Alumni Leadership Forum Elective Highlights Diverse Career Paths
Published on 02 April 2021
University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis offers a unique opportunity for alumni and professional students to build connections through its Alumni Leadership Forum Elective course. The course features alumni guest speakers who have built successful careers in various sectors of the pharmacy profession, including the pharmaceutical industry, higher education, health care organizations, business and entrepreneurial markets and public service organizations.
“One thing we hear from our alumni is that they wish they’d learned more about the diversity of career paths that a UHSP degree can offer,” explained Stephanie Mauzy, director of alumni relations. “Our alumni have enjoyed professional success inside and outside of health care, and they credit the foundation of their UHSP education as a key stepping stone to their many career accomplishments.”
The elective is hosted during the spring semester, and each week, the University welcomes guest alumni who speak to students in their second (P2) and third year (P3) of the professional program. Students participate in a question and answer session following the presentation.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s classes have met virtually.
“Before COVID-19, alumni might stay and have lunch with students after the class, which was a great opportunity for networking,” Mauzy explained. “Although we look forward to hosting alumni in person again in the future, the change to a virtual format has provided an opportunity for us to broaden our outreach to include speakers from across the U.S.”
Students are graded on their ability to present themselves professionally during the presentations, and the course’s emphasis on professionalism is designed to help students prepare for their future interviews and careers.
“The students have really impressed our alumni with their knowledge and insights related to health care during the question and answer sessions,” Mauzy explained. “The presentations feel more like a discussion or networking event than a traditional class, which is a valuable experience for our students.”
The 2021 spring session has featured alumni whose graduation years range from 1977-2018. The speakers’ range of ages, experience levels and professional fields highlight the variety and scope of career possibilities that a UHSP education can provide. Additionally, the course offers alumni a chance to reconnect with the University and learn about its new programs.
“When we were meeting in person, alumni enjoyed touring the campus and even stopping by to say hello to a favorite teacher,” Mauzy stated. “They are always excited to see how much the campus has changed and yet how the small-community feeling has endured.”
Since its kickoff in 2020, the course has become a student favorite, and students and alumni both appreciate the experience and new connections they’re able to make as part of the course.
This semester’s lineup of distinguished speakers include the following alumni:
- William Bailey, B.S. '89, Pharm.D. '90, vice president of medical and scientific affairs, research and development, Helsinn Therapeutics
- Carla Barrett, B.S. '92, Pharm.D. '93, senior director of pharmacovigilance risk management, Pharmaceutical Research Associates
- Taylor Bradshaw, Pharm.D. '10, director of payer marketing, AbbVie
- Kevin Colgan, B.A. ’77, MA, FASHP vice president and chief pharmacy officer, University of Chicago Medical Center
- Stuart Gethner, B.S. '87, managing partner, Dobson Property Management, LLC
- Paul Hale, B.S. '81, global medical affairs (retired)
- Patrick Harper, Pharm.D. '10, commander and pharmacy officer, U.S. Public Health Service
- Lan Ho, Pharm.D. '18, entrepreneur, Fat Miilk, Yiup Brand
- Don Huonker, B.S. '83, health care executive and health care information technology (retired)
- Jaimin Patel, Pharm.D. '13, senior advisor, product innovation, CVS Health
- Sonali Shah, Pharm.D. '15, senior management consultant, Deloitte
- Thomas Smith '93, Pharm.D. '94, dean of pharmacy and health sciences, Manchester University
Alumni engagement supports the growth and well-being of the University and alumni community and ensures the longevity of our historic institution. Click here to learn more.