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Group photo of UH's Kappa Psi memebers.
UHCOP Kappa Psi Delta Delta Chapter members are joined by faculty advisor Louis Williams and Kappa Psi Houston Grad Chapter alumni at the 2017 Spring Southwest Province meeting.

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UHCOP's Kappa Psi Chapter Wins Regional Chapter of Year Award for Second Year in a Row

After a year of dedicated efforts to serve the Houston community, UH College of Pharmacy's Delta Delta Chapter of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity brought back Chapter of the Year honors for the second year in row – among several new awards – at this year’s Spring Southwest Province meeting Feb. 24-26 in San Antonio.

Chapter of the Year is awarded to the chapter that demonstrates leadership and service across various categories, such as social and brotherhood events, professional projects, fundraising and community involvement, during the past 12 months.

During the 2016-17 year, the chapter members participated in the Mayor’s Back to School Fest, where they provided blood pressure and blood glucose screenings and educated attendees on how to lead healthier lifestyles.

Delta Delta's participation in the annual event held at UH also earned it the 99 Hands Award, which recognizes the chapter with the most successful community service project or event. Chapters are judged on how the project or event advances the pharmacy profession and the number of members who were involved.

student and faculty advisor
Faculty advisor Louis Williams, Ph.D., and Chapter Regent Rodrigo DeLaTorre display Delta Delta's Chapter of the Year Award certificate.

Other chapter's activities included monthly volunteering to pack groceries at the Houston Food Bank and organizing a bone marrow drive in which 67 prospective match donors – a Southwest Province high – were registered.

Chapter Regent and third-year Pharm.D. student Rodrigo DeLaTorre recognizes that the chapter’s accomplishments are admirable, however, he and the rest of his chapter are sure to always focus on the bigger picture.

"These awards serve two purposes: It's recognition for all of the sacrifice and hard work that we put in to the year ... and it lets us know that we cannot be complacent, because of all of the people we can affect through our interactions," DeLaTorre said.

The chapter also took home the Man Mile Award for having the most members representing their chapter at the conference with 56 members.

Following the chapter awards, third-year Pharm.D. student and Vice Regent Edwin Ng won the One For All Award, which recognizes a member for "good deeds and involvement in the fraternity" and includes a $250 scholarship.

As a third-year student, Ng spends most of his time at the college's Texas Medical Center Campus Building for class, but he always manages to make time to come to the college's building at the UH campus for the first-and second-year Kappa Psi members who need his assistance.

Going the extra mile in exemplifying the fraternity’s core ideals in regards to fellowship, helped the organization run smoothly.

"I just worked hard to be there," Ng said. "I’m focused on staying committed to everyone and for everyone."

Kappa Psi officers
Newly elected Southwest Province officers secretary Rohan Dwivedi and treasurer Serenity Gracia.

It was that dedication that inspired Serenity Gracia, a second-year Pharm.D. student, to pursue a regional office and win the election for treasurer of the Southwest Province.

"I think that the driving force to make me run for this position is because everyone in the chapter is always encouraging me to do my best and telling me to go for it," Gracia said.

Rohan Dwivedi, a second-year Pharm.D. student and chapter regent-elect, will also be working alongside Gracia as the Southwest Province’s secretary.

"I think it’s really impressive to have multiple people from the same chapter serving on the board because it really shows a commitment to pharmacy profession and fraternity," Dwivedi said. "It’s a privilege and an honor to serve the region in this capacity."

Students weren't the only ones to find success at the Southwest Province meeting, as 2015 UHCOP alumna and Houston Walgreens pharmacist Erin Chartier was elected Province Satrap (president). 

-- by Ameena Rasheed