International Day of Women in Science

The University of Florida College of Pharmacy celebrates women advancing the pharmaceutical sciences during the fifth International Day of Women and Girls in Science on Feb. 11.

Five female faculty members and five graduate students were asked to share a message with aspiring young, female pharmaceutical scientists.

Assistant professor | pharmaceutics

Valva Vozmediano, Ph.D.

Be yourself and continue living life intensively, challenging yourself. Don’t be afraid of failure! Just don’t give up and success will come!

Valva Vozmediano

Graduate student | Pharmaceutics

Kayla Lien, M.S.

Be curious, always. To seize opportunities and create them when there aren't any on your path. You may get discouraged, but you must not lose self-confidence. Ignore the self-doubt and keep doing. Focus and recommit when you face obstacles and fall. Having the right mental attitude to treat failure as a learning experience toward success is critical in science. Most importantly, take risks and never limit yourself just because you are told that you are a female.

Kayla Lien headshot

assistant professor | Medicinal Chemistry

Lina Cui, Ph.D.

If you love solving puzzles and challenges, science is for you. Just stay curious, work hard and have fun.

Lina Cui, Assistant Professor College of Pharmacy, Dept of Med Chem

Graduate student | Medicinal Chemistry

Hebaalla Agha

Working hard for something we love is called PASSION. A passion for science will help you cross bridges and break down walls. Simply trust in yourself, believe you can do it, love what you do, and you will be surprised by what you will be able to achieve. You will be able to look back at the obstacles you’ve crossed, that you once thought were impossible to overcome, and see how creative and strong they made you. As the saying goes, "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’M POSSIBLE.”

Headshot of Hebaalla Agha

Associate professor | Pharmacodynamics

Siobhan Malany, Ph.D.

First assume your superiors and administrators are on your side. They just need extra explanation.

Siobhan Malany headshot

Graduate student | Pharmacodynamics

Lisa Wilson

Don’t let anyone rob you of your creativity, curiosity or imagination. Science is freedom to be powerful, profound and brilliant. Don’t let anyone take that from you. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life!

Lisa Wilson headshot

Associate professor | Pharmaceutical outcomes and Policy

Haesuk Park, Ph.D.

Try not to worry so much. It will all work out.

Haesuk Park, Ph.D., headshot


Xinyi (Rose) Jiang

We are around all different voices. We need to trust ourselves to have the wisdom to know which voices to listen to and which to let go of. Don't let any voices stop you from being who you are or rip off your unique wings. Your courage to choose to listen to your own voice will light up and encourage a girl somewhere who is discouraged by others. She will finally hear her inner voice telling her, "No one can define you or your life. Only you."

Headshot of Xinyi Jiang

Associate professor | Pharmacotherapy and translational research

Larisa Cavallari, Pharm.D.

The only limits to what you can achieve are those you place upon yourself.

Larisa Cavallari headshot


Lakshmi Manasa S Chekka, Pharm.D.

Do not be afraid to cross your boundaries. Be it in science, society or life! Cross them all and you will see that they don’t matter and they never did!

Lakshmi Chekka poses for a photo in her laboratory