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photo of rho chi beta omicron members
Members being inducted into the Rho Chi Society Beta Omicron Chapter are shown with, center row, chapter co-advisor Sujit Sansgiry, Boblitt Lecturer and UHCOP Professor Emeritus Thomas Lemke, outgoing Chapter President Katie Williams, and chapter co-advisor Jeffrey Sherer.

Rho Chi Society's Beta Omicron

UH Chapter Inducts 23 Students, Presents Annual Teaching Excellence Awards as Boblitt Lecture Founder Thomas Lemke Returns to College

UH College of Pharmacy's Beta Omicron Chapter of the Rho Chi Society, the national pharmacy honor society, inducted 23 new members into the organization on Sept. 16. The annual induction and dinner followed the chapter's 13th annual Robert L. Boblitt Lecture, which was presented by lecture founder and UHCOP Professor Emeritus Thomas L. Lemke, Ph.D.

2015 Society inductees

Open to professional program and graduate program students within the college, requirements for induction into the society include ranking in the top 20 percent of their class and approval of the current members and dean of the college.

The 2015 inductees were: Marissa Blumenthal, Maggie Chu, Krutina Garcia, Shuaishuai Guo, Nicole Ho, Komal Hooda, Thuy-Duong Lam, Caitlin Le, Hae Sun Lee, Bijal Mehta, Robert Miller, Jared Moore, Caroline Root, Steven Seagroves, Aayna Shamsi, Tiffany Sieben, Lydia Matar Solis, Mary Sun, Guncha Taneja, Shawn Varghese, Chelsea Wong, Amber Wright and Sherien Zaid

The chapter also elected its new officers: Amber Wright, president; Chelsea Wong, vice president; Komal Hooda, secretary; Marissa Blumenthal, treasurer; Nicole Ho, historian; and Robert Miller, Pharmacy Council representative. 

Outgoing Chapter President Katie Williams, a fourth-year Pharm.D. student, said her term was both challenging and rewarding. 

"I probably learned as much about myself as I did about the organization," she said. "Rho Chi is such a wonderful organization; not only am I honored to be a part of it, I am so grateful to have been a part of the leadership of the Beta Omicron Chapter at UH. Our chapter is in good hands with the newly elected officers and I am confident that President Amber Wright and her team will only improve on our chapter more."

To see more photos from the event, view the album on the UHCOP Flickr site

Teaching Awards

The Boblitt lecture also serves as the setting for the Beta Omicron Chapter's annual Teaching Excellence Awards, which are bestowed upon faculty members based on student voting, course evaluations and responses to a questionnaire to identify the faculty member's involvement with students and organizations, publications, presentations and other academic and scholarly activities. 

The 2015 recipients of the Teaching Excellence Awards were: 

  • Marc Fleming, Ph.D., MPH, R.Ph., assistant professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy;
  • Matthew Wanat, Pharm.D., BCPS, clinical assistant professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Translational Research; and 
  • Louis Williams, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

Lifelong Learning

Lemke's lecture, entitled "Looking to Your Past to See Your Future: The Importance of Self-directed Lifelong Learning," encouraged students to develop a personal action plan for how to keep pace with the rapid-fire changes in the areas of drug discovery and developments thanks to advances in technology and fields such as pharmacogenomics.

Lemke also advised students to wisely choose their professional mentors and personal role models, such as the late UHCOP faculty member and administrator Robert Boblitt, for whom the chapter's annual lecture is named. Lemke credited Boblitt as an outstanding and enthusiastic educator who truly cared about students at the college.

Boblitt and his wife even shared babysitting duties with his wife so the child's parents – both pharmacy students – could study and enjoy the occasional social activity with their friends and classmates. Lemke joked that Boblitt probably was recruiting the couple's infant daughter into pharmacy, as the child would enter and graduate from UHCOP some 20 years later. 

photo of rho chi teaching award winners
Rho Chi Teaching Excellence Award winners Marc Fleming, Louis Williams and Matthew Wanat are congratulated by chapter faculty advisors Sujit Sansgiry, far left, and Jeffrey Sherer, far right, and outgoing chapter president Katie Williams.