Hertema honored with service award

Heather Hertema, third-year UCSF School of Pharmacy student pharmacist, is the 2009 student recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Public Service. The award recognizes members of the UCSF community who have served the public exceptionally well beyond the scope of their normal UCSF job duties, research, or training. Hertema receive the award on May 1, 2009 from UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, MD, at the annual Founder's Day luncheon held on UCSF's Parnassus campus.

The award recognizes Hertema's work as the force behind Summer Science Camp, which she began as a first-year student pharmacist. The Camp exposes elementary school students to the excitement of science through hands-on activities, which include making water rockets, putting together cardboard boats to paddle across the campus swimming pool, constructing shock protectors for eggs to survive a five-story drop, and preparing ice cream with liquid nitrogen. Students are also exposed to a diverse group of students and faculty members in the health professions.

"Kids at this age are just excited," says Hertema. "These demonstrations are a lot of fun. You'll have students afterwards say something like, 'I used to want to be a teacher, now I want to be a scientist.' "

Working closely with the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco, the San Francisco Unified School District, and elementary school principals in the San Francisco Mission District the camp brought more than 60 upper elementary school children to the UCSF Parnassus campus for 1 to 2 week long science camps during the summers of 2007 and 2008. Camp plans for 2009 include recruiting students from underserved schools that are far from UCSF's Parnassus campus.

Summer Science Camp components have been adopted into other UCSF student service programs that share the goal of interesting young students in science and science-based careers. Many of the Camp's activities are now used by the Student National Pharmaceutical Association's 'Science Squad' at the Rosa Parks Elementary Science Discovery Project in San Francisco's Western Addition neighborhood and by the School of Pharmacy's Program for Investigation and Training for Careers in Health (PITCH), which is designed to bring students from underrepresented groups into healthcare careers by exposing them to science.

By partnering with the Center for Science Education and Outreach and recruiting new student coordinators, Heather has assured that her Summer Science Camp will be sustained after she graduates.


School of Pharmacy, PharmD Degree Program

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.