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Photo of Betty Derza

Name: Betty Derza

Degree or certificate program at CLC: Associate in Science, Associate in Arts, 2016.

Major: Pre-pharmacy

Transfer school, degree and year: Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science; planning to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2020.

Hometown: Round Lake, Ill.

High school: Round Lake High School, Class of 2014

Interests and hobbies: Writing, reading and traveling

Betty Derza

I decided to come to CLC because I wanted to receive a good, affordable undergraduate education while living at home. The college proved to be a great investment. On my first day of orientation, all of the students were very friendly and helped me find my way around campus. I was pleased with the services offered as well as student life activities, from sports to fine arts.

While I was in high school, I decided to pursue a career in pharmacy because, as my mother once said, it’s a career that allows you to help others and make an impact on your community. I took a variety of courses at CLC, ranging from science and math to literature and ethics. Having a well-rounded curriculum prepared me for graduate school. Courses at CLC were academically challenging and helped prepare me for my pharmacy requirements. My transition to pharmacy school was supported through an agreement between CLC and RFU, under which students who successfully complete CLC pre-pharmacy prerequisites coursework are given priority status to interview for consideration of admission to RFU's Doctor of Pharmacy program.

My Anatomy and Physiology professor at CLC, Dr. Elisabeth Martin, impacted the way that I learned and helped me retain important information from her course. She wanted us to have confidence in our answers when we spoke up in class, and she emphasized that there is no guessing in the medical field. This advice still pertains to my studies in pharmacy school, where professors emphasize that if we do not know the answer to something, it is better to go look it up than to give false information.

Additionally, CLC’s organic chemistry and physiology classes helped me understand my pharmacology and medicinal chemistry classes at Rosalind Franklin University. My undergraduate ethics and English classes gave me a bigger perspective of the humanities, which later helped me analyze scientific literature and clinical studies.

Outside of course work, I was part of the CLC Scholars Program and Phi Theta Kappa. I also wrote articles for The Chronicle student newspaper. Engaging in these activities taught me time management as well as organization and communication. Additionally, writing for The Chronicle helped me grow in my writing and interview skills, which have been imperative in my further education. At Rosalind Franklin University, I have been able to use my experiences and skills to write articles for the Pharmacy Times.

Besides my involvement in campus organizations, I worked for the college’s Center for International Education, where I encouraged students to study abroad in places like China, Tanzania, Japan and Europe.

My career goal is to become the best pharmacist that I can be, working with patients and helping them understand how their medications can manage their diseases. I currently work at Walgreens as a pharmacy intern while also attending school at Rosalind Franklin. Soon, I will be a pharmacy intern in a variety of hospital settings, such as ambulatory care, infectious diseases, psychiatry and the emergency room. I look forward to learning more about how pharmacists can impact patients and contribute to the healthcare team.