Chapter of the Year! Wayne State's Lambda Kappa Sigma chapter and advisor Dr. Mary Beth O'Connell earn accolades in Indy

From left: Andria Zuhlke (incoming Sisterhood Chair), Dr. Mary Beth O'Connell (Fraternity and Faculty Advisor), Kelly Kepley (outgoing Sisterhood Chair), Paige Hanke (outgoing Vice President), Jewel Konja (outgoing President), Michelle Dierker (outgoing Treasurer), Dr. Sara Brown (Region Supervisor) and Morgan Mrowca (incoming President).

Wayne State’s Omicron chapter of Lambda Kappa Sigma took the pharmacy fraternity's 2022 National Convention by storm, scooping up an armful of awards during the July 13-16 meeting.

Six collegiate members traveled to Indianapolis with their faculty advisor, Professor of Pharmacy Practice Mary Beth O’Connell, for the first LKS National Convention to be held in person since 2019. According to Class of 2024 PharmD candidate and LKS Omicron President Morgan Mrowca, the WSU attendees learned about key issues such as health disparities, strengthened their leadership skills and accepted a series of prestigious awards on behalf of their chapter — including Collegiate Chapter of the Year.

LKS Omicron sisters at the National Conference
Wayne State's 2022 LKS National Convention attendees.

“Winning Chapter of the Year at the LKS National Convention is something I had made my goal as president last year and worked towards with all the amazing members and advisors of the chapter,” said Class of 2023 PharmD candidate Jewel Konja, who served as the head of the group in 2021-22. “Our hard work and dedication finally paid off. As amazing as the awards are, no award can represent how LKS has shown me to empower women in pharmacy, be a leader, and give me the best friends a girl could ask for.”

Other honors included Top Leadership Team, Top Service Event and Top Chapter among Wayne State’s level.

“I truly feel this e-board has been one of the highest functioning, most goal-driven, altruistic, caring and successful e-boards since I have been the advisor,” said O’Connell. “All the sisters embraced and showcased the core values of LKS, and built upon all of the successes and sisterhood of past years. Their creativity and adaptability resulted in a very productive fundraising year, from mostly new activities. The first-ever Hope WaLKS 5K event combined with their Hygeia Day fundraiser brought in more than $3,000 for Project HOPE — thanks in big part to the support, attendance and contributions of Kappa Psi, faculty, staff and students, which we very much appreciate. Both events were an incredible amount of work, so I am extremely proud of LKS. This type of success only comes with great leadership, vision, loyalty and camaraderie.”

Dr. Mary Beth O'Connell
Dr. Mary Beth O'Connell with her Vanguard Leadership Award.

O'Connell herself was also an award recipient — she was presented with the Vanguard Leadership Award, which recognizes an LKS alumni member who has made sustained exemplary contributions to the profession, the community and LKS, emphasizing service to others, innovations and entrepreneurial spirit.

“It feels a bit weird to get an award for the best part of my career, which has been helping young fraternity women and men know their talents, achieve their greatness, fulfill their dreams, and become impressive, smart, caring pharmacists and sisters,” O’Connell said. “Each year, the vibe in Omicron chapter is so strong with creativity, innovation and the core LKS values that I receive much happiness, energy and pride.”

Pictured at top, from left: Andria Zuhlke (incoming Sisterhood Chair), Dr. Mary Beth O'Connell (Faculty Advisor), Kelly Kepley (outgoing Sisterhood Chair), Paige Hanke (outgoing Vice President), Jewel Konja (outgoing President), Michelle Dierker (outgoing Treasurer), Dr. Sara Brown (Region Supervisor) and Morgan Mrowca (incoming President). 

The Doctor of Pharmacy program at Wayne State University is a four-year curriculum in the heart of Detroit. Approximately 100 students are enrolled in each year of the program. WSU Applebaum information meetings for prospective students take place at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. The application process for the Doctor of Pharmacy program begins each July.

An anchor in urban health care

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is built on more than 100 years of tradition and innovation in the heart of Detroit. We have grown deep roots in our city, harnessing its powerhouse hospital systems and community service organizations as vibrant, real-world training grounds for students, with an ongoing focus on social justice in health care. And our research at all levels – from undergraduates to veteran faculty members – translates into creative solutions for healthier communities.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 25,000 students.

Return to news