Student Pharmacy Honorary Wins Service Award at National Convention

OXFORD, Miss. – Pharmacy students at the University of Mississippi who are members of a national professional pharmacy fraternity dedicated to uniting women pharmacy students have received national recognition for community service.

UM’s Alpha Gamma Chapter of Kappa Epsilon recently received the Spirit of Service award at the 47th Kappa Epsilon National Convention in Indianapolis. The national organization has had a chapter on the Oxford campus since 1962, with present membership at around 70 students.

The award is given to the chapter that best demonstrates exemplary community service. Winner of the highly competitive award is chosen through a series of on-campus visits by national KE officers and reviews of annual reports.

“We were selected because we had more service projects than any other chapter in the United States. It’s something to be proud of,” said Rachel Robinson, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice and director of Drug Information Services. Robinson is the chapter’s faculty adviser.

Alpha Gamma national developed a program four years ago that requires members to participate in a service project each month. UM’s chapter projects include raising money for St. Jude, promoting a canned food drive for the Oxford Pantry and holding a Womanless Beauty Review to benefit the Ronald McDonald House charity.

Terri Johnson, a second-year pharmacy student from Sikeston, Mo., president of Alpha Gamma, was one of three chapter representatives to attend the national convention. She said she was anxious about competing with larger KE chapters.

“We’re a medium-sized chapter, so I was afraid that the bigger chapters have more opportunities to do service projects than we do,” Johnson said. “But winning the award really made me see that we do a lot of good.”

Robinson said she was thrilled when she heard the news that the UM chapter had won.

“This award wasn’t just about shining a light on us; it was about giving back to other people. I applaud all the Alpha Gamma members for that.”

The award shows Alpha Gamma’s dedication to giving back to the community, Johnson said.

“Even though we are in school and we can’t contribute much financially, we can certainly contribute our time and our caring,” she said. “It’s just nice to be able to do that and give back.”

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