CUSP is proud to unveil a new update to our mission and vision statement, which now encompasses our steadfast dedication to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Through the collaboration of our dedicated DEI Task Force, CUSP has enriched the language used to define our core values to better reflect our proactive endeavors to empower every individual at CUSP.

The DEI Task Force was charged in late 2022 and was created in February 2023, and has since taken significant strides in ensuring that our mission genuinely reflects our values of diversity, inclusion, and equity across all dimensions of CUSP, including classrooms, labs, research centers, and our campus. Through collaborative and concerted efforts, we have revised our mission statement to underscore our unwavering commitment to fostering an inclusive educational environment that empowers and uplifts all students, faculty, and staff members.

Laura Gorospe, CUSP’s Director of Finance and Administration, is a founding member of the task force and has been leading the team since its official creation in early 2023. “There are some great ideas that have already emerged from our task force on how we thread DEI into our school, curriculum, hiring & admissions practices, and web representation, just to name a few,” she says. Laura, a Chapman University alumna and one of CUSP’s longest-serving staff members has been instrumental in leading the task force. “One of the first items we were charged with as a task force included the formation of a mission and vision statement focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the team was very thoughtful in its formation, but also in making sure all of our stakeholders on-campus – students, faculty, and staff – had an opportunity to review and buy-in. It’s nice to see ideas and goals, which may have existed on an individual basis, being formalized, and woven into who we are as a school.”

It wasn’t just staff and faculty at CUSP who influenced this change- Several students, including Nikki Derleth, have been excellent resources on the task force and have shaped the outcomes to represent student desires. “Seeing the fruition of our initial discussions on the Rinker campus through the development of a DEI task force, DEI class representatives, and now the updated Mission and Values, is something I am humbly proud to be part of,” she says. Nikki, PharmD candidate ’24 and President of the Hispanic Association of Pharmacists has become an advocate for all types of inclusion and greater access to resources at Chapman’s Rinker campus. “The incorporation of DEI principles into the fabric of the institution serves as a lasting declaration of the significance we place on embracing our differences and uniting as a community.”

In conjunction with revising our mission statement, the task force has embarked on a multifaceted approach to increasingly foster practices and policies that align with DEI objectives. CUSP has begun to develop a comprehensive plan to implement equitable practices in all aspects of our school, and we intend to begin the services of an agency that specializes in evaluating organizations and teaching them how to shift their practices towards greater equity. These upcoming initiatives will likely encompass curriculum development, admissions practices, recruitment strategies, and community engagement efforts.

As a pharmacy school, we teach the pharmacists of tomorrow about patient safety, drug discovery, and other drug-based sciences, and we note the importance of leading by example when it comes to social and cultural aspects. The transformative power of education in shaping minds and perspectives is not just limited to STEM, and we highlight in our curriculum that DEI components are integral to safe pharmacy practice. By broadening the range of course materials and incorporating multicultural perspectives, we aim to foster critical thinking, empathy, and cross-cultural understanding among our students.

Chapman University School of Pharmacy’s updated mission and vision took effect in late spring, 2023:

Educate and promote diversity in the next generation of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists to improve health through engaging in inclusive and equitable team-based, patient safety-focused health care and conducting transformative research and scholarship.

We accomplish this by:

  • Empowering students to become self-learning professionals through flipped learning andragogy that leverages state-of-the-art technology and teamwork.
  • Providing an infrastructure that emphasizes collaborative research and scholarship that makes a difference in people’s lives.
  • Creating a diverse and inclusive culture that equitably supports, nurtures, and mentors students, faculty and staff to be successful and makes it a top academic institution to study or work in Orange County.
  • Optimizing delivery of healthcare for those with diverse and unmet needs in Orange County.
  • Establishing strategic partnerships, collaborations and alliances to advance our mission.
  • Embracing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in all facets of our educational programs.