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Tier One Scholarship Benefits Pharmacy Students

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March 11, 2013 - The Tier One Scholarship is evolving to become more flexible with students whose interests lie beyond obtaining an undergraduate degree. Three current Tier One Scholars have finished the necessary prerequisites to apply their scholarship toward the University’s College of Pharmacy.

“I feel very excited because I’ve already completed one-step in the plan that I set for myself. For now I’ll just focus on graduating on time and focusing on my studies and I plan to hopefully explore (pharmacy further),” said Boxin Allen Xu. “Besides hospital pharmacy, which I’m interested in, I also want to take a look at maybe independent pharmacies and see how they’re doing and what other possibilities may be available.”

In Fall 2013, Xu and Mary Sun will begin their start in the College of Pharmacy. Both are eager to begin the new specific courses, which they anticipate to be challenging and enjoyable.

“I’m really looking forward to taking classes that are directly related to my future profession. I’m looking forward to learning more about the different fields of pharmacy and furthering my knowledge in compounding,” Sun said. “I’m also interested in learning more about the various clubs in pharmacy school and joining some of them.”

Scholar Jennie Do enrolled in the College of Pharmacy in Fall 2012 and is sure that it is where she is supposed to be. Do is motivated to educate patients of possible drug interactions to avoid becoming sick and plans to make an impact on the community.

“The reason I came into pharmacy school was because I had a teacher who I was really close to and he was suffering from an illness that was able to be helped with a medication and when I was telling him what I wanted to do in life, he pulled up the article with all of the people who affected his life by researching about this medication. He was really moved by it and so was I,” Do said.

Dr. Veronique Tran, adviser for the Tier One Scholars is both proud and impressed by the dedication and success of the first group of pre-pharmacy scholars.

“Each of them has worked hard to prepare for admissions to the PharmD program. I’m excited that they are choosing to continue their professional studies here at UH with the help of the Tier One Scholarship,” Tran said. “They are role models for our freshman and sophomore pre-pharmacy scholars and have already mentored and advised them on the pathway to pharmacy admissions.”  

Do entered pharmacy school with a significant amount of Advance Placement credits that allowed her to finish her prerequisites in three semesters by taking 15 hours. She will graduate from the program in 2016 with a PharmD and highly recommends other scholars to use the scholarship to their advantage.

“You read the guidelines and you’re like this isn’t going to cover it, this isn’t going to cover that, but if you work with Dr. Tran and you work with any faculty that she helps you meet and you’ll find that the scholarship is much more flexible than you think it is,” Do said. “They’re willing to work with you, they want to make sure you have the best experience, and you make the difference the best way you can. Just don’t close yourself off too much, allow your options to be explored.”

The Tier One Scholarship has surpassed its initial benefits by covering the costs of graduate and professional studies. Something Tran said opens up a lot of additional possibilities for Scholars to pursue a combined undergraduate and graduate degree at UH.

“There’s an extra incentive to graduate a year or two early because then scholars can transition smoothly to a graduate  or professional program and still have the benefit of the Tier One Scholarship covering their tuition and fees.  It means that they will be able to continue on at UH to pursue Masters, PhD programs in all fields and also professional programs — not only in Pharmacy but also Optometry and Law,” Tran said.