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Ole Miss Pharmacy Students Offered Prestigious Internships

From left, Rachel Lowe, Dean David D. Allen and Kelsey Stephens
From left, Rachel Lowe, Dean David D. Allen and Kelsey Stephens

Two University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy students have received and accepted summer internship offers from The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

Kelsey Stephens and Rachel Lowe, both in their second professional year of pharmacy school, will participate in the highly competitive Johns Hopkins Pharmacy Internship Program. Johns Hopkins Hospital is consistently ranked as one of the leading health care institutions worldwide. Fewer than 20 students are offered this opportunity annually.

Stephens, a Greenwood native, was encouraged to apply for the internship by Mary-Haston Leary, a third-year professional student who completed the program last summer. Stephens said this internship program would provide her with an irreplaceable learning experience.

Following a lengthy application process, Stephens received the call in February that she had been accepted into the Education Training and Personal Development internship, which will be located on-site at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Education Division of the Department of Pharmacy trains and provides ongoing educational support regarding new policies, practices and drug therapies to the pharmacy staff.

As an intern, Stephens will be assisting with rotations, training, continuing education and staff development. She is excited about the educational and hands-on opportunities she will experience this summer.

“This internship will not only provide me with an unforgettable learning opportunity, but will also help me develop into a more well-rounded future health care provider through personal and professional growth,” Stephens said.

David Gregory, the pharmacy school’s associate dean for academic affairs, wrote a letter of recommendation on Stephens’ behalf. He said she has proven herself “time and time again” in both leadership and academics.

“Kelsey has been consistent in her commitment to practice in a clinical setting with a focus on research that improves patient care,” Gregory said. “She is dedicated to the profession, and I have no doubt that she will excel in this program.”

Lowe said she knew she wanted to expose herself to additional areas of pharmacy after interning at Walgreens last summer. She accepted her internship offer in early February.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Lowe will be interning in the Investigational Drug Services Department in Johns Hopkins Hospital. She will assist with dispensing investigational drugs, counsel research subjects, manage drug returns, and summarize protocols and federal regulations for clinical drug trials.

Lowe said she is thrilled about the opportunity to be mentored by “experienced and brilliant pharmacists and staff” at Johns Hopkins. She said her experience at the UM pharmacy school has allowed her to develop and prepare for this internship.

“The School of Pharmacy truly fosters growth and excellence in each of its students,” she said. “The staff gives its time to further our education and development, and I am grateful to the faculty and the deans for their commitment to interacting with and encouraging students in all of their endeavors.”

John Bentley, pharmacy administration professor and Lowe’s faculty adviser, wrote one of her recommendation letters.

“Rachel is a scholar, a servant leader, a committed member of the pharmacy profession and a person of high integrity,” Bentley said. “She is an individual who learns for the sake of learning – to improve herself and to help others. I have been very impressed with her work ethic, her high standards, and her willingness to go well above and beyond the basic requirements of pharmacy school.”

Both Lowe and Stephens will participate in weekly journal clubs, pharmacist and resident discussions, continuing education and individual research projects. They will also be able to shadow pharmacists in any specialty area of their choosing.

Leary said she is grateful for her internship experience and hopes that Stephens and Lowe will be able to make a hospital-wide impact on patient care. She shared some advice for her fellow student pharmacists.

“Keep your eyes wide open, and take advantage of every opportunity,” Leary said. “The internship program is dedicated to developing pharmacist leaders of the future. Every pharmacist, physician and nurse in the hospital is willing to share [his or her] knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek out opportunities to work on projects that interest you.”

Stephens’ and Lowe’s internships begin June 1 and conclude July 31.

Courtesy UM Pharmacy

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