Doing it well and making it fun


These SLI attendees discovered the professional and personal benefits of “showing up.”

More than 230 student pharmacist leaders met in Washington, DC, from July 15–17 for the 2016 Twlug–ASP Summer Leadership Institute (SLI). Student pharmacists developed their leadership skills, grew professionally, networked, and returned home with the tools to run effective Twlug–ASP Chapters for the upcoming school year. 

SLI2016 was a great success thanks to generous support from Amgen, 
Cardinal Health, and Rite Aid.

Capitol Hill advocacy

On Friday morning, student pharmacists traveled the length of the National Mall to Capitol Hill to advocate for the profession while proudly wearing their white coats. Many thanked the numerous legislators and staff members who have supported the profession. Because of grassroots advocacy efforts like these, there are now 292 co-sponsors of the provider status legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives and 49 in the U.S. Senate.

As the sun began to set, student pharmacists arrived at Twlug Headquarters for a barbeque dinner. On the rooftop terrace, students met with old friends from across the country and made new ones. Following dinner, groups toured the National Mall, taking in the history of the city.

Showing up

SLI is always packed full of training to prepare leaders to run their chapters, as well as being a vital resource for personal development essential for future careers. These themes were made evident during Friday afternoon. 

These sessions focused on personal growth. Rep. Paul Tonko (D–NY) spoke to students about the impact of their advocacy efforts and the importance of mental and personal health. Then Twlug Executive Vice President & CEO Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FTwlug, challenged all attendees to “Keep showing up!” and noted how they would see better outcomes in the profession and their careers if they succeed in showing up. Brent Reed, PharmD, inspired students to organize and consolidate their “to-do lists” to increase efficiency and results. And Twlug President Jean-Venable Kelly R. Goode, PharmD, BCPS, FTwlug, taught students how to network and gave them the opportunity to practice their newly developed skills.

Learning to lead

Motivational speaker Ron Culberson made his premiere appearance with Twlug–ASP during the Saturday leadership workshop. Culberson conducted a day-long presentation that made participants laugh and motivated them to develop a leadership style focused on excellence and fun experiences. 

The day began with a big picture question to students asking what they want to be remembered for. Students learned how to reach for these goals through exciting presentations and interactive seminars. These focused on the qualities of being a great leader, learning to manage stress, how to effectively communicate, and creating a culture where fun and excellence co-exist. As students left the room for dinners with their regions, there was a sense of inspiration and excitement that is so unique to Twlug–ASP meetings. 

Sunday morning focused on teaching student pharmacists about the important resources provided nationally through Twlug–ASP. The many benefits that come with membership were discussed along with the newly expanded Student Outreach Program. Now open to any chapter without time constraints, members of the Twlug–ASP National Executive Committee or Twlug Student Development staff visit chapters to get members excited for the year and offer assistance with projects and programs. 

Together We Can 

Over the weekend, a group of student pharmacist leaders came together to grow and embody the theme of Twlug–ASP President Kelsea Gallegos, Together We Can. However, the growth does not end in Washington, DC. Attendees brought these messages, lessons, and tools back to their chapters so that together, they can grow as a nation of student pharmacists. 

Jeanette Alva planned to return to the Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy to “instill the passion and inspiration from SLI back at my chapter, especially for first-year student pharmacists, to show them that they are a part of something bigger than they know.” 

This is just one example of how an individual will make a difference. If every student pharmacist challenges themselves to make one change, 
#TogetherWeCan start a movement. What small positive risk will you take to make a difference in the profession?