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Emily Swayka

Student in first College of Pharmacy class receives prestigious national scholarship

Posted: 01/31/2013
Emily Swayka, a member of Roosevelt University’s inaugural PharmD class, has been selected for the Leonard J. DeMino Pharmacy Student Scholarship by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation.

Swayka, who will be among the first to graduate in 2014 from the University’s unique three-year, year-round PharmD program, is one of only six pharmacy students across the nation to be selected for the prestigious and competitive National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) scholarship.

“I am honored to receive this recognition because retail pharmacy is the area I want to get into when I graduate,” said Swayka, a resident of Westmont, Ill., who was nominated for the scholarship by the College of Pharmacy and its 20-member Professional Council.

Currently working as a technician for CVS/Pharmacy in Glendale Heights, Ill., Swayka wrote an award-winning essay as a nominee for the $5,000 scholarship on “The Future of Pharmacy: Patient Care.”

“This is wonderful news for a student who clearly understands where the field of pharmacy in the United States is headed,” said George MacKinnon, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “It is also an amazing accomplishment for our program, which, as one of the newest in the country, has already forged meaningful partnerships in the community and is attracting record numbers of highly qualified candidates from around the country.”

Opened in July 2011 at Roosevelt’s Schaumburg Campus, the College of Pharmacy is the only one of its kind in the Midwest, offering a patient-centered curriculum in a three-year, year-round format that is designed to produce graduates who are competent, committed and compassionate.

Recognized nationally for its new custom-built, interactive facilities, the College of Pharmacy is home for an inaugural class of 66 students, including Swayka, who will graduate in the summer of 2014, as well as a second class of 71 students who will complete the program in 2015.  More than 700 candidates have already applied for admission to the program’s third class, which begins in July.
“I am proud I received the scholarship as it grants recognition to Roosevelt University’s College of Pharmacy on a local and national level. I am happy to be a part of such an innovative pharmacy program,” said Swayka.

Below are excerpts from the PharmD candidate’s  award-winning essay which Dean MacKinnon and others in Roosevelt’s College of  Pharmacy have credited as being “right on the mark” and “in step” with the direction of the pharmacy field and the expanding role of today’s pharmacist.

“The role of the pharmacist will change from being solely behind the counter to individualized patient medication management,” Swayka wrote. “Pharmacists will spend less time performing “typical” duties and more time performing one-on-one  patient counseling….In order to provide this level of care, I, as a future community pharmacist, must be committed to care for and care about patients.”

Swayka is a certified pharmacy technician and the vice president of the University’s student chapter of the American Pharmacists Association. She also has been certified by the American Pharmacists Association to administer immunizations. In addition, she is the granddaughter of George Katsaros, long-time owner and operator of Katsaros Pharmacy in Chicago and the niece of Elena Thompson, a pharmacist for Bioscrip, which is a home-infusion pharmacy operation.