The 2014 Rho Chi Society Beta Delta Chapter Induction Ceremony

By: Tasnima Nabi, Co-Copy Editor [Content-focused]

On January 23rd, St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences inducted the 2014 Beta Delta Chapter members of Rho Chi Society. The annual induction ceremony took place at the Hillcrest Jewish Center. The inductees include 4th year Pharm.D. students in the top 20% of their class as well as graduate students pursuing a pharmaceutical study with a GPA 3.5 or higher. This year, the Beta Delta Chapter proudly inducted 59 4th year students and three graduate students.

The ceremony commenced with a warm welcome to the attending students, friends, and family from Moisey Rafailov, the 2013 Rho Chi President. Moisey then introduced Dean DiGate as our keynote speaker. Although Dean DiGate is new to our University, he has held many esteemed positions in other universities. A Ph.D. in Biology, Dean DiGate served as Provost of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, as the Dean of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, and as a Professor in and Chairman of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dean DiGate shared his college experiences with us and how inspired he was by new medical and scientific advancements. He reinforced the importance of passion in our personal and professional lives and explained how we are to make the most of each opportunity. He concluded by reciting Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and wholeheartedly congratulated us on our accomplishments. At the conclusion of his speech, the previous executive board presented him with a plaque to thank him for sharing his time, knowledge, and advice with us all.

The night concluded with Dr. Zito, faculty advisor of Rho Chi, who greeted everyone and said the initiation ritual. Each inductee stood before the podium and was handed his/her certificate and insignia pin. Next, previous executive board members read aloud the history, mission, values, and duties of the Rho Chi Society and its members. After the inductees agreed to join the society, Dr. Zito asked the new elected officers to step forward and take their oath of office. After a round of applause, the inductees dispersed to enjoy dinner with friends, family, and faculty. The Rho Chi induction ceremony was a great start to the new school semester, with a promise to uphold the honor expected from each member of the society.


Words from the 2014 Executive Board Members of the Beta Delta Chapter:


Tyler Valente, President: As President of Rho Chi, my goal is to spread knowledge and extend recognition of our Honor Society throughout St. John’s University.  One way we intend to increase awareness and excitement is by holding programs that target first- and second-year students in the Pharmacy program.  I hope these programs will inspire students to study hard and strive to become Rho Cho inductees when they’re in their fourth year, as well as to encourage them to become active on campus and in the community.


Fawad Piracha, Vice President: As a new inductee, I want to help stimulate intellectual inquiry and academic advancement by imparting information about pharmacy practice. Through workshops, academic and professional oriented lectures, and community service projects, the executive board intends to promote the advancement of the pharmacy profession, which is expanding. It is the responsibility and obligation of executive board members to promote and encourage Rho Chi Society inductees to engage in activities that serve the purposes of the profession of pharmacy.


Tasnima Nabi, Secretary: I am excited to uphold the honor and to fulfill the responsibilities of Secretary for Rho Chi. It is incumbent that the executive board and all active members of the society promote the highest ideals of our profession. Service is an important tenet to our society, university, and profession, and the executive board looks forward to planning unique and engaging events to enhance our education and serve our community.


Anthony Nania, Treasurer: My vision for Rho Chi is to promote unity and leadership throughout the profession of pharmacy. We are the next generation of pharmacists, and it is our responsibility to continue advancing the career in a constantly evolving digital era. Rho Chi is built on pursuing intellectual excellence, fostering fellowship, and setting examples of utmost character and conduct. A key to accomplishing the mission of Rho Chi is to continue learning and teaching others. Through hosting communal events and meetings on campus, Rho Chi will present forums for discussion, learning, and inquiry. As acting treasurer, I will work hard to “restock the woodpile” and further build up the funding accessible to Rho Chi. I will work to balance our spending and ensure that our funds are managed in an efficient and organized manner in order to host the numerous events and functions our executive board has planned.


Sara James, Historian: I look forward to not only being a part of this prestigious academic honor society, but also playing an active role in instilling within its members the desire to continue their goal of achieving intellectual excellence and the furthering the profession of pharmacy. Along with the rest of the executive board, I plan on highlighting the important principles of scholarship and service in the events that Rho Chi will plan and sponsor.


Joshua Bliss, Media Relations Coordinator: I am a 4th year PharmD candidate and an Ozanam Scholar. Integrating service and acknowledging social justice issues within healthcare is my passion and my calling. I have studied abroad, traveled to various states, Puerto Rico, and Ecuador, where I performed service work and individual research on social justice issues. As acting Media Relations Coordinator for Rho Chi, I will ensure that our events and goals are well received by our members and the public. The Beta Delta Chapter is unique as it is the only chapter connected to a Vincentian University. My goal as an executive board member is to develop new initiatives geared more towards healthcare and its role in social justice. It is an integral part of who we are as Rho Chi members and healthcare professionals.

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