My name is Kathleen Horan, and I am a P3 student at St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. I joined the Alpha Pi chapter of Lambda Kappa Sigma in Fall 2016. I served as the Professional Affairs Chair of our chapter in the 2017-18 school year, and I am serving as president of our chapter this year. As professional affairs chair, I worked to hold events that sisters displayed interest in, such as a presentation about autism spectrum disorders and an event where Alpha Pi alumni came back to share their career journeys with us. I also worked to align my personal interests with the events I planned. I am very interested in mental health and food allergy awareness, so I planned a campus connect suicide/ crisis situation training as well as an event where we educated students about food allergies and EpiPen use. As president, my main goals are to improve alumni communication with our chapter, and to work with LKS Headquarters to update Alpha Pi’s online information so that we can run as efficiently as possible.
I did not join LKS until my third year of pharmacy school because I spent the first three years of my college career involved in non-pharmacy-related organizations at St. John’s University. I was drawn to St. John’s University because of its strong campus ministry program and dedication to Vincentian service. I was a member of the Catholic Scholars program, which is a scholarship program dedicated to shaping a community of leaders in the Roman Catholic Church. Through this program, I was able to grow in community with 25 other students, teach as a catechist in a religious education program, lead retreats, and participate in group spiritual direction. I was also selected to participate in two service trips, one in Niagara, NY, and one in Macon, GA. I also worked with Student Government, Inc. to restart Irish Society, an organization that had disassociated due to lack of leadership. I served as the founding president, and through the four years Irish Society has been active, it has grown to an organization with over forty active members. These opportunities early in my academic career helped me to grow into a well-rounded person, a strong leader, and a good candidate for LKS when I chose to join in my third year.
I decided to join LKS because I wanted to connect with like-minded, professional women in pharmacy. My mom is a community pharmacist, but I was not sure if community is the path I wanted to choose, and I did not have much guidance for my future career other than my mom. I hoped that I would find sisters who could serve as role models and give me advice for the rest of school and for my professional life. Quite frankly, I also wanted friends. As a commuter student with mostly friends from other majors, I needed people who understood the joys and the struggles of pharmacy school. My other organizations brought me communities and friendship, but I did not find a family at St. John’s until I joined LKS.
Professionally, I worked at an independent community pharmacy for the first four years of pharmacy school. During my fourth year IPPE rotation at NYU Winthrop Hospital, I shadowed Dr. Megan Czuba, who is a pharmacist in the Emergency Department. (Dr. Czuba is an amazing pharmacist, and she is also an alumni sister from the Alpha Beta chapter at UConn!) This IPPE rotation led me to realize that I want to pursue clinical pharmacy, so the summer after my fourth year, I worked at an internship at the SUNY Stony Brook World Trade Center Health Program under the guidance of two clinical pharmacists. (One of the pharmacists and my co-intern were also LKS sisters from the Xi chapter at URI.) The internship took place at an ambulatory care clinic that serves first responders to the World Trade Center attacks. I was able to perform medication reconciliations, sit in on smoking cessation appointments performed under CDTM, and discuss patients’ medications with nurses and providers. This internship confirmed my desire to pursue clinical pharmacy, and led me to a potential interest in ambulatory care pharmacy. After graduation, I hope to pursue residency and work as a clinical pharmacist. However, I am open to other opportunities and am excited to see where my journey in pharmacy takes me. I am currently passionate about public health, preventative care, and mental health, but my main goal is to care for patients and ultimately make the world a better place.
When I am not thinking about pharmacy, I love to read and write creatively. I hope to one day be both a pharmacist and a published novelist! I also enjoy listening to podcasts and playing volleyball, especially on the beaches on Long Island where I live.
My most memorable LKS experience has probably been a recurring event that we hold, Bright Pink. At this event, a representative from the Bright Pink organization comes to teach us about breast and ovarian cancer, and one of our alumni, Dr. Lisa Anzisi, and a few other survivors of ovarian cancer share their stories. It is a powerful and moving event, and Bright Pink was the first professional LKS event I went to in Fall 2016 as a PNM. I was able to host Bright Pink as Professional Affairs Chair in Fall 2017, and then attend as President this fall, so this event holds a special place in my heart. I hope to continue attending this event for years to come, and to share the knowledge I gain from it with my friends, family, and future patients.