Pharmacy students, faculty join forces at annual retreat

TTUHSC School of PharmacyTo jump start the new academic year, 80 students and 15 faculty members representing all four School of Pharmacy campuses gathered Aug. 18-20 in Abilene for the school’s annual Student Leadership Retreat. The theme for the weekend meeting was “Creativity within Leadership and Empowering Others.”

Student attendees came from all four School of Pharmacy classes and included members of the school’s student organizations, student government and other at-large school representatives. The planning committee included student leaders from the Phi Lambda Sigma professional organization, the Ad Hoc Professional Affairs Committee and Mary Klein, Pharm.D. School of Pharmacy Dean Quentin Smith, Ph.D., also made a presentation and conducted a question-and-answer session with the students..

The retreat kicked off on Friday afternoon when students served as volunteers for the Food Bank of West Central Texas and Abilene’s Disability Resources, Inc. Later that evening the students joined their faculty advisors at Nelson Park for an old fashioned cookout and yard games.

On Saturday, students were back at the school for networking and a day of interactive sessions, including learning about their Myers Briggs personality types. Special guest speaker Logan Winkelman, associate director for the Texas Tech University Career Center, discussed how students could better utilize and benefit from each other’s strengths.

Klein and fellow faculty Kenna Payne, Pharm.D., also conducted breakout sessions. (Amarillo); Krystal Edwards, Pharm.D. (Dallas/Fort Worth); Kalin Clifford, Pharm.D. (Dallas/Fort Worth); Jennifer Grelle, Pharm.D. (Abilene); Brian Terrell, Pharm.D. (Abilene); Rachel Basinger, Pharm.D. (Amarillo); and Ashley Higbea, Pharm.D. (Dallas/Fort Worth). Topics included creative leadership opportunities and skills, and empowering others through personal and group leadership.

During lunch on Saturday, students met with their respective organizations and student councils and enjoyed an ice cream social. Evening activities included a networking dinner with faculty and alumni and evening of bowling and games at Abilene’s PrimeTime Family Entertainment Center.

Chephra McKee, Pharm.D., opened the Sunday session with an interactive session about how to conduct an effective meeting that included fourth-year (P4) students imparting words of wisdom to the P1, P2 and P3 student attendees.

Later, McKee and Abilene faculty colleague Becky Mahan, Pharm.D., led a session discussing how to more effectively communicate across campuses. At the end of the session, students were challenged to go back to their campuses and create a two- to three-minute marketing video about what it means to be a pharmacist. The retreat wrapped up with lunch and the first Organization Leadership Council meeting conducted by Edwards and Amanda Hines, program coordinator at the Dallas/Fort Worth campus for the school’s Office of Professional Affairs.

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Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.

School of Pharmacy


The School of Pharmacy was established in 1996 and now has campuses in Amarillo, Lubbock, Dallas and Abilene. Since its inception, the school has played a significant role in addressing the state's pharmacist shortage. Today, more than 90 percent of its graduates remain in Texas.

The school requires its students to complete more clinical training hours than any other pharmacy program in the country, making its students some of the most sought after graduates.