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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI pharmacy major sets example of academic excellence and campus involvement

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 5, 2004 -- Question: What do you call someone who is not only a Dean's List pharmacy major at the University of Rhode Island, but also a fraternity officer, cheerleader, orientation leader, the programming chair of the Memorial Union, and former student senator? No, the answer isn't Superman, it's Matthew Malachowski.

"Matty" as his friends call him, is a 4th year PharmD student who calls the competitive program, "challenging but not overwhelming." As part of his Early Experience practical hours, he worked at CVS Pharmacy in Cranston, where he met with patients, answer questions, and assisted in filling prescriptions. Like other pharmacy majors he spends quite a bit of time in class and studying for exams, but also immerses himself in as many facets of campus as possible.

The Cranston native was captain of both the varsity football and lacrosse teams, as well as a member of the hockey team at Cranston West High School. The need to stay active carried over with him to college.

Since joining the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity two years ago, he was treasurer and currently serves as its vice President. "I never thought I would join a fraternity, but this organization isnít your typical fraternity," he said about the philanthropy-based group.

One of three men on the varsity cheerleading team, Malachowski showed his "Rhody pride" during the football and womenís basketball games, travelling with the teams to off-campus events and conferences. "It takes up a lot of time, but it's a great workout," he said. "It's like going to the gym, but instead of lifting weights, I lift girls."

This summer, Malachowski will serve as one of 18 student orientation leaders chosen from an applicant pool of 125. His main responsibility is acclimating seven groups of 60 incoming students to the university. Besides toning his communication and people skills, Malachowski is looking forward to the challenges the leadership position will bring. "The training has just been incredible, this training can prepare you for anything."

As a freshman, Malachowski joined the Student Senate, and spent time there as a senator, moderator, and eventually chaired the Finance committee. The task of managing the student senate accounts took up a lot of his time, and citing there were so many other things in the university he wanted to get involved with, he resigned in October 2003.

His latest endeavor is as the new programming chair of the Memorial Union. He is in charge of planning, organizing, and executing all programs that will run in the Union, including MTVís Real World speakers. His major project for next year will be planning the 50th birthday party of the building.

"The first thing that strikes you about Matt is his incredible energy and enthusiasm, regardless of what he is involved in. His energy fires up everyone else involved." said Bruce Hamilton, director of the Memorial Union/Student Involvement and a mentor to Malachowski.

"He is an example to other students in that he shows you can do well in a demanding major and still have the time and energy to be involved with many different groups," Hamilton adds.

Set to graduate in 2006 from the six-year pharmacy program, Malachowski wishes to pursue a career in clinical pharmacy at a hospital. "I really want to help people," he said. Until then, he will continue leaving his mark around the university.

Malachowski doesnít understand how his level of campus involvement and commitment to academic excellence is something to fuss about. "Itís just all about time management. You only go through college once. I happen to be here for six years, and I want to make the most of it."