UC Chemistry Students Accepted into Pharmacy Programs

Chemistry students and their professor, Dr. Julie Tan, stand together in a chemistry classroom.

Five undergraduate chemistry students at University of the Cumberlands (UC) were recently accepted into Doctor of Pharmacy programs at universities of their choice.

Kellie Ball (Harriman, Tennessee), Aaron Adkisson (Brodhead, Kentucky), Kaylee Conrad (Staffordsville, Kentucky) and Joshua Partin (Woodbine, Kentucky) accepted offers from the University of Kentucky, while Kenny Wilson (Bowling Green, Kentucky) accepted an offer from Samford University in Alabama.

“As faculty, we appreciate the chance to mentor young, bright students, teaching and guiding them toward their professional opportunities as chemistry majors,” said Dr. Julie Tan, professor and department chair for UC’s Chemistry Department.

The Chemistry Department at Cumberlands offers several opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in their chosen fields of study. In addition to their coursework, they are able to serve as teaching and research assistants for faculty in the department. They are also encouraged to pursue summer programs at research institutions or shadow professionals in their respective fields.

“I’ve really enjoyed the many opportunities to be involved in the Chemistry Department, from being a teaching assistant with different labs to being a research assistant for Dr. Tan,” Wilson said. “I’ve been able to take advantage of these opportunities to have new experiences and gain better understandings of concepts.”

For Wilson, who will be pursuing a master’s degree in health informatics and analytics in addition to earning his Doctor of Pharmacy, shadowing working pharmacists confirmed he was on the correct career path.

“Most schools look for shadowing experiences, but equally important is that it gives students a realistic picture of what life is like as a pharmacist,” Tan said.

As undergraduates, chemistry students begin with general foundation courses before moving into concentrated studies, such as organic and analytical chemistry. They must also work one-on-one with a faculty mentor to complete a senior research project on a subject of their choosing.

“The classes that I have taken have been challenging, but the professors are always available to help you understand the material better, which I believe has prepared me well for pharmacy school,” Ball said.

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institute of regional distinction that currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major areas of study; 10 pre-professional programs; 10 graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certificates in education; and online programs.