As a School of Pharmacy at a research-intensive, state flagship university, our educational mission is to prepare both pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. For professional (Pharm.D.) students, this preparation includes a curricular component, both diadactic and experiential, and a co-curricular component (e.g. professionalization). As pharmacists, our graduates will practice in diverse communities and care for diverse populations. Consequently, it is vital that we nurture/inculcate in our pharmacy students the knowledge, skills, and characteristics that will be essential to them in their practice. For those pharmacy students who will not practice, and for our graduate students, such skills are also vital whether their career takes them to research, business, or other venues.
Schools of pharmacy can help to ensure these outcomes in their students in several ways. First, attracting a diverse student body, faculty, and staff will ensure regular exchanges with individuals of varying races, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and ability. Only by regular interactions with a diverse array of colleagues, teachers, and mentors can students fully appreciate varying perspectives among their future patients and co-workers. Second, schools can include required and elective coursework that exposes students to clinical, economic, and psychosocial needs of patients. Finally, schools can actively support co-curricular programming and extracurricular activities that celebrate diversity in all its many forms.
The characteristics of great schools of pharmacy—for that matter any elite higher education program—are well known. Other than the availability of state-of-the-art learning facilities, these characteristics rely on people. They include the matriculation of the best students, recruitment/retention of outstanding teachers and scholars and, perhaps most importantly, the establishment of a caring environment. Each of these characteristics is enhanced by the existence of a diverse population of teachers and learners.
UConn Cultural Centers
More more information on diverse cultures, visit the University of Connecticut cultural centers:
- African American Cultural Center
- Asian American Cultural Center
- Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center
- Rainbow Center
- Women’s Center