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photo of PLS chapter officers
Past and current chapter officers are, front row, Tara Molina, Kay Yindeemark, Christine Verduzco, Tiffany Han and Rachel Eppinette; and, back row, Daniel Nguyen, Tony Ohonba, Faizan Sattar and Rene Banzuelo. Not pictured is Tam Nguyen.

National Chapter of the Year

UH Upsilon Chapter Named National Phi Lambda Sigma Chapter of the Year at PLS 50th Anniversary Celebration and Meeting

The UH College of Pharmacy's Upsilon Chapter was named the Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society's National Chapter of the Year at the organization's 50th anniversary celebration and national meeting March 28 in San Diego.

The award recognizes chapters based on their projects and activities from the previous academic year. The Upsilon chapter's 2013-14 activities included a range of newly created and annual workshops, exercises, presentations and lectures, and other events designed to promote leadership development through public speaking and communication, team-building, problem-solving, networking, professional advocacy, time management, e-professionalism, and emotional intelligence. 

Among these events were the PLS Leadership Challenge, which drew more than 65 students and pharmacists to work through problem-solving scenarios on such topics as making recommendations unpopular with the team and running an organization in need of change, and the PLS James T. McCarty Leadership Lecture, which welcomed former Texas State Representative The Honorable Charles L. "Chuck" Hopson, R.Ph., who shared humorous and inspiring stories in his lecture "Things My Mother Never Told Me About Pharmacy."

The chapter also implemented a variety of new activities mixing levity and gravity to promote leadership and professional development. For example, at the inaugural Public Speaking Workshop, students were challenged to speak on an impromptu subject and be scored on the number of "umms" during the presentation and "create" a new drug and present the indication, side effects and daily dosing in a "You're the Expert" game. During the P1 Orientation, blind-folded students were guided through a balloon "obstacle course" only by a team leader's vocal directions.    

"Our chapter has a great foundation built by student leaders over the past years that continues to serve the college of pharmacy," said Pharm.D. candidate Tara Molina, who served as chapter president during the 2013-14 academic year. "Every year, we are challenged to take our chapter's impact a step further and bring our peers new events which will benefit them in preparing to become successful professionals. The introduction of a public speaking workshop, an interview skills workshop, and the interactive approach to our P1 Leadership convocation have ensured our chapter continues striving to meet the needs of the students at the college. Feedback from the students, and creative contributions and time commitment from members will continue to make the Upsilon Chapter succeed."

Current Chapter President Kathaleya "Kay" Yindeemark, a third-year Pharm.D. student, credited the hard work of the entire chapter and its support network for helping the chapter gain national recognition. 

"Being a member of Phi Lambda Sigma's Upsilon chapter has given me the opportunity to work with students and pharmacists who are highly motivated and passionate about seeing our profession grow," Yindeemark said. "Our members have strongly supported the national goals of PLS through leadership enhancement and promotion. With the support of local pharmacists, as well as faculty and staff, the Upsilon chapter has been able to go above and beyond in providing opportunities for personal and professional growth and skill development." 

Chartered in 1988, the UH has the distinction of being the only PLS chapter with five alumni who have served as National Presidents of the organization: Keith Lewis, James T. McCarty, Lynn Simpson, May J. Woo and Shara L. Zatopek.