Rock Springs Student Receives National Pharmacy Award

August 23, 2013
Melissa Mehle

University of Wyoming pharmacy student Melissa Mehle of Rock Springs has received a 2013 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Walmart Scholars Award.

Mehle and faculty mentor Michelle Hilaire, clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice, attended the recent AACP annual meeting in Chicago, where they participated in interactive studies that focused on leadership development including a seminar about strategies for effective teaching and learning.

Mehle completed a four-week academic-focused rotation that included learning the many aspects of being a School of Pharmacy faculty member, Hilaire says.

"She was a natural choice for the Walmart Scholars Program. She had prior teaching experience and has been an advocate for interprofessional education and collaboration while a student at UW,” Hilaire says. “I wanted to expose her to all the facets of academics and give her the opportunity to build professional connections for future success."

The AACP Walmart Annual Conference Scholarship Program provides up to 85 student-faculty pairs from AACP member institutions a $1,000 scholarship to support registration and other expenses to attend the annual meeting. The goal is to strengthen recipients' research and scholarship skills for careers in academia.

"I was amazed to learn about all the activities academics are involved in that students do not see," says Mehle. "Teaching lectures are only one part of their job. For example, it was great to see the research projects and committees people in academia are involved in. The AACP meeting showed me a side of academia I did not know before."

Last spring, Mehle was a teaching assistant (TA) in pathophysiology for Assistant Professor of Pharmacology Suzanne Clark. While a TA, Mehle gave a presentation to the students about interprofessional education and collaboration -- a subject about which she is passionate. She also served as a student member on the interprofessional committee on the UW campus.

Active in the UW student chapter of the National Community Pharmacists Association, Mehle has participated in medication take-backs, brown bag events and fundraising activities. She has worked as a pharmacy intern at Osco Pharmacy while in school.

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