Pharmacy student recognized at national convention
By Erin Garrett
The National Community Pharmacists Association Foundation selected Samantha Arrants to receive a Presidential Scholarship and recognized her at an awards ceremony Oct. 14, during NCPA's annual convention in San Diego.
The University of Mississippi pharmacy student received an award certificate during the ceremony, and her School of Pharmacy dean will receive a $2,000 check for her tuition and books. The NCPA Foundation also provided Arrants with complimentary conference registration and a stipend for her travel expenses.
Arrants said that she was "overwhelmed with excitement" when she learned she had been selected to receive the scholarship.
"I was very honored that I had been selected out of many other qualified students that had applied," she said. "The faculty at Ole Miss has prepared me with the education and confidence required to excel in pharmacy."
Recipients of Presidential Scholarships are selected on the basis of academic achievement, leadership qualities, interest in independent community pharmacy and extracurricular accomplishments.
Arrants, who is enrolled in the third-year of UM's professional pharmacy program, has a 3.4 grade-point average, was elected treasurer of UM's student NCPA chapter and received her school's 2012 NCPA Outstanding Student Member of the Year Award.
She has worked at Funderburk's Pharmacy in Hernando, an independently owned community pharmacy, for the past eight years.
"I started working there during my senior year of high school to see if pharmacy was the career I wanted to pursue," she said. "I have loved my job from the very beginning and believe the encouragement and support I received from co-workers is what has driven me to accomplish my goals. I enjoy working closely with patients and getting to know them on a personal level."
While a member of the National Honor Society at Hernando High School, Arrants completed the society's community service requirement by spending time with residents at the Wesley Meadows Retirement Community. While working at Funderburk's, she delivered medications to the residents and continued to build a relationship with them. Because of her classes and labs, she's unable to work there as often as she would like but still visits the residents.
"It warms a special place in my heart when I see their faces light up when I walk through the door, whether it's to deliver their medications or just to spend time with those who don't have loved ones nearby," she said.
After graduating with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in May 2014, Arrants plans to work at an independent pharmacy and hopes to own one someday.
"My experience at Funderburk's has shown me how much pharmacists impact patient care and lead to better health outcomes," she said. "It is my goal to contribute to and improve this quality of care."
Her work at Funderburk's also taught her the importance of keeping up with current information and technology. Since 2004, the pharmacy has updated its computer systems and begun using Parata,® RxSync,® Take-Away™ and My Dose Alert,™ and it began administering immunizations and B-12 injections.
"It is exciting to see the practice of pharmacy grow and be able to participate and grow as a professional as it happens," she said.
The Hernando native completed most of her pre-pharmacy curriculum at Northwest Community College, where she became a member of the Phi Theta Kappa national honor society and was an Academic Excellence Scholarship recipient.
"I am so excited for Samantha," said Donna West-Strum, chair of pharmacy administration. "She consistently demonstrates her passion for helping people though her service in independent pharmacy."