We asked students in the Class of 2023 to share some memorable moments and lessons learned during their time at the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy.
Degree: Doctor of Pharmacy
Hometown: Laurens, South Carolina
How the university changed my life: USC has granted me the opportunity to travel and learn more about my passion for pharmacy. It has put me in rooms and spaces that allowed me to grow as an individual and build connections with future mentors, great friends and future job opportunities.
Advice for incoming students: I would advise all incoming students to try everything USC has to offer. Go to different sports games, join undergraduate/graduate school organizations, and go to campus social events. These are the places where you will learn about different people and backgrounds.
What I’ve learned about myself: I discovered my passion for serving underserved communities. As a health care major, I have always enjoyed helping patients strive for their health goals. During my undergraduate and graduate school experiences, I was able to find how I can help uplift communities in need. I plan to take this forward with me in my post-graduate career.
What played a role in my success: Dr. Karen McGee was not only my research advisor, but she was also a mentor in my pharmacy school experiences. With Dr. McGee's guidance, I was able to develop my confidence in pharmacy and my ability to treat patients. My experiences at Senior Care PACE during my research and pharmacy rotations were very impactful in my academic career, and led me to discover a passion for geriatric care.
A favorite memory: During my pharmacy rotation in Ketchikan, Alaska, I worked for the Indian Health Service
at the KIC clinic, where I participated in the health care needs of residents in the
small community of Ketchikan. This experience gave me the opportunity to travel to
a state I never thought I would visit and learn about a culture and community that
I previously had very little knowledge of. I made lasting friendships in Alaska.
Degree: Doctor of Pharmacy
Hometown: Aiken, South Carolina
How the university changed my life: The University of South Carolina has given me the opportunity to further my career in pharmacy. The faculty have inspired me to investigate different avenues of pharmacy and provided me with an extensive education. I am proud to be a Gamecock and hope to be an excellent example for future students interested in pharmacy as to what the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy can offer.
Advice for incoming students: I would advise incoming students to learn how to balance the different aspects of their life. Do not neglect your social life, mental health, family and studies. It's easy to become more absorbed in one of those areas of your life, so ensure you schedule time for yourself, family, friends and school.
Most important thing I learned about myself: I viewed being an introvert as a limitation and thought it would be a hindrance, but I learned that it allowed me to be an individual that listened closely to others. Listening to others enabled me to be a better leader, friend and health care provider. Discovering that something you viewed as a con about yourself is not a negative is a beautiful awakening.
Who helped me succeed: Dr. Brie Dunn and Dr. Christina Cox are amazing professors and mentors. They both are passionate about teaching and will go the extra mile to ensure you have a firm grasp on the subject. Also, they are empathic and care a lot about their student's mental health. Dr. Dunn was always available for a talk, whether it was about me stressing over school or an organizational event. On rotation, Dr. Cox always knew when her students were stressed, lacking sleep, or overwhelmed and would send us to get candy or take a break. Those kind acts mean a lot to me as a student because they show that the professors see us as people, not just students. That is what sets the USC College of Pharmacy apart.
A favorite memory: My favorite memory is sitting in the covered crossway of Coker and Jones with my friends after a rough day in class. We were just silly with relief that the exam was over, and we sat back and relaxed. We enjoyed our view of the campus and went for bubble tea. It's the simple things.
What’s next: Enjoy my life with my husband, spend time with family, find a job, and enjoy my career
Degree: Doctor of Pharmacy
Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina
How the university changed my life: Through USC, I was able to explore various career pathways, including pharmacy. Through the College of Pharmacy, I not only developed an exceptional knowledge of pharmaceutical sciences but I also found a passion for clinical pharmacy and specialized oncology practice. My experiences here, including advanced pharmacy practice rotations, altered the course of my life. I have pursued opportunities I would have never otherwise imagined and honed a talent for educating others that incited a passion for academia.
Advice for incoming students: Do not let the fear of stress or hard work keep you from pursuing opportunities and passions. It is so easy to convince ourselves that we can’t handle a challenge or the stress of saying yes to a new responsibility. Add that extra class, join that club, run for that position, pursue all the things you want but fear you can’t succeed at. Challenge yourself to do more, fail, and then challenge yourself again
What I’ve learned about myself: No matter how many times I do not succeed, I now know that my resilience and determination will supersede any fear of failure.
Who helped me succeed: The College of Pharmacy’s Kathy Quarles Moore was the first person to believe in my potential as an educator and as a successful pharmacist. Her passion for her student’s learning and compassion for their personal and mental health shows in every interaction with students. By allowing me to work as a teaching assistant for two years, she helped me determine my passion for teaching. She is a role model to professors everywhere.
A favorite memory: My favorite memory is from my freshman year, when the Horseshoe Deli was about to close and spring semester was ending. My roommate, Ashlynn, and I got our favorite sandwiches and sat by the T-Coop fountain in the middle of the night, enjoying the warm breeze and distant sounds of Columbia.
What’s next: I will continue my professional development and advance my pharmacy practice by completing a PGY1 Pharmacy residency at the Ohio State University.
Degree: Ph.D. Pharmaceutical Sciences
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
How the university changed my life: The College of Pharmacy has prepared me for my future career. When I was young, my grandfather passed away from lung cancer, and it has been my mission to find a cure for cancer to make sure no one else loses a best friend to this awful disease. Being at the USC College of Pharmacy has helped me to move toward that sense of purpose.
Who helped me succeed: I have received such wonderful support with positive reinforcement from my mentors, especially Dr. Eugenia Broude, and I hope to lead and mentor others. I helped co-found the Graduate Student Association, and it provided an opportunity for me to see what an amazing environment we have at the College of Pharmacy. That has shaped how I will move forward and seek those qualities of a leader that I learned from others.
Advice for incoming students: Always try to be understanding of others and take every opportunity to talk and learn from others. Being a Gamecock means looking out for others and putting your best foot forward.
A favorite memory: I had toured the campus back in 2012 when I was looking for undergraduate programs. I was able to see many of the lab spaces during my tour and that stuck with me. I remembered how beautiful the campus was, and when I was accepted to the graduate program, I was overjoyed.
What’s next: I am interested in academia and industry. I would like to see a company environment and focus on the pharmacy industry for now and learn more about how research development comes about in biotech companies.