The Chrysanthemum

Student Spotlight: Meet Natalie Brikho!

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: (school, chapter, work, hobbies, LKS activities, meetings attended, career plans)

One fact that many people don’t know about me, is that I am a first-generation college student and the first in my family to pursue higher education.  Before deciding to pursue pharmacy, I wanted to make a career out of my first love and main hobby, cooking.  I was in a culinary program before realizing that I wanted more and needed to challenge myself.  Fast forward 5 years and I’m now a PharmD candidate and proud member of Professional Fraternity whose mission is to elevate women in pharmacy.

While still exploring areas of pharmacy I’d like to practice in, in the future, I’ve taken on an internship with CVS and another through Henry Ford Health System Ambulatory Care services practicing in the Outpatient Hemodialysis (HD) Center.  I am unbelievably grateful for the opportunities I’ve had through my internships these past years. My experience as an intern at the outpatient HD center has especially been a unique one at that. I have the chance to work with a team of nephrologists, dieticians, social workers and a pharmacist to provide the best quality care for our patients.  If possible, I’d recommend that all sisters sought out an internship.

Which of our core values (sisterhood, leadership, service, scholarship and integrity) do you feel you most strongly represent and how?

I’m often asked by non-Greek life individuals, “why would you join a fraternity?” The answer to that was simple. We tend to flock to people who feel like home. The LKS core value I identify with most would be sisterhood. I believe that a strong sisterhood is built on honesty and transparency as well as providing mutual support and accountability.  For instance, even if at times I don’t always support my sister’s situation, I will always support her because I respect her as a person and value our friendship.  I personally think that respect and love are mutual. Through open conversations and sharing truthful opinions, I am able to be vulnerable and in turn, create a safe place for our friendship to grow.

What pharmacy or LKS related events are you looking forward to in this upcoming year?

For the past two years, members of our executive board have organized a sisterhood retreat to kick off the start of our Winter semester! It’s such a great way to bring all of our sisters together after having been apart because of the holiday break.  During our retreat, my sisters and I get to unwind and share any anxieties about the start of the semester and reminisce on memories we’ve made over the years together.  Each year, our social chair comes up with activities for our chapter members. In the past, we’ve played games such as mafia and murder mystery.  What’s great about these activities is that we often see sisters who are usually shy and timid, step out of their shells and lead their group!

What is your favorite Fraternity/school tradition?

I belong to the Omicron Chapter at Wayne State University. I was initiated into this wonderful fraternity in November of 2016.  Since then, my most cherished tradition is our sacred initiation ceremony.  It is at this ceremony that each member, both new and returning renew their vows to the fraternity and field of pharmacy. After each ceremony that I’ve either lead as president of my chapter or as a general member attending, I’ve felt a renewed sense of purpose and reminder of why I joined this fraternity. Each year, Omicron Chapter has hosted our LKS initiation ceremony at the Detroit Yacht club thanks to our generous LKS alumni members who’ve allowed us to utilize their membership.  The Detroit Yacht Club is truly magical around this time of year.  Moreover, while attending the 2019 LKS convention in Milwaukee, I had the chance to witness grand council initiate a new graduate into an LKS Alumni Chapter! Its moments like these I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Who do you see as your role model in LKS and why? 

I find it difficult to pinpoint just one role model in LKS.  Through my interactions with sisters from chapters across the country to very own chapter in Detroit, I’ve taken qualities from each sister along the way. Whether it be the entrepreneur spirit of sisters like Elicia Rae to my wonderful faculty advisor and life coach, Mary Beth O’Connell, LKS women have paved the way for generations of women to be strong and successful both in their personal and professional lives. I admire the older generation of lambs who continuously support women in pharmacy and attend conventions as often as their schedules allow.

What makes you excited to be a ‘lamb for life?’ 

I am thrilled to be a lamb for life! From the leadership skills I’ve gained through LKS, I can apply them to all areas of my life. Having joined LKS allows me to continuously give back to my sisters, both current and future ones through precepting and informal mentorship. I am able to connect with lambs from all over the world. Being a lamb for life gives me the platform to help other students and lambs in pharmacy for years to come.

Erin RogalaStudent Spotlight: Meet Natalie Brikho!