issue Fall 2020

"I know what my goal has to be."

By Sabreen Alfadel, Photos by Michael R. Schmidt

Andrew Romero, COP ’22, is keeping busy — and to say that is an understatement. As Mr. Romero works toward finding ways to adjust and maintain his study habits during COVID-19, he also embodies the spirit of interprofessionalism through his role as president of the Executive Student Council (ESC) and member of the President’s Cabinet. Some of his other responsibilities include assisting the Interprofessional Academic Committee (IPAC) and working at NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Highland Park Hospital as a pharmacy resource technician.

“ESC definitely showed me that RFU is a brilliant university in the things that we’re pursuing in interprofessionalism, and no matter how difficult (things get), that’s still core to our mission. It’s given me a huge respect for the university as a whole,” he said.

Since RFU’s transition to remote learning in March, Mr. Romero has continued his duties at the hospital, working around the challenges of limited physical interactions, since communication with patients has become more telephone- and computer-based. Mr. Romero now juggles his academic and professional life at three different locations: the hospital, campus library and home.

Pharmacy student Andrew Romero visits with a fellow student on the balcony of his apartment.

“Working at the hospital has been a nice break from sitting on my laptop for hours on end, and a way to be exposed to different drugs and treatment protocols in person,” he explained. “Work has become a little break for me, which I never would have expected.”

Mr. Romero values the opportunity to interact with patients and provide counseling. Despite the pandemic posing its challenges, he certainly has not lost sight of his resolve.

“I have a few faculty members that I look up to as practicing pharmacists; they’re in the ER, they’re in the ICU, they teach at RFU. I know that’s what my end goal has to be. It doesn’t matter what we’re going through right now; [being a pharmacist] has to be what I accomplish,” he said. “This isolation period is not the end — my end goal is still the same.”

Sabreen Alfadel is a staff writer with the RFU Division of Marketing and Brand Management, specializing in content development for social media efforts and initiatives.

Please note, any group photo that does not feature physical distancing or mask wearing was taken prior to the State of Illinois issuing such guidelines. RFU has policies in place that require these and many other safety measures.

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