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Pharmacy Leaders Podcast: Inspiring Pharmacy Leadership Interviews

Apr 9, 2018

In Part I, I had an opportunity to catch up with Kelli Jo Welter and learn about her journey to becoming APhA-ASP President-elect. She looks forward to working with the members of the National Executive Council to uphold the mission of APhA-ASP and integrate new ideas to continue to advance student pharmacists’ journey through the profession of pharmacy. She writes, "To navigate through pharmacy school successfully and combat the struggles of negative stress and pressure, I will work to incorporate wellness initiatives into APhA-ASP. One of the many benefits of APhA-ASP is the opportunity to connect student pharmacists, and I will work to foster communication and connection at the chapter, regional, and national level."


Full Transcript:

welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast with your host Tony Guerra the pharmacy leaders podcast is a member of the pharmacy podcast network with interviews and advice on building your professional network brand and a purposeful second income from students residents and innovative professionals hey welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast I'm Tony Guerra and today I have Kelly Joe welter who is a second year student pharmacist at Drake University she was recently elected to serve as the APHA asp national president-elect and the opportunity for diverse career opportunities direct patient care and the expanding role of the pharmacist drew her to pharmacy when Kelly Joe's not studying pharmacology you can find her exploring coffee shops in Des Moines practicing hot yoga and curing on the Drake Bulldogs as a member of the Drake dance team Kelly Joe welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast thank you so much for having me so you're at downtown hotspot Starbucks so just letting everybody know what the background is but I wanted to hear a little bit more about your background and everyone's leadership road is a little bit different can you tell me a little bit about where you started with leadership and how you got to where you are today absolutely so I first became involved in APHA ASP as a first year pre pharmacy student at Drake I assumed the role of the generation rx chair my sophomore year through my p one year and then from there I was elected to serve as the president-elect at Drake University and then later that fall at mrm which is mid-year regional meeting for APHA ASP I was elected to the regional member-at-large position for region 5 which is about eight states in the Midwest and then just a few weeks ago I was elected to the APHA ASP national president-elect positions so it has been quite a ride and it's been so much fun and I'm just so excited for where I am today okay well let's break down things year by year first of all let's talk about Drake as the curriculum itself tell me how it's a little bit different in that you had to know in high school that pharmacy was something you wanted so how does the Drake curriculum differ from maybe somebody who's transferring into a school that's going to be only four years yeah so Drake University does two plus four programs so right away in your first year of college you are a pre pharmacy student and that's your first and second year of college so you're taking courses that are preparing you to apply for pharmacy school right away and then it's a four year pharmacy program with three years of didactic coursework and then a fourth year on rotations so tell me a little bit about how you got involved in pharmacy activities as a as not a p1 but a what I'm not sure what you call them a pre pharmacy one or freshman in college how does that how does that work exactly because I went to two-year college or a four-year college and then transferred into a medical campus how does how do you have pharmacy activities before you even get to pharmacy school or how does that work yeah so Drake University really encourages these first and second-year pre pharmacy students to get involved right away because it really allows you to find those mentors when you're young both in faculty and staff and in other students to help you find that career pathway that you might be interested and I personally had no idea what I wanted to do in pharmacy identic few different job shadows in high school just seeing if the career may be for me and APHA ASP to me is one of those organizations where no matter what kind of career pathway a student pharmacist may be interested in they can find a place in the organization and that's what really drew me it's a PHA ASP as such a young student because I knew that no matter what career pathway I decided to go into I was gonna have older students that were guiding me in their right and I was going to be able to find a place no matter what so can we can you be a little more specific about the we'll start with the faculty mentors and then go on to the fellow students so how did the faculty mentor you at Drake how's it set up to succeed at APHA how does it how does it how is it set up so that an APHA ASP chapter can succeed and certainly at the national level so each chapter has at least one chapter advisor and we relies so heavily on our chapter advisor we consider them a member of our Executive Committee because they're there every step of the way from planning a blood pressure screening to writing our policy proposals for mrm our chapter advisor has always been a mentor for all of us students so I've really taken advantage of these relationships that I've built with my chapter advisors and they've served as mentors for me okay and then what about your fellow students how did how is your chapter set up so that the students ahead of you can help the students that are behind them yeah so because Drake University's APHA asp chapter welcomes all the way from p4 students to those final year student pharmacists on rotations to our first-year pre-pharmacy students and that's a lot like a lot of other chapters across the country we have set up some mentorship programs so younger students and older students can connect based on career interest based on campus and trust and involvement and really formed those relationships and it's a very informal casual way of going about it people are welcome to set up meetings and coffee dates or they can just use that person as you know kind of a reference if you're needing help studying for their first general chemistry okay how do you find the time to do this because it sounds like you know doing all these things I've talked to a number of Drake students and they just seem to be doing a lot outside of campus as well as on campus but it seems like it's just kind of part of your day and it's just not necessarily I want to say expected but it's just something that everybody is doing something that's outside of pharmacy how do you make time in your day for it so I'm gonna put a shameless plug here for my passion planner stop it with me and I totally rely on a planner because I cannot remember everything that I'm supposed to be doing but in all honesty I think Drake has a really great program in that we are a little bit smaller of a school so the faculty are incredibly accessible and not saying that larger schools don't have it accessible faculty as well but I think students are very lucky and that you can easily pop in to a professor's office and ask them a question about getting involved or doing research or maybe finding an internship and drink is constantly sharing opportunities for going out and seeing speakers and different kinds of events to get involved and I just have gotten very lucky to be where I'm at right now with the help of so many others this is definitely a team effort and all my leadership so I guess I'm so you're a p2 and I guess this this kind of a role this national role what do you do in terms of p1 then Pete or I'm sorry so pre-pharmacy one pre-pharmacy two then p1 p2 you talked about being on committees and things like that but how do you let someone know nationally or how do you start the process of becoming a national representative what what does that come from mrm or does that come from your chapter does it come from the national meetings how does the election process work so the application process itself starts with just an application that you turn into APHA staff and then all of the campaigning and all of the election process happens at the APHA annual meeting and exposition so as far as hearing about national and regional leadership opportunity it's really just been making connections and forming relationships with other student pharmacists and also just showing up to meetings showing up to chapter meetings to regional meetings to annual meetings and just finding out about those opportunities I think that's what really can help student pharmacists realize their ability to be able to assume leadership positions is just showing up and getting to know people okay you told me a little bit about p1 and that the generation rx was the first thing that you were involved with what brought you to that particular part there I think five initiatives that APHA ASP is working with what made you decide on that one so when I first became involved as a first year pre pharmacy student I could not take blood pressure and I could not do blood glucose screenings and I didn't really know what policy meant as far as the profession of pharmacy went so I decided that my first event ever in APHA ASP was going to be a middle-school presentation for preventing prescription drug abuse and so I went to this presentation with another student and I absolutely fell in love I loved the opportunity that I had to get out and talk to people in the community and especially kids because they're so eager to learn and they're so excited about having drink students come and visit them and from then I just continued doing more presentations because they honestly just made me so happy and so excited about what the future of Pharmacy held for me and I just became more involved and then eventually that led to wanting to plan these events and wanting to give other students that same experience that I had and that same feeling that I saw my first presentation okay well you're doing huge things are you from a big city or a small town and can you tell me a little bit about where are you from and how's that affected you I'm from Washington DC so I'm from a huge huge town and so I you know APHA is out there but tell me a little bit about where you're from and how that's influenced what you've done with your leadership so I grew up in very typical rural small town Iowa it's called Monticello we've got a population of about thirty hundred and we've got about three stoplights okay yeah so I I loved growing up in a small town I'm the oldest of five and I was definitely one of those where people knew my entire family just because there were so many of us so I'm very lucky that I grew up in a small town and I was able to get to know people in my community and and now I'm in Des Moines and that's a little bit bigger than 38-hundred so I just really love the contrast between growing up in a small town and going to college in a big city but I definitely think that growing up in a small town taught me a lot about the importance of relationships and the importance of getting to know people and remembering people and just valuing those relationships no definitely and Drake kind of feels like a small town too I mean you're you you're in the city but you really don't ever feel like do you ever feel like you're in the city when you're on campus like you're downtown or it's too busy or too big oh not at all and that's one of the things that really drew me to Drake University was that it was a little bit smaller campus so I had that comfortable kind of small-town feeling on campus but I still felt like I was growing up and moving away a little bit from home and getting out and exploring so I really think I got the best of both worlds at Drake okay well let's talk a little bit about what you do outside of the classroom Jacquelyn irenka who was p.4 gonna be graduating here in a month or so is Drake we're going to be a Drake grad and she was a high jumper so she talked about how she was d1 athlete and then was literally running to class how do you fit dance into your into your day and how important is it I know Winston shirt when he was in World War two was painting and they're like how are you painting during this really busy time and it's something I have to do can you talk about the importance of athletics and sports in your day yeah so I'm a big believer in working out and taking care of yourself and realizing that there is more to just studying and taking exams and working and dance team has been a great outlet for me to get to know people outside of pharmacy I don't think I would have that many opportunities to meet first-year business majors or actuarial science majors if it weren't for being on the dance team so I've spent the past four years as a member of the dance team and we have late-night practices and we have a lot of fun and it's just a great way to kind of set my mind aside from maybe some of the stress and pressure that I'm experiencing in pharmacy school and getting out being able to cheer on the Bulldogs and you know be able to interact with the Drake community is just a great way to represent Drake in a different way than my pharmacy leadership okay awesome well just one last question I've asked you a lot of questions on what would you tell someone that's a couple of number of people are getting interviews and and deciding which pharmacy school they want to go to how would you talk to them about Drake versus another school so obviously I'm very biased oh well me too my wife went to treatment but honestly all pharmacy schools are great and if you're doing what makes you happy and if the idea of being a pharmacist is what makes you happy go for it I think Drake is really special in that like I mentioned earlier we have a small-town feel but we're also in the great City of Des Moines Iowa which is awesome for young professionals and there's a lot to do in town from you know Iowa Cubs games to different concerts at Wells Fargo and this lovely Starbucks that I'm sitting in right now but I think what also makes great super unique is that we have such passionate involved faculty and they're reaching out constantly wondering how students are doing and always wanting students to be involved but also being aware that you know we are more than just pharmacy students we are members of the community and we do things outside of pharmacy and they really appreciate that and I think that's what makes our education so much better so we have those extracurricular opportunities that can really supplement us and kind of make us that individual rather than just a number well that's great well thanks so much for being on the pharmacy leaders podcast yeah thank you so much for having me support for this episode comes from the audio book memorizing pharmacology a relaxed approach with over 9000 sales in the United States United Kingdom and Australia it's the go-to resource to ease the pharmacology challenge available on audible iTunes and in print ebook and audiobook thank you for listening to the pharmacy leaders podcast with your host Tony Guerra be sure to share the show with the hash tag hash pharmacy leaders