Student News: September 2017

Dear Students,

welageWelcome to the 2017-18 school year!

To returning students: We are very happy to see you and hope you enjoyed a little time off to relax and unwind during the summer months.

To first year students: I offer you a very warm welcome. As you may know, I am also new to the college. I started as Dean on July 31. Before coming to Minnesota, I served as Dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque from 2011 until mid-July of 2017. Prior to New Mexico, I spent 23 years at the University of Michigan.

Over the years, I have heard such great things about the University of Minnesota and about the exceptional pharmacy students here. I am very proud to be joining you at one of the very best pharmacy schools in the nation. I hope you also take great pride in your College of Pharmacy.

I look forward to getting to know each of you as the year progresses. I wish you all success in this school year and beyond.

Best wishes,

Lynda S. Welage, Pharm.D.


receptionsAll students are invited to join college faculty, staff, alumni and friends at free pre-game receptions on Sept. 16 and 30 at McNamara Alumni Center on the Twin Cities campus. Food will be served until kick-off time. You don't need a ticket to the game to attend the reception, just come and have fun! More information


duluth dayAll are invited to Duluth Days on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. at Grandma's Sports Garden in Duluth. This event is always a great place for students on each campus to hang out and get to know the other campus.

In addition, we just started our new podcast, Pharma15! Each podcast is 15 minutes long and covers a lot of topics like adjusting to pharmacy school and how to act professionally in difficult situations. Download Pharma15 on Google Play and iTunes.


blood pressureThis summer, MPSO hosted community outreach events at Chinese community centers in the Minneapolis area. Volunteers and preceptors worked together to help empower underserved communities to take greater care of their health. The first community outreach event was held June 4 at the Kang Le Senior Center, and the second event was held at Legacy Adult Daycare Center. As a group, we performed blood pressure and blood glucose checks to screen for hypertension and diabetes. MPSO started a new initiative this year to better provide patients continuity of care - we now track patients' blood pressure and blood glucose readings at each outreach event to monitor for reading improvements. These events were great opportunities for our members to practice their clinical skills, and serve an underserved/minority community.

MPSO had their first introduction meeting on Friday, Aug. 25 over the lunch hour. During this meeting we discussed with attendees MPSO's mission, important dates/events, community outreach, and each E-board member's role in the student group. On Friday, Sept. 8, we will host our first lunch lecture with Dr. Arbit, a pharmacist with experience in Jewish communities/cultures, and his experience as a pharmacist in clinical practice and academia.

Mark your calendars

Sept. 8: First Lunch Lecture with Dr. Arbit


student video This summer, the Beta Psi chapter was able to send four brothers (Steve Huynh, Kelsey Melgaard, Tuesday McAuliffe Staehler and Meghan Wicklund) to the Phi Delta Chi 71st Grand Council in Washington D.C. Beta Psi is proud to have been represented by our brothers who also accepted a travel grant on behalf of the chapter for creating a video highlighting how pharmacists can help in the community. View the video here.

We are already kicking off the semester strong by planning recruitment events for our potential candidates. In addition, we have two big service events coming up this month. Our fall health fair is on Sept. 11 at the Grand Rapids YMCA, and the St. Jude's Walk is on Sept. 23 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Mark your calendars

Sept. 5: PDX Open Meeting, 12:15 p.m., 163 LSci
Sept. 5: Bowling with the Bros, 7 p.m., Incline Station
Sept. 9: Dual Fraternity BBQ, time/location TBD
Sept. 14: Chester Park Clean-up, time TBD


PDXStJudeWalkIn August, we partnered with Cub Pharmacy and volunteered at the State Fair to provide flu shots.

Coming up in September, we will continue to do flu shots through the end of the State Fair. We are also teaming up with our fellow PDX-ers in Duluth for a fundraising walk for St. Jude Children's Hospital on the 23rd. This will be our second consecutive year participating in this fundraiser, and we aim to match or exceed our $1,500 contribution from 2016.

Our annual College of Pharmacy clothing order is up and accepting orders. Samples will be available in the lounge during the first week of September over the lunch hour. Contact Carly Jung ( or Malia Hain ( if you have any questions about the order.


pancakesKE is very excited to start our new outreach partnership with the Theresa Living Center (TLC) in Saint Paul. TLC is an organization that helps women and infants transition from homelessness. Starting in September, we will provide unique pharmacy assistance to TLC through monthly visits focused on various health care topics.
Please keep an eye out for our panKE fundraiser this fall as well as our outreach events in September and October that benefit Bright Pink, an organization focused on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women.

If you are interested in joining KE, please email Our commitment date is Sept. 15.


phi lambda sigmaPhi Lambda Sigma (PLS) is the national pharmacy leadership society for the College of Pharmacy.

CPR Courses

The PLS Alpha Phi Chapter has been hosting CPR classes for current College of Pharmacy students, pharmacists and faculty members. This year's CPR course coordinators are Shi Tao (PD3) and Julia Wiemer (PD2) on the Twin Cities campus and Tien Pham (PD3) and Susan Chhen (PD3) on the Duluth campus.

Our CPR instructors are passionate about instructing pharmacy students, pharmacists and faculty members. Our current instructors are Abdi Bile (PD4), Michelle Tran (PD4), Kaileen Perry (PD4), Ashley McDonald (PD4), Pamela Jahnke (PD4), Vu Ha (PD4), Sangmin Kim (PD4), Amina Bensami (PD3), Grace Baek (PD3), Tien Pham (PD3), Susan Chhen (PD3), Kelsey Melgaard (PD3), Jenny Nguyen (PD3), Deann Tims (PD3), Derek Vo (PD3), Choua Xiong (PD2), and Karla Marz (PD2). CPR classes are offered at the College of Pharmacy throughout the months of August and September.

"I find the teaching process incredibly rewarding. Through PLS-hosted CPR classes, I have had the opportunity to teach our fellow colleagues about life-saving skills and to review the updated standards of care," said Grace Baek (PD3), who has been the CPR instructor for two years. "Furthermore, teaching CPR courses is a great way to build teamwork and to promote the role of pharmacists as providers of well-rounded care to our community."

Student Organization Fair

PLS also presented at the student organization fair during the first week of Becoming a Pharmacist to welcome our PD1 students. We had numerous PD1 students stop by to learn about the organization and PLS application process. Our student leaders Monika (President), Aileen (Vice President-TC), Choua (Leadership Breakfast Coordinator-TC), and Deann (Vice President-Duluth) shared their passion for advancing the pharmacy profession and helping other students foster leadership skills.

"The Student Org Fair was a great opportunity to speak with our future members about PLS's mission of recognizing and developing leaders within the College of Pharmacy," said Aileen, Vice President of PLS on the Twin Cities campus. "It's extremely rewarding to help my colleagues identify their strengths and develop into leaders of not only the pharmacy profession, but also leaders in healthcare."

Sandstone Retreat

PLS members volunteered as Sandstone PD1 retreat facilitators. This provided our members with an opportunity to start fostering relationships with incoming pharmacy students and help them practice team-building skills through various forms of communication.

Mark your calendars

Sept. 12: Informational meeting to learn more about PLS and the nomination/application process, 12:15-1:15 p.m., 7-135 WDH / 302 HH
Fall: CV workshop, leadership lunch series and breakfast stories, among other events
Spring: 2nd Annual Leadership Symposium, leadership lunch series and breakfast stories, among other events


kudosMichelle Tran, PD4, was selected as a Member-at-Large for ACCP's National Student Network Advisory Committee.

David Vermeulen, PD4, was selected for the PQA-CVS Health Foundation Scholars Program. He is the first UMN student to participate in this program. He will work with his mentor, Dr. Caity Frail, on a quality improvement and performance measurement project with HealthPartners focused on community pharmacy practice, and present the results at the Pharmacy Quality Alliance national meeting in May.


globalApplications to serve on the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility's Global Health Student Advisory Board (GHSAB) are now open. GHSAB is a committee of student representatives from across the Academic Health Center (AHC) that works to define the global health related priorities of AHC students and advises CGHSR. Additionally, this group promotes student initiatives and opportunities for global health learning. For more information and to apply:


aip journalPlease check out the inaugural issue of Advances in Pharmacy: Journal of Student Solutions to Pharmacy Challenges. It's believed to be the first online student journal at the U.


faculty in the newsIn addition to the teaching and research your faculty do, they also regularly share their expertise with news media on a variety of topics. Here are just a couple of the recent news stories that have featured our faculty:

  • Professor Paul Ranelli is featured in the MinnPost story, "Exhibition examines medication's role in everyday life."
  • Professor Steve Schondelmeyer is quoted in the Consumer Reports story, "How the FDA Plans To Lower Your Drug Costs."