working with individuals who struggle with movement on an everyday basis due to disease or pathology. I would also like to travel to underserved countries and contribute my services for those who cannot afford care.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “I cherish all of the great friends I made in the DPT program at Pacific. The bond we shared is unlike any other college experience I have had before. We understood the challenges of being in an accelerated program and encouraged each other to keep pushing forward to do our best. I will always remember the challenges, but will remember the friendships even more.”


Andrew Bagdasarian ’15, DPT is currently working as a physical therapist at Golden Bear Physical Therapy and Sports Injury Center in Modesto, California. “I am looking forward to broadening my knowledge base by treating a variety of patient populations [and] improving my treatment approach of an athletic population, ranging from high school to professional athletes,” shares Bagdasarian. The connections he made through Pacific were instrumental in leading to this opportunity. He explains, “Not only did I complete a clinical experience through Golden Bear while at Pacific, I also had chances to meet the clinic owners, Bobby [Ismail ’94] and Brandon [Nan ’09], when they participated in the Physical Therapy Employer Showcase and 5K Tiger Dash our program puts on.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Many professors impacted me in multiple ways throughout my education at Pacific. It would not do them justice to single one out above the rest as I appreciate all of their respective efforts.”

Professional goals: “Hopefully I contribute [to the profession as] a thoughtful, well-rounded clinician who is always searching to better himself and his treatment approach. Specifically, I would like to expand on evidence-based return-to-sport testing to improve decision making about appropriateness and safety of athletes returning to their respective sports.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “One of the highlights was traveling to Indianapolis to attend the Combined Sections Meeting, our national physical therapy conference; getting to spend time learning from the presentations and exploring the city with a great group of classmates. Also, a memory I’ll never forget was being able to complete a clinical rotation with the San Francisco Giants, the baseball team I’ve grown up being a fan of since I was young.”

Read more about how our graduates plan on using their doctor of physical therapy degree > 


Tiffany A. Riley ’16 has been matched with a Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) pharmacy practice residency at VA Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto, California. “I’m deeply humbled with the opportunity to serve our nation’s veterans,” shares Riley. “Growing up, both of my grandfathers were veterans and I remember being in awe of their stories of bravery and sacrifice. I look forward to serving this unique and truly inspiring patient population.” She adds, “I had the first-hand experience of rotating through various institutions in the Palo Alto region, such as the VA and Stanford. Being in this clinical world among highly skilled practitioners opened my eyes to the possibilities of what I could do after graduation.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “My journey at Pacific began as a pre-pharmacy student and my advisor, Dr. James Uchizono, became a mentor over the years. As I advanced to pharmacy school, Dr. Uchizono, alongside Kimberly Eayrs and Kim Whitesides, were always welcoming to share advice and encouragement. I know that as I progress on in my career as a clinical pharmacist I will still be in contact with them. The professors at Pacific are more than just teachers, they are life-long mentors who truly value their students’ professional and personal development.”Professional goals: “With a genuine passion for helping those in need, I hope to provide more than just medication related recommendations for my patients. I intend to inspire future generations of pharmacists by precepting pharmacy students, form relationships with a variety of providers by contributing to an interdisciplinary team and stretch the boundaries of the profession in this exciting era of pharmacy practice.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “I’m eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to be a member of the California Pharmacy Student Leadership (CAPSLEAD) team. Upon initiation of our team’s research project, we attended the annual CAPSLEAD conference. Attending this conference and working with the CAPSLEAD advisors, Dr. Don Floriddia [’71], Dr. Denis Meerdink and Dr. Veronica Bandy [’00, ’08], throughout the course of the year sparked in me a deeper interest in leadership development.”


Hasna Manghi ’16 has been matched with a Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) residency in academia through Touro University and NorthBay Healthcare in Fairfield, California. “I am looking forward to letting the knowledge I’ve gained thus far come full circle,” shares Manghi.

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Rajul Patel [’01, ’06] has made such an immense impact on my life. The span of his influence encompasses my didactic work, my motivation during APPE rotations and my ambitions as a future pharmacist, as well as the qualities of integrity, positive attitude and a true work ethic.”

Professional goals: “I hope to contribute a positive attitude. I want to take the apathy out of pharmacy practice and encourage a zealous mindset for this profession.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “I have many great memories at Pacific, but the best was of the time spent with Drs. Nancy [’89] and Gary [’89] DeGuire in their cabin in the woods with my close group of friends. It was truly an unforgettable weekend!”

Read more about how our graduates plan on using their doctor of pharmacy degree >


Karen Soltow ’15 is currently a clinical fellow at Shoreline Speech and Language Center, a private speech-language pathology clinic in Hermosa Beach, California. “The clinic I am working at had heard great things about the graduates of University of the Pacific, so they emailed our department to advertise their job opening,” shares Soltow. “I emailed them right away and I am so happy I did!”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Derek Isetti [’08] has been a prominent support system for me as I transitioned from my post-baccalaureate studies into my masters program. I first met Dr. Isetti while studying at University of Washington and had the privilege to continue learning from him here at University of the Pacific. His office door was always open and he always greeted everyone with a smile. It was clear that he was passionate about our field and eager to support all of those in it.”

Professional goals: “My goal is to foster a community where therapists are continually collaborating and sharing ideas in order to meet the needs of all of our clients. I hope to never lose sight of the fact that I will forever be a student in this field as there is always more to learn!”

Favorite Pacific memory: “To me, University of the Pacific was all about the people. My cohort and professors were always there for me. Whether we were meeting to collaborate on our studies or clinical work, or to enjoy some good food or sunshine, we were always there to support each other. I will never forget the people I met while at Pacific.”


Yvette Young ’15 is currently working as a speech-language pathologist at Manteca Unified School District and Beyond Words Intervention Services in Stockton. She welcomes the variety of patients she has the opportunity to work with. “I’m looking forward to helping people in all stages of life communicate,” said Young. She adds, “Both of my positions were obtained due to professional connections made during my time at University of the Pacific.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Professor Simalee Smith-Stubblefield [’83] supported me from freshman year all the way through graduate school. She always makes it clear to her students how much she cares and that they can come to her for guidance and encouragement. My supervisors on my medical externship at UC Davis Medical Center also changed my clinical and life perspective in such meaningful ways. I’m thankful for Simalee and other Pacific speech-language pathology department staff who worked diligently to place students in wonderful medical externships.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “When I reflect on my time at University of the Pacific I’m flooded with memories of people who encouraged me. All of my professors created an environment in which students could grow into informed, caring, flexible and supported speech-language pathologists.”

Read more about how our graduates plan on using their master of science in speech-language pathology degree >



Are Energy Drinks Heart Healthy? Your Support Needed!


Over 50% of college students consume more than one energy drink per month. Energy drinks have also been related to increasing emergency room visits and deaths.

The research team, led by Sachin A. Shah, associate professor  pharmacy practice at University of the Pacific’s Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences have been performing energy drink related research for over 5 years. They are now looking to understand the effects of long term energy drink consumption on human health. They hope to raise $50,000 to conduct a clinical trial to continue their research on this important public health topic.

This project will also bolster student exposure to clinical research. In fact one such student was the recipient of the 2014 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Foundation’s Student Research Award.

You can help support student and faculty research efforts in improving human health by:

1) Donating to the crowdfunding campaign –

2) Sharing this information with others (email, social media, etc)

More information can be found at the following link:

They plan to present their results at a scientific conference and and have them published in a medical journal so that others may benefit from the discoveries you have funded.

Thank you for your consideration; we look forward to having your support.

PharmD Student Leaders Share Study Tips

Who They Are and What They Recommend

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you need to understand and remember for an upcoming exam? Having a good study strategy can help you tackle the mountain of information. We asked several student leaders to share with us how they study and what techniques they would recommend.

What is your #1 study tip?

Jamie Legaspi ’18: “Do what works best for you! If it means studying with a group, find that group and make the most of it!”

Andy Szeto ’18: “Break up the material and revisit it several times. I feel that the more you expose yourself to lectures and notes, the more the content sticks. Often students look at a professor’s lecture slides once and get discouraged that they can’t understand it. The point of school is to learn things that you don’t already know so it is perfectly natural to not understand class material right away. Each time you study, ensure you understand the overarching idea before you dive in. This will help you ‘connect the dots.’ Rho Chi also provides tutors who can help you with course material.”

Michaela Vachuska ’18: “When it comes to learning new material, I like to ‘mix it up.’ Study methods that are highly effective for one class might not be effective for others. By quizzing myself often and talking to my friends about the material, I am able to evaluate how effectively I am learning and adjust my habits as necessary.”

Milana Vachuska ’18: “I feel most prepared and confident in class when I review the lecture slides the previous night. In the afternoons, I try my best to review the lectures that took place earlier that day. This method is definitely a big time commitment, but I’ve found that I do best on exams when I approach the material this way. Office hours are the best way to get your questions answered. There is only so much explanation a professor can give during class and sometimes it takes just a few minutes with them to solidify a concept.”


Legaspi serves as academic affairs coordinator for Phi Delta Chi. She shares, “They have a strong passion for leadership and brotherhood. I also felt very comfortable around them and found a family in them.” She adds, “My experience here at Pacific would not have been the same if it weren’t for the people I have met and the friends I have made.”

Legaspi is also a project manager for Alternative and Integrative Medicine (AIMRx). “I was interested in the type of education they did and all of the events they put on,” explains Legaspi. She is also involved in the Medicare Part D Outreach Program. “As I learned more about the program, I realized how much it interested me and how much of an impact I could make on peoples’ lives.”

Szeto is originally from Sacramento and it was the recommendation of alumni that led him to choose Pacific’s accelerated doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program. He explains, “I liked the idea of being able to complete a typical four-year PharmD degree in only three years. Being from the area, I personally knew several Pacific alumni and they only had positives things to say about the School, students and faculty.” He adds, “Being able to meet so many like-minded peers has been the most humbling experience. I know that even after I leave Pacific I’ll have life-long friends to rely on.”

Szeto serves as secretary of the Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO). “I chose to run for the executive board of IPhO to showcase myself as an advocate for industry pharmacy and to facilitate networking with industry professionals,” said Szeto. “Industry pharmacy is a relatively nontraditional field of practice for pharmacists that gained popularity in the past several years. IPhO-Pacific was the first IPhO chapter on the West Coast, so I wanted to be at the forefront of industry and innovation in California.”


He is also a member of the Rho Chi Honor Society. “My foremost attraction to Rho Chi was the opportunity to be a peer tutor and mentor to first year students,” said Szeto.” The first year of pharmacy school can be demanding on new students and Rho Chi makes available second year students to help coach and steer their study habits and time management to achieve success.”

It was strong recommendations from alumni that brought Michaela Vachuska to Pacific. She describes her first visit to the campus, “I loved the warm atmosphere and the faculty and students spoke very highly of the program. One of my mentors is a Pacific Alumnus and he encouraged me to apply.” She adds, “The faculty at Pacific have exceeded my highest expectations. They are extremely supportive and understanding. It has been amazing to have them as resources.”

Michaela Vachuska explains what led her to pursue the role of president of the Student College of Clinical Pharmacy (SCCP), “SCCP just graduated from a committee to an organization and I was excited about the prospect of being at the forefront of this transition. I am passionate about clinical pharmacy, so it was a perfect fit.”

Milana Vachuska serves as president of Pacific’s chapter of California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP-Pacific) and scribe of the Medicare Outreach Logistics Committee. “During my first semester here I noticed that CSHP-Pacific hosted a high number of quality events,” said Milana Vachuska. “I wanted to provide those opportunities for my fellow students.”

In July, Milana Vachuska participated in the Pharmacy Scholarship Ceremony. She shares, “The Scholarship Ceremony reception was a meaningful highlight of my Pacific experience. At the reception students were given the opportunity to have dinner with the donors of their respective scholarships. This event made me feel as though I could someday make a difference in a student’s life and it elucidated the strength of the Pacific alumni network.”

For more tips on how to make the most of your Pacific experience read 8 Things You Should Do During Your First Semester at Pacific.


AAPS-Pacific Chapter Contributes to “30K in 30 Days” Campaign

Chapter Officers with Dr. Li.
Chapter Officers with Dr. Li.

Thirty thousand dollars raised in 30 days was the goal set by the Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) to benefit their foundation. “’30K in 30 Days’ was a fundraising campaign introduced by AAPS in celebration of their 30th anniversary,” said Yifan Lu ’18, chair of Pacific’s chapter of AAPS. “The goal was to raise $30,000 and provide three graduate students with a $10,000 fellowship funding to further their research.” Pacific’s chapter organized a board game night where students competed against faculty. The chapter earned the distinction of being the student chapter with the largest number of donations.

“The AAPS Foundation is the philanthropic arm of AAPS,” said Vice-Chair Mallika Vadlamudi ’18. “Its mission is to provide meaningful financial support to scientists to advance research, education and training for the discovery, development and manufacture of drugs. It is also used to encourage, inspire and inform K–12 students of career opportunities in the pharmaceutical sciences.”

Founded in 1986, AAPS advances the capacity of pharmaceutical scientists to develop products and therapies that improve global health. AAPS has approximately 10,000 members worldwide who have roles in academia, industry, research and government. Pacific’s AAPS student chapter was established in October 2004; the chapter currently has 66 student members from various disciplines. Xiaoling Li, PhD, professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry and associate dean for graduate education and research, serves as the faculty advisor. “Our mission is to enrich students’ graduate experiences by providing resources in the field of pharmaceutical sciences to bridge the gap between academia and industry,” shares Treasurer Jieyun Cao ’18. “To achieve this mission our chapter has organized numerous activities such as guest speaker events and research symposia, as well as professional and social interactions.”

Lu presents his work in the DeRosa Center for Research Day.
Lu presents his work in the DeRosa Center for Research Day.

Cao sees the value in being involved in professional organizations as a student. She elaborates, “Professional organizations are a great platform which facilitate interactions between students and industry scientists, as well as academic scholars. It gives us exposure to the pharmaceutical field and prepares us for our future career endeavors.”

The chapter is actively involved in the University’s annual Research Day. Since 2015, members have assisted with and moderated the event. The vision of the multi-disciplinary event compliments APPS’s core values of learning, innovation, service, inclusiveness and integrity. “Research Day is an event that showcases the research and creative endeavors of Pacific’s faculty, graduate and undergraduate students via posters and presentations,” said Vadlamudi. The next Research Day will be held on the Stockton campus on April 29, 2017.

This year the AAPS chapter initiated the inaugural Pacific-China Pharmaceutical University Pharmaceutical Research Symposium to promote international networking and collaboration on research techniques and ideas. Vadlamudi shares, “The event was very successful and was scientifically stimulating. Pharmacy and chemistry faculty members, as well as graduate students and doctor of pharmacy students attended the event. With the success of the first symposium, we will expand the second symposium by involving more universities such as University of California, San Francisco.”

To learn more about AAPS go to For more information on Pacific’s chapter of AAPS contact Mallika Vadlamudi at


Faculty Spotlight: Roshanak Rahimian, PharmD, MSc, PhD


Roshanak Rahimian, PharmD, MSc, PhD, professor of physiology and pharmacology was awarded a $302,428 National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for the study entitled, “Diabetes, Estrogen and Endothelial Dysfunction.” The NIH grant allows Dr. Rahimian to continue her research on the vascular effects of estrogen. She contributes the experience and expertise gained from two decades of working in the field of estrogen and vascular reactivity to her role as principle investigator. “I have been working on the area of women’s health since I started working on my PhD project at University of British Columbia back in 1995,” said Dr. Rahimian.

lation-based reports providing statistical evidence that premenopausal females become vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases in presence of diabetes,” said Dr. Rahimian. “Despite the sex-associated differences in physiological processes and functions, as well as pathological development and progression of diseases, research has predominantly involved male subjects and many knowledge gaps and paradoxes still remain.”

According to the World Health Organization diabetes affects more than 400 million people worldwide, over half of whom are women, and the number of diabetic patients is estimated to rise by more than 50 percent within 20 years [International Diabetes Federation, Diabetes Atlas, 7th Edition, 2015]. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in diabetic patients.

According to Dr. Rahimian, “The risk for CVD is lower in premenopausal women compared to age-matched men. This difference disappears in the postmenopausal years and is presumably related to the reduced levels of female sex hormones, in general, and estrogen, in particular. However, premenopausal women with diabetes not only lose this sex-based cardiovascular protection, they actually experience a higher relative risk of CVD compared to diabetic men, which suggests that diabetes abolishes some of the beneficial effects of estrogen. Given this epidemiological evidence, the question arises as to what mechanisms underlie the loss of sex-mediated vasoprotection in diabetic women. This proposal will explore the basis for the loss of sex-based cardiovascular protection.”


While there has been extensive research into diabetes in males, much less is known about how diabetes affects the risk of cardiovascular diseases for females. Dr. Rahimian shares, “The NIH has been recently directing basic and clinical scientists to consider potential sex differences and perform their studies using both male and female subjects. My laboratory has made significant contributions to the study of sex differences during this era. We previously reported sex differences in vascular dysfunction in a model of type 1 diabetes (T1D), a project which was also supported by NIH from 2009 through 2013. However, the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes (T2D) may differ from that seen in T1D, and it is known that the incidence of T2D is rapidly increasing worldwide.” Dr. Rahimian explains, “Over the past decade, obesity and diabetes have reached epidemic proportions in developed countries and has become one of the most serious and challenging health problems in the 21st century. Therefore, we proposed to examine vascular function in arteries using an established obesity-induced T2D model. The knowledge gained from this proposal will ultimately enhance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the vascular dysfunction in diabetic premenopausal women. The enhanced insight into these mechanisms is expected to eventually also be beneficial for the male population.”

Dr. Rahimian emphasizes the collaborative nature of research. She elaborates, “I couldn’t have received this grant without the support of my school and university, and my dedicated past and current graduate, undergraduate and pharmacy students. As well as, my outstanding collaborators Dr. Leigh Anderson at Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, Dr. Peter Havel at University of California, Davis, who provided us with a novel and validated model of type 2  diabetes, and Dr. Linda Shortliffe at Stanford University, the consultant on this study. I also appreciate the excellent support of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at Pacific.”



Pharmacy Scholarship Recipients Q&A

Agbongpolo with Dean Phillip Oppenheimer and Kourtney Sherman '12, PharmD.
Agbongpolo with Dean Phillip Oppenheimer and Kourtney Sherman ’12, PharmD.

Each year the School’s Scholarship Ceremony brings into focus the generosity of the donors who support our pharmacy students. The history of how each scholarship was established is as diverse as the abilities and aspirations of the recipients. What all the recipients have in common is the feeling of overwhelming gratitude that comes with knowing that there are individuals and organizations who support them. Watch a video of students demonstrating the impact of their benefactor’s support here.

Samuel Agbonkpolo ’18 was awarded the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation Pharmacy Partners Scholarship, the Sherman Family Scholarship and the Walgreens Diversity Scholarship. He shares, “When you are on this road to becoming a pharmacist sometimes you can feel like you are on your own, just me and these books. It’s nice to know there are people out there who support you.”

Cindy (Mei Xian) Hsieh ’17 was awarded the Commitment to Global Health Scholarship, the Robert M. Long Endowed Scholarship and the Thomas J. Long Foundation Scholarship. She echoes Agbonkpolo’s sentiments. “It gives me confidence and pride knowing that there are professionals rooting for my success and applauding me for the goals I am striving for,” said Hsieh. “Thank you for your generosity.”

Larsen with Dean Oppenheimer and John Livesey, PhD, professor of physiology and pharmacology and chair.
Larsen with Dean Oppenheimer and John Livesey, PhD, professor of physiology and pharmacology and chair.

Cory Larsen ’17 was awarded the Richard and Marilynn Balch Endowed Scholarship, the Camouflage to White Coat Scholarship, the Jen-Ling Hsieh Scholarship and the Thomas J. Long Foundation Scholarship. He describes his academic career as a journey. “It’s good to know that people who have gone on the road before me are looking out for people who are still going down the path,” said Larsen. “Having that support, especially from the alumni, inspires me to help future generations.”

Scholarships open up opportunities that students might not otherwise have been able to pursue. Mark Miller ’17 was awarded the Norm Kobayashi Travel Award and the Pacific Pharmacy Alumni Association Travel Award. “Thank you to all the donors,” said Miller. “This scholarship is going to help me get to a conference that will help me in my job search in the future.”

From left to right: Dean Oppenheimer, Lucille Gould, Karen Gould, Milana Vachuska, Johnny Hsia and Michaela Vachuska at the Pharmacy Scholarship Ceremony.
From left to right: Dean Oppenheimer, Lucille Gould, Karen Gould, Milana Vachuska, Johnny Hsia and Michaela Vachuska at the Pharmacy Scholarship Ceremony.

Michaela Vachuska ’18 was awarded the Chan Family Endowed Scholarship and the Jay Patrick Gould Memorial Scholarship. She has learned from personal experience that pursuing a doctor of pharmacy degree requires drive and determination. She shares, “While the challenge is rewarding, pharmacy school is a highly taxing experience and it is amazing to know that there are people who want to support students in their pursuit to become pharmacists. It is incredibly generous and I can’t thank them enough.”

Milana Vachuska ’18 was awarded the Chan Family Endowed Scholarship, the Jay Patrick Gould Memorial Scholarship and the Thomas J. and Muriel Long Scholarship. When asked what it means to her to know that there are individuals who offer their support she said, “It means the world. It’s the main reason I chose to come to Pacific. Our alumni really care about the School. You see a lot of loyalty in preceptors, in pharmacy managers, in professors and it’s really nice to know that I always have somewhere to go if I need advice.”


What aspects of this scholarship resonated with you personally?

Agbonkpolo: “The description said it was for African-Americans and there are a limited number [at the School], so I applied because I wanted to show that we are here and we do have a presence on campus. Knowing that there were people out there who supported African-Americans made me want to apply.”

Hsieh: “I’m Chinese-American and I am very proud of my heritage and that started really early on. That got me looking at other cultures as well. This scholarship really resonated with me because it combines my passion outside of pharmacy, along with my future profession, as well an emphasis on cultural awareness and competency in the pharmacy setting.”

Miller: “I wanted to be able to attend the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists conference in November to share the data that I have generated and make connections with other students and also potential employers. A lot of times these conferences will have recruiters from the top pharmaceutical companies and it’s a great place to connect with people.”

Larsen: “Being a veteran with a family, I feel like the scholarship was pretty much created for me.”

Michaela Vachuska: “While I knew a lot of students were applying, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to tell the donors my story.  The faculty were all incredibly supportive and made the process as easy as possible for the students, which was also really helpful!”

Milana Vachuska: “I live in the Chan Family Hall, so I thought that it would be appropriate. I met all the qualifications […]. You never know until you try.”


How would your professors and peers describe you?

Agbonkpolo: “Confident, charismatic and determined.”

Hsieh: “Ambitious, enthusiastic and well-rounded.”

Miller: “Efficient, pragmatic and detail-oriented.”

Larsen: “Focused, gregarious and adaptable.”

Michaela Vachuska: “Hard-working, genuine and charismatic.”

Milana Vachuska: “Perseverant, confident and empathetic.”


What are the characteristics of a successful pharmacist?

Agbonkpolo: “Active listener, selfless and a lifelong learner.”

Hsieh: “Knowledgeable, reliable and professional.”

Miller: “Hard working and creative. Someone who can work well with teams. It seems counterintuitive that a scientist would have to be charismatic, but I think it is extremely important to know how to deal with people.”

Larsen: “Someone who is charismatic. Whether a pharmacist is talking to a patient or talking to a doctor, the pharmacist needs to be able to explain things to them so they understand and trust what the pharmacist is telling them. Charisma is an underrated attribute that a pharmacist needs to have.”

Michaela Vachuska: “Although I have a lot to learn, what I have taken from my experiences is that you have to be passionate about making a difference in peoples’ lives in order to be a great pharmacist in the long term. “

Milana Vachuska: “A successful pharmacist admits that they don’t know everything. As humans, or as any health care professional, we are not expected to know everything. I think the important thing is to understand the people around us and know where to look for the answer.”

There are many ways to make a transformative, tax-deductible gift to the School. You can make a gift online, by mail or over the phone by contacting Jen Flora at 209.946.2303.

ACCP Clinical Pharmacy Challenge Tests Knowledge and Teamwork

SCCP_winningteamgroupphotoImagine that you only have seconds to answer the following question: Which of the following medications used for rapid sequence intubation can inhibit cortisol synthesis? a) Etomidate b) Ketamine c) Propofol or d) Succinylcholine. This is the type of question that is asked at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Clinical Pharmacy Challenge, which is a national pharmacy student team competition.

Across the country universities hold local competitions to identify their strongest competitors. The Student College of Clinical Pharmacy hosted the competition at Pacific and 11 three-member teams competed. Pacific will be represented at the national level by Dilraj Sohal ’17, Claire Kim ’17 and Cindy Hsieh ’17.

Eligible teams compete in up to four online rounds. The top eight teams advance to the live quarterfinal competitions, which will take place at the ACCP Annual Meeting in Hollywood, Florida, October 22-24, 2016. The competition has three sections. The trivia/lightning round consists of 15 true-false questions. The questions cover the subjects of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenomics, biostatistics and health outcomes. The second segment is a clinical case and participants answer five questions after reviewing the clinical case vignette. In the final portion of the competition, students answer questions covering a wide range of topics that relate to clinical pharmacy. The format of the final portion is similar to Jeopardy and teams are asked questions that belong to five specific categories. These five categories are selected from a larger group of topics ranging from endocrinology to vaccinations.

For pharmacy students the competition is a unique and interactive way to assess their knowledge. “I saw it as an opportunity to really learn and challenge myself as a pharmacy student, so I took the opportunity and ran with it,” said Hsieh. “I also liked the idea of exploring different aspects of pharmacy.” She elaborates that the competition is a good way to “see if clinical pharmacy is something you love doing.” Sohal agrees, “It helps you test the material you learn in class and see if you can actually use reasoning to apply the knowledge to situations that may arise. I am hoping for a career in clinical pharmacy and figured this would be a great way to test my knowledge.” William A. Kehoe, MA, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, department chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and professor of pharmacy practice and psychology adds, “This competition requires high level pharmacotherapy knowledge. I think the preparation is really important and will help them in patient care settings.”

Sohal explains that the fast paced environment forces you to rely on your instincts. She adds that the way that the competition is structured teaches you to trust your teammates as you work collaboratively. Hsieh adds, “I think that working in a team helps you realize your strengths and weaknesses. When you go into the clinical field you are in essence working as a team.” Dr. Kehoe agrees, “These kinds of opportunities give them a chance to solve problems by working together.” He explains that today’s health care professionals work in teams with each individual contributing their unique skill set.

“Without a doubt, the health care world involves communicating with many different health care providers, whether it be nurses, doctors, physicians or other pharmacists,” said Sohal. “Working as a team in a competition demonstrates the importance of being able to communicate with people who may think and do things differently. It allows you to be able to listen to others while also giving you the confidence to apply your own knowledge in order to make the best clinical decision.”

As the competition advances the difficulty and complexity of the questions increases. Dr. Kehoe says, “You would not believe the level and depth of the questions they will face in the next few rounds.” In 2011, Pacific’s team advanced to the quarterfinal round and was among the top eight teams in the country. Dr. Kehoe remembers with pride, “What I recall most was walking around and hearing so many ACCP members talking about the strength of the Pacific team.”

Hsieh believes that one of the factors that contributed to the success of her team was their mentality going into the competition. She elaborates, “We went into it with a mindset that we wanted to win.” As a team they spent time preparing by studying, doing research and taking practice tests. Both Sohal and Hsieh encourage students to participate in the future. Sohal exclaimed, “Definitely something to try out with some friends!”



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.”

Faculty Spotlight: Neel Prasad ’96, PharmD

deans_letter_summer16_neel_prasadNeel Prasad ’96, PharmD joined the pharmacy faculty as an assistant clinical professor of pharmacy practice. He will also serve as regional coordinator of the Modesto/East Bay region. Dr. Prasad has always had a passion for patient care. “As a child I always wanted to do something in the health care field,” shares Dr. Prasad. “While in high school and junior college I realized I wanted to help people. It was easy for me to connect and understand people’s needs. Being a pharmacist allowed me to fulfill these areas.” He and his brother, Navindra Prasad  ’96, PharmD went through Pacific’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program at the same time. The year that he graduated from the PharmD program was a momentous year for Dr. Prasad. He explains, “I graduated in May 1996, I got married to my lovely wife Aileen in July 1996 and I started working as a pharmacist in October 1996.”

Since 2000, Dr. Prasad has worked for Target/CVS Health where he has held multiple positions and had various roles. “I’ve been involved in teaching, training, development and leadership at every level,” said Dr. Prasad. “I’ve met tremendous people that have shaped who I am today.” He has applied the broad range of experience gained at Target to his role as a preceptor. He elaborates, “I’ve been a preceptor for Pacific for over 17 years. I’ve always had the passion to teach and train individuals. I feel I connect well with different generations and can help students bridge the gap.” Dr. Prasad was named the 2016 Preceptor of the Year for the Modesto Region. He gives credit to his whole team for helping him create an environment that fostered learning and where students were challenged.

As he steps into the role of a faculty member he has already outlined a set of goals. “I want to be a great teacher and mentor for students. Also, I want to share my knowledge and experience to make them better individuals,” said Dr. Prasad. “I would like to make the Modesto region a region that provides excellent sites for students to learn and develop. I want it to become a destination site for students. Lastly, since I am new to academia, I want to develop myself and excel in areas that are new to me.”

While a student at Pacific he was actively involved in Kappa Psi. Dr. Prasad shares, “Kappa Psi was an integral part of my Pacific experience. Kappa Psi jump-started my development and helped me with my personal and professional life.” He emphasizes the support he received from his fraternity brothers, which continues to this day. He adds, “I still keep in touch with the brothers that I graduated with.” In his new role at Pacific he is looking forward to the opportunity to once again be actively involved in Kappa Psi.

Family plays an important role in Dr. Prasad’s life. “My parents have always been the most influential people in my life,” shares Dr. Prasad. “I get my work ethic, my social skills and my drive for excellence from them.” Dr. Prasad and his family are Hindus. Dr. Prasad explains that Hinduism is a very difficult religion to learn. He has spent many years learning from his father and his desire is to pass on that knowledge to the next generation. He is proud to be a part of the thriving Hindu community in Modesto. He explains, “We spend certain days each month playing music, singing and praying with other members of the community.” In addition, he has been involved in many community projects organized by Target, including volunteering at park clean ups, food banks and reading programs.

Both he and his wife are originally from the Fiji Islands. His wife’s family still lives in Fiji and they visit every two to three years. He and his wife have two sons. As a family they love to travel. Dr. Prasad has spent time in New York, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Canada, India, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. One of the reasons he loves to travel is the chance to try new foods. Dr. Prasad is also a sports enthusiast. His favorite teams are the Los Angeles Lakers, the Oakland A’s, the New York Yankees and the Washington Redskins.



Donors Recognize Those Who Exceed Expectations

From left to right: Dean Oppenheimer, Elda Roscoe-Gustafson, Tobi Knepler-Foss, Frank Roscoe and Cori Sakoda at the Pharmacy Scholarship Ceremony.
From left to right: Dean Oppenheimer, Elda Roscoe-Gustafson, Tobi Knepler-Foss, Frank Roscoe and Cori Sakoda at the Pharmacy Scholarship Ceremony.

Above and beyond. The phrase is reserved for those individuals who surpass expectations and who are focused on the success of others. Each of the School’s donors can be characterized by their generosity and their readiness to support students who strive to go beyond the status quo.

The Emmons E. Roscoe Scholarship recognizes exemplary academic achievement and is awarded to the second-year pharmacy student holding the highest GPA in the first four semesters of the professional program. The Roscoe family has a long history with the School. The School’s founding Dean, Ivan W. Rowland, PhD, urged Emmons E. Roscoe, RPh, MS to leave Idaho State University to join him in establishing a school of pharmacy at University of the Pacific. Emmons Roscoe became the School’s first professor and served as an advisor to Dean Rowland, who valued the advice of the former dean.

Charles W. Roscoe, PhD followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a Pacific faculty member. He taught medicinal chemistry and was awarded the University’s highest honor, the Order of Pacific, upon his retirement. Charles Roscoe was also instrumental in raising funds for the pharmacy building, which allowed the School to move out of the cramped quarters of Weber Hall to their current location on North Campus. The interests of Charles Roscoe’s brother, Frank, led him to pursue mechanical engineering rather than pharmacy, yet he explains that he has been treated as an honorary alumni. He shares, “The Dean and others had just been so open-armed to me that I decided to go back and have [a scholarship] made in my brother’s name.”

From left to right: Dean Oppenheimer, Farjana Akther and Donald Shirachi, PhD at the Pharmacy Scholarship Ceremony.
From left to right: Dean Oppenheimer, Farjana Akther and Donald Shirachi, PhD at the Pharmacy Scholarship Ceremony.

The Charles W. Roscoe Memorial Endowed Graduate Student Fund was designed to be a travel stipend which helps students travel to professional conferences to present their research. The scholarship’s focus on research is a fitting tribute to his brother who is remembered by many for his brilliant mind. Frank Roscoe shares, “His knowledge was just amazing. He’d give you the formula for any drug.” He is always excited to hear about the research that students are conducting. “I think those that are able to go present their papers, it gets their name out there,” said Frank Roscoe. He believes that this opportunity to present their research to a larger audience can act as a catalyst, allowing them to expand their horizons.

Frank Roscoe has spoken with a number of his father’s former students. They share about his willingness to offer his students support and words of encouragement. He has seen the legacy of his father and brother carried out in the Pacific faculty and staff. Emeritus professor Donald Shirachi ’60, PhD in particular made an impression on him. Frank Roscoe explains that when he attends events hosted by the School he is often one of the last to leave. He shares, “Every time [Dr.] Shirachi was sitting there talking to a student. I thought, ‘That’s the sort of thing my dad would be doing.’”

From left to right: Man Ting Chou, Karen Gould, Michaela Vachuska, Lucille Gould and Milana Vachuska at the reception.
From left to right: Man Ting Chou, Karen Gould, Michaela Vachuska, Lucille Gould and Milana Vachuska at the reception.

Another individual who exemplified the Pacific spirit was Jay Patrick Gould ’76. He grew up in a pharmacy and was slated to take over his family’s pharmacy in Palo Alto, California, upon his father’s retirement. His life was tragically cut short by a car accident in 1978. His parents, Carl and Lucille Gould, established a scholarship in his memory in 1979. “He was our hope, our future,” said Lucille Gould. She adds, “[This scholarship] keeps Jay alive, we never forget him, not one day.” She believes that a scholarship supporting Pacific’s pharmacy students is what her son would have wanted. She describes her son as someone who was “always thinking about others. […] He was a giving person.”

Lucille Gould’s advice for future pharmacists is to “make wonderful, beautiful memories. When you are old you can look back and have great joy. Try to be the best you can with what you have.” Frank Roscoe is a firm believer in life-long learning. His advice is to “pay attention, keep an open mind.”

Watch a video of students demonstrating the impact of their benefactor’s support hereClick here to read the full article about these recipients.

For information on how you can start a named scholarship or add to an existing scholarship through an annual gift, estate gift or asset transfer, please contact either Nancy DeGuire at 209.946.2752 or; or Susan Webster at 209.946.3116 or All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.