From pills to bills: Pharmacist turned senator to speak at UH event

James T. McCarty Leadership Lecture Series to feature state Senator Leticia Van de Putte

Pharmacist turned legislator, State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, will be the keynote speaker for the University of Houston's James T. McCarty Leadership Lecture Series at 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15.

The event is open to the public and sponsored by the UH College of Pharmacy and the Upsilon Chapter of Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS), the national honorary pharmacy leadership society.

Working as a pharmacist for more than 26 years, Van de Putte is now serving her third term as a Texas State Senator for District 26. In 2002, she became the chair of the Senate Hispanic Caucus, is currently the chair of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus and was the former president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. At the last Texas Pharmacy Association convention, she donated a gavel used in the Texas Senate for the convention's auction that UH pharmacy students then acquired because of how it represents to young leaders a way pharmacists can make a difference. Van de Putte will present that gavel to the PLS Upsilon Chapter following her lecture on leadership.

"I am honored to serve as keynote speaker of the University of Houston's James T. McCarty Leadership Lecture Series," said Van de Putte. "Tomorrow's leaders are on university campuses today, and I am excited about the opportunity to come before them. Students often feel as if they are moving targets of law-makers, but in my lecture I want to emphasize the importance of students being on-target when it comes to public policy. Students need to stay involved in policymaking, and in turn policy-makers will be held accountable to students' higher education needs."

The lecture series is named for James T. McCarty, a retired UH professor and alumnus who currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the UH College of Pharmacy. From graduation to retirement, McCarty has built a legacy of professionalism in the classroom and in pharmacy practice, and the lecture series is a reflection of PLS's appreciation of his accomplishments as a pharmacist. Throughout the curriculum, faculty and students use McCarty as a model of leadership within the profession by emulating his ideals and teachings.

McCarty has received many honors including Harris County Pharmacist of the Year, the UH College of Pharmacy Distinguished Alumni Award, Texas Pharmacist Association Pharmacist of the Year Award and the Albert Rosica Jr. Memorial Award by the American College of Apothecaries. His professional affiliations include Rho Chi National Honor Society, American Mensa and PLS, where he served as president in 1992.

"I'm looking forward to having Leticia as the speaker," said McCarty. "We have worked together in the past, and she is an incredibly effective pharmacist. This is a very appropriate time for her to address the students, because of her intimate knowledge of pharmacy practice and politics in Texas."

WHO: Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

WHAT: James T. McCarthy Leadership Lecture Series

WHEN: 11:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15

WHERE: University of Houston, Cullen Performance Hall, Entrance 1 off University Drive and Texas Spur 5

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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