by Steve Vodhanel
As the school year begins this Fall 2010, the School of Pharmacy is busy with activity. The new school-year begins with the largest class ever, 85 students, along with new faculty and staff. Also, welcoming in the Class of 2014 is a new student-driven initiative to introduce a new student experience – the Pharmacy Student Network, or PSN.
PSN began its development last spring when three Class of 2013 students, Shady Mansy, Stephen Hom, and Jonathan Nguyen, realized that their interactions with the classes before them were almost non-existent. “We really took a step back and came to the conclusion that we did not know a lot of the upper classmen in the school, and we wanted to change that,” states Shady.
The goal of the organization is to create a long-lasting social network for LLUSP’s current and future students and graduates. Through the efforts of PSN and with the advisement of faculty member David Weldon, PhD., the organization expects to provide student support over topics such as academia, social experiences, career networking, and spiritual companionship. The program, for the first time, will create a peer mentorship experience for the students of LLUSP. “We feel like having an experienced student serve as a mentor, along with a social network after graduation, will provide an invaluable opportunity for students and their professional career,” states Jonathan.
The enthusiasm shared by Shady, Stephen, and Jonathan’s fellow classmates for PSN has been a pleasant surprise, with more than 50 other students from the Class of 2010 signing up to serve as a mentor to the incoming class. “Since day one here at Loma Linda, we have been told by many of our fellow peers and professors that the pharmacy profession is such a small world that the relationships and connections we build while in school are an integral part of maximizing one’s career as a healthcare provider, and PSN allows us to take a step in the right direction to achieve this goal,” adds Stephen.
Left to right: Shady Mansy, Jonathan Nguyen, Dave Weldon, PhD., Stephen Hom