PharmSci hosts first annual Town Hall meeting

PharmSci hosts first annual Town Hall meeting

PharmSci Student Council President, Brian Chen

On January 31, the UCI Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences hosted its first annual Town Hall meeting. “We asked our faculty, staff, and students to participate in a Town Hall because we wanted to provide a forum for students to ask questions, give suggestions, and share ideas,” explains PharmSci Student Council President, Brian Chen.

Students were invited to submit questions in advance, ask questions anonymously on slips of paper at the event, or direct a question to the panel which included a combination of faculty and staff:

Richard Chamberlin, Chair
Sam Schriner, Professor
Jill Richardon, Director of Student Affairs
Brittany Betancourt, Student Affairs Officer

Student Affairs Officer, Brittany Betancourt

Discussion topics ranged from course curriculum requirements, to our new pharmacy school, to resources/services for students. “I enjoyed attending the Town Hall because I got to see the people in charge of the department recognize our concerns and work towards making changes on issues students feel are important.” says graduating senior Jasmin Arabit. “It also gave me a deeper sense of connection with the department, knowing the professors and counselors are approachable and do genuinely care about us as students.”

Twenty six questions were submitted in advance, two were submitted anonymously at the event, and twenty were asked personally by students. “The Town Hall was impactful,” observed PharmSci student Dariush Bazyani. “I quickly realized the faculty and staff were really making a meaningful effort to provide the greatest possible learning environment for students to thrive in.”

The 2017-2018 academic year marks the 10th anniversary of the Department. Over the past decade, the small major has grown into a robust program with 14 faculty members, 700 undergraduate majors, and 40 graduate students. “Our undergraduate program is one of the most popular degrees on campus,” says Student Affairs Officer, Brittany Betancourt. “It’s important for us to not only educate students and communicate that we hear and understand their concerns, but that we also share what we are specifically doing to address them. I believe it is important to have students’ voices heard by staff and faculty, and for students to have a say in their undergraduate education.”

With nearly half of our graduates pursuing a doctorate degree in pharmacy school, Town Halls will be common place in many of our student’s futures. “At the graduate and professional school level, students are expected to participate in annual Town Hall meetings,” explains Brittany. “We want students to become accustomed to Town Halls early in their educational career so that they can fully participate at the next level.”

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