School of Pharmacy News & Media Center
The University of Mississippi


Pharmacy School Hosts First Open House for State’s Career Coaches

Strong turnout for inaugural event tailored for high school coaches

OXFORD, Miss. – Fifty of Mississippi’s public high school career coaches recently attended the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy’s inaugural open house held just for those tasked with guiding the state’s high school students to future success in the job market.

“The School of Pharmacy’s open house was an outstanding success,” said Kristy Luse, who attended on behalf of the CREATE Foundation in Tupelo. “The diverse opportunities offered through the program, testimonials and engagement from current pharmacy students and the personal attention and workshop experiences offered by the faculty and staff were excellent.

“I can see why students who enter this program find success following their higher education pathway.”

After a warm welcome from Provost Noel Wilkin and pharmacy Dean Donna Strum, coaches embarked on a tour of the school, received insight on research projects housed there and were guided through skills lab activities such as compounding, immunization administration, sterile preparation and patient counseling.

“My goal is to share insight about the profession of pharmacy and students’ experiences at Ole Miss pharmacy,” said Lindsey Cooper, coordinator of admissions. “Through events like this, we hope to reach a broader audience of potential healthcare enthusiasts and future pharmacists.”

Career coaches have been employed across the state to guide students in career exploration and help them apply to appropriate programs in Mississippi.

The idea for the event came about following an open house for prospective students held earlier in the semester. Thiquita Ward, a career coach with the CREATE Foundation in Tupelo, decided to attend to better educate herself on how to aid students applying to health professionals programs.

“I was astonished to learn about the vast number of career paths in the field of pharmacy,” Ward said. “Events such as these provide an opportunity for career coaches to gain a more in-depth knowledge about the profession and the process to get started, in turn better equipping us to aid students transitioning from high school to college.

“Partnerships with our community colleges and universities are vital and a win-win for all.”

After hearing how much Ward benefited from the experience, Cooper saw an opportunity to offer the same education to a wider audience.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to connect with so many of our local high school career coaches,” Cooper said. “We hope they help students in finding their pathway and inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals.”

By Natalie Ehrhardt