Monday, May 23, 2022

The UI College of Pharmacy hosted the Zada Cooper Leadership Symposium on May 7.

The annual 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 Rina Shah, PharmD, Group Vice President of Pharmacy Operations and Services for Walgreens.

Letendre Shah

Shah—the inaugural Floyd and Judith Domer Distinguished Visiting Lecturer—spoke about leadership and transforming patient care in a changing healthcare landscape. She urged pharmacy students to hit the ground running as a leader. (See related story). “All of us need to engage. We need everyone to own the profession. This is our lives, this is our profession. So when you graduate, that doesn’t end.”

“All of us need to engage. We need everyone to own the profession. This is our lives, this is our profession. When you graduate, that doesn’t end.”

Additional 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.

Bakken Corrigan Brock Towfic
  • "The Power of Professional Relationships"
    • Brianne Bakken, ’15 PharmD, MHA, Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin
    • Melissa Murer Corrigan, BSPharm, Executive Director, AACP Transformation Center
    • Remarks from Tom Temple, ’77 MS, Past VP and CEO of the Iowa Pharmacy Association
  • "Amplify Your Impact"
    • Kelly Brock, ’02 PharmD, Executive Director, Community Pharmacy Foundation
    • Farah Towfic, ’11 PharmD, Director, CEO Operations, US Pharmacopeia

Bakken encouraged students to confidently approach potential mentors. She remembers being a pharmacy student and thinking: " 'Why would all these wonderful people want to talk to me as just a student?' The first thing I would tell you is you're never just anything. Brock stated, "You have no idea how much of a difference you can make in someone's life."

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