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4 posts from April 2015


Kappa Phi Gamma Sisters Raise Hundreds for Cancer Research

Care weekThe sisters of Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc. at University of the Sciences hosted their third annual C.A.R.E. (Cancer Awareness: A Real Effort) Week on March 16-19—raising nearly $1,000 for cancer research. As part of a nationwide tradition that occurs at every chapter of Kappa Phi Gamma, C.A.R.E Week at USciences commemorated the sorority’s national philanthropy, cancer awareness. All proceeds collectively raised across the United States benefited the Bite Me Cancer Foundation.

“We thank everyone who came and supported us during our C.A.R.E. Week,” said Rebecca Vayalumkal PharmD’18, a sister of Kappa Phi Gamma. “Through the campus community’s cooperation, we will be making a significant difference in teens who have cancer.”

The Virginia-based nonprofit, Bite Me Cancer Foundation, was established in September 2010 by Nikki Ferraro after she was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer at the young age of 17. Within the two weeks following her diagnosis in April 2010, Ferraro led a Relay for Life team called “Bite Me Cancer” and experienced immediate success with the team's name. When Ferraro decided to create a foundation, she chose to continue the legacy of her team's name to raise awareness and research funds for thyroid cancer.

C.A.R.E. Week at USciences started off with a kick off rally on Monday, March 16. The sisters of Kappa Phi Gamma shared Ferraro’s story and discussed the purpose of C.A.R.E week with guests, as well as hosted games at six different stations. Participants had opportunities to win raffle tickets at each station, and prizes included gift cards to City Tap House, Olive Garden, Honest Toms and Royals. Guests also enjoyed a nacho bar provided by Qdoba. (The photo booth was a big hit at this event!)

A candlelight vigil united several members of sororities and fraternities across campus on March 17. Members of the audience also shared their personal stories of how cancer has affected them and their families.

“We shared what our philanthropy is with the rest of the audience and why it is so near and dear to our hearts,” said Vayalumkal. “After we informed everyone about cancer awareness, we had a moment of silence to honor all those people that either had cancer or are currently battling it.”

Members of other sororities and fraternities also joined Kappa Phi Gamma in making cards for children battling cancer during a service event on March 18. Participants were able to use their creativity to make cards that will hopefully put smiles on the faces of children with cancer.

C.A.R.E Week wrapped up on March 19 with a Big/Little Competition, featuring duos from different Greek organizations at USciences. Members put together lists of questions to ask both the big and little duos representing their respective sororities or fraternities. Depending on how many of their answers matched up, participants would get points. The first-place winners received two $25 gift cards to MadMex restaurant. In addition to proceeds raised throughout the week from selling buttons across campus, the sorority also hosted fundraising opportunities with Insomnia cookies and Copabanana.

Taste of India

3by Maitri Patel PharmD'18 is the Public Relations chair for Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority Inc.

On April 9, 2015, Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority Inc. at USciences held a cultural event called “Taste of India.” Sisters of the sorority made a popular dishes from various states of India that exemplified the different spices and crops famous to that region.

Following a short presentation on India’s culture and food, attendees were encouraged to walk around the room and “taste” a part of India. Each station had a poster board of the state, which included the state’s population, an interesting fact, and the food they are most known for. The poster also included information on what the main dish was made from. Several of the attendees enjoyed experiencing different foods and were very interested in their origin. Over 50 people attended the event, and the sorority hopes to make this an annual event.

Kappa Phi Gamma held this event in order to promote cultural awareness, as it is one of their eight principles which are: Character, Leadership, Scholarship, Sisterhood, Service, Culture, Womanhood, and Self. This event highlighted an important fact that although India is one nation, each state has a different dialect, food, and culture, that makes each of them unique. Although India is a very diverse country, its uniqueness is forged together by common bond, and similar passions by its people. In the same way, Kappa Phi Gamma hopes to promote an understanding of cultural diversity on campus, as well as unity between different people of different backgrounds.

The sorority also recently hosted its annual C.A.R.E. Week, where we were able to raise over $800 for Bite Me Cancer.



PCP Student Takes Third Place in Prestigious U.S. Pharmacy Competition

Viha daveBy combining her pharmacy education and interpersonal communication skills, pharmacy student Viha Dave PharmD’16 recently took third place at the 2015 National Patient Counseling Competition—held during the American Pharmacists Association Academy’s (APhA) Annual Meeting and Exposition, on March 29, in San Diego. She competed against 126 student pharmacists from across the country, becoming the first pharmacy student in decades to represent USciences as a top 10 finalist in this prestigious competition.

“It was an honor to represent Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the national level, and I hope this gets my younger classmates excited to participate in the future, as this was an enriching experience for me,” said Dave. “My PCP education definitely helped prepare me for this experience because many of my professors continually emphasize the importance of delivering personalized care to our patients.”

The main goal of this national competition is to encourage student pharmacists to become better patient educators. Each year, the competition is designed to reflect changes that are occurring in practice, promote and encourage further professional development of student pharmacists, and reinforce the role of the pharmacist as a healthcare provider and educator.

This competition began at the local level in January, where students, like Dave, competed against their classmates to represent their pharmacy school on a national platform. The national competition was divided into the preliminary round and final round. At the preliminary round, students selected a simple practice scenario at random and were required to counsel a mock patient on the appropriate use of the drug involved. Evaluations were based on the content and style of the counseling presentations, and the top 10 student pharmacists advanced to the final round of the competition.

The final round involved a more complex counseling situation where the participants again selected a prescription at random and were asked to counsel their patients on safe and effective drug use. The patient in the final round, however, also displayed personality characteristics such as anxiousness, aggression or apathy to challenge the participants’ ability to convey pertinent information in a realistic situation.

 “I had the opportunity to watch Viha’s performance during her final counseling round and it was clear that she is a highly competent, confident, and compassionate student pharmacist,” said Kenneth Leibowitz, assistant professor of communications at USciences and co-founder of this national competition.

Dave, along with the other top 10 finalists in the competition, were recognized during the closing ceremony of the APhA  meeting, and the four top winners of the competition received cash prizes.



Biology Student Describes USciences Experience as 'Life Changing'

ReechaWith graduation day quickly approaching, Reecha Pandya BioSci'15 looked back on her experience at University of the Sciences and summed it up as "life changing."

“Over the past four years, I have grown so much as a student and as a person,” said Pandya. “I will remember, and cherish, my research experience in the Department of Biological Sciences because it was simply incredible.”

Pandya, a biomedical sciences major and economics minor, said the level of hands-on research that she conducted during her time at USciences has more than prepared her for graduate school and a future in the science and healthcare industries. During her last year at USciences, she worked closely with the biology department's brewing science expert, Dr. Matthew Farber, to explore the effects of hops on yeast protease activity in beer, as well as fermentation parameters' influence on protease activity in beer

“True career preparation comes from research experience,” she said. “Employers look for the kind of lab experience offered at USciences because they want to know that candidates are well-trained in basic lab techniques and know how to innovatea skill learned in the lab, not in class.”

Hewitt-7392With her undergraduate focus in science and business, Pandya plans to eventually pursue an executive MBA in the future to prepare her for a career that focuses on both the science and business aspects of a company. As for now, she is eager to continue her education at Johns Hopkins University in the fall and further her work in brewing science through a paid internship with a brewing company.

Prospective students should know that considering USciences means enlisting for a self-rewarding challenge, said Pandya.

"USciences can help you achieve your utmost potential if you are up for it," she said. "It is also very important to keep an open mind during your undergraduate years because doing so helped me get the most out of my education."


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