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Pharmacy Challenge team

From left, clockwise: Team members Breia Leavell, Cecilia Schowe and Caleb Hoppe. The inset photo is coach Jason Isch.

Manchester pharmacy team wins spot in national competition

A team of Manchester University Fort Wayne pharmacy students is among only eight in the nation that has earned the right to compete at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy global conference.

The ACCP Clinical Pharmacy Challenge is Oct. 15-17 in San Francisco.

Manchester team members Caleb Hoppe, Breia Leavell and Cecilia Schowe came out ahead in four rounds of competition, beating out teams across the country from 113 colleges of pharmacy to make it to the final eight. Because of a scheduling conflict, alternate Megan Gushrowski will take Hoppe’s place in San Francisco.

The challenge is conducted like a quiz bowl, with teams answering pharmacy trivia in a lightning round, a clinical case series and Jeopardy-style questions. 

Jason Isch“They have been amazing during each of these rounds and have shown just how intelligent and poised they are during rounds where they need to answer questions every 10 seconds,” said their coach, Jason Isch, an assistant professor of pharmacy practice and Bluffton native. He is one of the faculty liaisons for the Manchester ACCP student chapter.

Manchester is competing with teams from Auburn University, Belmont University, Southern Illinois University, University of Oklahoma, University of Tennessee, University of Toledo and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The team

Breia LeavellBreia Leavell
from Indianapolis hopes to gain a fellowship after graduation and utilize her clinical skills to help bring new innovative drugs to patients.

“The ACCP clinical pharmacy challenge has been a wonderful experience, getting to collaborate with brilliant minds in testing our clinical knowledge. It was great practice for the NAPLEX and a fun experience,” Leavell said.

NAPLEX, the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination, is a six-hour exam taken by recent pharmacy graduates. It has 225 questions designed to evaluate pharmacy practice knowledge.

Cecilia Schowe portraitCecilia Schowe
from Fort Wayne hopes to complete a residency after graduation and become an emergency medicine pharmacist.

“I am excited that our team could make it this far. We hope we are able to move forward in the competition in San Francisco, but no matter what happens we are proud of what we’ve accomplished so far,” Schowe said.

Megan Gushrowski from Michigan City has a strong interest in ambulatory care and plans to pursue a pharmacy residency this winter. 

Megan Gushrowski“I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the competition with this team! I am excited for this adventure and really just want to enjoy the experience at the conference in San Francisco. I am ready to test our knowledge of everything we’ve been learning for the past three years, and learn new things, too!”

Caleb Hoppe from Markle was team captain through the first four rounds.

He plans to take part in post-graduate residency training to further his experience in acute care and ultimately become an acute care specialist.

Caleb Hoppe“I have enjoyed the competition thus far because it has been fast-paced and exciting competing in each round,” Hoppe said. “We have everything to gain and nothing to lose from this competition, which makes it easy to do our best and relish without all the stress!”

Kendall Littlefield from Syracuse is also an alternate.

About pharmacy at Manchester

Manchester University Fort Wayne has offered a Doctor of Pharmacy since 2012 at Dupont and Diebold roads. In fall 2022, it added an online distance pathway track that filled to capacity its first semester with 35 students – the most allowed in the online program’s first year.

Manchester also offers a pharmacogenomics master’s degree and a dual degree in pharmacy and pharmacogenomics. Pre-pharmacy is offered at MU’s North Manchester campus.
Manchester has a strong tradition in the health sciences that goes back decades. Learn more.