By: Mohammad A. Rattu, Pharm.D. Candidate c/o 2012
We sometimes need to step back and look at our foundations for success. Clearly, without the support of past and present Rho Chi executive boards, there would be no Rho Chi Post newsletter. Over the next five issues, we will learn about each of our local chapter’s board members on a more personal level. Our insight will predominantly include their nicknames, hobbies, favorite quotes, reasons for accepting the Rho Chi invitation, and motivations for becoming part of the executive board.
Our first executive board member insight is with Aleena Cherian, current fourth year student pharmacist and Treasurer of Rho Chi.
Q: We all have nicknames, for one reason or another. What have people called you, either in the past or right now in college?
A: Lennie is the most common nickname people have for me, but people have also called me Leenz, Leenie, LeeLee, especially when they are being silly.
Q: Ha-ha! It seems like they really focused on your first name! What are some of the things that you like doing outside of pharmacy?
A: I am one of those “weird” people who have a million hobbies and could never pick one, but music and art are probably my mainstays. I love graphic design, sketching, and painting but I am also open to all kinds of crafting/constructing. I am usually working on at least one project at any given time or else I become restless.
You can find me playing piano or guitar when I have free time, but even if I do not have time, you can hear me sing literally no matter WHAT I am doing. A funny story: when I first started working in a community pharmacy, my boss once commented on my voice because I did not realize that I always hummed when counting pills to keep myself on track!
I guess I am also really into sports. I played basketball a lot in high school and still occasionally do at Taffner Fieldhouse when I have the time. If I could have, I would have loved to play football, but somehow that did not work out… but I love football, football season, and the New York Jets… WOOHOOO!
Q: I can totally relate with always having a project to work on – I am an Achiever, at heart. I bet that if you take a StrengthsFinder test, “Achiever” might also be one of your natural talents! So, what is your favorite quote?
A: I have a different one each week. Lucky for you, this week happens to be a good one! “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.” – Billy Graham
Q: That quote sends me back to Philosophy class – it is quite profound! When you received an invitation to the Rho Chi Academic Honor Society, why did you accept it?
A: Well, I thought, “why not?” If you have the opportunity to represent your profession, especially through a prestigious honor society like Rho Chi, you should not pass it up. I sound like an advertisement for Rho Chi now, ha-ha.
Seriously, though, when you are in college, it is important to prevent yourself from bogging down into the tunnel of studying, textbooks, and lecture recordings. Both personal and professional engagements are important, and Rho Chi is an awesome opportunity for the latter. It is a benefit to yourself as an individual because you set yourself apart from many other students of pharmacy on various levels. You achieve the standard for invitation to Rho Chi and gain exposure to programs (e.g. Alumni Insider View events, various workshops) that equip you to become a better pharmacist in the future.
It is also an opportunity to give back to the campus and community: you have opportunities to interact with students and faculty. You also advance the pharmacy field on campus, especially through our open events and digital media like this Rho Chi Post. At the most basic level, I meet new people, learn more about my professors on a personal level, better represent the profession of pharmacy, and remain involved with programs. All of these things, honestly, are more interesting than just sitting at home memorizing receptor-ligand binding models – no offense to pharmacology, though!
Q: Very well said – participation in Rho Chi is outstanding and more worthwhile versus the simple paradigm of attending classes, studying, and taking examinations. Finally, what was your impetus for applying to an executive board position?
A: Quite simply, I like being involved. I have actually held executive board positions with student organizations since my sophomore year at St. John’s University. During my first semester of fourth year, it was the first time in two years that I was not going to executive board meetings or planning events, and I thought it would be a nice break and a time to focus on classes. However, I found myself missing that feeling of just being a part of the busy atmosphere that makes this campus run, and I missed that sense of purpose from DOING something besides just studying.
In addition, after two years of experience, I understood that I was qualified and well informed with the way that organizations and Student Government, Inc. (SGI) function. I believed that I could help make decisions and plan programs that would benefit Rho Chi, and have always held to the principle that if you CAN do something to help or offer your skills, there is no excuse not to do so.
We thank Aleena for taking the time to provide us with this insight, and look forward to highlighting the other Rho Chi executive board members.
If you have any additional questions for Aleena, please email her at [email protected]!