MU | From Features the Editor
rotations during all four years of their pharmacy education . Students will get experiences in retail and hospital pharmacies , as well as have opportunities to experience roles in various settings throughout health care .
“ I ’ m also working to help our distance students connect with pharmacy and clinical sites within their own geographic communities . It ’ s important for students to gain experience where they will live and begin their careers ,” Trovinger said .
A Pathway for Every Passion
Meet three incoming pharmacy students from points West , South and East , each traveling North to Manchester Pharmacy for orientation activities this past August . They have joined a cohort of just over 50 students – some on campus and others in distant cities – who together make up the Class of 2026 .
Kristin Mar-Elia , Turlock , Calif ., chose the distance path : “ To me , the blessing of the online pathway is in receiving the exact same education , renowned curriculum and learning from esteemed faculty from anywhere in the world .”
Mar-Elia describes herself as a family-oriented person who enjoys being close to loved ones in her Assyrian community . She also has a passion to pursue her educational goal of a Pharm . D . degree . She wanted the best of both worlds – a high-quality pharmacy education without leaving her home in California ’ s Central Valley . Searching for colleges within commuting distance , she discovered a program she didn ’ t expect to find : Manchester ’ s distance pathway .
“ As a class , we will all work in similar rotation settings , but individually , we will benefit our own communities in every part of the country . I think that ’ s amazing ,” said Mar-Elia . “ When we return to campus , we can learn from each other and share our experiences about many career site opportunities that are available .”
Bakari Garvey , Baton Rouge , La ., chose the distance path : “ At Manchester , I ’ ll acquire the knowledgebase to become a pharmacist – which combined with my training in health policy and law , will position me to establish healthy food sources and pharmacies in communities with the greatest needs .”
Not new to distance learning , Garvey embarked on his career path in health in 2008 with deployment to Iraq as a Navy Hospital Corpsman with a marine infantry unit . His first distance learning experience through Trident University International made it possible to earn a BS in health care management while serving . His experiences gave him insight into health care systems and great needs through a global lens .
Describing himself as intellectually curious with a passion for science , his thirst for knowledge has taken many paths . While continuing his service , Garvey earned a Master of Public Health degree in 2015 from Charles R . Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and worked as a research coordinator . Upon returning to Baton Rouge , now serving as a Navy Reservist , he has earned a law degree with certificates in Public Law & Tax and completed his program studies toward a Ph . D . in Public Policy with a concentration in Healthcare & Education at Southern University .
His goal is to be a part of a game-changing solution to address underserved community needs and ameliorate health disparities .
Koyel Bhanja , Mumbai , India , chose the on-campus path : “ Learning about pharmacogenomics inspired me to go on to the Pharm . D . program and a become a pharmacist .”
Before coming to Manchester , Bhanja completed a Bachelor of Pharmacy / MBA dual degree program at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai . Traveling the greatest distance , she chose the traditional on-campus pathway – for the second time . Advancing her pharmacy education began with Manchester ’ s Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics Program .
After receiving her MS in PGx degree last May , Bhanja felt she had a found a supportive extended family at Manchester . Being an oncampus student in a new country , she was very grateful to so many faculty and staff who went beyond their duties to offer mentoring , answer questions and even assisting her with ride sharing . She knew Manchester was where she would return for her professional pharmacy degree . Building on her pharmacogenomics foundation , her career interest is in pharmacy practice clinical settings that will allow her to interact with patients and help them in choosing the right medications .
By Linda Homewood
10 Manchester University | ManchesterRx