The UF College of Pharmacy celebrates Black History Month to recognize the sacrifices, contributions, and achievements of African-Americans to the United States and the world. This month presents us all with the opportunity to reflect on where we are as an organization, a school, health care providers and individuals. Black History Month is not just a time to celebrate Black Americans who have paved the way for some of us to thrive. It is also a time to consider how we can create more justice in our daily lives and institutions.
We asked some of our Black students and trainees to share what motivates them to excel as members of the UF College of Pharmacy community.
Graduate Students and Trainees
“What motivates me to excel is the opportunity to serve patients, my community and my generation through the research that I do and the interactions we share together. One of my favorite quotes comes from the Bible and says, ‘Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.’ Contributing to my community and the world through servant-based leadership is a passion and a principal motivator for me. As I reflect on the sacrifices and efforts made by those who came before me, particularly those of color and our allies, I am inspired to utilize the platforms and opportunities they fought to make available to me to positively impact the world around me.” LEADERSHIP POSITIONS: College of Pharmacy Dean’s Leadership Council Graduate Student Representative
“Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” My motivation to excel here at UF College of Pharmacy comes from the many mentors that have trained, uplifted and supported me throughout my academic journey. Through their advocacy, these individuals created space for me to excel in research. My hope is that I may serve as a change agent for the delivery of high-quality health care to disadvantaged patient populations and contribute to the advancement of others who wish to do the same.” LEADERSHIP POSITIONS: Recruitment Chair, COP Graduate Student Council; Chair, COP Graduate D&I Committee; Co-chair, HSC D&I Student Council
“The College of Pharmacy has a great number of allies interested in the field of racial health disparities, and I, fortunately, work with a principal investigator who shares this interest. The field of drug development is one of the numerous ways to alleviate these disparities, and it’s inspiring to be surrounded by fellow graduate students, postdocs and faculty members who motivate me and/or encourage this passion.” LEADERSHIP POSITIONS: Graduate Student Council (Pharmaceutics Department Student Representative); College of Pharmacy Diversity & Inclusion Sub-Committee; Black Graduate Student Organization (Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Co-Chair); Gator McKnights Unite (Secretary)
“From a diversity and inclusion lens, what motivates me the most to excel at the College of Pharmacy is knowing that I represent the small 5% of black pharmacists in our profession. I believe representation is a key component for minority student success because often times these students can get lost in a system they are unable to identify with. I hope my presence at the university allows my students to see themselves through me and feel included in the classroom. Many black and brown pharmacists have paved the way for me and my hope is to do the same for my students.” LEADERSHIP POSITIONS: Currently serve as a co-preceptor to IPPE and APPE students at my practice sites.
“What motivates me to excel here at the College of Pharmacy is all the opportunities that are afforded to students. Coming from out of state, I was determined to make the most out of my money and experiences. I enjoy being involved and it has contributed immensely to my personal and professional development over the past three years.” LEADERSHIP POSITIONS: SNPhA-Gainesville Chapter (President); IPhO-Gainesville Chapter (Treasurer)
“My motivation for success here at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy is driven by a desire to make a difference in the lives of the patients I will one day care for. Moreover, my experiences has transversed the clinical knowledge that I’ve been fortunate to acquire through the curriculum. I have continued to grow as a leader and make impacts in communities that resemble those that I grew up in. As we celebrate Black heritage this month, I reflect on all the distinct accomplishments of those before and around me. I only look to contribute to this in my professional endeavors and to add to the representation of people of color in the healthcare setting.” LEADERSHIP POSITIONS: Student Ambassador; Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity Inc. (Immediate Past Regent); Inter-Professional Healthcare Coalition (President)
“My primary motivation to excel in anything has always been my family. Having been born in Nigeria and immigrating to the states, my parents provided so many opportunities for me, and I hope to utilize everything that has been given to me to succeed. I am also motivated by my fellow classmates and friends who are always pushing the bar and challenging themselves to be better than they were yesterday.” LEADERSHIP POSITIONS: APhA-ASP Jacksonville Chapter (President); Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity Inc. (Vice-Regent)
“The strong support system offered by the College of Pharmacy motivates me to excel. My peers, career coach and faculty advisor are always eager to offer their assistance and positively impact my success in the program. As a black immigrant woman, I also want my success story to support why representation matters in serving our communities.” LEADERSHIP POSITIONS: SNPhA-Gainesville Chapter (Historian)
“I am motivated to excel here at UF College of Pharmacy by the inspiration and encouragement of pharmacy leaders that look like me. Understanding the importance of representation in the pharmacy profession, I am driven to showcase to minorities and people of color that if I can do it so can they.” LEADERSHIP POSITIONS: National President, Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA)
“I am motivated to succeed here at the UF College of Pharmacy because I believe that I am a mirror for adolescents from my community. I want them to know that they can expand their career aspirations beyond perceived career barriers that are inadvertently set for them.” LEADERSHIP POSITIONS: SSHP-Jacksonville Chapter (President-Elect)
“I chose to pursue an education and career in pharmacy because of my passion and desire to impact the lives of others. Since embarking on my journey here at UF’s College of Pharmacy almost three years ago, I have gained such knowledge, insight, and confidence to become the best pharmacist I can be. I am constantly motivated by the challenges and adversities that come my way that not only allow me to step outside of my comfort zone, but allow me to remain true to myself, my beliefs, and my story. As a woman of color, I hope to be a voice for the voiceless, a lending hand to those who need it, and a role model for others to follow.” LEADERSHIP POSITIONS: CPFI Orlando Chapter (Vice-President); Phi Lambda Sigma (Orlando Campus VP); Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity Inc. (New Member Educator)