Transitions Magazine

Transitions is published bi-monthly for members of the APhA New Practitioner Network. The online newsletter contains information focused on life inside and outside pharmacy practice, providing guidance on various areas of professional, personal, and practice development. Each issue includes in-depth articles on such topics as personal financial management, innovative practice sites, career profiles, career development tools, residency and postgraduate programs, and more.

Our RXecipe for success at UTHSC
Cara Young

Our RXecipe for success at UTHSC


Hannah Payne is a second-year PharmD and MPH candidate at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Pharmacy.

As a first-year PharmD candidate at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Pharmacy in 2019–20, APhA–ASP became my home. An involved member, I enjoyed attending many different gatherings—that is, until all in-person events came to a screeching halt when the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe. Though I remained involved in APhA–ASP virtually, I also found myself searching for quarantine hobbies, and—along with many other Americans—began baking to pass the time.

With each new recipe I attempted, I quickly learned that baking is both an art and a science. Precise measurements are required to achieve an expected outcome, but it is often the individual baker’s technique that makes a treat memorable. Precision and individuality converge in the recipe for success, as well. Recently named the 2019–20 APhA–ASP Chapter of the Year during the APhA2021 Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition, our chapter mixed key ingredients of planning, people, and passion in its recipe for success.

Preheating the oven

Before the semester even began, chapter leaders at UTHSC spent their summers planning for the upcoming year. Robert Komis, 2019–20 UTHSC APhA–ASP Chapter President, led the team with an Executive Committee retreat, where he required each leader to craft a business plan including a list of goals they wanted to accomplish. Robert expected timelines for the goals as well, which encouraged each leader to consider the steps required to reach their targets. This groundwork allowed the chapter to get to work right away once the semester began.

Mixing the ingredients

The UTHSC APhA–ASP Chapter is the largest organization at The UTHSC College of Pharmacy, with 573 members—more than 80% of the student body. Acknowledging these numbers as a strength, the chapter prioritized teamwork in order to be efficient and effective within the community.

 During his time as 2019–20 APhA–ASP Chapter President-elect, Juan Rodriguez made it his personal goal to engage with members. Reinforcing the belief that each member has a unique role in APhA–ASP, Juan interacted with students through social media and made sure everyone felt like family. This engagement allowed the chapter to impact student pharmacists before they were sent out to impact the community.

“Fearlessly Authentic,” the national APhA–ASP theme for 2019–20 APhA–ASP National President Kelli Jo Welter,  served as a catalyst to encourage all APhA–ASP members to be unafraid to express who they are and find what passions motivate them. The UTHSC APhA–ASP Chapter aided members in fostering their passions by offering Lunch-and-Learn training sessions and grant opportunities. Beyond its members, the chapter’s support team included advisors, faculty, community partners, and a supportive dean. The team’s passion for helping student pharmacists succeed allowed the UTHSC APhA–ASP Chapter to soar to new heights.

Baking and cooling

In baking, there is always an element of trust. Even when all the recipe’s requirements are met, a perfect outcome is never guaranteed. The UTHSC APhA–ASP Chapter is overjoyed by this award and grateful that all the hard work involved in our recipe for success paid off. This sweet treat will be one the chapter savors and hopes to recreate in the years to come.


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