LKS spotlights student and alumni members that are making a difference in their chapters, in their communities, and in the field of pharmacy.
Chapter: Phi Alumni Chapter
LKS Award: 2016 Advisor of the Year Award
2017 marks my 40th year in practice, and I plan to retire! For most of that time, I have taught at Butler University and have been a member of the Phi Alumni Chapter. I have attended a few annual conventions as well as some regional meetings. I attend the St Louis convention as a student, and we stayed as 2 alumnae and 2 collegiates. It helped me see the next stages in my life. We also toured the Anheuser Busch Brewery! My last year of school, I attended the Anaheim convention, and then my friend Annette and I flew to Hawaii for a wonderful trip. It is fun for me that some of the collegiates I met at those conventions are still active now as well. Ruth Brown and Patty Kienle Clancy are two examples of those friendships that span 40 years.
Phi Chapter was founded in 1939, and Adele Lowe was one of our founders. When I was initiated into the chapter during my second year of pharmacy school in 1971, Adele was GVP for Alumni. In those days, virtually all schools made trips to Indianapolis for a tour of Eli Lilly. Adele arranged a spaghetti dinner at her house for as many lambs as could make it, and we would discuss all things LKS. I remember that as a time of lots of laughter and of sharing of ideas. It was a way to meet LKS members from across the U.S.
Most memorable LKS experience?
In addition to many dinners at Adele Lowe’s house, I remember service projects, such as having themed parties like an Easter party with children or at a nursing home. I remember a project where we went to a locked unit at the state mental hospital for children, where we discussed schizophrenia and psychosis. It helped us see where the drugs we were studying were used. I also like to think it helped us see the diversity of society as college-age students. Now my chapter does things like make dinner for families at the Ronald McDonald House. Timing and preparing a meal requires a lot of planning and communication, and in the process, a lot of fun happens as well.
What advice would you give to fellow sisters?
Find an area of pharmacy that makes you excited and allows you to wake up each day feeling happy that you are a pharmacist. I have been fortunate to have a career in pharmacy that has been a combination of community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, and teaching pharmacokinetics. I earned my PharmD after my BS Pharmacy degree, and at the time, only 17 programs in the U.S. were in existence. I enjoyed being the pioneer clinical pharmacist in Indianapolis. It allowed me to see how well our discipline works with medicine and nursing. I love teaching and the student interactions. I also enjoy assisting the officers in student organizations as they learn the lessons of leadership and chapter management. I also serve as faculty advisor for ASP-APhA and for the Butler University Community Outreach free clinic serving those underserved and uninsured.
What job would you do if you weren’t a pharmacist?
I would still be in healthcare but probably as a nurse or nurse practitioner. But I have been very happy with pharmacy and would do it again. I especially think that clinical pharmacy with the opportunity to practice in an environment that uses more of our education is just about perfect. I like trying to figure out what is going on in a case, and I like the bedside or community-counter patient education. We have the intellectual satisfaction and mental reward of our profession with a choice of how much after-hours contact we have.
Like many pharmacists, I considered medicine but decided for me the time commitment was more than I wanted. It was important for me to be a real mom. I have two daughters now out of college. I was their Brownie/Girl Scout Troop leader and tried to balance my life as a professor with the role of mom. It is hard to strike a work-life balance. At work, I thought about my kids and home. At home, I thought about all the things at work I had to do. For many years, I wasn’t very sure I was doing a great job at either life. It would not have been possible without a husband who equally shared home-life responsibilities with me.