Dual degree and first-generation college graduate, Lauren Yoder, received Fellowship

Name: Lauren Yoder

Program: PharmD/MSCR Dual Degree

Graduation: 2023

Undergrad: BS Clinical Research, Campbell University

Where were you employed prior to the Fellowship? Campbell University & Sovah Health

Title: Bachelor of Science in Clinical Research Graduate Assistant and Pharmacy Technician

Tell us a little bit about how amazing your current position is and what you do. How are you are making a positive impact? During my undergraduate clinical research experience, I was able to connect with my advisor and successfully acquire a position as the BSCR Graduate Assistant. My hire was based on familiarity with the program, having personally completed it, and my interpersonal skills. Having been in their position only a few years ago, I enjoy offering feedback and acting as a resource for BSCR students. In the role I managed my time with extracurricular activities and school duties to be able to better perform my tasks of coordinating senior workshops and presentations, while communicating with student host internship sites. I served as a liaison between BSCR faculty and department leads to manage the program revision of updating syllabi and building Blackboard courses.

I acquired my pharmacy technician position at Sovah Health in my hometown of Danville, VA, through networking with my Introduction to Hospital rotation preceptor. I calculated dosages, prepared medication orders, and delivered medications. The things I learned in the classroom about brand/generics, indications, compounding, and guidelines verses clinical practice all come into play when I am in the pharmacy. One of the most rewarding experiences was serving as a mentor to new hires by leading the hands-on technician training. I indirectly impacted patients in my community and hope to continue to become involved in activities that allow me to serve others.

Why did you choose CPHS and what benefits do you believe you have gained from attending Campbell? I chose CPHS because of the close-knit family and friendly feeling I received when I initially came for a campus visit. I enjoyed meeting the Campbell community and then being remembered when representatives came to visit during my high school’s College Night. It made sense to me to continue my education at Campbell in the pharmacy program. The pharmacy program stood out to me because of the dual degree programs, research opportunities, and variety of student organizations I could get involved in to better myself personally and professionally. The opportunities to learn the basics of clinical trials, comply with regulatory requirements, and seek approval influenced me to continue my learning of clinical research in the MSCR program. The degree works nicely with the PharmD curriculum, so I can better utilize my expertise to become a more well-rounded healthcare professional.

Please summarize your personal, business, and academic journey: As a dual Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) graduate, I was able to gain leadership experience, better my communication, and increase my time-management skills. I held several positions in the American Pharmacist Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists as the Membership Vice President and Over-the-Counter (OTC) Literacy Chair; Graduate Clinical Research Organization as the Treasurer, Secretary, and Student-Faculty Liaison; Industry Pharmacists Organization as the Director of National Engagement; and Phi Delta Chi Pharmacy Fraternity as the Professionalism Chair and Publication Chair. One of my favorite activities was participating in the Student Ambassador program because I shared my experiences and passion for Campbell from the undergraduate program to being a pharmacy student. Some of my past professional work experiences include being the MSCR Managing and Monitoring Clinical Trials Teaching Assistant, MSCR Regulatory Affairs/Principles of Clinical Research Teaching Assistant, and Blog Writer at Josef’s Pharmacy. These positions furthered my passion for research and allowed me to share my knowledge from the clinical research program with current students.

In the MSCR program, I was able to create and lead a research project on neuropsychiatric conditions in adults that used polyethylene glycol 3350 for chronic constipation. I was also incredibly fortunate to collaborate with past professors and serve as the lead author on a manuscript discussing the stability of oral liquid levothyroxine for congenital hypothyroidism in neonates.

A few of my accomplishments include being a member in the Rho Chi Honor Society and recipient of the Fred G. Hale Memorial Pharmacy Scholarship, Rebekah Lynn Heldreth Pharmacy Scholarship, Ray M. Harris Scholarship, and Danville Lions Foundation Scholarship.

After graduation, I started a Post-Doctoral Fellowship with Merck in conjunction with the Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship (RPIF) Program as a Late Stage Clinical Development General Medicine Fellow.

Why did you apply for this fellowship, what are you most looking forward to, and what advice would you give to students who want to pursue fellowships? Working at a contract-research organization in clinical operations fueled my interest in clinical trials, monitoring, and site management. However, I desired to know more about clinical trials such as study design, labeling, data management, and clinical reports which is what clinical development offers. Additionally, the company’s values aligned well with my own and the conversations I had with the Fellows, preceptors, and researchers were genuine and friendly. They were willing to help me on this journey, regardless of my decision. When I reflect, I am able to see the same positive qualities that drew me to Campbell within this company.

I am most looking forward to being able to experience the culture of a new area, meet new people, and apply both my pharmacy and research skills into the future of drug development.

My biggest piece of advice is to utilize the current Fellows! I reached out to every Fellow in the positions I applied for to learn about the company, role, area, preceptors, and fellowship process from their perspective. They were extremely helpful in narrowing down my top positions.

Please summarize any additional accomplishments. What are you passionate about? One of the most invaluable experiences I had at Campbell was participating as a Health Professions Readiness and Enrichment Program (HPREP) mentor. HPREP is a four-day interdisciplinary and professional development program for potential students interested in a variety of health programs. I was a resource for prospective students during one of the most exciting and crucial moments of their educational journey as they applied to graduate school. I wanted to share my experiences from completing the undergraduate program to being a pharmacy student to show others why I chose to continue to call Campbell my home and enter into a healthcare professional program. I enjoyed the comfort, friendliness, and willingness of the HPREP mentors to answer my pharmacy school questions when I participated in HPREP. I knew I wanted to encourage other students to reach their educational goals. This program improved my problem-solving, critical thinking, and organization skills that are valuable to me as a healthcare professional.

Reasons why prospective students should choose Campbell over other Graduate and Professional Schools: Campbell offers a feeling of being with ‘family’ and is home to some of the nicest people I have met. This was one of the most comforting things to me as I was applying to college and graduate school. At Campbell, there is something for everyone and the community is willing to help in any way. The cozy, rural environment is a bonus!

Additional items you would like to include: The picture I selected was taken at an apothecary in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia when I visited this summer.

I am a first-generation college student and the first doctor in my family! I am ecstatic and grateful to be where I am today which would not have been possible without my family’s continuous encouragement. On a deeper level, it means I am a step closer to having the life my family wanted for me. Attending college was not expected of me, but something I chose to do. My family never doubted me. I was taught early on that success requires hard work, resilience, and dedication. Just doing my best is enough even though there may be barriers, but they can be overcome. This mindset will help me reach my future goals as they have throughout my academic career.