Shaping future pharmacists through the pre-college program
Prior to attending the Pacific Summer High School Institute, Samuel Lee ’28 had only interacted with pharmacists at community pharmacies. With a passion for biology and chemistry, Lee chose the Future Pharmacists program to further explore the pharmacy profession.
“I didn’t know about the innovation with compounding pharmacy and how one can make custom medications,” said Lee. “Understanding compounding and dosage is so important to pharmacy as a whole.”
During the two-week immersive program, high school students explore the breadth and depth of pharmacy. In addition to hands-on activities in the pharmaceutical compounding lab, students practice vaccination techniques, blood pressure screenings and CPR. They also learn how to make IVs and are
introduced to the clinical trial process by designing a blood glucose monitoring research study.
Back by popular demand, the Future Pharmacists program was designed by co-directors Kate M. O’Dell, PharmD, BCPS, professor of pharmacy practice, and Melanie A. Felmlee, PhD, associate professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry and director of Pre-Pharmacy Advantage Program, to be an engaging, collaborative learning experience.
“Our priority is to help students explore the many career opportunities in pharmacy and how a Pacific education can help them achieve their future goals,” said Dr. O’Dell.
“Being able to make personal connections and interact with my professors and classmates definitely attracted me to Pacific.”
— Samuel Lee ’28
During the program, students are mentored by faculty, practicing pharmacists and current doctor of pharmacy students. They attend real-time lectures and participate in patient care simulation cases.
A year after Lee’s participation in the program, he is starting his journey at Pacific as a pre-pharmacy student. He chose Pacific for its beautiful campus and small class sizes.
“I had such a great experience in the program,” said Lee. “Being able to make personal connections and interact with my professors and classmates definitely attracted me to Pacific.”
Future Pharmacists is one of more than 50 programs offered through the Pacific Summer High School Institute, which was launched in 2022. During the residential pre-college summer program, curious high school students live, learn and grow on the Stockton campus.
After academic programming wraps each day, students can explore the campus’s many amenities and connect with peers through a variety of activities, such as movies under the stars, karaoke, volleyball, rock climbing and eSports.
This year, the University’s partnerships expanded to include school districts in Ceres, Lodi, Lincoln and Stockton as well as Aspire Public School and the City of Stockton, bringing nearly 1,600 students to campus. The School is thankful for the support of the Legacy Health Endowment of Turlock, which funded 10 scholarships for students to attend the Future Pharmacists program.