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Idaho State University

Hundreds of Treasure Valley students explore the health sciences at ISU- Meridian’s HSEN

High school students attending Health Science Experience Night at ISU-Meridian learn about prescription medications and compounding from faculty in the College of Pharmacy.

October 23, 2018 - MERIDIAN, ID

Some 450 people—including 240 high school and college students—attended the Idaho State University-Meridian Health Science Experience Night and Pharmacy Open House Oct. 23.

Tables filled with Bengal swag and loads of information about ISU health science programs lined the student mall and hallways of the Sam and Aline Skaggs Health Science Center. Attendees had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with ISU students, faculty and advisers from Pocatello and Meridian campuses.

Organizers say 32 departments and programs were represented, including nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, speech-language pathology, medical laboratory sciences, emergency management, and physical and occupational therapy.

“This is super awesome,” said 15-year-old Deja Beutler, a sophomore from Borah High School in Boise. She and classmate Nathan Green were in Meridian’s pharmacy compounding lab, counting brightly colored candies into bottles, much like a licensed pharmacist would do with the real thing.

Student pharmacist Kim Campbell was explaining the role of the pharmacist in health care and the academic requirements to enter ISU’s Doctor of Pharmacy program.

“The more I learn about pharmacy, the more interesting it is to me,” said Green.

Other students found Health Science Experience Night a great opportunity to experience specific health professions that they’d only read about in textbooks, thanks to hands-on demonstrations and tours of Meridian’s state-of-the-art bioskills, virtual and anatomy laboratories.

Jazmin Ramirez and Samantha Hogwood, both 16 and juniors at Nampa’s Ridgevue High School, stopped by a table on the second floor to learn about ISU’s two-year master’s program in physician assistant studies. “I really enjoy learning about the body, and I think being P.A. sounds interesting,” Ramirez said.

Physician assistants or P.A.s provide medical care under the supervision of a physician. ISU has the only program in the state.

Hogwood’s goal is to become a registered nurse, serving in the U.S. Navy. “I really want to help people, and I think I’ll have more of a connection with people as a nurse,” she said. 

Students came from as far away as Emmett, Payette and Nyssa, Oregon to attend the 13th annual Health Science Experience Night. For the past few years, the College of Pharmacy has hosted its Pharmacy Open House the same night. At the Open House, health care professionals and student pharmacists provided activities and education related to heart health, diabetes immunization, medication safety and drug abuse prevention.

To see more photos from the event, visit