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Drake launches new pharmacy student professional travel program

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Drake students recite the Oath of a Pharmacist at the White Coat Ceremony.
Opportunities for professional development will now be more accessible for students in Drake’s Doctor of Pharmacy program, thanks to a new travel fund established as part of the college’s White Coat sponsorship program.

The White Coat program recently cloaked 122 students in the first year of the professional program with new professional lab coats and personalized name tags. Students are paired with alumni, who provide the coat and nametag and serve as mentors for the students.

Many White Coat supporters also asked to contribute an additional $50 or $100 to the Student Professional Travel Fund, which will help support students attending research seminars, professional meetings and other national scholarship events. The fund also meets the goal of the White Coat program, emphasizing the importance of professionalism and involvement in the pharmacy community. 

The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences hopes to build the Student Professional Travel Fund to $10,000 per year, which will enable many students to attend events that foster professional development. 

“Our goal for the program is for students to eventually present collaborative research and findings with other students and faculty members at national meetings,” said Dean Raylene Rospond. 

In addition to the new program, students will now have the opportunity to work with and learn from the following new faculty members who recently joined the college:
  • Michael Andreski, assistant professor of social and administrative pharmacy

  • Cheryl Clarke, assistant professor of pharmacy practice 

  • Kimberly Huey, associate professor of health sciences

  • Andrea Kjos, assistant professor of social and administrative pharmacy

  • Ginelle Schmidt, assistant professor of pharmacy practice 
The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences also announced the appointments of John. P. Rovers as the John R. Ellis distinguished chair of pharmacy practice and June Felice Johnson as the chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences.

Rovers, who joined Drake in 1991, is a professor of pharmacy practice in the Department of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Administrative Sciences. He is a founding member of the Iowa Center for Pharmaceutical Care. Rovers also helped establish the college’s study abroad program and has developed teaching sites for Drake students in Australia, New Zealand, France and South Africa. 

Johnson is associate professor of pharmacy practice. She joined Drake in 1995. She is a research coordinator at the Iowa Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center, where she participates in sponsored and investigator-initiated clinical trials in diabetes. She also supervises an experiential program for students with a diabetes concentration. One experience focuses on the diabetes camp for youth in Iowa, Camp Hertko Hollow, where she is a medical staff volunteer. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the camp.