Leah Stowers, who already has her Doctor of Pharmacy and is completing work on her Master of Public Health, says UGA has provided many opportunities for leadership, service and professional growth and she believes that “hard work can help you achieve goals you never dreamed feasible.”
Dawson County High School
Master of Public Health in health promotion and behavior
Doctor of Pharmacy from University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, Class of 2015; Bachelor of Science in biology from Mercer University, Class of 2011.
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
While I didn’t attend UGA for my undergraduate education, I’ve done my best to make the most of my experience in Athens during my graduate school career. I’ve been able to cheer on the Dawgs many Saturdays between the hedges, get on the wrong bus route once or twice, and spend some free time exploring all the wonderful events Athens has to offer. In May 2015, I completed my Doctor of Pharmacy degree and am a member of the first cohort of Pharm.D./M.P.H. students at the University of Georgia. I hope that the planning involved in working toward the completion of my M.P.H. will help to further develop the program for future students interested in this rewarding degree combination. I expect to complete the requirements for my M.P.H. degree in summer 2016.
My time at the University of Georgia has been filled with many opportunities for leadership, service and professional growth. As a student, I was drawn to involvement in professional organizations that provided opportunities for students to give back to the community. A major professional interest I’ve developed and incorporated into educational service projects is working with medically underserved Hispanic populations. I’ve been involved with the Farm Worker Family Health Program and Multicultural Health Fair, two public health outreach programs aimed at meeting the needs of medically indigent populations. I have also served as a student member on the board of directors for the Georgia Pharmacy Association. This incredible experience allowed me to network with future colleagues and to encourage other students to become engaged in their future profession. Attending national, regional and state conventions were some of my most memorable experiences as a student and allowed me to experience the innovative ideas for the future of health care and pharmacy practice.
In the final year of my time at the UGA College of Pharmacy, I was humbled to receive several awards that were reflective of the support I received as a student at the University of Georgia. I was chosen as the Kenneth L. Waters Award recipient, APhA-ASP Senior Award recipient, a UGA College of Pharmacy Lead Dawg Award recipient, and Rotary Deans’ Service Award recipient. I was also a member of the UGA Chapter of the Blue Key National Honor Society and Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society.
My graduating class also voted me as the workaholic of the class. I’m not sure this is considered an award, but I was honored regardless. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my time at UGA have been that hard work can help you achieve goals you never dreamed feasible and that discovering your passion and making it your career is the ultimate reward.
CVS pharmacy graduate intern
Family Ties to UGA:
I’m a third-generation Dawg, and couldn’t be prouder! My grandfather, father, brother, as well as several aunts, uncles and cousins are all UGA alumni. My brother, currently a rising second year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student and I are both in progress to become Double Dawgs.
I chose to attend UGA because…
… the University of Georgia has an unparalleled Doctor of Pharmacy program. In my interview with UGA’s College of Pharmacy, I was welcomed by deans and professors who knew students by name and student pharmacists who were provided the tools to thrive in their future careers. I instantly knew I had to attend the University of Georgia for pharmacy school. While in pharmacy school an opportunity to pursue a second degree through the College of Public Health gave me a unique education opportunity that few other universities offer.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
… explore North Campus. I didn’t attend UGA for undergrad, so I enjoy exploring the rich history of North Campus. I also really love football game days. The enthusiasm and support of the university during a home game in Athens is extraordinary. There is no better way to spend a Saturday in the fall than between the hedges!
When I have free time, I like…
… to work out, hang out with friends or catch up on Netflix. I also really enjoy eating at all my favorite Athens restaurants, which is one of the reasons I need to work out in the first place.
The craziest thing I've done is…
… go on family trips without reservations. My family doesn’t usually make specific vacation plans in advance, but rather we take road trips and stop at any interesting places along the way. Some would find this type of travel stressful, without specific itineraries, but I enjoy the spontaneity of these types of vacations.
My favorite place to study is…
… anywhere I can get coffee. I try to rotate study locations between the different coffee shops around town.
My favorite professor is…
This is difficult to narrow down to one person and I can think of at least 10 professors who have inspired me over the last four years. The two professors that have had the most significant impact on my career are Dr. Lindsey Welch and Dr. Trina von Waldner. Dr. Welch served as a mentor throughout pharmacy school and encouraged me to pursue opportunities I never would have considered otherwise. She is a constant example of hard work, innovation and dedication to the profession of pharmacy and I aspire to have many of her attributes in my career. Dr. von Waldner encouraged me to pursue a Master of Public Health and introduced me to an area of pharmacy practice that I never knew existed. She developed a unique role for pharmacy practice in a public health outreach program and serves as a role model for innovation in career development.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
I would spend it with family and friends. So often I get caught up in studying, working and furthering my career that I forget to cherish the time I have with those closest to me. I love playing bingo with my grandmothers, hearing my brother’s stories about the farm animals he works with, afternoon drives with my parents and catching up with friends over dinner. I will always wish for more free time to spend time with these special people!
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
… develop a financial reward program that rewards individuals for healthy lifestyles with monetary compensation. So many individuals are motivated by financial gains and it would be an interesting public health experiment to see if instant financial reward encouraged patients to make these lifestyle changes.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to…
… develop a network of free medical clinics in rural areas of Georgia to serve the medically indigent populations. There are many patients that can’t afford the health care they need and I would love to have unlimited funds to provide chronic disease care as well as preventive services for these individuals.
After graduation, I plan to…
… work with CVS Health as a pharmacist.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
… is technically before I started at UGA, but I will always remember where I was when I got my acceptance letter to UGA. I never could have imagined all the opportunities I’d have at UGA when I was accepted, and I hope I continue to be surprised with unique opportunities even after graduation.