The Missouri Association of Private Career Colleges and Schools (MAPCCS) has given both Student of the Year and Instructor of the Year honors to members of the Anthem College-Maryland Heights campus.
Mia Malcolm, a graduate from the College’s Pharmacy Technician program, was named Student of the Year, and Dawn Roethemeyer, Lead Instructor for the same program, was named Instructor of the Year. Both were nominated by Campus President Heidi Wind.
“As a student, Mia inspired me with her actions, her mentorship to her fellow students, and her determination to succeed,” Wind wrote to MAPCCS. “Her journey and character are phenomenal, but she is so humble that she does not realize what makes her stand out in a crowd. She is the blood, sweat, and tears of a true student.”
Malcolm’s life was transformed the day her son was born at just one pound, eight ounces, and twelve inches. He was not expected to live beyond two weeks, and if he did, the outlook was grim: his brain bled in three places, his lungs were “almost nonexistent,” and he wasn’t expected to walk, talk, or have much brain function.
Malcolm stayed with her son for 14 straight days, meeting daily with a team of physicians and one pharmacist who promised her that he would save her boy. “As soon as they left the room,” Malcolm says, “I started researching pharmacy schools. I wanted the ability to offer that kind of peace to someone someday.”
Throughout her son’s considerable medical issues and endless medical appointments, Malcolm stayed “strong and positive,” Wind wrote. She entered Anthem College in May 2010, ten years after her last school experience. But the gap didn’t affect her achievements: she received Academic Excellence Awards in every class, served as a student ambassador to for new students, and co-chaired the group. She graduated from Anthem College in September 2011 with a 98.1% GPA.
While studying at Anthem, Malcolm was also enrolled in Washington University in St. Louis, where she will receive a Bachelor of Science in Math and Physics in May 2012 before going on to the University of Southern Illinois’ School of Pharmacy.
And her son? He is now two, doing much better, and has grown stronger all around. “Mia is an amazing mother,” Wind writes, and her son “is a happy and playful little boy.”
“What sets Dawn Roethemeyer apart from other nominees,” Wind wrote in nominating Roethemeyer, “is the personal impact she has on her students. Yes, she teaches them the information they need to know. Yes, she encourages them…[but] most importantly, Dawn has the ability to genuinely affect each of her students’ lives on a deeper level.”
“When interviewing graduates who are now working in the pharmacy technology field, they all discuss specific moments when they were going through a hardship, and Dawn was there to listen and offer advice when needed. Dawn’s students look at her as a role model, both personally and professionally. Her dedication to her students makes them want to be great.”
Here are a few comments from Anthem College graduates who studied under Roethemeyer:
Says Mia Malcolm: “Ms. Dawn was always very supportive of me inside the classroom and in my personal life. Right after my son had surgery I had to miss a week of school. I came to school that Friday and took a test and I was very anxious. She told me just to relax and remember that I was amazing…that I was excelling in school to provide him with an amazing life. She always gave us 200%, even when she felt less than 100%. She held us together through the loss of our classmate and friend. She made us all better versions of ourselves.”
Roethemeyer holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Southern Illinois University and has worked as a PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technician since 2001. She is a member of the National Pharmacy Technician Association, sits on the Pharmacy Technician Educator’s Council, and is working on Sterile Products Certification through NPTA. Her specialty is community pharmacy.
Roethemeyer began her Anthem College career as a Pharmacy Technician Instructor. After just a year, she was promoted to Lead Instructor, responsible for delivering classroom material, coordinating externships—a period in which students who have completed all coursework are placed in local pharmacies for supervised work experience—and assisting with job placements.
Last summer, Wind gave Roethemeyer the College’s Graduate Commitment Award in recognition of her efforts to match Pharmacy Technician graduates with jobs in their fields and exceeding the 70% standard set by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. In September 2011, Roethemeyer’s peers voted to give her the Going the Extra Mile Award, based on her work with them and her students.