Dec. 10, 2004

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Contact: Dan Lara, University Relations, (785) 864-8855.

KU pharmacy students honored as NCPA national chapter of the year

LAWRENCE -- The Rock Chalk chant could be heard clearly in Boston this past October as students from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy were honored as the 2004 national student chapter of the year at the National Community Pharmacists Association national conference.


“ The opening festivities of the NCPA meeting were on the same night as the Kansas-Kansas State football game,” said Dennis Grauer, assistant professor of pharmacy and co-adviser of the KU NCPA chapter. “When the students heard the final score, they and some of our alumni started the Rock Chalk chant. There was a band playing at the time, and it had to stop. All you could hear was the Rock Chalk chant. It was funny, because KU students dominate this event.”

The KU NCPA chapter has won the prestigious honor four of the past five years, with KU finishing second in 2002. The winning chapter receives $2,000. Seventy-nine of the KU chapter's 130 members attended the conference, which was Oct. 9 through 13, and 88 universities were eligible to receive the honor this year, Grauer said.

“ This was a very exciting honor for us,” said Catarina Rozman, Overland Park third-year pharmacy student and president of the KU NCPA student chapter. “We worked very hard this year. This honor shows how involved our chapter members are with the pharmacy school and also the independent pharmacies in Kansas.”

The KU chapter won the honor because of its various community service activities throughout the year and because of the strong network of independently owned pharmacies in Kansas, Rozman said.

To win chapter of the year, Rozman said members were involved in several community service projects, established relationships with pharmacists in rural parts of the state and were politically active in major issues affecting pharmacy, such as the new Medicare prescription drug law and the importation of drugs from Canada.

“ More than 50 percent of the pharmacists in Kansas are independents,” Grauer said. “Most states don't have that many independent pharmacists. Many are KU alumni, and they have been huge in their support of our chapter.”

Grauer also credits the leadership of Gene Hotchkiss, associate dean of the School of Pharmacy, as another reason for chapter's success. Hotchkiss started KU's NCPA chapter and is its co-adviser.

Besides the chapter of the year award, Robert Wenzl, Topeka fourth-year pharmacy student, placed third in the NCPA Pruitt-Schutte student business plan competition. Before the conference, Wenzl developed a detailed business plan for purchasing and operating an independent pharmacy in Kansas from a KU alumnus, something Wenzl plans to do when he graduates. Wenzl presented his plan at the conference to more than 1,000 other students and faculty members.

For placing third, Wenzl won $1,000 for the KU chapter and $1,000 for KU.

“ I am extremely proud of the teamwork and camaraderie exhibited by the students and that is necessary to receive this recognition,” said Kenneth L. Audus, dean of the School of Pharmacy. “The students are to be congratulated and certainly deserve all of the credit. This is a real tribute to the consistently outstanding students graduating from our program.”

The NCPA is based in Alexandria, Va.

KU student chapter members, their hometowns, and parents and high schools,when available, are listed online at www.ur.ku.edu/News/04N/DecNews/Dec10/directory.html.

Hometowns: Anthony, Arma, Beloit, Bonner Springs, Cawker City, Clyde, Colby, Colwich, Concordia, Derby, Emporia, Erie, Fort Scott, Garden City, Goodland, Herington, Hoisington, Hoxie, Hutchinson, Iola, Kansas City, Lane, Leawood, Lenexa, Lindsborg, Manhattan, Marion, Minneapolis, Newton, Olathe, Osborne, Overland Park, Perry, Phillipsburg, Pittsburg, Republic, Rossville, Salina, Sharon Springs, Shawnee, Spring Hill, Sublette, Syracuse, Tipton, Topeka, Tribune, Ulysses, Wamego, Washington and Wichita in Kansas; South Lake Tahoe, Calif.; Indianola, Iowa; Camdenton, Clinton, El Dorado Springs, Nevada and Webb City, Mo.; Norfolk, Neb.

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