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USciences Student One of 40 Chosen Nationwide as Paul Ambrose Scholar
As a Philadelphia native, Jenna Januszka PharmD’21 knew she wanted to attend college in the city she called home but had a different idea of where her career would take her.
Januszka’s childhood dream was to become a medical examiner like her favorite character, Dr. Melinda Warner, on “Law and Order: SVU.” It wasn’t until she began her professional program at USciences that her path began to change.
“Even after starting the pharmacy program, I had considered applying to medical school,” she said. “However, I fell in love with pharmacy when I saw how much pharmacists could do in public health while taking the global health elective my first professional year.”
The choice to stick with the doctor of pharmacy program has proven to be one that’s paid off; in 2019, Januszka became one of approximately 40 students chosen as a Paul Ambrose Scholar, a program that helps students integrate public health into their future clinical practice.
“I was chosen for the Paul Ambrose Scholar Program (PASP) for my proposal to increase access to rapid HIV testing to adolescents in Philadelphia,” said Januszka. “HIV awareness, prevention, and treatment is a special interest of mine, and I’m really excited to gain more experience with it before encountering it in the pharmacy curriculum.”
As the younger sister of a USciences graduate, Januszka knew of the University before enrolling. She said she knew that it would be a good experience, but now feels that she wouldn’t have had the same level of opportunities elsewhere.
“Being at such a small school has allowed me to build much closer relationships with faculty than what would be possible at a larger university,” she said. “The location of the university also has played a key role in the development of my research project and my community impact.”
Last semester, Januszka was looking to get more involved in the Philadelphia community, specifically with women’s health. That led her to become a coach for Girls on the Run, an organization that uses running to promote health in young women.
The role has helped Januszka build communication skills and her medical background has given her the knowledge and tools to help the girls with different things, like proper inhaler use.
She’s also a member of the USciences Student Chapter of the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association.
“It’s a great way to network with pharmacists and students from across the state as well as get to know faculty outside of the classroom,” said Januszka. “They even hold competitions for the students at the conferences, such as the Over The Counter Competition, in which I was part of the winning team in January.”
Januszka, Melissa Weingartner PharmD’19, and Ally Cerino PharmD’20 took first place out of seven schools in the OTC competition, a Jeopardy style contest featuring interesting self-care questions.
Januszka is set to graduate in 2021 and plans to pursue an HIV/ambulatory care residency as well as a master’s degree in public health.
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