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Archive for March, 2014

One Key Skill Future Leaders Will Ace: Crowd_____ing

Friday, March 28th, 2014

I’ve been thinking about this idea for awhile now, but I think it bubbled up to a post yesterday, while in entrepreneurship class, I had Kevin Hitchen in, one of the founders of Localstake.

Being a futurist, I like to keep an eye on what’s coming.  Here’s one HUGE trend/skill that future leaders will possess in droves – ready?

It’s Crowd___ing.

Why is there a blank there?  Well, I think you can insert “fund” or “source” or “gather” easily into that blank, but the skill still stays the same.  It’s someone who can take something (an idea), and source/fund/gather it into reality.

I’m not the first person to think of this – Storm Cunningham, for example, writes a lot about crowdsourcing.  He’s right.  In these broken times, earned leadership will rule.  Those who can gather the flocks/ideas/resources and turn them into reality will rule.

You were warned…

Policy & Advocacy in Pharmacy

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

I’m working on a lecture for one of the courses here at BUCOPHS on why policy & advocacy is important to pharmacy practice, and how to get involved in P&A as a pharmacy student or pharmacist.  So, I thought I’d start a list of resources here for those policy and advocacy pharmacy geeks out there like me, who are trying to push the profession forward, on top of the other stuff that we do all day.

And I did discuss this throughout The New Pharmacist: 46 Doses of Advice book I just published, but I need to give an hour presentation on this topic, so I’m trying to go a little deeper here.

Here we go.

First, you can advocate and push policy forward right from your very own desktop or laptop–as a pharmacist, or as any other type of professional or citizen.  You can do any of the following to advocate and move policy forward:

  • Blog – like moi (just make sure your employers are cool with that – check your co.’s policies)
  • Write letters to the editor, or editorial pieces for your local papers or newsletters
  • Write your reps–Senators, Congressmen/women, etc. at the local, state and federal levels–about pending legislation or policy that is under notice and comment.  Even if it is NOT under notice and comment, feel free to put forth your opinions in writing to the powers that can actually vote on pending law.  There’s some crazy statistic I read once that said for every letter a Congressperson receives, a dozen or more others in the same district have the same concerns–yet, no one takes the time to pen a thoughtful letter around an issue.  Don’t let that be you (the ‘no one’ in the sentence above).
  • Get involved in a cause/issue or a political candidate’s run for an office
  • Offer to serve as an adviser on healthcare or pharmacy to a candidate already in office (You’d be shocked to know how little many politicians actually know about health care. Shocked. Appalled.)
  • Join a group and get involved in policy & advocacy – for us in pharmacy, that’s groups like APhA, ASCP, ACCP, ASHP, ASPL, AACP, NACDS, NCPA, or AMCP (and if I missed any, sorry).  There are usually state pharmacy organizations to get involved in as well – in Indiana, for example, we have the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance.
  • Sign petitions.  Better yet, start petitions. and or are a few places where you can sign and/or start a movement via petition–just make sure the issue isn’t already out there.
  • If you’re hardcore, consider a fellowship in healthcare policy or pharmacy policy–either right out of school, or after your first year of residency.  VCU has one for pharmacy policy.  There are others – like the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows Program, or Health and Aging Policy Fellowship, and more than I can possibly list here.
  • If you’re really hardcore, consider law school.  (Although, I caution you right now on this one, law jobs aren’t o’ plenty right now.)  After that, maybe work as a lobbyist (just make sure you believe in what you’re lobbying about…).
  • You could analyze policy at a Think Tank (<-and yes, this links to Wikipedia’s list of Think Tanks).
  • If you’re absolutely at the top of hardcore policy and healthcare development, consider running for office.  There are local and national programs you can go through to get training on how to do that.  My recent favorite was the Women’s Campaign School at Yale–but there are others.  The LA Times just did an article on more physicians running for political office – why not pharmacists too?

What have I missed?  While I’ve never lived in D.C., nor did a fellowship, residency or ran for office (yet, anyway), I’m certain there are others out there with more knowledge than me on this subject. From them I ask–what did I miss?



The New Pharmacist: 46 Doses of Advice – the OTHER new book launching today!

Monday, March 24th, 2014

So, we never like it to get dull around here.  Not only did we officially launch the #STEMPrincess project this month – I’m now officially launching my second new book here.

(Insert drumroll here.)

The New Pharmacist: 46 Doses of Advice – Official Press Release for New Book written by author Dr. Erin L. Albert from Erin Albert
This new book, The New Pharmacist, is available at the following places:
In hardcopy book at the publisher’s site, Mascot Books.
Via Amazon Kindle.
Via Nook.
Why did I write this?  Well, because I keep on getting asked the same question over and over again by fresh pharmacy graduates: “Dr. Albert, is this all there is?”
Short answer: no.
Longer answer: in this book – read it if you are a pharmacist wondering about the “next step” in your career 0-10 years in practice.

The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM: Social Media and Press Roundup II

Sunday, March 16th, 2014


Wow.  I could barely keep up with all the amazing press on STEM education and the #STEMPrincess project last week.  Let’s do another social media and web roundup here, ready?

1. The book-book is available (and ONLY available) here.
The Kindle ebook is available at Amazon.

2. First, all the Kickstarter campaign info and press around the project last fall is here.  The wrap up thank you video for all on the Kickstarter campaign is here.

3. This time, the #STEMPrincess press release is on Slideshare, here.

4. Thanks to Pure Geekery, who picked up our article on the project and posted at their site.

5.  A blog post regarding International Children’s Book Day with Indiana First.

6. A write up by the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette on my slightly intimidating Keynote discussion at #TechFest14 to 300+ high school students as they competed for technical mastery on Friday March 14th is here.  My slides from the keynote talk are here.

7. Apparently, NPR also followed the STEM Panel discussion the Indy Chamber had in Indianapolis on March 13th, and the article with quotes from yours truly is here.  It was truly an honor to be a speaker on the all-star lineup of STEM education experts at the Indy Chamber this past week – with colleagues from IUPUI, Project Lead the Way, Roche Diagnostics, and Eli Lilly and Company Foundation.  (I enjoyed being the red-headed stepchild of the panel!)

8. Best unsolicited commercial on the book is here at Instagram by Sheryl of Successful Women Made Here.  (Seriously, this one made my day!)  Backers have been posting pictures at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all week.  One of my favorite surprises–is that the BOYS love this book too! WOOT!  If you post, don’t forget to use the official hash tag – #STEMPrincess.

9. I officially delivered 19 boxes of donated #STEMPrincess books at no cost to the state of Indiana on Wednesday this past week.  The pile of ‘em is at my instagram feed, here.  To the backers: THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME MAKE THIS HAPPEN!

10. Last but certainly not least, I’m on Inside Indiana Business this week with my work colleague and pal, Stephanie Fernhaber, discussing education and entrepreneurship for life science majors and women entrepreneurs–link to the show will be here.

That’s the first of hopefully many more to come.  And although books are literally flying out of my boxes and being sold rapidly, I LOVE that most of all, we’re ALL talking about STEM education for our kiddos.  THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CONVERSATION OF ALL!!!!!

A Sisyphusian Moment

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

I really don’t know if Sisyphusian is a word or not, but I’ll go with it.

Today, I felt a bit like Sisyphus.

First, I took over 100 packages to the post office at work to be mailed for the backers’ books of the #STEMPrincess project.

Next, I had to hurry and deliver 19 boxes of books (that’s 456 books, and I don’t know how much weight in books) over to the Indiana State Library so they could distribute them through their quarterly book drop during my lunch hour.

If you don’t live in Indiana, you wouldn’t know that today was possibly one of the worst days to drop off a lot of books.  The ice and snow literally was blowing in my face as I pulled more than my body weight in books into the library.

But, even though Mother Nature was REALLY testing me today, and I’m exhausted, I will tell you that I mentally just kept on going–simply because the girls of this state really need tools to get them excited about STEM.  I’ll happily pull the ton o’ books through the ice and snow to make sure the girls have the book in hand moving forward.

Although, I will be going to bed early tonight.

Tomorrow – I speak at the Indianapolis Chamber event on STEM education, and Friday I head to Ft. Fun for Northeast Indiana TechFest.  Hope to see you there! Last but certainly not least, I’ll be on Inside Indiana Business this weekend talking about women & entrepreneurship education – tune in this weekend or online next week at their site to hear more! But, I won’t be pulling any carts of books through the ice and snow anywhere at these events…

I hope.

The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM: Official Book Launch Press Release

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014


Just kidding.

Sort of.

Seriously – we’re OFFICIAL TODAY!!!!!  (Or you can see it at the slidespace – here.)

Here’s the link to the Amazon Kindle version.  But the only place you can get the book-book is through the publisher, Mascot Books, here.

The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM – book launch press release from Erin Albert

The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

stemp1 stemp2 stemp3 stemp4

Friends, as I shared with you this past weekend, the books are HERE!!!!

The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM is FINALLY in print!  Yesterday, I burned a vacation day–received the books, then autographed and got them into mailers for the backers of the project at Kickstarter last fall.  They get theirs first, since they were good to me on this project – couldn’t have done it without them!

While I’m exhausted, I’m so thrilled that this is finally coming full circle for the girls of Indiana and everywhere.  We NEED MORE TOOLS AND GAMES AND TOYS FOR GIRLS TO GET EXCITED ABOUT STEM!!!!

If you backed – watch your mail – the books are heading your way!


Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Peeps! (Some of you already know this, since you were backers of the project, and I already shared with you…)

I’ve been waiting for this moment since last fall, when I started the Kickstarter campaign for the #STEMPrincess Project: friends, the books are coming MONDAY!!!!

Seriously, there is no better feeling to an author than cracking open the first box off the skid.  But that’s not the best part.  The best part of THIS particular project is that it involved all my friends and even some anonymous donors who MADE IT HAPPEN WITH ME!

They say no woman is an island.  Nor is a writer.  THANK YOU if you supported or backed this project.  I can’t wait to roll it out!

Last, the publisher’s book links are already up – ssshhhh! Here they are:

The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM

Oh, and the OTHER new book:

The New Pharmacist: 46 Doses of Advice

Squeeeeeeeeee!  See you Monday – join the picture fun over at the Faceplace page for #STEMP if you want to see it unfold real time!

The Circle of Crowdfunding: The End Could Be a Better Beginning

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

I’ve been a little quiet lately…for several reasons.  First, it’s spring break here at the campus next week, but that doesn’t really mean a break for this one.  I have a couple of talks I need to give, and…I need to shuffle some books.

Yes, the #STEMPrincess project is finally coming full circle – the books are hitting Chez Dr. A next week!

But, as I embark on the end of the beginning of this book, I wonder–could the crowdfunding platforms be doing MORE here to support those who actually got funded on their site?

Namely, the following:

1. I’d really like to see a “happily ever after” section of Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc., when the products people actually got funded were online at their site, in a separate section, with a place to PURCHASE the goodies.  Those who missed the campaign maybe still want to buy the product.  But right now, there’s not much at these sites to extol to the world that the project has gone full circle, other than “updates.”  Even an update widget on the side of the homepage would be better than having to click over to the updates side of the site.

2.  Better yet – why not a Kickstarter store? Couldn’t the K and I etc. partner with Square and offer an easy ecommerce site to put our wares on so that people can see the campaign and then BUY the product right there?

3.  Part two to the project as an add on – Here’s my latest problem.  Postage rates went up between last fall and this spring, so now I need to come up with an additional $600 to ship books across the state just for POSTAGE.  Why oh why, Kickstarter, can’t I reopen my project and do a round 2 on funding so I can get these books shipped?

4.  PR made easy – Again, other than the “updates” section, could we get a little space on the homepage to share where the project actually is so when people land on the homepage and watch the video, they can instantly know where the project is other than “funded” or not?

Ah, as a maximizer on Strengthsfinder, I feel a little better after this post.  I certainly hope the founders of these crowdfunding sites know that, while we all appreciate them as scrappy little dreamers with a few creative ideas and tenacity, there is always, always ALWAYS room for improvement.

What’s Your Green Watering Can?

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

Green Watering Can, Post Jack

So, resident cat extraordinaire at the Albert epicenter, Jack, has a major pet peeve…with a green watering can (pictured).  Each morning, he meanders out to the sunporch, and one of his rituals after we all get up is knocking over the green watering can that normally sits on the bottom shelf of the plant stand.

Why does he do this?  I don’t honestly know.  But I do know that he consistently does this, and must get some satisfaction out of the universe being better off by having the can on the floor, rather than sitting upright on the plant stand.  Perhaps the green watering can drives him nuts.

What drives you nuts?  I read this article (31 Things All Leaders Need to Know About Themselves) this morning and tweeted it, because one of the most valuable exercises for leaders is to “know thyself” – as I preach to my students, and I preach to myself.

One of the great questions of the 31 in the above article is, “What drives you nuts?”  Jack knows what drives him nuts – the upright green watering can.  I know what drives me nuts: stuff like saying one thing, but doing another, or worst of all, doing nothing and completely checking out of one’s life or work.

The bottom line here: know what is your green watering can.  Part of being a leader is knowing what drives you nuts.  If Jack Albert can figure it out, so can you.