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Cougars Prowl the Capitol 

UHCOP Students Engage in Leadership Development, Capitol Hill Visits at APhA-ASP Institute in Washington, D.C.

Three UH College of Pharmacy Pharm.D. student leaders – Katrina Watson, Hannah Chan and Amy Kiley – got an extra dose of leadership development and effective advocacy training as participants in the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Summer Leadership Institute July 17-19 in Washington, D.C.

photo of SLI participants
UHCOP students Amy Kiley, far left, and Hannah Chan, second from left, are joined by students from other Texas pharmacy schools on their visit to Capitol Hill.

Institute attendees are "challenged to identify their leadership style, discuss team-building strategies, develop communication skills, and receive updates on APhA-ASP activities" through workshops, roundtable discussions and other programs. An annual APhA event, the Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) also encourages participants to engage with members of their state's Congressional delegation on issues of importance to the pharmacy profession. In addition, students have the opportunity to tour the APhA-ASP headquarters and National Mall.

Kiley said the program provided her with abundant ideas to help implement initiatives at the local level.

"One of my goals as a Patient Care vice president is to increase collaboration with other pharmacy students and interprofessional students," Kiley said. "SLI allowed me to meet APhA-ASP leaders from across the nation, especially within my own region. I hope this networking opportunity will lead to future collaborations."

Chan, who serves as 2016-17 chapter president-elect, said she especially enjoyed the Capitol Hill visit.

"It was my first hill visit, and I was able to learn a lot about advocating and the process of how our voices get heard," Chan said. "I would definitely recommend student pharmacists to experience a visit whenever they get a chance. It's a great opportunity to be involved outside of the local setting, and it makes you more aware of what might be happening in your future as a pharmacist."

Making her second trip to D.C., UHCOP APhA-ASP Chapter President Watson said the SLI is her favorite meeting of the national organization.

"This meeting we learned a lot of valuable lessons such as how to make meetings and presentations more fun," Watson said. "I am excited to bring this back to my chapter. I also enjoyed the networking, it is great to see my friends that I have met over the past two years. APhA-ASP is heading in a great direction this year and I cannot wait to see what all the leaders I meet do for the profession."