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Lifelong learner

Pharmacy graduate student poised for academic career

special feature: Student success

Part of a special feature celebrating the success of Memorial's graduates. This feature coincides with spring convocation 2017.


By Heidi Wicks

Since she was a student in junior high, Amy Randell dreamed of becoming a pharmacist.

She says she was always impressed by the community pharmacists she encountered at the grocery store and how much they knew about all the different medications.

Early impressions

“When I was in high school, some pharmacy students from Memorial came to do a presentation in my chemistry class about why pharmacy was such a great program and a promising career and it was at that point that I decided I wanted to apply once I got to university.”

The St. John’s native’s dream came true upon receiving a B.Sc. (Pharmacy) degree back in 2010. While she relished the experience of working in a small community pharmacy practice for a couple of years, her genes tugged her back towards academia, particularly in the direction of research.

“My father is an academic with an intense passion for research,” she explained. “When he’s starting a new research project, he can’t wait to talk about it at the dinner table, although many times a lot of what he talks about is over our heads! I wanted to feel excited about my job like he does, so I decided to pursue my master’s degree in an area I’m passionate about: pharmacology.”

Graduate student

On June 2, Ms. Randell will receive her M.Sc. (Pharmacy) during spring convocation at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre.

She believes that a passion for lifelong learning is essential for having a career in health care, especially in a profession that is changing as rapidly as pharmacy.

“I hate the idea of stagnating in my career,” she said. “In order to provide quality pharmaceutical care to my patients, I need to stay up-to-date on new medications used to treat their conditions and newly discovered drug interactions that may be putting them at increased risk for adverse outcomes.”

Pharmacy community

She has formed many meaningful relationships during her time in the School of Pharmacy―partnerships she expects will continue for many years. She says the most significant bond she’s formed is with her thesis supervisor, Dr. Noriko Daneshtelab.

“She invested so much time and energy into my education and for that I am eternally grateful. I was also privileged to work as a teaching assistant in the Pharmacy Skills Lab during my degree, which allowed me to collaborate with the skills instructors.”

Two families

Someday, Ms. Randell hopes to teach and collaborate alongside her School of Pharmacy family.

“Ideally I can find a faculty position that enables me to be heavily involved in teaching but also allows me to partner with my colleagues in clinical research.”

With an education that includes two rounds of tutelage at Memorial, her chances of continuing down this path seem scientifically likely.


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