Meet our Students
Read profiles of students and recent graduates to find out what it's like to be a PharmD student at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Their profiles highlight unique leadership and educational opportunities, as well as their commitment to improving their communities.
During Rowan Mahon's second year at the college, she realized that it would be illegal for long-term care facilities in Minnesota to donate medications in the way that 20 other states with repositories are currently doing, and that in order to start a medication repository program in Minnesota, the law had to be changed. Mahon’s passion led her to found the Public Health Advocacy Student Alliance at the college—an organization dedicated to public health, advocacy and the power of the legislative process.
What continues to serve as Abdi Bile's reason for getting up every morning is my motivation to help and serve Minnesota’s underserved communities and people of color. When he was starting pharmacy school, polio was making a comeback in Somalia, and just as he was entering his final year in pharmacy school, we had the largest measles epidemic in over a decade right here in the Twin Cities.
Emily Schuster focuses her research on improving the wellbeing of herself and others. She was the first student to introduce and implement a wellbeing breakout session at the Benefits Fair and has created tips for how students can boost their happiness levels. She believes that there’s nothing better than boosting others’ moods and talking about happiness.
Early in Steven Just's undergraduate career, he discovered his passion for working to increase the number of American Indians in higher education, STEM fields, and health-related professions. Just is a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe and Chapter President of the University of Minnesota, Duluth AISES.
Atuobi Nana Yiadom is the first pharmacy student to participate in Mayo Clinic’s summer graduate training program in pharmacokinetics. When he took Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics at the college, he discovered that he really enjoyed precision medicine and that the ability to tailor a patient’s treatment with specific medications.
As the MPSA president on the Twin Cities campus, Grace Baek has seen firsthand how MPhA invests in student development: presentations at MPSA general meetings ranging from introducing the association to discussing the legislative agenda, student scholarships and organization-level support, student participation in advocacy through Legislative Day and the Leadership Summit/House of Delegates, and networking at the Annual Learning Networking Event and at national conferences.
Vu Ha began the volunteer initiative Socks n’ Sandwiches after developing a strong passion for community work and volunteering in underserved communities at the College of Pharmacy. On the fourth Thursday of each month, Ha and other volunteers make 60 sandwiches and deliver them to local homeless shelters around the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.
Axel Vazquez-Deida received the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award for his work and leadership in addressing issues such as access to health services, adolescent health, immunization and infectious disease prevention, social determinants of health, tobacco use, substance abuse, and nutrition and weight status.
During his first year of pharmacy school, Peter Balogun quickly learned that managed care was at the center of all the different sectors of pharmacy. So, if I could understand it, I would understand the different perspectives of the key players in the healthcare system and therefore have a more holistic approach to the problems our healthcare system faces.
Mélanie Mahoney attended the 78th FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Glasgow, Scotland. The intention of the congress is to bring pharmacists from all over the globe to discuss ways to enhance the role of pharmacists, in order to ensure patients and health systems receive the full benefits from the medicines they use. Mahoney was able to attend a variety of sessions on topics ranging from policy and advocacy to pharmacogenomics and medicine assisted death and brought many valuable takeaways home with her.
Kelly Potz, a third year student and president of the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance (MPSA). MPSA brings together student pharmacists from both campuses with a central purpose to promote their growth into excellent pharmacists at the top of their respective fields. An active MPSA member since her first year, Potz is proud to serve as its president this year.