Monday, May 7, 2018

With more than 150 people in attendance, the UI College of Pharmacy hosted the Third Annual Zada Cooper Leadership Symposium on May 5. The event started in 2016 as a tribute to Zada Mary Cooper, the first known female faculty member in a college of pharmacy in the United States. Cooper graduated from the UI College of Pharmacy in 1897, and continued as a faculty member until retiring in 1942. She was one of the founders of the Women’s Section of APhA, founder of Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and the Rho Chi Society, and secretary of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy from 1922 to 1942.

This year’s event was kicked off by Sara White, another pioneer in pharmacy. She held leadership positions at Stanford Hospital and Clinics/UCSF School of Pharmacy and University of Kansas Medical Center, and she was president of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) from 1996-1997. White told stories about attending pharmacy school in the sixties and noted the many ways the profession has changed, and become more welcoming to women.

Four breakout sessions offered a diverse variety of topics to help students think about their future careers and helped seasoned professionals consider their work and role in the profession. Attendees were able to participate in sessions covering the topics of entrepreneurship, resiliency, and providing culturally sensitive care. There was also a panel of three young professionals who discussed the first few years of their post-pharmacy school careers.

Dean Sarah Gardial from the UI Tippie College of Business closed out the event by making the business case for including women and other underrepresented groups, noting the importance of finding strength in differences saying, “Performance as an organization improves when you bring in more perspectives.”

A new element of this year's symposium featured student leadership. The Zada Cooper Student Leadership Award honors student leaders who have contributed significantly, through their leadership, to the UI College of Pharmacy. Students were recognized for making meaningful contributions to students and the surrounding communities through service, by providing exemplary leadership and commitment to an organization through mentoring future leaders, and by inspiring and motivating others to act through service. The inaugural student leadership awards were given to:

  • Mohammed Fredericks, Doctor of Pharmacy candidate
  • Autumn Petersen, Doctor of Pharmacy candidate
  • Anh-Vu Do, PhD candidate
  • Quinn Li, PhD candidate

For a gallery of photos, click here.