Pharmacy students donate time, talent to neighborhood


Here, students and faculty volunteer at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison, New Jersey. They are (clockwise from bottom): Anita Avanesian, Vivian Ekeh, pharmaceutical sciences professor Yong Guo, Neel Bhatt and JoAnne Mainiero. (Photos by W. Scott Giglio)

Before classes begin, the Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Pharmacy devotes one day of its weeklong orientation for first year students to give back to the community.

Students volunteered at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Atlantic Health System, the Interfaith Food Pantry, assisted living facilities Wynwood of Florham Park, CareOne, Juniper Village and Sunrise Assisted Living of Morris Plains and Sunrise Assisted Living of Madison.

“The people in our class come from so many different places, but we share so many similarities. We have a common goal and that is to help others,” says first year student Neel Bhatt of Edison, New Jersey.


Smiling volunteers (back row, from left): Elizabeth Quijada, Vivian Ekeh, Anita Avanesian, Barbara Rossi (assistant dean for experiential education), Michael Avaltroni (dean), Anastasia Rivkin (assistant dean for faculty and professor of pharmacy practice), Chadwin Sandifer (assistant dean for student affairs & programmatic effectiveness) and Courtney Howard. Front row, from left: Neel Bhatt, Yong Guo (pharmaceutical sciences professor), JoAnne Mainiero and Matthew Manzi (second year student ambassador).

The day goes a long way to support the five core values of the Pharmacy curriculum — think, lead, advocate, communicate, and implement. 

“We incorporated the 'Into the Streets' program into our orientation because we see that there is tremendous value to our students, even from this early onset, in getting an appreciation for how to engage the community,” says Pharmacy Dean Michael Avaltroni. “Because the role of the pharmacist as a community leader and as someone who is present and available will be a critical skill they will take with them into practice. We are certainly excited to show them that is a hallmark of our program.”

Feature Story from the FDU Newsroom

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