Students Take on Significant Leadership Roles

Published on 01 December 2013

Leadership—it’s a word synonymous with St. Louis College of Pharmacy, where students are prepared to become the pharmacy leaders of tomorrow on a daily basis.

Within the past year, two STLCOP students have become exemplary leaders in very different ways. Fifth-year student Dainielle Fox (pictured on the left) and third-year student Samantha Bryant (right) have taken on significant leadership roles in the pharmacy and health care communities.

Fox was named president-elect of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) in July, and she will become president in January. SNPhA has 81 student chapters and approximately 4,000 members. She began her ascension to president-elect the day she set foot on campus. 

As a graduate of Truman State University going into her first professional year at STLCOP, Fox was one of 50 students to transfer to the College at the start of the 2011-12 school year.

To better fit in with their new classmates, these transfer students, including Fox, began to look at student organizations they could join. Many students settled on SNPhA, an organization that had been struggling on campus, but that was well respected at other pharmacy schools around the country.

“We decided that SNPhA was something we were passionate about,” she says.

The group set out to revive SNPhA, with Fox taking a lead role as secretary before taking over as president in fall 2012. She says she “fell in love” with SNPhA and its mission to help the underserved.

In her time as president of the STLCOP chapter, Fox has helped double student membership. She also played a key role in the chapter winning a $2,500 grant from Walmart through the Prescription for Service Competition. The group used the money to create a mobile service initiative in April to provide tests for blood pressure and blood glucose and review medication for free across St. Louis.

All the while, Fox was preparing to run for president of SNPhA. Kim Simmons, Pharm.D., MBA, assistant vice president of diversity and inclusion at the College, helped her plan a campaign leading up to the organization’s annual meeting. Simmons scheduled phone conferences for Fox, helped her develop a curriculum vitae (CV), and accompanied her to regional SNPhA conferences.

The hard work paid off. “I love being a leader because it provides me with an opportunity to help develop all of the people around me,” Fox says. “It’s all about giving back.”

A member of the track and field team at the College, Bryant is also giving back to the community. She was one of 14 student-athletes from across the country selected to attend the Red Cross/National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Collegiate Leadership Program in Washington, D.C., this past June. There, Bryant took part in professional leadership training. “The whole experience was life changing,” she says.

Bryant decided to apply for the program after seeing the profound impact donating blood had on her younger brother, who has twice been diagnosed with childhood leukemia and survived thanks to blood transfusions. “I just feel like I need to give back,” she says.

Now, she is taking the lessons she learned from the leadership program and applying them. Bryant met with Scott Caswell, chief executive officer of the Greater St. Louis Region Red Cross, in October and was asked to sit on the chapter’s board of directors. She is the only student pharmacist on the board. Bryant has also helped organize Kappa Psi’s campus blood drives.

Upon graduating, she wants to pursue a career in oncology pharmacy. “I have a personal connection with cancer, and I’ve seen how medicine helps people,” she says. “To me, pharmacy is giving back to so many people who gave to me.”

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