College of Pharmacy student Alyssa Billmeyer was recently installed as president of the Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) for the 2014-2015 academic year. GPSG represents the UI’s graduate and professional student body while seeking to improve their educational experiences overall. Providing grants for students to travel, research, and serve – as well as to advocate for student support – are among the organization’s fundamental objectives. With a graduate and professional student body of over 10,000 students, GPSG is comprised of at least two delegates from each of the UI’s five professional colleges (Pharmacy, Law, Medicine, Dentistry, and Business) as well as five representatives from the Graduate College. She will be the first College of Pharmacy student to serve as president of the organization.
Alyssa has an outstanding record of leadership. During the 2013-2014 academic year, she served as president-elect of the College of Pharmacy’s Student Leadership Council and as a GPSG delegate for the college. During that year, the College of Pharmacy and GPSG worked together to discuss with legislators the importance of funding designated for the college’s new building. As a representative of GPSG, Alyssa also attended the Hawkeye Caucus Day to speak about the importance of graduate and professional programs, “We have a unique situation in the state where our students in each program can collaborate with each other both inside and outside of the classroom.”
Originally from Marion, Iowa, Alyssa also attended the UI as an undergraduate, earning a degree in health sciences with minors in chemistry and global health. She is currently pursuing a combined Doctor of Pharmacy and Masters of Public Health, and expects to complete her degrees in 2016. Upon completion of her graduate education, Alyssa hopes to compile her experiences as she pursues a career in the areas of pharmacy administration or pharmacy association work.
Alyssa looks forward to the year ahead as GPSG continues to move forward in its mission, “It is our duty to ensure our constituents are provided all they need in order to fulfill their degrees, and to make sure it is a good experience along the way.”
She is proud to be part of an organization that prepares individuals to go on to make a statewide impact, “Graduate and professional students who are educated in Iowa leave the University of Iowa to serve Iowans. We have dentists, physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and lawyers who graduate from programs at the University of Iowa who serve Iowans every day,” she explains
Through continued work in advocacy and support of student organizations and research, GPSG will continue their objectives, “Our main goal this year is to ensure that our professional and graduate student voices are heard not only across our campus, but across the entire university and the state of Iowa. We will do this by showcasing what specific students and colleges are doing in their service, research, and community outreach,” she said. Alyssa plans to continue exhibiting the same exemplary service she embodies through her work with GPSG towards pharmacists, technicians and patients as she builds her professional career.