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College of Pharmacy

Walker Leadership Scholars

Walker Leadership Scholar Blog

Applicant Recruitment: Laura-Jane Baker-Straw

January is always an exciting month for the Walker Scholars, as it is the time of year when we recruit applicants for the next year! During that process, our beloved donor, Donna Walker, joins us in person to help aid in the process. One of my favorite parts of the program is having the opportunity to have dinner with Donna and her mother, Mrs. Jeanette Walker, along with Mrs. Kathy and the rest of the scholars. We all bring different ideas, interests, and passions to the table and have great discussions about the future of the program, the future of the profession and how we can be exemplary leaders not only in our profession but also in health care. A table full of creative minds is certainly a roundtable discussion I love being a part of! During our evening, Taylor and I nominated each other and were selected by a unanimous vote that we would be the inaugural co-presidents of the Walker Leadership Scholars Alumni Foundation and were tasked with planning an event of all current and future scholars in the year 2020. We are excited to see how the program grows and implements change in our nation. I always leave any conversation with Donna feeling not only incredibly blessed for the opportunity of a lifetime that she has gifted me, but also inspired and empowered to go and do. We look forward to the application process and adding more scholars to our program!

Donna Speaks to P1 Class: Anna Todd

The spring 2018 semester has been off to a busy and fast start! The Walker Leadership Scholars were so happy to welcome Donna Walker back to the College of Pharmacy a couple weeks ago to speak to the P1 class and discuss our individual and team goals for the semester. The entire P1 class was in attendance to hear Mrs. Walker’s background in pharmacy and leadership. At the end of the presentation, each of the scholars shared one specific event or opportunity that the program provided us within the last year that we felt has given us the most leadership growth and insight. This was a great way for us to relate to the P1s and share with them how many opportunities for growth lies ahead in their pharmacy careers.After the presentation, the entire committee met for lunch to discuss the upcoming semester and future plans for the program. These meetings are always special and one of my favorite parts of the semester since we only have the entire committee together a couple times each year. This semester, each scholar chose a specific task to take ownership of to facilitate organization and individual growth within the program. It was so great to speak with Mrs. Walker in person and have her as a source of guidance and mentorship throughout the program.Looking forward to the rest of the semester, I am excited about attending the PLS Conference in Charleston and APhA annual meeting in Nashville. Additionally, we have begun the process of choosing our next two Walker Leadership Scholars following Mrs. Walker’s visit earlier this month. I am looking forward to seeing what additional opportunities lie ahead for us as we close out the school year!

Getting the Residency: Taylor & Laura Jane

This month, Laura Jane and I took our first steps toward achieving one of the goals we set at the beginning of our time in this program: attaining a PGY1 pharmacy residency. We always felt that we worked well as a team due to the fact that we had similar long term goals, and we grew closer as we worked together in this program due to our interests. I have always been passionate about patient care, and through my clinical rotations this year, that passion has been reaffirmed, and I have discovered a love of pediatrics. While Laura Jane has always been interested in inpatient acute care residencies, she realized over the course of this year that she enjoys a more longstanding relationship with the patient. Through the mentorship of Ms. Walker and other individuals she met throughout the course of the program, she was able to reflect on her pharmacy experiences and determine her true passion: ambulatory care. We began the month of December with a trip to ASHP's Clinical Midyear Meeting, where we both presented the results of our research. My research revealed the results of a project I have worked on throughout pharmacy school about the patient perception of community pharmacy and the job responsibilities of the employees who work to fill their prescriptions. Laura Jane's research focuses on a more clinical aspect of pharmacy and looks at the effects of capped heparin dosing on time to therapeutic aPTTs in the treatment of VTEs.  While there, we also had the opportunity to attend the residency showcase and ask questions of residents and program directors. Our time in the Walker Leadership Scholars program prepared us well for this environment, and we felt well prepared to start a conversation with everyone at the residency booths. We were able to ask questions and make judgments about which residency programs would be the best fit for us based on these conversations. I had my first off month during the month of December, and I spent the remainder of the month preparing my applications. I applied to nine residency programs, six of which have a pediatric focus and three of which offer a general background in both adult and pediatric medicine. Laura Jane applied to eight programs, all of which were ambulatory care focused. We both also focused on programs that offer a strong teaching certificate program, as our time in the Walker Leadership Scholars Program taught us both the importance of mentorship. We both hope that in the future we will be able to contribute not only to this program as alumni, but also to other schools of pharmacy to help encourage young pharmacy leaders to pursue leadership training. We are now working on developing patience, and we are excited to see where we will embark on our first year of post graduate pharmacy training!

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