SAS Program


The SAS (Students Assisting Students) Program was established in 2003 within the Department of Medicinal Chemistry in the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy together with members of the Class of 2005 as a means of providing individual tutorial assistance to pharmacy majors. The SAS program provides a mechanism by which students who are capable and willing to serve as individual tutors can be contacted by pharmacy students who are in need of additional support in select subject areas.

The SAS website is maintained by the Department of Medicinal Chemistry. The website lists the email addresses of those students who have been asked to serve as tutors in the SAS Program. These students have listed their preference to serve as tutors in either Medicinal Chemistry 409 and 410 and/or Pharmaceutical Chemistry 307.

It is strongly recommended that all tutors (Members of the SAS Program) receive compensation. This is the most effective method for ensuring that their time, and that of the student in need of assistance, is used most effectively. The tutor should inform any individual requesting assistance of an hourly rate. The Department will provide guidance, if needed, as to appropriate rates. For those students serving as tutors who do not wish to receive compensation directly, they can arrange for their fees to be donated to a charity or non-profit organization of their choice. Students willing to serve as Members of the SAS Program need to provide Michael DelRio ( with their full names and email addresses. In all correspondence, please include SAS Program as the subject of the email. Students with a “B+” grade or higher in Pharmaceutical Chemistry 306 or Medicinal Chemistry 409 will be viewed as candidates for membership into the SAS Program.

Requesting Assistance

Students are encouraged to contact an individual tutor as early as possible if it is anticipated that they will experience academic difficulty in either Pharmaceutical Chemistry 307 or Medicinal Chemistry 409-410. The email addresses of students willing to serve as tutors in either of these subject areas are listed. These are active links that will allow you to directly send an email message to a tutor. In requesting support, you should be as specific as possible in defining the areas of concern or weakness in a subject area. You must provide your full name and student identification number, which is required for verification of your enrollment in the course.

SAS Program Members

Students serving as tutors in the SAS Program should notify Michael DelRio ( of a request for tutorial assistance so that the student’s enrollment can be verified prior to further correspondence. In all email to Michael DelRio (, please indicate the SAS Program as the subject. The SAS Program member makes the decision as to whom they are willing to assist, and needs to be realistic in terms of the numbers of individuals they can accommodate. If they are unable to assist a student because of other commitments, they should notify the student as soon as possible of their need to look for another tutor. They need not disclose any additional information in such instances. If they are willing to serve as a tutor, they need to negotiate the hourly rate for compensation, and develop a mutually agreeable schedule and determine how and/or where the tutoring will take place. Michael DelRio must be informed as to any tutorial service that is being performed as part of the SAS Program.


To the Student Requesting Assistance-

The highly specialized courses that are offered in the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy preclude the ability for a student who does not successfully complete a core course requirement from making up a deficiency at another institution. Examining the costs associated with not only tuition, but also the potential loss of a year of income as a licensed pharmacist, it is imperative for students to examine the benefits of attempting to work part-time and of not receiving tutorial assistance when they are experiencing academic difficulty. Students who have received a grade of “D” in one or more semesters of organic chemistry appear to be at higher risk for not meeting the requirements associated with either Pharmaceutical Chemistry 307 or Medicinal Chemistry 409-410.

To the Members of the SAS Program-

Members of the SAS Program that actively participate will have the opportunity to see how effective they are in communicating information to others. They will receive compensation for their efforts and, if they so elect, can have that compensation given to such organizations as the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, the March of Dimes, the Salvation Army, etc. The choice is yours.

There is a second benefit to members of the SAS program. Active Members in the SAS Program will be eligible to receive strong Letters of Recommendation for jobs, graduate school, or medical school wherein their efforts in the SAS Program will be acknowledged and highlighted by Professor Hu. There is a caveat with this second benefit. This will be extended only to those individuals who have demonstrated that they are able to significantly improve the academic performance of the students for whom they serve as tutors. Therefore, Dr. Hu ( should be informed immediately of all tutorial arrangements as well that are made as part of the SAS Program.