Student Pursues Global Leadership Opportunities

Published on 31 January 2020

Expanding on her career aspirations and interest in global health, St. Louis College of Pharmacy P3 student Nicole Savant will serve as the 2020 Young Pharmacists Group (YPG) Liaison to the New Generation of Pharmaceutical Scientists special interest group within the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP).

Representing over 4 million pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmaceutical educators around the world, FIP works to support global health by enabling the advancement of pharmaceutical practice, sciences and education.

The Board of Pharmaceutical Practice and Board of Pharmaceutical Sciences make up the two main divisions of the organization with multiple sections, special interest groups and smaller working groups within each. The Young Pharmacist Group that Savant will serve with collectively represents the entire network of young pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists within both sides of FIP.

Serving as the first Young Pharmacist Group liaison to the New Generation of Pharmaceutical Scientists special interest group, Savant will help promote the initiatives of both boards and facilitate collaboration between the two.

“Young pharmaceutical scientists represent the future of drug discovery and practice innovation, so an initiative within the Young Pharmacists Group, and FIP as a whole, is to better unite those groups,” Savant explained. “We are talking about doing some collaborative research projects and working to further connect the pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences sides of the organization.”

Savant credits her participation in FIP to leadership at the College. She first learned about the organization from John A. Pieper, Pharm.D., FCCP, FAPhA, president of the College and president of the FIP Academic Pharmacy Section, who encouraged her to get involved.

“I had heard Dr. Pieper was named a section head of FIP but didn’t know much about the organization, so I asked him to tell me more,” Savant stated. “He was very willing to share what he knew with me, and I thought it sounded like a unique organization to get involved in.”

Following her conversation with Dr. Pieper, Savant joined the organization. Soon after, FIP announced a call for abstract submissions for the 2019 World Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and Savant jumped at the opportunity.

She approached her research mentor, Scott Griggs, Pharm.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacy administration and assistant director of the Center for Outcomes Research and Education, about submitting results from the research project they were working on focused on the pharmacist’s role in transitions of care interventions in long-term care.

The research project was accepted, providing Savant with the chance to attend the 2019 FIP World Congress, and once she arrived, she was hooked.

“It was amazing to speak with pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacists from all over the globe about the work they were doing and how we could integrate it in the U.S.,” Savant stated.

When the opportunity to become more involved in the organization presented itself, Savant knew it was something she wanted to pursue. She discussed the opportunity with another College leader involved in FIP, Giovanni Pauletti, M.Pharm., Ph.D., Gustavus and Henry Pfeiffer Endowed Chair in Pharmacy, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences, and FIP Scientific Secretary, who helped solidify her decision.

“Engagement within the global health community really promotes learning through exposure, which is a great training opportunity for students,” Pauletti said. “It broadens someone’s horizons and helps them to implement new ideas in their local community.”

Savant’s past experiences in global health along with her willingness to expose herself to new experiences eventually led to her current position as a YPG liaison.

During her year-long term as the FIP Young Pharmacists Group Liaison to the New Generation of Pharmaceutical Scientists special interest group, Savant will have the opportunity to travel to the FIP Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress in Montreal, Canada in May, as well as the annual World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Seville, Spain in September.

Already serving on the Media and Publications Subcommittee for the Pan American Regional Office of the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation, the largest representative body of pharmacy students, Savant looks forward to what the coming year holds and the chance to work with peers across the world.

“I feel extremely honored and excited to work with both incredible organizations,” Savant stated. “It is amazing to have the opportunity to connect with young people close to my age that I could potentially be working with the rest of my career.”

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