Panther Profiles are Q&A interviews that highlight Panthers of all stripes -- students, faculty, staff, alum, board members and anyone else in the campus community.
Samantha Marion is a senior majoring in pharmaceutical sciences. She has had many experiences on campus, including as a resident assistant, peer mentor and thrower on the track team. She talked to us about the experience she said has had the most impact on her – being a member of Phi Delta Chi, a professional pharmacy fraternity.
What led you to pursue a degree in pharmaceutical sciences? How do you hope to use your degree?
I was always very interested in pharmaceuticals but wasn't sure if I wanted to actually practice in a community pharmacy. With the pharmaceutical sciences program, I could pursue that role or go into pharmacology, industry, or laboratory work. Once I got to ACPHS, I realized that I wanted to be a pharmaceutical sales rep. I like the idea of being able to travel for work and network with people.
How did you get involved in Greek Life on campus?
I became involved with Greek Life my first year at ACPHS. I met a lot of the brothers* of Phi Delta Chi because they were our orientation leaders. They held positions in Student Government Association and board positions in different clubs and organizations, not just Phi Delta Chi. I just realized, wow, this is something I want to be a part of.
So my second year, Fall 2021, I decided to join PDC, and since then I have held three positions. I'm currently the vice president.
*Marion uses “brothers” for members of all genders, in keeping with the practice of the co-ed fraternity.
Tell us what a professional fraternity is like.
People typically think of Greek life as it’s portrayed in the movies. But we’re a professional fraternity. We focus on community service, putting events on for the campus, and pharmacy-related things.
We also have that brotherhood connection. You have someone that's always there for you. Of course, with a tight-knit campus like ACPHS, everyone's like-minded. But these are people you'll remain close to once you graduate, because once you’re a brother in Phi Delta Chi, that’s for life. Just having that connection with so many people across the entire country is a really great thing.
What is the bond that holds you together?
We are all striving to be leaders in pharmacy. We’re doing community service on the weekends, holding events on campus. And also, we can just say, “Hey, do you want to go grab Starbucks?” It’s a family.
And we study together. Obviously, we are all cramming for exams, a quiz or essay, whatever the case may be that week. But you also have to find balance between work and fun. We have these big board game events on our campus all the time.
What have been some of the most important experiences you have had as a fraternity member?
One of the aspects about Phi Delta Chi that I was very, very excited about was the networking aspect, and not only meeting alumni from our chapter that come back to Albany. I've been able to travel to different regional conferences as well as two national conferences over the past couple of years.
The two national conferences were life changing for me. I met brothers from chapters across the entire country. Even though I had never met these people before, there was an instant bond. It’s a lot less intimidating walking up to someone that you've never met before because it's like, "Hey, you're a brother.” So that is super cool.
If I decide to go off to Cali, say, I have three brothers out on the coast that I can stay with. Wherever I go, there's going to be a chapter nearby with plenty of brothers around that I will have that instant bond with. I'm not alone. That's something really special that not a lot of people have.
You have obviously developed close relationships through the fraternity. Have you also developed skills?
Attending conferences has empowered me to become more of a leader, a better communicator. I grew more confident. Now I'm less scared to pursue my goal after graduation of being a pharmaceutical sales rep because I know that I can walk into any office and have a conversation with a doctor or the team. It’s really allowed me to strengthen my communication and networking skills.