By Greg Amidon
Volunteering has always been a very important and incredibly rewarding part of my professional career and personal development. It has provided me with wonderful opportunities to develop close personal and professional friendships with many talented and well-respected pharmaceutical scientists and leaders in industry, academia, private practice, and government—relationships that have lasted a lifetime! It has also provided me an opportunity to impact pharmaceutical sciences in a way that goes beyond the walls of my place of employment.
The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego this past November was particularly significant for me, as it marked the start of my three-year term on the AAPS Executive Council as 2014–2015 president-elect. I’m proud to say that I have been an active member and volunteer of AAPS since its founding in 1986. This year also marks my 25th year of volunteering for the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), the standards-setting organization that contributes to the advancement of pharmaceutical sciences both in the United States and abroad.
Through my volunteer efforts at AAPS and USP, I have had the privilege of helping to shape the direction of both of these volunteer organizations—organizations that impact pharmaceutical sciences and product innovation and quality in the United States and around the world. I have had the opportunity to discuss world health issues with a Nobel Prize winner (Oscar Arias, 1986 Peace Prize), the president of Costa Rica, senior scientific and regulatory leaders in Europe, Asia, and America, and many of AAPS’ most recognized scientific leaders. Far too many of these opportunities to count have led to close personal friendships that have lasted a lifetime and provided me with an incredible network of friends I could rely on for advice and, occasionally, an enjoyable trip to the pub.
Volunteering has been one of the very best career choices I have made, and I encourage you to consider it as well!
AAPS offers many opportunities to get involved in section, focus group, discussion group, committee, and student chapter activities. You will see many invitations throughout the year from AAPS, and make sure to check out the AAPS Volunteer Opportunities webpage. USP is also actively seeking volunteers to serve on expert committees and expert panels. These are just two of the many opportunities you have. Choose to get involved!