Being a Cougar student pharmacist means you have the opportunity to learn and develop in the WSU community with both your peers and alumni.
Fred Meyer Alumni-Student Mentor Program
The college’s alumni network is an anchor to our program. Since our founding in 1891, the pharmacy program boasts an alumni network which holds leadership positions ranging from government to private industry across the country. Our alumni are not only committed to cultivating the next generation of pharmacy students, but they also make up one of the most engaged alumni bases in the university. In your second year, students have the opportunity to request an alumni mentor and matched based on your field of interests. Alumni mentors help guide you through your academic and professional journey while offering knowledge and advice with a real-world perspective. Fred Meyer sponsors this invaluable networking opportunity for student pharmacists.
- Academic support and career guidance while building a professional network
- Perspective from someone who has had similar experiences and succeeded in WSU pharmacy school
- Guidance in developing a career plan and exploring options
- Exposure and access to different viewpoints, resources, and people within the pharmacy profession
- Additional help with identifying skills that you should develop while in school
- Active engagement with CPPS and the PharmD program, especially if an alumni
- Ability to give back in a meaningful way aside from physical or financial support
- Contribute knowledge and time as a Cougar student pharmacist to mentor, support, and guide current PharmD students
- Build strong connections within the Cougar pharmily and help student pharmacists transform to professionals
“I am so thankful that I’ve been able to engage with the Fred Meyer Alumni Mentor program since my first year of pharmacy school. Through this program, I have developed a valuable, lifelong connection with an alumnus who truly is excited to help me out in any way they can. Whether that be from navigating course electives, to engaging in extracurriculars or preparing for residency, it’s been a blessing to have someone I can look to for trusted advice and know they have my best interests at heart. I’d like to thank WSU CPPS for offering this program to all students and for all the alumni who take the time to influence and mentor future practitioners in pharmacy!”
–Kennedy Erickson, class of 2023
Participation in the program requires a few hours each month during the PY2 year after matching. Mentor and mentee pairings are free to determine their own schedules for communication and meeting. After that, mentors and mentees are encouraged to connect at least twice each semester. The more regular communication there is between a mentor and mentee, the more productive and successful the partnership. Once a mentor is assigned, they will remain with that student throughout the student’s academic career, with the hope that a lifelong partnership is formed.
Before volunteering/opting-in for the program, all potential mentors and student mentees are asked to consider the commitment they are making to their fellow Cougar. Once you have been paired with a mentor or a student mentee, you are obligated to be proactive and committed to establishing an honest, communicative, and productive partnership.
Student pharmacists will:
- Make initial contact and reach out to their mentor first
- Be respectful of their mentor’s time
- Maintain a professional demeanor when interacting with their mentor
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns
- Be motivated and dedicated to providing meaningful mentorship and guidance
- Aim to respond to mentee(s) within 72 hours
- Contact email@example.com with any questions, concerns, or contact information/volunteer commitment updates
Together, the student pharmacist and mentor will:
- Collaboratively decide expectations of partnership
- Determine the frequency of conversation and preferred contact method(s)
- Strive to connect for at least a couple hours each month throughout the first two semesters of the program
- Discuss what you are both hoping to gain from the partnership
- Learn about the Fred Meyer Alumni-Student Mentor Program and determine if you want to participate
- Student pharmacists will be contacted to opt-in to the program and provide necessary information to be matched during the fall semester
- Mentors and student pharmacists will be informed of their mentor/mentee pairings in early spring semester
- Student pharmacists – it is your responsibility to contact your mentor first! Please contact your mentor within two weeks of receiving the pairing email.
- Throughout the remainder of the year mentors and mentees will receive monthly emails with tips in maintaining your partnership and suggestions for discussion items
+ PY3 and beyond
- Connect with your mentor/mentee at least twice a semester
- Nominations of Mentor of the Year open every Fall
- If you are an alumni or preceptor and are interested in becoming a mentor, please fill out the mentor interest form (coming soon!)
- If you are a currently mentor and need to update your contact information or your volunteer commitment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
+ Student Pharmacists
Am I required to participate?
- Student pharmacists can opt into the Fred Meyer Alumni-Student Mentor Program and are not required to participate.
What if I don’t receive a response from my mentor?
- Please give your mentor adequate time to respond, as they have additional commitments outside of volunteering their time as a mentor. If a week has passed, respectfully reach out to them again to touch base. If a response still has not been received after two weeks of the second contact attempt, please contact email@example.com.
What if I want to reach out to my mentor during the summer or breaks?
- We would encourage you to talk with your mentor about expectations and boundaries of maintaining connection when courses are not in sessions.
I didn’t opt in for the program during my PY2 year but am now interested – who can I talk to?
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I have to be in Spokane or Yakima to participate?
- No! We recognize that many of our alumni are located outside of Central and Eastern Washington and are encouraged to volunteer.
What if I don’t hear from my mentee?
- If a month has passed after receiving the mentor/mentee pairing email and you have not heard from your mentee, please email email@example.com.
Can I have more than one mentee?
- Yes! Please be mindful of the time you are able to commit to volunteering.
Do I get a new mentee every year?
- That is an option – you may also stick with one mentee throughout their time in the program and receive a new student pharmacist mentee once they graduate.
What if I need to update my contact information or my volunteer commitment/preferences?
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Peer Mentor Program
The Student Peer Mentor Program pairs each student pharmacist with an upper classman in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. This program offers support from a fellow classmate who can give advice on exams, community involvement and much more. The peer mentor program is organized by our student ambassadors.