Pharmacy students compete in annual spelling bee

On Oct. 11, students fought to find the best medication speller during the annual pharmacy spelling bee.

This event was hosted by Kappa Psi and the Student Michigan Pharmacist Association. Three pharmacy students went 14 rounds in their attempts to spell different medications correctly.

Associate PharmD professor Dr. Mark Young was the spelling bee judge, wearing a white wig and judge outfit.

“I have judged these competitions a bunch of times hence my outfit here today,” Young said. “The students are allowed to ask any questions about the words they want but whether I give it to them or not is up to me.”

Ferris pharmacy students compete for gift cards and bragging rights at this year’s spelling bee. Photo Credits: Jack Starkey l Freelance Photographer

The three students all introduced themselves and told different stories about how they came to the event today seeking redemption for other failed spelling bee attempts. Two of the students had participated in prior pharmacy spelling bees and the other student was in a spelling bee as a kid.

Associate professor of medicinal chemistry Dr. Eric Nybo was the spelling bee pronouncer and shared one of his traumatic spelling bee stories.

“I was in the school spelling bee in second grade, and I went down on the word scissors,” Nybo said. “I spelled it s-c-i-s-s-r-s. I forgot the ‘o’ and they said I got it wrong. I was awestruck and it traumatized me for life. We all want them to find redemption today, so we will do as many rounds as it takes.”

Pharmacy senior Colin Salois is a member of the Kappa Psi. He briefly explains why he decided to host the event.

“We really wanted to expand this event with pre pharmacy program students or even people outside of pharmacy. Just to bring people together and to be fair,” Salois said.

They gave each contestant a word, if both contestants misspelled a word, then they kept going. They were also required to repeat the word after spelling it. The students were allowed to ask for the word indication, type of medication it was or to have the pronouncer use the word in sentence.

Pharmacy senior Deklan Marshall won this year’s spelling bee. Though this was his first Ferris spelling bee, he had had prior experience as a child.

“Back in fifth grade, I got into the regional spelling bee for Negaunee, Mich. and got fifth place. So, I had experience and thought I could give this one a try.”

During round 11, the word “insulin detemir” stumped both contestants. Since both students couldn’t spell the word correctly, they had to continue to the next round until one of them missed a word that the other student could not properly spell.

The contestants all won a gift card for participation. As this is an annual event, it will be happening again next year for anyone else seeking spelling redemption.