Autumn is my favorite time of the year. Part of why I enjoy autumn so much is because, as a football fan, I can follow Badgers and Packers football for five months. The ups and downs of the football season, especially for fans of football teams in Wisconsin, can be quite the ride from week to week. I also enjoy autumn as a time to reflect back on the past year, evaluate what transpired, and be thankful for the many alumni and friends of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy with whom I engaged during the year. The School of Pharmacy has an incredible group of alumni and friends who generously give their time, talent, and treasure back to the School. I want to highlight the impact of that giving.
Scholarships and fellowships
In August, the Pharmacy Alumni Association (PAA) hosted their annual golf outing to raise scholarship funds for School of Pharmacy students. It was great to see so many of our alumni and friends at the event and enjoy a beautiful day at University Ridge Golf Course. I want to thank those who participated in the event and to the PAA and Wisconsin Society of Pharmacy Students for hosting the event. I also extend a “thank you” to all of our alumni and friends who have, and do, contribute to scholarships and fellowships for our students.
Each year the School of Pharmacy provides over $600,000 in scholarship and fellowship dollars to students from over 100 endowed donor-supported funds. One of the many benefits of scholarship dollars that we often hear about from students is that the dollars reduce the need for students to work outside of school. In turn, students are able to participate in professional development and community building activities at the School.
Spending time engaged in activities together is a very important component of professional socialization for our students. Fellowship dollars provide financial support for graduate students at the School of Pharmacy, enabling them to focus on conducting their research, taking courses, and preparing to defend their proposed and final research. The School of Pharmacy’s legacy of providing scholarship and fellowship dollars to students from endowed funds is just one of many characteristics that make our School of Pharmacy great!
White Coat Ceremony
Last spring, we held our Day of the Badger campaign to raise funds for our Student Success and Support Fund (SS&SF) and we continued that campaign until the end of June. Thank you to alumni and friends who contributed to the SS&SF, which impacts our students in many ways.
One of my favorite events at the School of Pharmacy is the White Coat Ceremony for our first-year PharmD students, signifying and celebrating the beginning of their professional journey in pharmacy. Funds from the SS&SF are used to purchase the white coats for our student pharmacists, which they will continue to use for years to come. I enjoy seeing the pride on their faces as they walk off the stage wearing their new white coats. Equally impactful is seeing the pride on the faces of their parents and loved ones during and after the ceremony. I appreciate this event as it makes me reflect on the many people who have influenced my professional journey in pharmacy. Thanks to the generosity of our alumni, this ceremony continues to be impactful.
Student travel awards
The SS&SF also is used to provide travel grants for our PharmD students to attend professional meetings to engage in professional development activities and begin to create their professional network. More than 20 students were able to attend either the American Society of Health-System Pharmacy’s Mid-Year Meeting last December, the American Pharmacists Association meeting in March, or the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin annual meeting in August.
Attending these meetings provides an opportunity for our students to present their research, learn about research being presented at the meeting, expand their clinical knowledge, connect with pharmacy leaders from other institutions, and meet and get to know UW–Madison School of Pharmacy alumni who attend the meetings. Our students are very thankful for the generosity of our alumni and the opportunity to attend professional meetings.
Our graduate students also benefit from the SS&SF. This past spring, Associate Professor Olayinka Shiyanbola, a faculty member in the Social and Administrative Sciences Division, coordinated a joint seminar with students from UW and the University of Iowa. Graduate students and faculty from both universities met virtually throughout the semester, getting to know each other, sharing research ideas, and discussing current topics that are impacting patient care and require additional research. In May, the SS&SF allowed our graduate students and faculty to travel to Dubuque, Iowa, to meet these colleagues and engage in an in-person seminar. Jenny Li, one of our Health Services Research in Pharmacy grad students, said this about the joint event:
“This unique experience has helped me feel more comfortable networking in larger settings such as state and national conferences. Networking is an area of growth for me, so I am grateful for this opportunity to practice meeting and talking with other researchers and students in my field.”
The Multicultural Affairs Program in Pharmacy (MAPP) is a student organization at the School of Pharmacy that strives to bring people together from all backgrounds and provide a source of social support so everyone can thrive at the School of Pharmacy. Funding from the SS&SF allowed MAPP to host their annual Taste of MAPP event, bringing food into the School of Pharmacy from several local restaurants representing a range of diverse cultures and ethnicities. Students were able to come together, learn about each other, and support each other while sharing delicious food. What a recipe for success!
Again, thank you to our alumni and friends who give their time, talent, and treasure to the School of Pharmacy. Upon reflection, the impact of giving by School of Pharmacy alumni and friends has been significant. I hope you enjoy autumn and, if you are so inclined, the wild ride that the Badgers and Packers likely will provide.
Thank you and On, Wisconsin!
Dave Mott (BS ‘88, MS ‘92, PhD ’95)
Associate Dean for Advancement