Derek VanderHorst and Erica Asaro, Two Recipients of Leadership Stoles

Derek VanderHorst1Name: Derek VanderHorst
Year: Second Year Pharmacy Student, Senior
Major: Pharmacy
Involvement: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Heartburn Awareness Chairman of American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists, Omicron Delta Kappa – National Leadership Honors Society, President of Phi Lambda Sigma – National Pharmacy Leadership Society, Intramural Broomball, Intramural Softball, Intramural Flag Football, Honors Program Pharmacy Panel during Orientation, Pharmacy Intern at Meijer, Campus-Wide Community Service Events (The Big Event, Relay for Life), Medication Counseling and Drug Take-Back Events, Free Public Health Screenings, Honors Program Peer Mentor, College of Pharmacy Peer Mentor
Achievements: Honors Program Outstanding Leader Award, Doctor of Pharmacy Scholarship Recipient

When asked a few questions about receiving his stole for leadership, Derek as more than ecstatic to answer.

How did you earn your stole for leadership?
“I think that I earned my stole due to my growth as a leader over the past four years. I came to Ferris State without much interest in community service. As each year passed, I gained more experience in that service and found a real passion for it. I found that through leadership positions I was able to inspire others to find their passion, and by my senior year I was heavily involved in a variety of organizations. I now am always looking for new opportunities to get involved in any way that I can, especially when those opportunities involve my other passion of healthcare; specifically pharmacy.”

derek vanderhorst2What leadership positions enabled you to earn your stole?
Pre-PharmD Club President – 2010-11
Phi Lambda Sigma President – 2012-13
Honors Program Peer Mentor – 2010-11
College of Pharmacy Peer Mentor – 2012-13

How does it feel to be rewarded for your leadership before other students?
“I am truly honored to have been selected out of so many other extremely qualified applicants. The Honors Program is full of so many incredibly successful and inspirational people that are will be amazing leaders as they progress through their lives. Being selected out of such a talented group is an incredible feeling.”

Derek mentioned he has always said that joining the Honors Program at Ferris State was the best decision he’d ever made. “The Honors Program gives its students the tools, opportunities, and experiences they need to excel in everything that they do. I am truly honored to be individually recognized by a program that contains such amazing students,” he said. “I hope the best for the Honors Program in the future, and I know that it will continue to do what it does best; forge the leaders of tomorrow that our country needs.”

Jess&me-cruiseName: Erica Asaro
Year: Second Year Pharmacy Student, Senior
Major: Pharmacy
Involvement: American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists, Michigan Pharmacists Association, The National Pharmacy Leadership Society – Phi Lambda Sigma, Ferris State University College of Pharmacy Professionalism Committee, Veteran Healthcare Outcomes Research Project, Veteran Health Screening Events, SLA facilitator for Biochemistry, Pharmacy Intern at CVS, Waitress at Big Boy, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Diabetes Clinic in Big Rapids, Habitat for Humanity of St. Clair County, VA Medical Center in Detroit, The Big Event
Achievements: Doctor of Pharmacy Scholarship, Ferris State University President’s Scholarship, Marine City Endowment Foundation Scholarship, Patricia F. Schwartz Scholarship, Dean’s List, Health Professions Scholarship Program – United States Air Force (Ranked “First Non-Select”, or 3rd of 87 Nationwide), Outstanding Honors Senior Contender, Outstanding Leader Award, Channel 7 News Station Brightest and Best

Erica commented:
I am honored to have received the leadership stole. I was elected Vice President and am Generation Rx chair of the Ferris State University (FSU) Chapter of the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). A peer recognized me as a leader and nominated me for induction into the National Pharmacy Leadership Society Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS), and I was also elected community service chair of the FSU chapter of PLS. I was chosen by our Biochemistry professor to be the structured learning assistance instructor for the incoming first year pharmacy students, and in doing so, helped them to achieve a higher pass rate than the previous semester. I was selected by the FSU College of Pharmacy (COP) faculty to be on the COPDSC01534 Professionalism Committee, and I received an Outstanding Leader Award at the Ferris State University Honors Banquet. I think that being a leader is more than just holding leadership positions, however. It is setting an example and fostering success in others as well. It feels great to have been selected to receive the stole, but I hope that in receiving the stole, we (the recipients) encouraged others to be the best they can be. 

I want to thank the Honor Program, because I really think that it helped set me on a path to success. When I was a freshman at Ferris, I was intimidated and overwhelmed, but the Honors requirements forced me to get involved. I don’t know where I would be without this push from the Honors Program to grow as a freshman when I thought I could not handle it.”

The Honors Program wishes Derek and Erica the best of luck in their future “endeavors” in their careers!


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