Isabelle Tharp, rising fourth-year student pharmacist in the Drake University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (CPHS), was announced as the recipient of the 2021 American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Good Government Student Pharmacist-of-the-Year Award. The award was presented during the APhA Political Leadership Reception held during the virtual APhA Annual Meeting in March 2021. Established in 2004, this award recognizes a student pharmacist with an outstanding record of advocating for the pharmacy profession, organizing grass-roots political activities within their local APhA-ASP (Academy of Students in Pharmacy) chapter, and raising awareness of local and national pharmacy issues among student pharmacists. 

Tharp, originally from Dubuque, Iowa, has built an extensive record of involvement in professional organizations and advocacy for the profession of pharmacy since joining the CPHS as a pre-pharmacy student in 2015. Tharp currently serves as president of APhA-ASP, having previously served as president-elect, social media chair, and on the Generation Rx Committee. Through her involvement in APhA-ASP, Tharp competed as a top ten finalist of 125 students in the National Patient Counseling Competition, attended several annual and regional meetings, and received an APhA Foundation Scholarship. Tharp has also been heavily involved with the Iowa Pharmacy Association (IPA) by serving as the Eggleston Summer Intern, co-leading the Policy Review Committee, serving on the Student Pharmacist Advisory Committee, and serving as a 2019 Annual Meeting delegate. In 2020, Tharp was selected from a pool of strong candidates to serve as a Legislative Intern for Iowa State Representative John Forbes (PH’80). 

“I was speechless when I found out I was the recipient of this award,” said Tharp. “I am so grateful for the opportunities Drake CPHS, and APhA-ASP have available for students to advocate for the profession of pharmacy. Taking part in those opportunities was something I never imagined before entering pharmacy school, but they have enriched my pharmacy experience immensely. Being recognized as the 2021 Good Government Student Pharmacist-of-the-Year is an absolute honor.” 

“This recognition of Isabelle’s work is well-deserved,” said Renae Chesnut, professor and dean of the College. “She has pursued opportunities provided by our college that allow students to pursue their areas of interest. Furthermore, she has led advocacy efforts that have encouraged other students to become involved in the legislative process to fulfill our mission of preparing our learners to be tomorrow’s health care leaders.”