Pharmacy Student Stories
Pharmacy major Zoe Schilling is passionate about her chosen field, and her passion for fitness goes hand in hand. With a minor in public health, she knows all too well about the obesity problem in today’s society. She decided that while she was still in college, she wanted to do something to help.
Zoe’s passion for fitness started way back in the eighth grade when she started working out with Insanity, P90X and Jillian Michaels DVDs. And so the dream was born to become a fitness instructor one day.
At ONU, Zoe was drawn to Zumba, a Latin American-based style of dance and fitness, and she loved it so much that she wanted to teach others to love it too. She inquired about what it would take to become a certified Zumba instructor, and she found out that the Zumba instructor for ONU HealthWise, ONU’s on-campus health and wellness center, was about the graduate. Here was her chance to jump in and make her dream a reality.
That was the final push she needed to go for it and obtain her Zumba fitness certification. She paid for a Zumba Basic 1 certification and participated in an all-day training class, where she learned the four basic styles of Zumba and the basic necessities of how to teach a class.
By starting “Zumba with Zoe,” she successfully launched her career as a Zumba fitness instructor in the fall of her third year of pharmacy school, and it has been both a joy and a privilege for her. Not only is it an ideal on-campus job, but more importantly, she gets to share her passion for fitness and help others live a healthier lifestyle.
Of course, none of this would’ve been possible without ONU’s warm, inviting atmosphere.
“If ONU wasn’t such a small and friendly campus, I probably would not have become a Zumba instructor,” she says. “Because the students and faculty are so friendly and accommodating, it made it easy to go for my certification and receive that extra motivation from my friends to pursue my dream and accomplish my goals. The people I see every day on campus are so supportive and encouraging.”
In her time at Ohio Northern, Amarachi “Amara” Egbujor, a pharmacy major from Nigeria, Africa, has learned to embrace her own unique identity.
When Egbujor first came to ONU, she was shy and reserved, and she was especially fearful of sharing her background with anyone. She would often be mistaken as African-American, but from time to time, her accent would give her away. Being different made her nervous and insecure; she just wanted to blend in.
Then, in the spring of her first year, she participated in the annual multicultural fair at ONU, an event celebrating different cultures with food, attire and presentations about other countries. She dressed up in Nigerian garb, made a Nigerian dish and shared a PowerPoint presentation about her culture. This experience opened her eyes to the fact that being different made her special.
Since then, she has really come into her own. She has intermingled with students from other countries as a member of World Student Organization, and she has served the local community in several ways through Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity on campus. She also has been an international student greeter for the past few years, helping incoming international students settle in upon arrival and through their orientation week activities.
“There’s been a huge 180-degree transformation in me,” she says. “Before I came here, I used to be reserved and shy. If I would talk in front of people, I would literally cry, but with the exposure here, I feel confident talking now. I’ve always had that struggle of finding where I belong, but being here has made me realize that you can just be you.”
Community service has been a way of life for pharmacy major Monica Coupe. Her involvement in an independent project in ONU’s College of Pharmacy combined her interests in community service and her academic pursuits.
Coupe was part of a team of students who worked with the Ohio State University Extension Office in Hardin County. Her involvement included designing and delivering educational presentations and screenings to Hardin County employees.
The College of Pharmacy’s independent study program focuses on outreach, and it provides benefits to both the students and the area organizations involved. It was a perfect match for Coupe, who was largely drawn to the field of pharmacy due to her desire to help others.
“I want to make a difference and use my skills to help others,” she says. “It is important to be part of something bigger than myself and to contribute to the community where I live.”
Coupe also has been actively involved in residence life as a director of Founders residence hall. From this experience, she has learned how to lead others and solve problems within the campus community.
“I love it at ONU. There is a great sense of community,” Coupe says. “I have made lifelong friends, and I am confident I am prepared for the future.”
Eric Belanger appeared in ONU's first broadcast television commercial, "The Unexpected," wielding a microphone during a segment featuring his band, the Dimers. The six-member band has played at campus events for the past few years, and its reputation garnered so much attention that the ONU Office of Communications and Marketing reached out to them to be a part of the video. He and the other band members were thrilled.
Belanger’s favorite part of the experience was working with the film crew. He described how filming the concert scene in the Bear Cave was challenging.
“I had to figure out a way to charge up with power and then grab the microphone stand but not move it at all because it’s so zoomed in,” he says. “It was an adventure.”
Belanger loves the small size of Ada and Ohio Northern University, but just because it’s small doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do – a concept he thinks the video definitely captures.
“Even though it’s in a town in the middle of 20 miles of cornfields, you still never get bored,” he says. “I was afraid coming here that I would have to travel to find things to do, but I rarely even leave campus or hit Main Street without finding something to do.”
He likes the energy the video exerts, and he believes people’s reaction to the video will reflect that energy.
“I don’t see how someone won’t like it, because it’s just a video of a bunch of people having fun,” he says. “That’s what ONU is.”
Sixth-Year Pharmacy Major
San Ramon, Costa Rica
Opportunities abroad can fulfill classes for your major or general education requirements, help with your desire to learn a new language, or provide the chance to do an internship! Each student has their own reasons for going abroad, but Lucas wanted to improve his Spanish language skills while working in another country’s health care system. Serving as an intern and speaking a different language allowed him to develop professionally and become more culturally competent. “Study abroad allowed me to realize how independent and comfortable I can be while living in a new area. I truly was able to understand myself better as a person.”
Fifth-Year Pharmacy Major
Seoul, South Korea
Being able to engage in international education is a rewarding opportunity from which students of all majors can benefit. Some students perceive barriers such as cost, time, homesickness and language skills. Abigail utilized the study abroad office to help pick a program that was cost-effective and fit into her pharmacy curriculum. She was able to pick a program that provided classes in English and included students from all over the world. She was able to make some great friends who helped combat any homesickness, and with whom she was able to explore the culture, learning outside of what was taught in her classes. She was able to make her study abroad experience come true and take advantage of just one of many study abroad opportunities. “If you even think you are at all interested, do it! If you want to go, the only thing stopping you is you,” she says.
PTSD research? It’s not just for graduate school!
Post-traumatic stress disorder research: It’s not the kind of research most undergraduates have the opportunity to experience. Yet for Brianne Mosley, a double major in pharmacy and psychology, it’s a perfect match.
Brianne works with Dr. Philip Zoladz in ONU’s psychology department on the effects of stress on learning and memory. “It provides me with an opportunity unlike any other. I have the chance to participate in research, while obtaining my undergraduate degree, that compares to that performed by graduate school students.”
From an early age, she has been intrigued by how medication can improve patients’ lives. “To make a positive impact on the lives of others, I have decided that I want to be a neuropsychiatric pharmacist.”
To accomplish that goal, she wants to participate in a two-year residency after graduating from ONU, so she can specialize in psychiatric pharmacy. “This specialization will allow me to work in a psychiatric hospital, where I can treat patients with neurological diseases and other psychiatric disorders,” she explains. “It is my dream to be the person who allows a patient to live a happy, healthy and productive life with the help of medicine.”
Study abroad is another chance to grow.
Angela Chu, a pharmacy and Spanish double major, plans to follow up her ONU education with a residency in pediatrics, potentially specializing in critical care.
“I want to be on the front lines taking care of the sickest children and knowing that I directly impacted someone’s life,” she says.
But before that, she has had some amazing experiences, thanks to ONU. “I never thought I would have ever studied abroad – let alone twice, but ONU encourages this despite having a rigorous curriculum. And I’ve even been published, which is unheard of for an undergraduate,” she says.
ONU offers opportunities to develop outside of the classroom with research opportunities for undergrads, clubs to fit anyone’s interests, and events every weekend, too.
“Studying abroad after my sophomore year changed me for the better. Modern language majors have to do a capstone studying abroad. I’m so grateful that this is a requirement, because I would have never done it otherwise.”
Robertson-Evans Pharmacy Building
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810