Jenna Merandi, Pharm.D., M.S., is a member of the WVU School of Pharmacy Class of 2010. Dr. Merandi is a Medication Safety Coordinator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. During her studies at the WVU School of Pharmacy, she was a member of the WVU chapter the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists-Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP-SSHP), the Beta Eta chapter of the Kappa Psi co-educational pharmaceutical fraternity, and the Alpha Eta chapter of the Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS) national pharmacy leadership society.
Why did you choose the WVU School of Pharmacy?
I chose the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy because I was interested in becoming a pharmacist after shadowing a Pediatric Clinical Pharmacist at West Virginia University Hospitals. I chose WVU in particular because I wanted to continue my education in the great state of West Virginia, and I was very impressed by the quality of faculty that I had interacted with at WVU.
How has your education at the WVU School of Pharmacy helped you professionally?
I truly believe that my education at the WVU School of Pharmacy helped me get to where I am today along with completing a residency/master’s degree program upon graduation. The teachers and mentors I had at WVU helped me understand what it truly means to be a pharmacist, but also focused on the importance of becoming a leader in the profession as well. My education at WVU gave me a very strong foundation to succeed throughout school, rotations, and into my residency program. My mentor, Dr. Betsy Elswick, encouraged me to get involved inside and outside of the classroom from the very beginning of pharmacy school. She helped build my confidence to run for leadership positions and was very instrumental in inspiring me to apply for an administrative residency program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
It was not just the formal education at the WVU School of Pharmacy that helped me get where I am today. It was also the continued positive influence by our faculty that encouraged students to always remember what is most important at the end of each day — whether in pharmacy school or in your daily careers — and that is taking care of the patient. The faculty served as exemplary role models to me and helped me develop my communication skills and understanding of professionalism. I will always be very grateful to WVU for all of those things.
What is your fondest memory of the WVU School of Pharmacy?
My fondest memory of the WVU School of Pharmacy was the day that I received my white coat. That is a time in a student’s life in which they go from feeling like a student in a classroom to actually becoming a health care professional. I can still remember walking across the stage to receive my white coat and how happy I was to start my career as a pharmacist!
What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class at WVU was Pathophysiology. I enjoyed that class because it was very interactive and seemed most applicable to real-life situations in pharmacy.
How do you feel the School is preparing our student pharmacists for their careers and to be leaders in the profession of pharmacy?
I feel like the WVU School of Pharmacy is preparing our students very well for their careers and to be leaders in the profession of pharmacy. I believe that the school gives you a wide variety of education in many different areas in the field of pharmacy and also encourages students who want to pursue a residency, to find the residency that will be most meaningful to them. It is important to encourage student pharmacists to get involved in pharmacy organizations during school as that will help develop future leaders in the profession of pharmacy.
If you could tell the University community one thing about the WVU School of Pharmacy and your time here, what would it be?
I would tell the community that the WVU School of Pharmacy is continuing to give students the tools they need and the foundation to develop into leaders in our profession with always keeping the patient as the main focus in all decisions. I still to this day consider, “How will this decision impact the patient,” and I remember all the times that this was mentioned to us at WVU. The patient is our number one priority and WVU taught us to consider that whether you are rounding in a hospital, providing a dosing recommendation, dispensing in a retail setting, or making a decision for your pharmacy department.
Do you have words of advice for our current students?
Always continue to chase your dreams and the sky is truly your limit. Take advantage of opportunities that present to you and find ways to seek opportunities that interest you. Also, finding a mentor early on in pharmacy school will be very beneficial for you as there are many important things you can learn from the wonderful faculty surrounding you at WVU.