Melanie KesterClass year and major: 2003, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

Current position and responsibilities: At the Roudebush Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, I am a staff-development coordinator and co-director of a PGY2 (post-graduate year two) internal medicine pharmacy residency. For staff development, I work to develop a variety of educational opportunities for our entire staff to help continue their ongoing professional learning, as well as educate on changes within our department or facility. As a residency program director, I work with my colleagues to ensure adequate learning opportunities are available to provide growth and mentoring to our residents.

I’m also an adjunct assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Butler.

Major project/achievement of the past year: I won the 2010 Under Secretary for Health Pharmacy Award for Innovation with three colleagues for the development and implementation of a Non-Traditional PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program.

Why did you choose pharmacy as your career: Growing up my grandmother had multiple sclerosis and I wanted to have a career that would allow me to make a difference primarily for people who have untreatable illnesses. Initially, I wanted to do research and thought about medical school, but then realized that drug development would have a bigger impact, so pursuing a pharmacy degree seemed appropriate. The secondary reason is that I had a friend at Butler while I was in high school and – through visits with her – fell in love with the campus. Butler had a pharmacy school not a medical school. My choice became clear—pharmacy.

How did Butler prepare you for your career: I was given the tools and opportunities to learn not just about pharmacy, but opportunities to learn and grow individually, as well. Living with 75 women in one of the sorority houses helped teach me numerous things including communication, leadership skills, teamwork, and the importance of friendship, loyalty and kindness. The combination of knowledge and intangibles provided the framework to be successful.

Most memorable experience(s) at Butler: I have several: Bid Day 2008; making dinner with friends and then staying up late studying for cluster exams;sitting at the base of the bell tower with one of my best friends, Sarah, at night just talking.

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