American University of Health Sciences (AUHS) graduates were cordially invited to the annual AUHS Alumni night to reconnect with their peers and celebrate their success on Friday, March 17, 2017. Building 2 of the university campus came alive with disco lights and old-school hip-hop songs like “Bust A Move” by, Young MC and “Ice Ice Baby” by, Vanilla Ice. Over 50 AUHS alumni attended the event wearing their best suits and dresses. AUHS President Dr. Caroll Ryan, attended the event to deliver the opening statements of the evening.
“I’ve only been with AUHS for a little over a month but that doesn’t matter tonight because our relationship goes forward from here,” said Dr. Ryan, “I’m so glad that you are staying connected with the university and I want to stay connected with you and everything that you are doing because we have many great things to accomplish ahead!”
Dr. David Hawkins, the AUHS Dean of Pharmacy, announced the university’s vision for the future and plans to create a School of Pharmacy program.
“Nursing has done very well in AUHS for many years and I’m very excited about the addition of pharmacy to this university,” said Dr. Hawkins.
Dr. Hawkins explained how he had been an academic instructor for 41 years and one of the things he enjoyed the most was the interactions that occurred between students of “different disciplines.”
“Years ago, the Institute of Medicine made it very clear that patient care should be team based. It takes nurses, it takes physicians, it takes pharmacists, it takes people of different health professions, to deliver the best care to our patients,” said Dr. Hawkins, “One of the things that I have tried to do in my academic career is to get pharmacy students, medical students and nursing students together in class so there is interprofessional education that prepares them for and interprofessional practice. We plan to submit our application to the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education by January 2019.”
The next speaker of of the event was AUHS alumni Robert Gommez. When he was 17-years-old, Gommez attended the AUHS high school Pharm Tech Regional Occupational Program (ROP) in 2004. After Gommez graduated high school, he then went to UC Irvine (UCI) to study for his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences. He got a job at UCI while studying for his degree which helped pay two-thirds of his tuition. Gommez “worked his way up” and has served UCI for 11 years as a clinical informaticist for electronic medical records (EMR).
AUHS alumni Gabriela Lara was in the same high school ROP program as Gommez and she shared how she was accepted into the program.
“We had to do a very intense interview with (AUHS Co-founder) Pastor Johnson and (AUHS Founder) Dr. Dang (Hon.) so it wasn’t the easiest interview to pass,” Lara said, “But for the past 11 years, I have been working in everything related to the pharmacy field. Last year, I left pharmacy and I am now working under Molina Healthcare as a business analyst for their government contracts.”
After listening to speeches from their fellow alumni, guests poured each other a glass of wine and hit the dance floor. Alumni had the opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new connections. It was a night of dancing, laughter and nostalgia.
Guests were served salmon, baked chicken, rice and mixed vegetables for dinner. Towards the end of their meal, Maria Maloles, the AUHS Director of Marketing and Publications, held a raffle and gave winners gift cards for Starbucks, Target, and more.
At the end of the event, Chantal Jura, the AUHS Director of Career Services and Amarri Sanders, an AUHS Student Success Coordinator announced that the university was in the process of creating an Alumni Association.
“We are starting a new Alumni Association. We would love your thoughts, collaborations and communication,” said Jura, “We are hoping that there will be a bridge between current and past students so you, (the alumni), can help and influence other students.”
The Alumni Association could also help graduates find job opportunities, according to Jura. Jura hope that the Alumni Association will grow and have different regional chapters for alumni who are from the Los Angeles area, alumni who are from Orange County, alumni who are from out of state, and more. There will be a FaceBook group page and a LinkedIn in the near future.
“Please update your contact information and notify us if you changed your phone, email, or anything as far as us reaching you,” said Sanders, “We want to stay connected with you. You do not understand how much influence you have on those who have not graduated yet and how much you will be able to help those future graduates.”
About American University of Health Sciences
AUHS is a Christian based, minority-serving university, which educates students for careers in the healthcare professions. AUHS emphasizes the values of faith in God, love of humankind, and belief that all people have a right to healthcare and deserve a good quality of life based on wellness of body, mind and spirit. The university celebrates diversity, and reaches out to groups currently underrepresented in healthcare and research. AUHS provides the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, hands-on practical training and supportive environment required to create competent and compassionate healthcare professionals.
American University of Health Sciences is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001.