Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS) recently welcomed first-year students into the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Class of 2025 and into the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Class of 2026. The College continued its tradition of welcoming the incoming students through a two-day professional orientation program, culminating with the White Coat Ceremonies on August 26, 2022.
The academic performance and demographics of these classes reflect the intent of Drake to maintain its high academic standards for admitted students, recruit a diverse cohort of students, and attract students from a wide range of geographic locations. The OTD Class of 2024 and the PharmD Class of 2025 begin their professional journey with a solid academic foundation with pre-professional average GPAs of 3.5 and 3.6 on a range from 3.0 to 4.0. Ten percent of the OTD Class of 2024 and seventeen percent of the PharmD Class of 2025 identify as students of color. Ninety-five percent of the OTD Class of 2024 and eighty percent of the PharmD Class of 2025 identify as female. The OTD and PharmD classes are also geographically diverse. Students come from as far as Arizona, Florida, Oregon, and internationally, joining students from Iowa and surrounding states.
The CPHS welcomed each class during two White Coat Ceremonies on Friday, August 26, 2022, in Sheslow Auditorium. Renae Chesnut, professor and dean of the College, provided opening remarks during each ceremony. Chuck Phillips, associate dean of curriculum and assessment, announced the students as they walked across the stage one by one and donned their white coats for the first time. Occupational therapy students heard remarks and advice from Cheyenne Voshell, Student Governance O3 Class Representative, and a professional welcome from occupational therapy practitioner and assistant professor Stacey Huffman. Huffman led the students in reciting the Professional Pledge of an Occupational Therapy Student. Pharmacy students heard remarks and advice from Megan Hartle, the 2022 Lon N. Larson Engaged Practitioner Award recipient, and a professional welcome from s Emmeline Paintsil, PH’18, GR’20, the Director of Professional Affairs of the Iowa Pharmacy Association. Paintsil led the PharmD students in reciting the Professional Pledge of a Student Pharmacist.
“The White Coat Ceremony is a significant event for our PharmD and OTD students as they begin their journeys in our professional programs,” said Renae Chesnut, dean of the college. “The White Coat Ceremony allows our students the opportunity to come together as a class to don their white coats and commit to their professions through their respective pledge of a professional.”