From left to right: Jenna Griffin, Michelle Grace Guerrero, Danny Pham and Courtney Wong
Chapman University School of Pharmacy would like to congratulate our PharmD Class of 2021 who have demonstrated their unceasing commitment to pursuing pharmacy education through unprecedented time and are starting the new chapter of their career! We have fifteen students who went on to highly competitive post-graduate residency and fellowship opportunities across the nation, and would like to feature some of our soon-to-be alumni who are starting their programs this summer.
I will begin my program at Fayetteville VA Coastal Health Care System in Fayetteville, North Carolina as PGY-1 Resident. My position entails patient care in an ambulatory care setting, staffing both inpatient and outpatient pharmacy, precepting pharmacy students, longitudinal research projects and more. It is definitely a great program that I was looking for because as a military spouse, I have always had a passion to serve those who have served our country. This program also offers unique ambulatory care opportunities with multiple locations to interact with different patient demographics and disease states. It is evident that preceptors truly care about residents’ success and are willing to guide and challenge them to unlock their full potential.
The medical field has always been an interest of mine as helping others is one of my passions. With a family history of medical conditions that were not well controlled, I was able to see first-hand the lasting impact pharmacists can have on patients. This led me to pharmacy education and I chose Chapman because of the unique 3-year program and the sense of community and respect I felt throughout the inquiry process. As a military family, we are required to be expeditious and move whenever called upon. The program at Chapman allowed me to complete my schooling while minimizing time away from my husband.
Chapman faculty truly care about the success of their students and the program as a whole. They have walked the path to PharmD alongside me, offering assistance and guidance along the way. Thanks to their support and great Chapman education, I have acquired knowledge and skills that I will carry into my residency year and beyond. I feel more prepared for whatever may come my way because of the education that I received at CUSP. Chapman has allowed me to grow not only professionally but also personally. The community service opportunities available through CUSP helped me discover my passion for patients in the ambulatory care setting. The friends I have made and the people that I have met throughout my time at CUSP have provided me a strong support system that I hope to carry on past graduation.
I plan to become a board-certified ambulatory care pharmacist. I would like to continue to be active in the community, giving back and helping others through medical missions. I also want to be able to donate to further advance CUSP and the profession of pharmacy and potentially even be able to provide a scholarship for military spouses who may have the same passion as I do.
Michelle Grace Guerrero
I will be starting my residency program at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska ad PGY-1 Resident. I will be in an acute care setting rotating through different areas of acute care such as internal medicine, family practice, critical care, pediatrics, infectious diseases and emergency department. I will also be involved in major projects, precepting students, acquiring a teaching certificate, presenting at conferences and participating in interdisciplinary rounds. I decided to apply for this program because I knew I wanted to be an inpatient pharmacist working in a hospital setting that had a strong infectious diseases department.
I decided to pursue pharmacy education because I was always interested in the way medicine and drugs worked and how they help to manage and/or cure diseases. I chose Chapman because of its highly praised reputation as well as its accelerated program and unique flipped classroom learning style. It has taught me to become a more independent learner and to ask questions of concepts that I was not understanding to reinforce my knowledge.
Chapman has helped me become an independent and successful student with the many organizations and events held on campus. Being able to work with other students and collaborating on different projects and events has helped me become a better leader. Being able to connect and network with many faculty has also helped me get to where I am today. As president of one of the student organizations, I was connected to two amazing professors, Dr. Kimberly Won and Dr. Gary Fong who have helped me achieve my goal of becoming a pharmacy resident. Without their constant support and guidance, I would not be where I am today. Also, I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Luma Munjy who have provided constant moral and emotional support and truly cares about my education and well-being.
In 10 years, I see myself working in an inpatient hospital as an Infectious Diseases pharmacist with the Antimicrobial Stewardship team and precepting other pharmacy students. My next goal after completing this PGY-1 residency is to apply for the PGY-2 residency in Infectious Diseases. I also would like to support the alumni community and the school by precepting future pharmacy students and volunteering at admission events in order to give back to the school that has made me who I am today.
I will begin my presidency program at UC Irvine Health in Orange, California as PGY-1 Pharmacy Resident. Through this program, I will get the opportunity to continue my pharmacy education, working with many pharmacist preceptors to provide direct patient care in many different rotations. Rotations include critical care, emergency medicine, internal medicine, and others. I will also be working on a year-long resident research project, with the goal of presenting and writing a manuscript for the project. I wanted to pursue a pharmacy residency since I started my intern pharmacist job at UCLA Health, where I got the opportunity to see clinical pharmacists in the inpatient setting provide direct patient care. I knew that a residency program would allow me to jumpstart my career and give me the opportunity to learn immensely during the residency year.
I decided to pursue pharmacy education when I was in elementary school and my grandma suffered from a stroke. She had started taking aspirin and I was in charge of giving her the medication everyday, and I wanted to learn what the medication was doing for her. It was through this experience that I was intrigued how such a small pill could have such a strong impact on someone’s life, and I wanted to learn all I could about medications. I chose Chapman for pharmacy school because I really liked how actively students are involved with their learning and I knew I would learn best from their flipped classroom model.
Chapman University provided me with all of the tools and more to be where I am today. From the beginning, there were many faculty members and upperclassmen that provided information and guidance on various opportunities in pharmacy, and this was how I really learned about what a pharmacy residency entailed. CUSP faculty members were all experts in their fields, and I was able to learn so much from their teaching and their mentorship and get their help to prepare myself for a residency program, through research opportunities, shadowing, and other extra-curricular activities.
I plan on pursuing a PGY-2 residency this upcoming year, either in emergency medicine or critical care, and my goal afterward is to practice as a clinical pharmacist in either specialty or pursue academia. I love the clinical aspect of pharmacy, and being able to work in interprofessional teams to provide optimal patient care. As a CUSP alumnus, I would love to be involved with CUSP even after graduation by precepting students and providing mentorship for future CUSP students.
I will be starting my 2-year post-doctoral fellowship program at Merck in Clinical Science and Study Management. I will be supporting late-stage clinical development in oncology. This will include working on protocol design, study planning and management, and working with principal investigators from hospitals around the world. I will be working collaboratively with fellow members of the clinical trial team as well as members from other functional areas. I chose to apply for a fellowship because of all the opportunities that it had to offer. I wanted a career that was more project-based learning while also working closely with fellow team members. After I had an APPE rotation at Allergan-AbbVie in clinical development, I was amazed to see that the work I was doing would be distributed globally. In the pharmaceutical industry, everything is always evolving, and I want to be at the forefront of innovation.
I have always wanted to be a part of the medical field when I was younger. After seeing my grandparents struggle not knowing their medications, I wanted to aid them and become a source they could rely on. Knowing that pharmacists are one of the most accessible healthcare providers, I knew I wanted to pursue it. After I was accepted into the 5-year Freshman Early Assurance Program (FEAP) at Chapman, I knew this was an opportunity I could not pass up on.
After spending the past 5 years at Chapman University, I am very grateful for all the support and opportunities I have received. When I first came to Chapman, I was hesitant about where I wanted to take my career and lacked confidence in myself. Slowly I started to become more involved on campus and truly started to feel at home. While at CUSP, the faculty provided me with constant support and guidance to help me reach my academic and career goals. I was encouraged to go outside my comfort zone and gained leadership and research. I was able to become the Class of 2021 Class President and complete an amazing research project with a mentor whom I truly look up to. I would not have found my interest in this industry if it were not for exposure from Chapman’s career development and APhA student chapter.
In 10 years, I hope to see myself advancing in the company and taking on larger projects. My next goal is to give back to the future pharmacists who are yet to come. I have been blessed to have mentors who have constantly supported and challenged me to do more in school and reach for higher goals. I hope in 10 years to be a mentor to others and guide them to whatever career path they desire. While being CUSP alumni, I hope to volunteer at different admission events and speak about my experiences while at CUSP and the Freshman Early Assurance Program. If the opportunity does present itself, I would love to precept any Chapman student. I would also like to be a guiding source to any student at CUSP who is interested in going into the pharmaceutical industry. I plan to stay active within the alumni community and help give back to the school however I can.