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Week 2: February 25th - March 1st by Bernard Murray
During my second week at AACP, I continued my mission of meeting the various staff members of AACP, and delving into the career choices that they made to get them to AACP today. I had some wonderful discussions with the senior staff members of AACP, including the CEO, Lucinda Maine, Pharm.D. I was truly amazed at Dr. Maine and her personable nature. As you all can imagine, CEO’s are very busy, so when I initially scheduled the meeting, I was under the impression that the meeting would be quick and to the point because she had more pressing matters to attend to. However, when I walked into the room, she stopped everything, took a seat right next to me and we conversed like we were old friends. It made the conversation so much lighter and I enjoyed it very much.
One comment that really stuck out to me was her response to my question “what skills do you most value as a leader?”  Her response: “emotional intelligence.”  Emotional intelligence is defined as “the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups.” The ability to control her emotions while being able to assess and identify the emotions of others is something I haven’t heard referenced in relation to leadership. I left out of the conversation with Dr. Maine having a new outlook on the type of leader I want to become. She instilled in me knowledge that you can be “smart as a whip” but not be a very effective leader. It takes understanding the people and groups around you to truly be effective. This very important lesson is something that I will incorporate in my career as a Pharmacist.  I appreciate her for the advice she gave me about becoming a leader.
In addition, I had a lovely conversation with Dr. Mapes, Director of Education, about the responsibilities of becoming a faculty and the emphasis that should be placed on innovative teaching. Throughout my educational career, I have seen faculty that are passionate in academia. I shared my experiences with Dr. Mapes and she shared with me some of her experiences about her transition from experiential coordinator to professor.  From the conversation, I gathered that she is in support of the “flipped classroom model” in which there is more active learning in the classroom. As I was leaving her office, I realized that I should not forget my experiences as a student and the frustrations of professors that failed to meet my expectations. Instead, I should use these experiences to shape how I want to teach and become a professor that stimulates critical thinking skills, especially in infectious disease.
I was fortunate enough to sit in on a technology discussion with a representative for the Mondo-Pad. The Mondo-Pad is a huge tablet (about 60 inches) with actual computer capabilities. As a proponent of technology in the classroom, I was thrilled to see this and witness how schools can integrate this technology into the classroom. I was sold on the technology being used for AACP as soon as the technology demo was complete. However, it was fascinating watching the members at AACP debate on whether this technology could really benefit them. There was discussion from Jen Adams, Senior Director of Strategic Academic Partnerships, about how this technology would not be beneficial to her in regards to PCAT discussion. After that, the Association unanimously voted against brining the Mondo-Pad to AACP. By watching the members’ debate about the Mondo-Pad, I learned that I have to be more deliberate in my actions. Haste could possibly lead to useless spending and misappropriation of funds.
Lastly, I have finally decided on a project to complete. I have decided to develop a teaching & leadership seminar for “Pharmacy Education 2013: AACP Annual Meeting.” I will be working closely with Brad Miller, Associate Director of Academic Programs, to develop programming geared towards residents who desire to go into the field of academia. I have a base outline currently, but with everyone’s help, I am sure that it will come together to be a success.

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