Pharmacy Student Collaborates with Faculty and Alumni to Launch New Leadership Elective
When Nour Kadouh, P4, joined Jolene Bostwick, PharmD’04, assistant dean for co-curriculum and professional development and clinical professor of pharmacy, for an independent study, she didn’t know the result would be steering a new course, Pharmacy 617: Foundations of Pharmacy Leadership, from concept through to the end of its first semester.
The idea for the course began a few years ago between Nancy Mason, PharmD’81, emerita clinical professor of pharmacy, and John Clark, PharmD, clinical associate professor of pharmacy and associate chief pharmacy officer, Michigan Medicine. They wanted more opportunities for students to explore and discuss leadership in different areas of pharmacy. Dr. Clark, who is also a co-course coordinator with Dean Bostwick, agreed to place the development of such an opportunity with Nour in January 2020.
“Through the process of creating the leadership course, Nour scoured the literature, identified leadership topics already covered, met with various stakeholders, identified gaps and opportunities, and proposed a topic outline,” explains Dean Bostwick. “Beyond this, she thoughtfully considered the course format, potential instructors, created assignments, including a course project, and worked on developing the content for each week. We launched the course starting January 2022 thanks to her tremendous efforts.”
The seven-week, fully remote course kicked off with a group of seventeen P2 and P3 students. “The course is formatted so that students independently review instructional material prior to joining a one-hour synchronous session. We were very fortunate to have ten adjunct faculty members at Michigan Medicine, many of whom are alumni as well, leading these sessions,” notes Nour. “The final course project tasked each student group with interviewing an alumnus and discussing a relevant topic based on their personal experience in the workforce – imposter syndrome, representation in pharmacy leadership, maintaining wellness as a leader, emotional intelligence, and motivating others.”
Pharmacy alumni in leadership roles joined the course to talk one-on-one about their diverse careers and leadership journeys, all while helping students hone their networking and mentoring skills.
“I enjoyed speaking with the students about leadership and representation in leadership,” says Barima Opong-Owusu, PharmD’11. “The students asked well thought out, purposeful, probing questions. One question that stood out to me was ‘Do I have a mentor and how did I go about finding one?’ In my niche of pharmaceutical industry, I haven't had the opportunity to work with or under many other Black males that I can lean into to help navigate my career. I do have people from all walks of life I can ask questions related to pharmacy and career, but in a mentor, I wanted someone who could fully appreciate some of the hurdles I have and will face in the corporate world. Being a mentor to students myself, I understand the importance of that important aspect, otherwise some critical teaching and learning opportunities may be missed.”
“The course provided a safe space for me to practice and learn about the skills needed to flourish as a leader in the field of pharmacy,” says Emily Barker, P2. “Not only was I able to identify areas needing further development, but I was also able to identify the strengths I bring to any team setting.”
“Every speaker was so passionate and friendly, making the zoom environment a safe and casual space,” notes Sarah Schang, P2. “I cannot wait to take the tools I learned in this class and work on applying it to my life every day!”
"I am passionate about developing my leadership abilities, as I hope to be a community pharmacy manager,” adds Andy Ross, P3. “One of my favorite things I took from the course was learning about radical candor. It's a sweet spot where one is direct and empathetic in statements to others during feedback. The great discussions and alumni speakers made me truly look forward to P617 each week."
Nour, who is interested in pursuing a career in academia, believes the course is beneficial for all pharmacy students regardless of their chosen career path. The College plans to offer Pharmacy 617 again during the Winter 2023 semester.
Nour graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biological Sciences in 2018. During her time at the U-M College of Pharmacy, Nour has been involved in the Leadership Scholars Program, American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists and Pharmacy Student Ambassadors. She was selected as a 2021 AACP Walmart Scholar, where she learned more about academic pharmacy. She also won the 2021 Exemplary Student Award, presented by the Southeastern Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists.