“I’ve seen the impact we can have in clinical settings either through my preceptors, colleagues, or myself during my APPEs, and I think applying our drug knowledge beyond medication counseling is where we shine. It’s great to see roles being expanded through legislation or organizational changes.”

Set to graduate on May 17, 2024, Dr. Jack Menzagopian has been honored with this class’s Panther Award, which recognizes excellence in pharmacy leadership, promoting the pharmacy profession, and has exceptional community engagement and service.

Dr. Menzagopian was drawn to Chapman University School of Pharmacy for a blend of team-based learning and it’s accelerated program after earning his Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Loyola Marymount University. Unlike other pharmacy schools based on a four-year program, Chapman’s accelerated program allows PharmD graduates to pass the NAPLEX after 3 years and begin affecting patient’s lives a year earlier.

While science came naturally to him, one of the driving reasons to work with patients was his Catholic faith. “It’s the main reason I have a passion for helping others, whether it’s manifested as patient care or helping out my classmates for a variety of things. Trying to unite my faith with my career has helped maintain my drive to provide quality patient care.”

Dr. Menzagopian shared his passion for patient care with his classmates, and ensured he was an active member in Chapman Pharmacy’s community. Dr. Menzagopian tutored his classmates, and held several leadership positions such as Treasurer for the Vietnamese American Pharmacy Student Association and Historian for the Hispanic Association of Pharmacists, all while maintaining a GPA that landed him on the Dean’s List with High Honors for his cumulative time at Chapman. “I agreed to be an Supplemental Instructor and tutor because I get to help others in classes they find difficult. I agreed to take on my board positions and extracurricular activities because people asked for help and I was willing to provide it. That desire to help others put me in positions that have given me invaluable experiences, which helped drive my career development.”

Dr. Menzagopian had a knack for bringing lighthearted debate to the classroom, ranging from impromptu debates about pizza to complex nuances of MRSA coverage in non-purulent SSTIs, building a vibrant sense of community within Chapman Pharmacy. To him, building community through kindness, service, and inclusion is a pillar of his faith that bridges into pharmacy and education.

Reflecting on the broader role of pharmacists, Jack hopes that public awareness of pharmacists shifts into a more realistic and holistic view of the profession. “There’s a misconception to the general public that pharmacists count pills and only work in retail, and I fell into that before discovering where you could work as a pharmacist. My family always talks about how in the Middle East, where they grew up, the doctors don’t write prescriptions, they give you a diagnosis and tell you to ask the pharmacist what to take.”

After Dr. Menzagopian walks across the stage to receive his degree, he will begin a PGY-1 Residency at Loma Linda University where he looks forward to a wide variety of elective rotation spots and tailor his experience to align with his goals in academia, acute care, and infectious diseases.