Student News: February 2018


Pharmacy 125_Final

For 125 years, the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy has been a leader in pharmacy education, research, practice and more. We will celebrate our milestone anniversary throughout 2018, including hosting a gala on April 14 at the Campus Club of Coffman Memorial Union. More information will be available soon for this event and others. Please join us and help us celebrate our college's 125 years of innovation, tradition and excellence. 



Safety is a top priority for the University's Twin Cities campus. With Super Bowl activity ramping up on campus this week, please be aware of your surroundings and use campus services, such as 624-WALK and Gopher Chauffeur, when needed. You will also see increased law enforcement presence on campus. Read more tips on how to ensure your personal safety and security. 



Thanks to everyone who participated in the Jan. 12-13 Superheroes and Villains-themed Pharmacy Bonspiel in Duluth. Congrats to Curling Champions: Alyssa Marie and Michael Kozlovski, and Willie and Jim Atol. Best Costume award winners were Megan McMullen, Steve Huynh, Kyle Warmsley and Nick Sell. Special thanks to Dr. Karen Bastianelli who organizes this annual event to help promote fellowship among students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, as well as to give people the opportunity to embrace some of the culture of the area.


The Pay it Forward Organization is thrilled to report that a record 265 people attended the 13th Annual Pharmacy Gala on Jan. 20 at the newly renovated Graduate Hotel. The event benefits the Michelle Mentzer Scholarship, which is named after a pharmacy student who lost her battle with cancer during her first year of pharmacy school. We began the evening with a social hour. During this time, we had a slideshow in memory of Michelle, and also featured past scholarship recipients and honored the 2017 recipient, Malia Hain. Guests were invited to meet Michelle's family, get a photo taken by our volunteer photographers, and enjoy passed hors-d'oeuvres. For the second year in a row, Michelle's family joined us from South Dakota to speak in memory of Michelle. We love learning more about Michelle and her family. We met our goal of increasing Duluth student attendance, with 20 students traveling to the event. A huge 'thank you' is due to our donors: Cub Pharmacy, Century Mortar Club, College Board, Phi Delta Chi, Kappa Psi, and Professional Student Government. After covering expenses, the Pay it Forward Organization is proud to contribute roughly $2,000 towards the scholarship endowment! 

feb18_kudos_puerto rico

On Jan. 28, students participated in the First Health Fair for Puerto Rican Families that moved to Minnesota after Hurricane Maria. This was an initiative from the groups Puerto Rican in MN and the Coalicion de Boricuas en MN, with the assistance of Fairview Community Health Outreach, South Region. Students did blood pressure checks and glucose testing. Thank you to Westside Clinic pharmacists who were there as well to support the initiative.


feb18_kudos_peruSix students participated in a medical service campaign in Cusco, Peru, the first week of January that saw about 500 patients. The trip brought into perspective how resources and access can be very limited, and allowed students to see the importance of cultural competency in practicing patient-centered health care. 





The traveling exhibition "To Really See: Exploring the Medication-Taking Experience" is now open on the Twin Cities campus at the Bio-Medical Library, 2nd floor. All are invited to a public reception on Thursday, Feb. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The exhibit closes April 30. In addition, over 10 pieces of separate art from the project will be on exhibit at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth until March 29. The exhibition is co-organized by Professor Paul Ranelli



Theresa Living Center (TLC): Kappa Epsilon continues our relationship with the TLC in St. Paul. Over winter break we made 11 adult and 8 children's blankets to donate to the center. We will present on anxiety, depression, and relaxation techniques at our next event in February and will continue with our monthly visits for the rest of the semester.

Recruitment: Kappa Epsilon is recruiting members this spring! Our membership is composed of students with diverse interests and experiences. KE is flexible and respects the fact that students work, have families, and are involved in other organizations. We offer opportunities to engage in the local community while advancing our members' pharmacy practice knowledge through volunteer events. We are a small organization, which allows for individuals' ideas to be heard and multiple opportunities to enhance leadership skills early on in their pharmacy education.

If you are interested in becoming a member, we will have an open meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 12:15-1:15 p.m. in 7-193 WDH. Come drink hot cocoa and learn more about Kappa Epsilon!


The spring semester has begun in a flurry of activity after a long winter break for the Epsilon chapter. Our CARE for Haiti team is ramping up their fundraising efforts for their trip during spring break, so stay tuned for a CoP flea market in late February. They also participated in a Cub Foods bagging event, where they bagged groceries for a day and informed the community about their trip. 

We have STI talks at local high schools scheduled in the next few months-our first one is Feb. 8 at Roseville High School. Thank you to our brothers for continuing this great tradition of connecting pharmacy with community health. An upcoming event we have for the entire college is a pre-Valentine's Day bingo event. Whether you are a student or a faculty member, join us on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. in 1-450 Moos to play some bingo and win some prizes.


MPSA started off 2018 strong by giving back to the community. Between the two campuses, members made 75 sandwiches during the first general meeting to be distributed through the Socks and Sandwiches initiative in the Twin Cities and at the CHUM shelter in Duluth. At our second general meeting, Dr. Isetts and Dr. Frail presented on the Pharmacy Quality Alliance and introduced the PQA Innovation Challenge. This was followed up by a presentation by Dr. Aytay and representatives from the JDRF Walk for Type 1 Diabetes. Our third general meeting on Jan. 25 hosted the Regional HPV Educator for Scenic Rivers Area Health Education Center.

On Jan. 10, MPSA hosted a fundraiser at the Duluth Talent Show to raise money to give back through health fairs; thank you to everyone for the support! MPSA students joined the MSHP Arrowhead Meeting on Jan. 18 to learn about anticoagulation screening and measurement. Members also participated in the MPhA event "Complexities of Prior Authorizations: A Panel Perspective" on Jan. 24. Teams from both campuses participated in the local AMCP P&T Competition on Jan. 27, with the winning team of PD3s Hans Shaw, Julie Lai, Sofia Shrestha, and Grace Baek. On the Duluth campus, IPSF also hosted a blood drive on Jan. 29 in collaboration with the American Red Cross. Finally, PD3 Maggie Sundstrom won the local APhA-ASP Patient Counseling Competition and will represent the University of Minnesota at the APhA annual meeting in March.

MPSA has been busy with community outreach efforts as well. In early January, MSPA members delivered presentations to middle and high school students through GenerationRx that focused on appropriate prescription drug use and avoidance of drug abuse. Operation Diabetes hosted a blood glucose testing on Jan. 18 at the DPP HighRise Buildings. Furthermore, Project CHANCE kicked off weekly educational sessions at the Harbor Light Homeless Shelter, starting Jan. 11. In collaboration with the Coalition of Minnesota Puerto Ricans and other healthcare providers throughout Minnesota, MPSA members provided point-of-care tests and education on Jan. 28 at El Colegio. On Jan. 30, GenerationRx educated about prescription misuse at the Fortune Bay Resort in Tower, Minn. 



MPSO is always pushing for the advancement of cultural awareness and inclusivity within the College of Pharmacy, and in our local communities. Last semester, we established a new community outreach program in which we provided blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol checks to the Somali community on the West Bank. Culture humility is a key component to providing patient-centered care, and we strive to provide our pharmacy students opportunities in learning how culture and care go hand in hand. We are very excited about this new initiative, and plan to continue serving the underserved populations in the Twin Cities area.


The Beta Psi chapter of Phi Delta Chi was excited to host the second annual Dice 4 Life, a board game charity event created by our brother, Zach Otto, to support the American Red Cross, St. Jude Children's, HOPE clinic, and the Guatemala trip. Approximately 60 people participated in this unique board game charity event that was an open, free game day in which people hung out, socialized, and played board games with an item drive going on throughout the day. We accepted a wide variety of donations that granted people tickets that they could use for food or chances to win raffle prizes. We raised an estimated value of $1,100 in donations, which included $400 in cash donations to the American Red Cross and St. Jude's, roughly 100 non-perishable food items for our local food shelf (CHUM), 13 bags of clothing, 30 OTC items for our mission trips to Guatemala, and roughly 70 toiletry items for patients at the HOPE Clinic. Fun was had by all and we are incredibly appreciative of all the volunteers and participants. 

With the beginning of a new semester, there also comes a new clothing order. Here is the ordering form for PDX Beta Psi's spring college-wide clothing order. The order form will close on Friday, Feb. 2 at midnight. Twin Cities orders will be brought to the TC campus at a later date once the items come in. If you have any questions, please contact Meghan Wicklund at



This January, we teamed up with some PDX brothers from the Beta Psi chapter in Duluth to volunteer at various clinics in Guatemala. At these clinics, we helped provide care for over 200 patients who all received vitamins, anti-parasitic drugs, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. Additionally, many of these patients were prescribed/given prescription medications from the physician at the clinic. When we weren't in clinic, we found time to hike up two volcanos (Acatenango and Pacaya), go zip-lining, visit the Iximche Mayan Ruins, and tour a coffee farm.

Additionally, PDX wrapped up our flu shot campaign at the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic over break. In all, we were able to provide 64 free flu shots to patients this season, while our brothers gained experience in administering the shots and educating patients about vaccines.


Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS) is the national leadership society for the College of Pharmacy. PLS is hosting our second annual Leadership and Networking Symposium on Saturday, April 14, in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the LEA program. We invite PLS alumni and other pharmacist leaders to come and share their stories. This event is an excellent opportunity for student pharmacists to share their passion for pharmacy leadership and continue to build their professional network. 

"This year's focus for our PLS chapter is relational leadership and we want to highlight that at the symposium," says symposium coordinator Tara Haakonson (PD3). "We hope that all can come and build new and foster existing relationships while applying their leadership skills."



On the Duluth campus: Lunch buffet in 160 LSci starts at 12:05 p.m., keynote speaker Dr. Mark Thomas will present "Synaptic Plasticity Correlates of Addiction Relapse" at 12:30 p.m. in 163/165 LSci, followed by a poster session in Kirby Rafters. RSVP by Feb. 2. 

On the Twin Cities campus: Held in the Great Hall of Coffman Memorial Union. The day starts with graduate podium presentations from 10 a.m. to noon, keynote speakers at 12:15 p.m. followed by lunch, and poster presentations from 1:30-3:30 p.m. RSVP 



Join us in recognizing Rare Disease Day at "Gene Therapy for Rare Diseases: Promise and Challenges" on Friday, Feb. 23, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Graduate Hotel. The event starts with a poster session, followed by a buffet lunch and keynote addresses at noon. Learn more about the event and register



Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day is one of our most popular advocacy and educational events all year. Please plan to join us Tuesday, Feb. 27, 7:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge in St. Paul. View the day's agenda and register



Our faculty regularly share their expertise with news media on a variety of topics. Here are a couple recent news stories:

  • Drs. Heather Blue and Laura Palombi were featured in the KBJR story, "University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy faculty fight addiction through education." 
  • Dr. Gunda Georg was featured in several stories, including Newsweek, featuring her groundbreaking research to develop a birth control pill for men that has its origin in an arrow poison. 



Get ready for Global Health Day hosted by the AHC Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility on April 14. Abstract submissions are now open for student poster and oral presentations. The purpose of these presentations is to celebrate the work of our U of M global health community and to cultivate an interdisciplinary exchange around global health topics. Poster and oral presentations are open to all U of M students, residents, and fellows and allow students to build valuable professional and communication skills. Presentations can be made individually or in groups. Learn more.



Established to fund life-saving cancer research at the University of Minnesota, Chainbreaker is a three-day experience that includes a weekend of cycling, entertainment and volunteerism. This year's event will be Aug. 10-12. Four route options are available, including 25, 50, 100 and 180 miles. There is a minimum fundraising commitment for each ride. Learn more and register online at



Follow the College of Pharmacy on Facebook and Twitter.


Feb. 3 
Join us for the College of Pharmacy Mid-Winter Duluth Tailgate, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Black Woods Grill & Bar, 2525 London Road, Duluth. RSVP 

Feb. 12
PD2 Spring Town Hall, 12:15-1:15 p.m., 165 LSci / 1-451 Moos 

Feb. 19
PD3 Spring Town Hall, 12:15-1:15 p.m., 165 LSci / 1-451 Moos 

Feb. 26
PD1 Spring Town Hall, 12:15-1:15 p.m., 165 LSci / 1-451 Moos

March 1 
Our Future is Aging - Interprofessional Conference on Healthcare for Older Adults, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul campus. Enhance your knowledge and competencies in providing care to older adults as part of the interprofessional team to improve health outcomes. Cost is $50 for students. Learn more

April 14
College of Pharmacy 125th Anniversary Gala, Campus Club, 4th floor Coffman Memorial Union (Twin Cities campus). More details available soon.

April 16
PD2 Awards/Elections Meeting, 12:15-1:15 p.m., 165 LSci / 1-451 Moos (more details about open positions to follow)

April 23 
PD1 Awards/Elections Meeting, 12:15-1:15 p.m., 165 LSci / 1-451 Moos (more details about open positions to follow)



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