The St. John’s student chapter of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) won the Best Chapter Award at PHARMSCI 360 on November 3 in San Antonio, TX. The chapter’s success can be attributed to the support from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; the dean’s office and the chair’s office are actively involved in co-organizing events for students, aiding their overall development.
This chapter has grown exponentially since its founding in 2006, with a greater number of annual events focused on student development, social outreach, and career advancement. Members now include students from all disciplines, i.e., industrial pharmacy, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology, along with pharmaceutical administration. This diversity makes the student chapter stand out from the rest.
The AAPS is a professional, scientific organization of approximately 7,000 individual members and more than 10,000 actively participating stakeholders employed in academia, industry, government, and other pharmaceutical science-related research institutes worldwide. AAPS believes in advancing the capacity of pharmaceutical scientists to develop products and therapies that improve global health.
Over the years, student chapter committee members have been very proactive. The main focus is to get students involved in multifaceted events, including scientific seminars; to keep them updated on the current trends in research and technology; to participate in annual symposiums, where they present their work and interact with distinguished personnel from the industry and academia; and to participate in industrial visits, where they can become more familiar with the industrial setting to help them prepare for life after graduation. In keeping with the University’s Vincentian mission, the group also holds social awareness drives to contribute to the local community.
The chapter actively co-organizes the annual Dr. Charles I. Jarowski Symposium in Industrial Pharmacy, which involves speakers from both industry and academia, along with poster and podium presentations. Past presenters have included Samir Mitragotri, Ph.D., and Ajaz S. Hussain, Ph.D.
Another event that is co-organized by the student chapter is the 5-Minute Thesis competition, which is an adaptation of the popular 3-MT. Ten students were selected to present their thesis work in five minutes and scientists from industry and academia were invited as judges.
Winning the best student chapter award is an exceptional achievement for the team as it not only motivates students to increase their participation and engagement, but also aids their overall development as pharmaceutical scientists.