In honor of the 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic, we’d like to introduce you to another of our amazing Morris Thompson competitive scholarship recipients: Janelle Solbos. A doctoral pharmacy student from Anchorage, Janelle is the daughter of Darrell Butler Jerue of Anvik and Carol H. Jerue of Portland, Oregon. Janelle’s paternal grandmother is Alta Jerue of Anvik.
Janelle attends the University Alaska Anchorage (UAA)-Idaho State University pharmacy program. She graduates in May 2020.
Doyon Foundation: Congratulations as you work toward a doctorate in pharmacy in a very competitive program at UAA. What does that fourth and final year of schooling hold for you?
Janelle Solbos: The fourth year is spent on rotations, learning from pharmacists in at least seven different settings. I’m poring myself into applying everything I’ve learned over the past three years to become a competent and caring pharmacist.
DF: Educating future pharmacists committed to remaining in Alaska is a key mission of your program. What are your plans as an Alaska pharmacist?
JS: I’m learning everything I can to serve Alaskans living in rural communities, especially places with limited connections to outside resources, a condition that’s true of many Alaska communities.
My husband and I have family living on Prince of Wales island in southeast Alaska. We hope to move there after pharmacy school.
DF: How did your interest in a pharmacy begin? Where has that interest taken you?
JS: Before enrolling in pharmacy school and for the first half of it, I worked as a pharmacy technician at two Anchorage hospitals. That’s where I was inspired to become a pharmacist.
I’ve held numerous student roles throughout pharmacy school. I was the first pharmacy student in Alaska to serve as a local chair of Operation Diabetes, a nationwide effort of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists to screen people at risk for diabetes.
I’ve also prepared and presented a drug utilization review, known as a DUR, for an Alaska Medical Assistance DUR committee meeting. These reviews are a quality-assurance measure. I also volunteer regularly as a Babies First Friend at neonatal and pediatric intensive care units at the Alaska Native Medical Center. Volunteering has been an incredible experience in meeting and supporting Alaska Native families.
DF: How have these efforts added to your program’s emphasis on educating pharmacists who serve as patient advocates?
JS: My volunteering and outreach activities are very valuable and rewarding. A desire to help Alaskans is the reason I decided I want to become a pharmacist and still want to be one.
My biggest challenge has been balancing my time and effort between outreach and volunteer work and extremely demanding coursework in the first years of pharmacy school. Support from Doyon Foundation and my family allowed me to spend time on both of these passions.
DF: How has Doyon Foundation helped you reach your goals?
JS: Foundation support meant that I could spend time establishing new roles on campus and becoming the first student in my program to hold a variety of positions with professional organizations in pharmacy.
Doyon Foundation generously supported my education so that I could limit my working hours to part time. That left time to study and pursue projects that supported my peers, community and learning.
Named in honor of the late Morris Thompson, former president and CEO of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Scholarship, awarded by Doyon Foundation, has helped more than 200 students earn college degrees. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic raises money for this competitive scholarship fund. This year’s golf classic took place June 13 and 14 in Fairbanks.
A special thank you to all of our 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic sponsors, including our certificate level sponsors: Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, and Taiga Mining Company. Your support makes scholarships for students like Janelle possible! View all 2019 sponsors on our website.
To learn about future opportunities to support the event as a sponsor, golfer or volunteer, visit the Foundation website for details.