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Each year brave doctor of pharmacy and undergraduate pre-pharmacy students step onto the Rotunda stage and put their talents on display. Sponsored by Walgreens and hosted by Pacific’s chapter of The Rho Chi Society, the annual talent show is an opportunity for students to showcase their artistic creativity.

Rachel Stone ’20 has been dancing since she was 4 years old. She started out in ballet, but was drawn to hula dancing. “I wanted to learn more about my culture since I am a quarter native Hawaiian,” said Stone. “Dancing allows me to express myself. For the talent show, I decided to showcase hula, rather than other forms of dancing. I wanted to share that part of my culture with my classmates and the faculty.”

Ryan Rana ’20 also has a background in ballet, but he currently focuses on urban choreography. He is a member of Syndicate Dance, a San Jose-based dance team that competes in urban choreography dance competitions across California. “Dancing is my way of saying what’s on my mind in ways that I can’t express otherwise,” said Rana. “Dance is something I can use to connect with other people.”

When considering career options, Rana knew he wanted to work in health care. An incident where one of his family members ended up in the hospital after taking the wrong medication put him on the path to a career in pharmacy. “It opened my eyes to the importance of pharmacists and the job they do,” he said.

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At this year’s talent show, Sharon Cheung ’21 performed the song “Jealous” by Labrinth. “I have been singing ever since I could talk,” said Cheung. “I sing because it is my favorite form of artistic expression. I love the way that singing can tell a story.”

Cheung started at Pacific as a pre-pharmacy student. “I decided to pursue pharmacy because it is at the forefront of accessible health care,” she said. “You can find a pharmacist in so many different health care settings, making it a versatile career and, most importantly, an accessible means to health carefor patients.”

Stone, Rana and Cheung emphasized the importance of having an outlet for self-expression. Having the opportunity to share their creative side helped them connect with their classmates. “A lot of people didn’t even know I could dance until the talent show,” Stone said. “I enjoyed showing people a different side of me than they see in class.”

“Dancing is my way of saying what’s on my mind in ways that I can’t express otherwise.”

“The Rho Chi talent show is an important tradition because it allows for friendly competition among students,” said Stephine A. Golik ’20, president of Rho Chi, Beta Omega chapter. “The talent show allows us to show the community that we are just as invested in maintaining our interests outside of school as we are dedicated to studying and the practice of pharmacy.”

The talent show is also a bonding experience for students who are pledging one of Pacific’s four professional pharmacy fraternities: Kappa Psi, Lambda Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Chi and Rho Pi Phi. Xin Guo, PhD, professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry, who serves as a faculty advisor for Rho Chi, said, “The Rho Chi talent show is also a platform for a number of student organizations to recruit new members. The students connect and collaborate with one another while preparing for the performance.” At this year’s event Dr. Guo and fellow Rho Chi faculty advisor Veronica T. Bandy ’00, ’08, MS, PharmD, FCPhA, FCSHP, clinical professor of pharmacy practice, were joined by guest judges Carly A. Ranson ’13, ’17, PharmD, MS, BCGP, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, and Roshanak Rahimian, PharmD, MSc, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.

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The Beta Omega chapter of The Rho Chi Society was established at Pacific in 1964 to encourage and recognize excellence in intellectual achievement and to advocate critical inquiry in all aspects of pharmacy. Its members are known for supporting their classmates by offering tutoring for students by students. Dr. Guo said tutoring goes beyond explaining a specific subject. Tutors play a key role in helping students identify their weaknesses and leverage their strengths.

“Tutoring shows students different ways to approach problems or see things from a different perspective, which can be useful for future classes and on rotations,” Golik said. “Tutors also share the struggles they had, so students can see that the academic excellence we have achieved was not without its own struggles.”

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By Anne Marie H. Bergthold
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