Maddi Bell, President of PILS

Meet our Campus Celebrity for this week, Maddi Bell. An ambitious U3 Pharmacology student hailing from Vancouver, BC, Maddi is the president of the Pharmacology Integrative League of Students (PILS). When she’s not in the library, you will likely find her with a banjo in hand, keeping up with the Bachelor franchise, or learning American Sign Language. Find out more about Maddi and PILS below!

Belle Kim for Her Campus McGill (HC McGill): What is PILS? 

Maddi Bell (MB): PILS is the Pharmacology Integrative League of Students (we know it’s really forced) AKA a long and fancy name for Pharmacology’s student council.

HC McGill: How did you get involved? What interested you about it?

MB: I’m quite literally a student council geek. I loved being a part of it throughout high school and in residence in first year, so I was super excited to continue my student council involvement as the U1 Representative and then VP Internal for PILS. Pharmacology is a program that is rapidly growing and changing. I was keen to get involved to help facilitate that change and foster the student community.

HC McGill: What role do you take on as the President?

MB: As President, I oversee of all PILS’s operations and make sure everything is running as smoothly as it should be. I also liaise between the students and faculty to advocate for students and help further develop the Pharmacology program.

HC McGill: How do you manage running PILS while keeping up with school and other responsibilities?

MB: Caffeine! Lots and lots of caffeine. Also, I’m super lucky to have wonderful, dedicated and hard-working people on council with me that make running it a whole lot more fun!

HC McGill: How has the Pharmacology program developed from your point of view since you've been involved in the club in your first year?

MB: The Pharmacology program is incredibly dynamic and this year, in particular, marked some milestone changes. The department implemented U1 courses, introduced a number of new U3 classes, giving us more options and smaller class sizes, and started the BSc/MSc program, allowing students to be fast-tracked to a Masters degree. The professors in the department are truly open to student feedback and are constantly trying to develop the courses both content-wise, to make sure we’re learning the latest and greatest of Pharmacology info, and structure-wise, to accommodate for students’ varying learning needs.

HC McGill: What kind of events do PILS hold during the semester?

MB: I’m really happy to say that there truly is an event for everyone. We host a variety of social events, including an annual ski trip, trivia nights, apartment crawls, sports tournaments, trips to trampoline parks, sugar shack, laser tag, board game nights, and talent shows. Academically, we also provide resources for the students. We offer NTCs, host wine & cheeses with professors to learn about their research and partner younger students with U2/U3 mentors. The most fun was definitely our research “speed-dating” event that matched undergraduate students with graduate students in particular labs.

HC McGill: Any one event you are especially proud of?

MB: Pharmacology Phrosh is definitely my proudest event. It’s an event held at the beginning of the year for U1s to hang out and get to know their new fellow classmates. It’s always nicer to head to a new class with a few friendly faces.

HC McGill: How can students get involved in PILS? 

MB: Executive positions are open for application in March and all pharmacology students are welcome to apply. Alternatively, applications to work on one of the committees open in September. If you’re interested, feel free to check out the PILS website, stop by the office or e-mail us any questions regarding the different roles available!

HC McGill: What's the next step for PILS?

MB: Keeping up with all the changes going on in the department! Pharmacology is growing in size every year and we’re excited to plan events and provide resources for the increasingly wide range of students in the program.

HC McGill: Being in your last year at McGill now, what is the next step for you after graduating?

MB: I wish I knew! I’m planning on continuing my university education, with location and program TBA.

HC McGill: Do you have any wise advice for first years? 

MB: Be nice to people and invest in fleece pants.

Check out their website for upcoming events and other useful information!


Images obtained from interviewee and