Pharm.D. Candidate, Class of 2015
I graduated from Fruita Monument High School in 2004. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study right after high school, so I began my college career at Lamar Community College where I played softball and graduated in 2006. I finished my undergraduate coursework at Colorado State University, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 2009. I look forward to graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2015 as a Pharm. D.
What inspired you to become a pharmacist?
My inspiration to become a pharmacist started after I worked as a technician for a pharmacy in Casper, Wyoming. I volunteered and was later hired, realizing that it was a whole new world of medicine that I had never explored. I really enjoyed the opportunities that the field of pharmacy provided. Some of my favorite areas include compounding, sterile preparations, long-term care, and most of all, the ability to help patients. The pharmacists that I worked with encouraged me to move further past my position as a technician.
Why did you want to attend the UW School of Pharmacy?
I was set on attending pharmacy school at UW because of the smaller class sizes and the small town feel. Another thing that drew me towards UW was that the people that I had worked with at the pharmacy in Casper were excellent pharmacists and had nothing but good things to say about their education at UW. I feel that the smaller the class size, the more intimate the learning experience is, and you create more of a connection with your professors. Also, Wyoming is a neighbor to my home state, Colorado.
I worked at the National Wildlife Research Center while attending Colorado State University, and I absolutely loved it. I assisted with the development of an immuno-contraceptive for populations of wildlife that were reaching unhealthy numbers. That particular research experience has helped me so much already. It has given me valuable knowledge about research methods, drug products, drug development, responsibility, and quality assurance.
During my time in the pharmacy program, I have been a member of NCPA which has allowed me to participate in activities such as the medication take-back, medication counseling at the senior center in Laramie, and the annual Health Fair. Being the secretary of NCPA has given me even more opportunity to practice responsibility, and to get to know more of my colleagues and professors in the pharmacy program. I am also a member of Phi Lambda Sigma, the leadership society. Last year, we organized the annual Health Fair and that was a great experience that taught me how to manage my time and how to teach others about the many aspects of pharmacy.
I also try to spend time with my pharmacy colleagues outside of the classroom, aside from studying, just to have a healthy perspective. Being involved in student activities is a great way to make connections with your classmates. You spend a large amount of time together, so it is really important that you have the encouragement and support of your classmates. Some of my best friends are my classmates!
About the School:
So far, I have really enjoyed the intimate environment of our small classes. I feel that I have learned much more and have become closer with my colleagues. The professors in our program are very approachable and they truly care about our success in the program. My favorite part of the small classes and our professors is that they are very down-to-earth and they want the students to have an enjoyable experience, even when the material is rigorous.
Advice for prospective students considering the UW School of Pharmacy:
If you are considering UW, my best advice is to shadow a pharmacist or to work in a pharmacy. You want to be sure that this is the right career path for you because it is a lifelong commitment to learning. Once you finish the program and get your degree, you are not finished. You must remain informed on the continual development of new medications, and continue to increase your knowledge base so that you can provide the best care for your patients. I would also make sure to visit our campus and get to know someone who is already in the program. It is always helpful to know someone who can give you a bit more insight on what to expect.
Comments about life in Laramie and the Rocky Mountain area:
Laramie is a great place to continue your academic career. It has a small, college town feel that I love. I really enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, and running so this area suits me well. I personally love the mountains being so close. The summers in Laramie are refreshing because the temperatures don’t get as high as many of the surrounding areas. If you like to get away for a day, Fort Collins and Cheyenne are a nice change of scenery.
My goal for the remainder of my education is to continue to explore all of the different opportunities that pharmacists have. I hope to find my niche and find the best way to use what I am passionate about to help others. Currently, there are a few aspects of pharmacy that I really enjoy, including compounding, consulting, veterinary pharmacy, and geriatrics. After graduating, I hope to be able to travel and practice one or more of my interests wherever I am most needed.