Timing and passion were everything for Roseanne Monaco Branciforte, PHARM ’84, whose generosity towards the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy (EMSOP) will greatly impact pharmacy student health and well-being for years to come.
During the class of 1984 reunion last year, Roseanne got a tour of the newly constructed Pharmacy School expansion from EMSOP Development Director Kerryn Loesner, marveling at how the expansion connected the old with the new, incorporating the latest technology into its simulation labs and ambulatory care clinic, while at the same time creating spaces for students with modern and breathtaking décor.
What impressed her most was the incorporation of a meditation room just for students. Her gift of $50,000 to EMSOP will fund the design and maintenance of this room, a quiet, aesthetically calming and comfortable place where students can close their eyes and be with themselves.
“Pharmacy school is a very demanding and stressful time for students, with some experiencing depression and anxiety, so maintaining a proper balance of good health and well-being is very important,” says Ms. Monaco Branciforte.
Her desire to support this initiative was also inspired by the commitment shown by Joseph A. Barone, PharmD, FCCP, Dean of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. “Seeing Dean Barone’s vision and commitment to pharmacy students and supporting the growth and role of pharmacists as primary care providers and researchers made me want to be a part of it – support it,” says Ms. Monaco Branciforte.
Students today are trying to balance not just the stress of exams and their workload but also family life, financial burdens, and career aspirations. This room serves as a safe space where they can find balance and take a break from their busy routine.
Thanks to Ms. Monaco Branciforte’s generosity, the room is newly outfitted with comfortable pillows for meditation and/or prayer, dim lighting, and informative pamphlets on coping with stress and anxiety. Studies show that meditation not only helps manage stress, something students know all too well, but it is also effective in relieving anxiety and improving focus, concentration, and cognition.
We are grateful to Roseanne Monaco Branciforte for her support of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy and the initiative to establish a room for quiet reflection, meditation, and pause. Her generosity provides pharmacy students with a space away from the demands of the classroom and will hopefully inspire similar initiatives throughout Rutgers many learning communities.