Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Leadership happens at every level. That was the overarching theme at the April 29 Zada Cooper Leadership Symposium, held at and put on by the University of Iowa (UI) College of Pharmacy. More than 100 students, faculty, alumni, and others attended the professional-development event to network and learn from nine different speakers.

Elizabeth Farrington Speaking at Zada Event
Elizabeth Farrington

Pediatric pharmacist Elizabeth Farrington, PharmD, of New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, was the Domer Distinguished Visiting Lecturer and delivered the keynote address titled “Servant Leadership, Working Your Way Up.” The lectureship was established by Floyd (’54 BSPh, ’56 MS) and Judith Domer and supports the College’s mission by inviting leading experts to speak on specialties, including pharmacy policy, pharmaceutical discovery, leadership development, and entrepreneurship.

Early Engagement
Farrington discussed how developing leadership skills begins early and encouraged audience members to try new things and pursue leadership opportunities through volunteer involvement.

“If something is important enough to you, you need to be willing to make it happen,” she said.

She went on to emphasize the benefits of volunteering, including networking, professional growth and development, and giving back to the profession. Farrington pointed out that being a leader also means inspiring teamwork and being a good team player involves knowing your own weaknesses and surrounding yourself with colleagues of different strengths.

“A leader pulls individuals together and makes them achieve the goals that they want to,” she said.

Email Stress and Mental Chatter
Susan Johnson, MD, MS, of Thriving Amidst Chaos, led a session about email management. She told attendees to mitigate distractions by establishing times to check email and using a triage and folders system.

2023 Zada Panelists
Left to Right: Guadalupe Chavez, Christine Lawson, Nicole Therrien, and Bibiana Ruiz Granado.

“Impostors, Pretenders, and Perfectionists – Oh My” featured Kate Cozart, MEd, PharmD, from Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, and Lisa Buss Preszler, PharmD, with Mayo Clinic – Arizona. They identified five dysfunctions of Impostor Syndrome and inspired the audience to create a personal action plan to combat it, such as identifying a mentor and creating a more positive soundtrack for the messaging our brain gives us about ourselves. One resource shared by the presenters, “How Do I Know Which Type of Imposter Syndrome I Have?” can be found at https://www.grammarly.com/blog/imposter-syndrome-quiz/.

Rounding out the day was a special panel discussion, “Lead from Where You Are,” involving five College alumni:

Kelly Hoenig, ‘04 PharmD – UI Hospitals & Clinics (UIHC)

Guadalupe Chavez, ‘21 PharmD – University of Utah Health, PGY2 Ambulatory Care Pharmacy resident
Christine Lawson, ‘21 PharmD – UIHC PGY2 Emergency Medicine Pharmacy resident
Bibiana Ruiz Granado, ‘21 PharmD – Iowa City VA Health Care System
Nicole Therrien, ‘20 PharmD, MPH – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The panelists shared their leadership journeys and took questions from the audience, covering many topics.

Student Awards
Four individuals received Zada Cooper Student Leadership Awards. The accolade recognizes those who have contributed significantly, through the breadth and depth of their leadership, to the College. Honorees were:

2023 Zada Student Leadership Awardees and the Dean
Left to right:  Sanjib Saha, Valeria Cota, Emily Gajda, and Emily Paulus.

Valeria Cota, a PhD student in an interdisciplinary program with an emphasis in Human Toxicology. Cota was nominated by Associate Professor Nicole Brogden, who stated, “I can say without reservation that Valeria is one of the most talented and passionate graduate students I have ever worked with.”

Emily Gajda, ’23 PharmD. “Emily is a servant leader in her numerous leadership roles at the College,” said Associate Dean Susan Vos. “She led our College during a difficult time of transitions during the pandemic.”

Emily Paulus, ’23 PharmD. Clinical Associate Professor Jeanine Abrons praised Paulus as a “standout student that I associate with hard work, pride in anything she undertakes, and leadership with integrity.”

Sanjib Saha, a ‘23 PhD graduate in pharmaceutics. Saha’s advisor, Bighley Chair and Professor Aliasger Salem, commented, “Sanjib is not only an excellent leader but also an inspiring mentor to many students. He has offered support and invaluable guidance to many fellow students and helped them grow professionally and academically to become future leaders.”

The annual symposium honors Zada Mary Cooper (1875-1961), who graduated from the UI College of Pharmacy in 1897 and continued as a faculty member until 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 AACP from 1922-42.

See more event photos at https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAD1Ji.