Professional Advice / Opinions:

It’s Time to Get Involved!

By: Khilna Patel, PharmD Candidate c/o 2012

Top academic achievement is a plus but is not the only thing to strive for – college is about developing one‘s self as a whole. There are many opportunities to get involved. Don‘t be afraid to try everything that may interest you because it will only bring you closer to achieving your goal!

I will try to outline some of the key organizations at St. John‘s University in this article, but for you to really find out what our college has to offer, you need to get out there and get involved!

The American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) accepts students from each year of pharmacy. Not only will you be exposed to the numerous collaborative events that will open your eyes to the pharmacy world, but members will also receive many of the benefits that are available to APhA pharmacists. APhA-ASP hosts several events throughout the year that focus on student development and outreach such as the Pharmacist Roundtable, Lunch and Learn Series, and many pharmacy-related socials. There are also projects that help to increase awareness: Operation Diabetes, Heartburn Awareness, and Operation Immunization. More information about our APhA-ASP chapter is available at, but to become a registered student member, you must register at!

Rho Chi is a pharmacy honor society that inducts students at the end of the first semester of fourth year. Our Beta Delta chapter has strived successfully to be the collective voice of pharmacy students, to provide opportunities for professional growth, and to envision and actively promote the future of the profession. We promote leadership and fellowship in pharmacy through a combination of professional, philanthropic, and social events. Some of our traditional events include the “Cardio Session,” “Coffeehouse Chats,” and the “Who Wants to be a PharmD?” game show event. Visit our website at: to learn more!

The Pharmacy Leadership Society or Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS) is about developing leadership qualities. Applications for PLS are sent via email at the end of the third year of pharmacy. Their annual Healthy Halloween event, sponsored by Walgreens pharmacy, allows members to interact with elementary school children and teach them the importance of healthy choices during the holiday. PLS has also hosted events such as “Tell Two: Part Two,” “Cultural Competence Workshop,” and “Leadership Roundtable.” More information about our university‘s chapter is available at

Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) is the national leadership honor society that recognizes achievement in five areas: scholarship, athletics, community service, journalism, and creative and performing arts. Applications for membership into Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society are available at the beginning of the spring semester and the induction ceremony is held in April during the Leadership Awards Dinner. More information is available at

Another great way to get involved and meet new people is by joining a pharmacy sorority (Lambda Kappa Sigma [LKS]) or fraternity (Phi Delta Chi [PDC]). Both groups continuously collaborate with many of the above-mentioned organizations to host various events. In addition, many faculty members are LKS and PDC alumni!

A unique aspect of St. John‘s University is its Vincentian heritage – we place great emphasis on community service by motivating students to volunteer, mentor, and engage in academic service learning. Pharmacy organizations continue to participate in Relay for Life, the Breast Cancer Walk, University Service Day, Walk for the Homeless, Hands on New York, HOPE 2012, and Walk MS.

Each year, all the pharmacy organizations gather on Pharmacy Organization Day. This event allows many different organizations to speak to younger students about how they can get more involved on campus. It is also an opportunity for younger students to mingle with upperclassmen and gain future expectations. Each organization introduces their executive board, as well as makes a short speech regarding the requirements to be in the organization and their goals for the semester. This is an excellent place to begin when searching for organizations.

All in all, In fact, be more concerned about the potential opportunities you might be missing out on when you don’t try something. The only way to achieve your purpose is to perform small actions everyday, which will accumulate to greater success in the end.

If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Khilna at [email protected].

Published by Rho Chi Post
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