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    Wilkes University Student Pharmacist Alex Ponce Wins Achieving Independence Competition at Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association Annual Conference

    Wilkes University student pharmacist Alex Ponce of Oley, Pa., 19547 was one of three students on the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy team which won the Achieving Independence Competition at the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association Annual Conference on Sept. 23. The team was honored with a $1,000 cash prize for their student organization. The conference was held at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, Pocono Manor.

    The competition is designed to encourage entrepreneurial pharmacy students to one day own their own pharmacy. Students create a business plan based on either starting up a brand new pharmacy in Pennsylvania or purchasing an existing pharmacy. The business plan is then developed into a poster and the students deliver an oral, ten-minute overview presentation followed by up to five minutes of questioning by the judges.

    The faculty advisor was Julie Olenak, assistant dean and associate professor in the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy, and their independent coach was Wilkes alumna Stephanie Smith Cooney who earned her doctor of pharmacy degree in 2004.

    Following the delivery of all presentations, the five judge panel critiques the presentations and assigns point values in areas such as innovative concepts and creativity, feasibility, and format to determine a winner.

    The Wilkes students competed against teams from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and University of Pittsburgh.

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