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Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy
The 2021 Faculty Auction
by Sara Gardner, P2, Student Chapter President-Elect, SIUE School of Pharmacy
The annual “faculty auction” is an exciting event that the SIUE SSHP chapter hosts each spring. It is both a fundraiser for our organization and an excellent way for students and faculty to get to know one another on a more personal level. During this event, students are invited to bid on activities or prizes that faculty members offer. Our chapter donates a portion of the profits from this event to charity, which has included the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Metro St. Louis for several years. Like many past events, our auction has traditionally taken place in person, but the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the need for it to be transitioned to an online format. Thanks to our executive board members' hard work, this transition occurred seamlessly last year, and we’re looking forward to holding this event via Zoom again this spring!
To plan the faculty auction effectively, our executive board members are each assigned several professors to contact about the auction. If a professor is interested in participating, they provide details about the prize they will offer up for bidding. Faculty members create prizes that may include a personal interest of theirs - which is part of what makes this event so much fun! Prizes can be proposed individually or by groups of faculty members. They may also allow for more than one student to participate, therefore students often plan to bid on an event that they would like to do as a group. A student volunteer or member of our executive board acts as the Master of Ceremonies for the auction and starts the bidding for each prize at a particular amount. Each item increases in price until only one student or group remains with the amount they wish to bid. Past prizes have included donations from many faculty members, including our chapter’s faculty advisors, Dr. Jingyang Fan and Dr. Keith Hecht, who have donated a “foodie tour” for years, including a sampling of St. Louis cuisine and a BBQ tour. Dr. Fan says, “It is a great way to get to know students on a personal level, discuss likes and dislikes of food, share BBQ techniques, all while filling our stomachs with amazing food! We look forward to doing the BBQ tour again this year.” Dr. Lisa Lubsch has also donated many prizes to the auction. She says, “I miss concerts, but I enjoy reflecting on previous St. Louis events students have attended with me, including a St. Louis Cardinals game and a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert!” Prizes from other faculty have included an escape room experience, a day of boating, faculty hangouts, a virtual pizza and game night, gift baskets, and even a spring cleaning!
The faculty auction is an “outside of the box” way for our organization to fundraise and a way for teachers and students to have fun experiences together outside of class. The offered activities have helped create positive relationships between the SIUE School of Pharmacy faculty and students, and the auction is highly anticipated each year. We hope this tradition continues for years to come!