The Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science (BSPS) program at the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy is a relatively new program at the college, but is a valuable part part of the school. This month, we are highlighting some of the students in the BSPS program.
Name: Ali Qasemi
Graduation year: Spring of 2022
What inspired you to pursue a degree in pharmaceutical science at the University of Arizona?
My interest in pharmaceutical sciences piqued at a young age when I had the opportunity to shadow a pharmacist in my community. Witnessing him complete his daily tasks while he educated me on his work and role in his community as a medical professional, interested me in the pharmaceutical field. My interest was furthered in high school when I registered for a CTE medical course to shadow medical professionals in several different settings. Through this opportunity, I shadowed a clinical pharmacist to further be exposed to the pharmaceutical field in a different setting from my previous experience. The summer I graduated from high school, I was informed that the University of Arizona was starting the BSPS program, and I knew I wanted to dive deeper into pharmaceutical sciences and here I am today in my senior year!
Do you have any role models that inspire you at the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy?
During my time in the BSPS program I have viewed all the professors I have interacted with at the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy as role models. One professor in particular who I really looked up to was Dr. Eli Chapman. Dr. Chapman consistently kept his medicinal chemistry class engaging even through Zoom and always made time for questions about the material. He would always dive deep into the explanations and even refer them to real life examples which helped me understand concepts while also educating me on the history of certain drugs. His enthusiasm for chemistry was contagious and many times during the semester I found myself enjoying drawing out reactions. Dr Chapman took time out of his week every week to hold office hours where he would answer more questions and put our minds at ease when we struggled with concepts. Dr. Chapman has always been understanding and made medicinal chemistry enjoyable even at 8am in the morning.
Have you experienced any challenges in school? How did you overcome them?
My freshman year I had difficulties balancing my work and school life. I found myself working too much and not having the ideal amount of time needed to focus on my academic work. To overcome this challenge, I spoke with my advisor who suggested I utilize an agenda to manage my time more efficiently. With her advice and an agenda in hand I organized my schedule more efficiently and was thankfully able to schedule fewer hours as well. With my advisor’s assistance I was able to focus more time on my academics and succeed in my classes.
What do you enjoy most about the BSPS program?
The most enjoyable part of the BSPS program to me is how the professors and advisors truly care about your understanding and success through the program. From our remarkable and knowledgeable professors who take the time out of their busy days to assist students in understanding key concepts to our outstanding advisors who go above and beyond to help students with their path through the BSPS program. The faculty and staff of the BSPS program make it the successful program that it is!
Do you have any words of advice for students interested in pursuing a pharmaceutical degree?
Get involved! The BSPS program offers several opportunities for students to get involved in the major and meet fellow peers from the student advisory board to the Pre-Pharmacy club. Through these groups students can gain leadership experience, volunteer hours, and get an insight of careers that they can pursue through the BSPS program.
What are your goals after graduation?
Pursuing my PharmD at the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy!
Story by: Gracie Lordi