OXFORD, Miss. – Lauren Lyles, a second-year professional pharmacy student at the University of Mississippi, has been selected for two prestigious opportunities with the National Community Pharmacists Association.
The Jackson native recently learned that she was designated to serve on the NCPA Student Leadership Council and was also chosen to fill the organization’s summer internship.
“I am truly honored and humbled by both of these opportunities,” Lyles said. “It’s a great feeling, and I am most excited about having a chance to impact pharmacy on a national level.”
The council represents all pharmacy student members of NCPA. As a member, Lyles will serve as a regional representative contact for student chapters.
“This entails communicating to chapters in my given region on a monthly basis, providing feedback to these chapters and reporting information to the NCPA Department of Student Affairs,” she said.
In addition, Lyles will help compile end-of-the-year chapter reports to help determine the Chapter of the Year. She will also travel to various pharmacy schools to present information on community pharmacy and NCPA.
Sponsored by the NCPA Foundation, the summer internship is a 10-week commitment spent at the organization’s headquarters in Alexandria, Va. The goals of the internship are to provide the intern with awareness of independent pharmacy practice opportunities and to demonstrate the importance of the national association to the profession.
Lyles was the only student nationwide to be selected for the internship. Similarly, she was among only a handful of students designated for the national council. She applied for the positions as secretary of UM’s NCPA chapter.
“I hope to offer creative and innovative ideas in both of these roles,” Lyles said. “I am most excited about learning more about legislative actions. It is my goal to encourage and support the significance of political advocacy among all student members.”
Lyles is a perfect fit for these positions, said Donna West-Strum, chair of the pharmacy administration department and NCPA chapter adviser.
“Lauren will contribute significantly to the leadership council and will undoubtedly learn a great deal from the summer internship,” West-Strum said. “She is passionate about community pharmacy and advocating for the profession. The internship and council will provide venues for her to share her ideas and make a difference.”
Lyles will begin her council duties in mid-April and her internship in June. She said that it is “vital” for students to participate in organizations such as NCPA and that she would like to get more students involved in community pharmacy and leadership roles.
“There are so many avenues and opportunities in pharmacy, and I think we should take advantage of them and continue to pave a way for the pharmacy profession,” she said. “Throughout this process, I hope to enhance my communication skills, planning skills, project implementation skills, leadership skills and community service.”