Master’s Degree & Motherhood

I have heard few students say that our MSPS program is very challenging with Pharmacology track being the toughest. So I wanted to share the story of our current student, Wendi Raig.

“My name is Wendi Raig. I am a mother of four wonderful children ages 6 – 18. I live locally in Lillington, though I’ve not lived here my entire life. It is difficult to say where I am from. The last seventeen years have been fairly stable here in North Carolina. Prior to my time here in NC I have lived in many, many places. After being born in Atlanta, Georgia, I was able to experience some of my younger years outside of the country in Indonesia, Philippines, and Honduras. Then after moving back into the States I lived in Minnesota, Florida, California, Florida again, Georgia again, and then North Carolina. I am highly active in Boy Scouts as a Venture Crew Advisor. We meet regularly. We have been sea kayaking, mountain climbing, zip lining, hiking, biking, winter camping, and many other things. In addition to volunteering with the Boy Scouts I also volunteer with my church and occasionally with the Mobile Market. I don’t have a lot of time for hobbies but one hobby I make time for is for managing my honey bees. I have been a bee keeper for the past eight or nine years. My honey is popular with my friends.
I received my bachelors of science from Georgia State University with a major in Biology and minor in Chemistry. Following my graduation I moved to NC and began working in a research laboratory studying HIV. When I had my second child I decided to stay home to raise my children. Since being home I had longed to go back to school and to find work in the sciences. Pharmacy and pharmacology are a good fit for me with my love for people and my love for sciences. Campbell is the obvious best choice as they offer dual degree options. MSPS allows me to learn how the medicines work in the body and how they are made. Knowing these things will make me a better and more marketable pharmacist when I am done.
I look forward to graduation, counting down the semesters as I approach. Having finished my first year of MSPS I have loved learning with all of the other students. What will my life look like when I graduate? I’m not sure. I’ve considered opening up my own private pharmacy but also I would like to work with cancer or HIV patients on a more personal basis. It may be something where I volunteer with certain clinics while also having my own practice. I know I want to be with people and help them to be in great health. I want my patients to know me and to know that I care about them. And I want my children to see that they can accomplish anything they set their minds on and to never, ever give up on their dreams.”

 

Wendi

 

India Night

So every year the graduating class of the MSPS program organizes a cultural event called “Utsav – India Night” sometime in March or April. This event is open to current and past students, faculty and staff all over the campus. One of the main attraction of the India Night is mouth-watering spicy food prepared by the MSPS students from India. Although the department funds majority of the event, the students do all the hard work.

This year, the event started with some delicious appetizers – Veg manchurian (an Indo-Chinese dish), and Mango lassi (you have to try this is you have not already) – all made by the students. I was surprised to see how many alumni were present to enjoy the evening, meet the professors and mingle with old friend. The main show comprised of dances on Bollywood and folk music as well as patriotic and Bollywood songs. Apart from the students, the audience also actively participated. Dr. Gupta sang a Hindi song while Dr. Shin sang a Korean song. Wendy Raig, MSPS Class of 2015, got into the mood and sang a Spanish lullaby. In short everyone had a blast!

The event ended with singing of the Indian National Anthem. The menu for dinner had Naan (Indian bread), Paneer Masala, Chicken Curry, Veg Biryani (rice dish), Raita (spiced yogurt with vegetables) and Fruit Custard (dessert). At the end the professors praised the students for a fun-filled evening and appreciated all their hard work and home-cooked delicious food.

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Vice President of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Visits CU-CPHS Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

We were privileged to have Dr. Peter J. Ramsey, Vice President, Global R&D for Pain Management and Site Leader for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare in Richmond, VA visit the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 along with one of his colleagues, Dr. Mallik Karamsetty, Principal Technology Scientist II from the same site. In spite of their busy schedules, Drs. Ramsey and Karamsetty came to our campus at the invitation of our very own Dr. William Stagner (http://www.campbell.edu/cphs/faculty/faculty-members/dr.-william-stagner) and spend the whole day talking with our faculty and students. They toured the Pharmaceutical Education & Research Center (PERC) and the Maddox Hall laboratory facilities to see the variety of equipments we carry for our students to use. Dr. Ramsey closed his visit with a highly motivating presentation to a joint meeting of our three student professional organizations: the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), and the Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) which was attended by more than 60 students and faculty. He stayed for almost an hour after the presentation to talk one-on-one with the students while enjoying pizzas and beverages.

With bold enthusiasm and passion Dr. Ramsey described his career path and current responsibilities. Under the title of “Branding, Science and Innovation in Consumer Healthcare” he described several Pfizer consumer products, which had been recently introduced or significantly improved, with insightful background stories. He described how continuous research and development is necessary to enhance efficacy and keep these products on the competitive edge from a consumer marketing perspective. He highly commended our BS and MS programs, and told our students how lucky they are to have excellent faculty members and high quality laboratory facilities, such as PERC. He encouraged our students to apply for summer internships at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. In order for our students to be competitive in the current job market, beyond the excellent technical knowledge and skills they gain in our program, he advised them to develop a positive attitude, remain teachable, operate with the highest integrity and reliability, and build effective teamwork capabilities.

When I contacted Dr. Ramsey to comment on his visit, this is what he had to say – “It was our pleasure to spend the day with the Campbell University faculty and students. We were very impressed with the rich heritage and experience of the faculty and their dedication to student education. The strong curriculum coupled with the practical application of scientific principles prepares students for successful entrance into their career area of interest. Campbell students are fortunate to have such dedicated and experienced faculty to guide and mentor them.”

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Dr. Ramsey’s presentation

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After the presentation. From the left, Dr. Shin, Dr. Holmes, Dr. Stagner, Pratibha Koneru (ISPE Student Chapter President), Vaishnavi Dodwadkar (PDA Student Chapter President), Dr. Peter Ramsey, Dr. Mallik Karamsetty, Pranshu Shrivastava (AAPS Student Chapter President), Dr. Gupta & Dr. Diliberto (PS Department Chair)

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Dr. Ramsey was kind to stay back after the presentation to talk one-on-one with the students

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Pizza time!!

Alumni Success Stories

“I recall I was 20 years old when I decided to move 8500 miles across the world to the United States to get my Masters. It would be unfair if I said I see a haze recalling those days because I still remember the excitement and thrill I experienced walking down on campus for the first time. I have evolved from a bashful anxious girl to a confident ambitious woman over my years at Campbell. I am currently working for Liquidia Technologies (a pharmaceutical company in the RTP area) in the R&D department serving as a bridge between analytical and formulation teams. Though a small company and not having dealt with international employees earlier, it is willing to sponsor for my work visa and provide me with excellent benefits. I am not the first Campbell graduate to have made a mark at workplace and earned their respect and credence in a short period of time. When I look back at how Campbell has given me opportunities to explore both industry and academia through various pharmaceutical student organizations and career fairs, I see my success as an outcome of my school’s willingness to help its students. My participation in various professional and academic conferences (sponsored by Campbell) helped me grow my network. I can’t imagine how this journey would have been without Campbell playing a pivotal role, as I was constantly leaning towards my faculty for any academic or career help. It would not be an over-statement if I said that Campbell provides some of the finest pharmaceutical professionals to the industry that any company feels fortunate to hire. I would like to acknowledge how Campbell has touched all walks of my life. In an effort to give back to the school that helped mold me into a successful individual, I currently serve as the pharmaceutical sciences representative for Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Alumni Board of Directors.”

-Ramya Yadavalli
MSPS Class of 2012, Industrial Pharmacy track

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“Campbell University was a surprise and one of the best things that could have happened to me in terms of getting a higher education in the USA. The department of pharmaceutical sciences, I believe, has a top notch group of faculty and staff that constantly works towards giving a world class education to their students. Their emphasis on self-learning through proper guidance and support is the paramount. My association with the college of pharmacy and health sciences in the past 2 years has taught me well to set higher goals for myself both educationally/academically as well as in terms of my career.The reasons that have helped me find a job in one of the top most companies like Sandoz Inc. as a Chemist are my research project, a job at PERC, the student chapter meetings and the educational conferences. It did not take long to get promoted to a permanent position based on my performance.This was possible mostly because of the education and hands- on experience I got at Campbell. I currently work in the Raw Materials lab and the Finished Product lab conducting analytical tests on APIs and final products (Tabs, Capsules etc). I plan to eventually branch out to Manufacturing Sciences and Technology, Product and Process validation etc. I would dedicate this achievement to my research advisor,my professors, my family and friends.”

- Bhavish Kondaveeti
MSPS Class of 2013, Pharmaceutical Analysis track

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Diwali celebration

So last month I had fun organizing the Diwali party for our graduate students. Diwali, also known as “the festival of lights”, is the most widely celebrated festival of India.

Some of the first year master students helped me decorate the room with lights and streamers. I have to say, they were really creative.

We started the afternoon with some mouth watering appetizers – samosa, kathi roll, gobi manchurian and gulab jamun. Can you guess which dish was equally enjoyed by both, the Indian and non-Indian crowd? Yes, the gulab jamun! Food was followed by a game. (I don’t know what it is called but I have played it at several parties.) It is similar to musical chairs but played with partners instead of chairs. Both the ones, playing and watching the game, had a blast. No party can end without dancing and that is exactly what we ended the afternoon with – Bollywood dance!

See the pictures below to see what a great event it was.

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What the students love about MSPS at Campbell

“Quality of education and friendly faculty” -Rishita, Class of 2014

“Now I am a good problem solver, learner, teacher, interpreter, perfect experimental designer and a scientist; all because of Campbell” -Vikram, Class of 2013

“Practical exposure” -Pratibha, Class of 2014

“Professors make me think. I really feel like I’m a GRAD student” -Srinath, Class of 2013

“Friends I made here” – Abhishek, Class of 2013

“Warm, welcoming  & helpful people who work here” -Ankita, Class of 2014

“Campbell is the place that taught me what life is and it provided me with several opportunities that I always hoped for” -Satish, Class of 2013

“Professors are too kind to help us in our academics as well as in our personal issue” -Aditi, Class of 2014

“Education System” -Monica, Class of 2013

Some of my proud Campbell moments

Click through to read more about each picture!

Let’s get to know one another…

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Shraddha Shapariya, the Graduate Admissions and Student Relations Coordinator for the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (isn’t that the longest job title you have ever come across?!).  I love my job since it gives me the opportunity to guide students at different stages in their journey of graduate school. I completely understand the hardships of applying to grad schools and graduating with honors as I graduated summa cum laude (yes, I spent a lot of time with books) with MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences (MSPS) here at Campbell in 2011. I was an international student and married when I started the MSPS program. As you can tell, I like taking challenges! I spent my childhood in Mumbai, India and completed my Bachelor’s in Pharmacy from Pune, India before coming to the US.

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT MSPS AT CAMPBELL

I am so used to answering questions in bullets that I am going to do the same thing here.

  • Perfect balance of coursework and lab exposure (which apparently is not too common)
  • Extremely helpful professors who are genuinely concerned about their student’s progress
  • Reasonable tuition. It is like getting bang for your buck

Thanks to this program, I can think like a scientist now!

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