Kappa Psi pharmacy chapter captures academic honor

Kappa Psi has again honored the South Dakota State University chapter of that pharmacy fraternity with its top academic award.

The Frank H. Eby Scholarship Tray Award is given to the chapter with the highest percentage of its eligible membership receiving Scholarship Honors Certificates for the academic year. 

Gary Van Riper, adviser for Gamma Kappa, the SDSU chapter, explained that to determine the Eby Award winner, Kappa Psi calculates the GPAs of chapter members in their second and third year of the four-year pharmacy program as well as the number of members receiving the Goeckel Scholarship Key Award for ranking No. 1 in their class.

Gamma Kappa, which had 119 members in 2019-20, had five of the brightest students in the SDSU pharmacy program Class of 2020. Six students tied for the honor of the class’s top graduate. Five of them were Kappa Psi members. All five—Scott Dingus, Holden Sjogren, Sarah Jesse, Hannah Brokmeier, Brooke Nibbelink—are now completing pharmacy residency programs.

“Given the chaos of the last two months of spring semester, that (academic achievement) is outstanding,” Van Riper said.

The SDSU chapter is a five-time winner of the scholarship tray since the award’s inception in 1965. That includes back-to-back wins in 1997 and 1998 and 2009 and 2010. That tradition of excellence helps inspire the pharmacy students.

“We have been fortunate that our chapter has a long history of many great initiates who are willing to help build up not only their classmates, but also the classes that come after them. Anywhere you go within our chapter, there are people willing to help you in any way they are able and this shows in our academic success,” according to Nathan Graves, regent (or president) of Gamma Kappa.

“As a chapter, we do not have any specific study hours or tutors. However, many of our members choose to serve in these roles for the college and help foster the next years of pharmacy students,” said Graves, of Jefferson, Iowa, who is in his third year of pharmacy school.