High school students explore career options at pharmacy summer camp

Buies Creek – Tischan Wade is a student at St. Mary’s High School in Raleigh who loves science. She might go into zoology or she could be interested in a career in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Either way, the hands-on experience she’s getting at Campbell University’s SciPharm summer day camp this week, June 28-July 2, will expose her to a variety of career opportunities in pharmacy that can help her make a more informed decision about her future.

A total of 20 high school students from across the state are attending the SciPharm summer program. Sponsored by the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the camp is funded by a grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Student Science Enrichment Fund for the High School Science Seminar (HISS) program.

During the action-packed week, students get to work with professors and staff from various departments in the College including Drug Information, Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Physician Assistant program. They tour the facilities at the Campbell University Pharmaceutical Sciences Institute (CUPSI), a research facility engaged in drug development, and take a field trip to Carolina Medical Products Inc. in Farmville, N.C.

“SciPharm Camp gives students the opportunity to explore the fields of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy through topical discussions and hands-on exercises that reinforce the importance of science education,” said Dr. Michael L. Adams, director of Science Education Outreach and assistant professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Campbell. “It really gives the kids a chance to see both the fun and the practical side of science.”

The theme for this year’s camp is “Searching for New Medicines” and all of the week’s activities are related to this central idea. The students will perform experiments dealing with medications and their interaction, drug identification and gauging an individual’s dosage level capacity. They will attend presentations and engage in discussions with pharmacy professionals such as Dr. Connie Barnes, director of the Drug Information Center at Campbell, Dr. William Stagner, director of CUPSI, Tom Coletti, director of the Physician Assistant program, and Dr. Andy Bowman, director of Continuing Education at Campbell’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

On Friday, July 2, the students will travel to Farmville, N.C. to visit Carolina Medical Products, a manufacturer of both prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

“It has really been fun to learn about the different job opportunities associated with pharmacy and to actually get first-hand experience in the lab,” said Wade. “The SciPharm camp has really been worth while.”

The Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences was established in 1986 as the first new pharmacy school to open in the United States in 35 years. The school’s primary mission is to train clinical pharmacists in a Christian environment to meet existing and future health care needs and to guide students to become well adjusted, exemplary citizens and community leaders. The school is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Additional courses are taught at the College of Pharmacy’s Department of Clinical Research located on Campbell University’s RTP campus.

Photo Copy: High school students Tischan Wade and Jacob Bartlett weigh out grams of Polyglycol during a lab experiment at Campbell University’s SciPharm summer camp.