One of those students is Kendra Manigault of Moncks Corner, who will graduate from USC’s Honors College and the South Carolina College of Pharmacy.
“I came to USC because I came on a tour here and I fell in love with the campus,” Manigault said. “I got here in 2004 and I’ve loved it ever since. When I knew I wanted to go to pharmacy school I also knew I wanted to stay here. I’ve had six years and I’ve gotten everything I could have out of a university.”
She said it’s been an advantage – and sometimes a challenge – to have the MUSC and USC pharmacy schools integrated.
“I knew my experience with the SCCP might be a challenge due to the merger, but I was ready for the challenge and comforted by the impressive history of both pharmacy schools,” she said. “We’re the first class. Some things at first may not have worked perfectly, but they’ve listened to us. They’ve listened to our concerns and suggestions.”
Manigault will head to Atlanta after graduation to do a residency with Kaiser Permanente. After that, she hopes to pursue a fellowship or perhaps an MBA.
Classmate Chris Bachochin was a police officer in Darlington and a former Army paratrooper before he decided to become a pharmacist. He already had a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and a master’s in public administration from Troy State.
“When I started, we had just adopted our daughter. So there I am my first day in class trying to figure out how I’m going to do this with a wife and 4-month-old baby,” he said. “I’m used to being a non-traditional student. I believe my maturity and life experience allowed me to essentially do what was needed to be done to get my degree.”
Bachochin lives in Lamar, a small town in Darlington County, and he drove about an hour to the Columbia campus for classes. The distance education setup between the Charleston and Columbia campuses was a learning experience for him.
“I had some experience with internet classes and distance education, but never to the scale that we’re currently using it now,” he said. “As long as it’s done right, I don’t foresee a real issue with it.”
He is working at Clarendon Memorial Hospital in Manning, and getting ready to take his boards. He plans to stay in a hospital setting.