Second-year student pharmacist Leah Franks is having an impact at the School of Pharmacy. She serves as president-elect of Kappa Epsilon, as well as vice president-elect of ASHP-SSHP. She was also selected for Kappa Epsilon's Zada M. Cooper Scholarship, which goes to student pharmacists who exemplify superior achievement. Read on to learn more about Leah and her work.
My hometown is Meridian, Mississippi, but I currently reside here in Oxford with my husband Noah!
I graduated as Valedictorian and Star Student from Clarkdale High School in 2017. I now attend the University of Mississippi where I am now a P2 in the Doctor of Pharmacy program and set to graduate May 2024. I started out as an Early Entry Pharmacy student and graduated with my B.S.P.S in the spring of 2021.
Since high school, I have had an interest in doing something in the medical field. After seeing the numerous career opportunities in pharmacy and the different path options available, I was all in!
I would have been financially unable to attend Ole Miss without having received the Ole Miss Women’s Council Scholarship, for which I will be forever grateful. My college experience might have been completely different if I had not received that scholarship. In addition, the mentoring program provided by the Ole Miss Women’s Council afforded me numerous opportunities for educational as well as personal growth. These opportunities included educational trips to Nashville, Boston and New Orleans, lunch and learns, as well as Red Plate Suppers, which consisted of a wide array of speakers including basketball coach Kermit Davis.
How does it feel to receive the Zada M. Cooper Scholarship? What was the process like?
I am completely thrilled. I applied alongside amazing candidates, and I am so grateful and honored to have received this scholarship. Applying for the scholarship consisted of an application where I explained my involvement within Kappa Epsilon and pharmacy organizations, as well as how receiving this scholarship would impact me.
What are your priorities as president-elect of Kappa Epsilon?
I, along with some amazing officers, just successfully planned and hosted a Regional Retreat for Region D of Kappa Epsilon, which includes the following universities: Xavier University, University of Louisiana-Monroe and UAMS. This retreat consisted of University of Mississippi and University of Kentucky speakers that discussed financial planning (Ashley Crumby, PharmD, MS, PhD); diversity, equity and inclusion (Trenika Mitchell, PharmD); and personal and professional development (Katie McClendon, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS). I have also thoroughly enjoyed helping to plan social events and community service events these past two semester with our other officers as well.
What made you get involved with ASHP-SSHP? What has that experience been like so far?
I wanted to become involved with ASHP-SSHP because my goal is to work within a health system upon graduating. My experience has been nothing short of amazing! I have served as vice president-elect this year, and I was able to plan our annual “Be the Match” event in the fall and then plan our faculty CV review as well.
Are there any other awards you’ve received or organizations you’ve been involved with?
I received the Kappa Epsilon New Member award, the Taylor Medal, the Merck Award for Scholastic Achievement in Pharmacy, as well as second place in the Rho Chi Poster Competition where I presented my thesis research that I conducted with Dr. Sujith Ramachandran regarding non-prescription stimulant use on college campuses. In addition to Kappa Epsilon and ASHP-SSHP, I am a member of APhA and serve as a Pharmacy Ambassador.
What are your career goals?
My career goals include completing a PGY1 residency, as well as a PGY2 residency in Solid Organ Transplantation or Critical Care Pharmacy. After residency, I would love to work at a major hospital where I can utilize my skills to the fullest.
What has been your favorite class?
My favorite module so far has been the Cardiology Module because Dr. Earl and Dr. Pitcock are amazing professors that truly care about helping each student learn to their fullest potential. Since I enjoyed the module so much, I am taking their Cardiology elective this semester.
What advice do you have for future pharmacy students?
My biggest advice is to take time for yourself and to spend time with others! Although studying and working are very important to your success, it is important to have a healthy balance of family and social activities as well.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to spend time with my husband and enjoy playing tennis, watching Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy, and spending time with both sides of our family.
What is your go-to music for studying?
I actually don’t enjoy listening to music while studying. I have to have it completely quiet in order to concentrate. I get distracted if I have the TV or music on.