Raised in bi-racial family in Dallas, third-year Pharm.D. student Alexxis-Marie Hutson said she specifically chose to attend University of Houston College of Pharmacy partly because of the opportunity to become involved in the diverse communities of Houston, a place she refers to as “a safe haven.”
“I toured the campus and fell in love with the brand-new building, the diversity and the devotion to diversity,” Hutson said.
Although disappointed after not being accepted for enrollment by her “dream school” at the start of her academic journey, Hutson shifted gears and attended Baylor University for her undergraduate coursework. Reflecting on her path, Hutson said she has since realized that the instances in which she was told “no” led her to where she is today.
“I feel like things that you want so badly and you feel like you know it's the stepping stone to the rest of your life, but it just doesn't happen – those are the pivotal moments,” Hutson said.
While at UHCOP, Hutson has demonstrated her leadership and patient care commitment through a variety of volunteer activities.
She currently serves as senior pharmacy representative on the board of the student-run Houston Outreach Medicine Education & Social Services (H.O.M.E.S.) Clinic, a collaboration between UHCOP, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and Baylor College of Medicine students that provides health services to Houston’s housing-insecure population (an umbrella term for those who are homeless or at high risk of being homeless).
She also recruited UHCOP Pharm.D. students to mentor medical students on administering immunizations during a H.O.M.E.S. vaccine drive in the fall.
Hutson said some favorite experiences at the clinic include interacting with patients and learning from the medical students.
“I appreciate providing the resource of where to seek help and offer reliable, free help to the community,” Hutson said.
Hutson also has taken a leading role in collaborative outreach activities for underserved communities, including recruiting UH pharmacy students to assist with a Baylor College of Medicine-organized refugee health last semester.
As part of her person and professional growth, Hutson has been pushing herself to do three things each semester: one thing she loves, one thing that scares her and one thing that challenges her.
Following graduation, Hutson said she’s aiming to pursue a residency in the Houston area and eventually specialize in pediatric or neurological/psychiatric pharmacy.
“I hope to serve as representation of not only the community that supported me, but to all multiracial people hoping to make a meaningful impact,” Hutson said.
— by Logan Linder