The Amazing Race to Public Health Education

NDMU’s SNPhA Chapter holds a race to educate and bring community together

By Micah Castelo

On April 3, NDMU’s Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) chapter held their annual Amazing Race in celebration of National Public Health Week.

Since 2015, the race has helped connect students and faculty from the School of Pharmacy to the rest of the Notre Dame community. Members of the community eagerly signed up to participate in teams of four to six for a fun afternoon of friendly competition and the chance to win prizes. School of Pharmacy students were even more enticed by the opportunity to get two co-curricular hours which are required hours required to graduate from the program.

The event wasn’t your typical race—it consisted of both intellectual and physical activities that were set up in different stations. “We had a series of questions related to public health that the participants answered,” explains Labasse Doumbia, NDMU SNPhA’s chapter delegate and a second-year pharmacy student. “The answers to some of those questions led to certain physical activities such as push-ups and sit-ups.” Some of the questions asked were related to the importance of immunization, clean water efforts, and the need for antibiotic innovation.

In order to move forward, the teams had to stop at each station and complete the activity required of them. Some of the stations made participants run a 3-legged race, do a tissue box bop to get their hips moving, and play a cherry pie game. The winning team—the one who completes the race fist—received a trophy and Starbucks gift cards. This year, the winners included Aara Canlas, Patricia Dieso, Vy Nguyen, and Zoya Ramzan from the School of Pharmacy.

The race was organized by School of Pharmacy students under the leadership of Dr. Regine Beliard, NDMU SNPhA’s chapter advisor. The students knew that they wanted the event to align during National Public Health Week, an initiative taken by SNPhA to spark conversations and teach the community about public health-related topics. Along with the race, SNPhA members also hosted a speaker series on diseases and held a block party for everyone to enjoy.

“It should be National Public Health Week every week, and events like the Amazing Race were a fun way to learn more about public health,” says Canlas, a third-year pharmacy student. “As future pharmacists, we can do more to encourage public health efforts in terms of educating the population about topics like safe antimicrobial use, eating healthy on a budget, and counseling on appropriate immunizations through activities like this.”


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