The Chrysanthemum

Student Spotlight: Meet Alyssa Santos!

LKS spotlights student and alumni members that are making a difference in their chapters, in their communities, and in the field of pharmacy.
Tell us about yourself:
I am in my second professional year at the University of Connecticut and am the current Treasurer of Alpha Beta chapter. During my P1 year, I served as the Professional Committee head and led the Women’s Health Initiative on skin cancer awareness when I was a sophomore. I joined the fall semester of my freshman year. I work as a pharmacy intern at CVS Pharmacy between my home store in Texas and my store near campus. At school, I am a part of the Urban Service Track, which works with students from other disciplines to provide primary care services to underserved, urban communities throughout Connecticut. In between classes, I also work in a biochemistry lab to study the structure and function of Cytochrome P450 enzymes. In my free time, I like to sing, travel, hike, and spend time with friends and family.
I joined LKS because:
When I was a freshman, I wanted to be involved in a pharmacy organization. At the time, I was indecisive about which to join. One of the mentors in my First Year Experience class was Chelsea McDonnell, the Membership Educator at the time. In a presentation on pharmacy organizations, she shared the events that LKS holds. I was immediately sold and joined that semester. I was drawn to the professional and social aspects that this organization seemed to balance. The older sisters proved to be role models who were always eager to answer my questions, and I have made lasting friendships that continue to support me throughout pharmacy school.
My most memorable LKS experience:
One of my favorite experiences in LKS was when I hosted Hygeia Day on the Opioid Epidemic. LKS gives opportunities for its members to take on leadership roles, and I was excited to be able to organize this public event that promotes the advancement of the pharmacy profession. I knew that addressing this topic would show pharmacy students how we can become a part of the solution. Our chapter was fortunate enough to have two guest speakers:  a retail pharmacist and an advocate who had previously battled an opioid use disorder. Their experiences made us aware of two different perspectives: that of the patient and that of the healthcare provider. In that moment, I was especially proud to be a member of LKS because it encourages students to become leaders with open minds. 
Career plans:
I am currently unsure of which field of pharmacy I would like to get into, but I like that this profession offers opportunities in many areas. Right now, I do enjoy working in a clinical interdisciplinary team, but I also appreciate the approach from a drug development perspective. I am eager to go on APPE rotations during my P4 year to help me narrow down my interests.
Erin RogalaStudent Spotlight: Meet Alyssa Santos!