Published May 11, 2017
Geoff Brown, a PharmD student in the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences' Clinical Research Program, and Peter Okozoro, BS '16, and a student in the PharmD/MBA program, were awarded prestigious Western New York Prosperity Fellowships.
Brown's winning business proposal involved the establishment of a research site dedicated to helping those with mental illness and substance abuse disorder. "I want to create a for-profit outpatient addiction and mental illness treatment clinic partnered with a nonprofit research site," Brown explains.
Brown is the first single degree PharmD student in the school to receive the award. He credits his mentor Terry Bellnier, clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice, and Qing Ma, assistant professor, pharmacy practice, whose class discussion on ways to secure outside funding encouraged him to apply for the fellowship.
Okorozo's winning propsal explored creating local volunteer and internship opportunities for minorities to expose them to the profession of pharmacy. His involvement in the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) program at UB inspired him to help the less privileged achieve higher education and give back to the community.
"It is not always about the business, but the innovation and pathways you create for others," Okorozo says.
The fellowship program, supported by the Prentice Family Foundation, assists undergraduate and graduate students who are actively preparing for careers that further economic development and growth, especially in the Western New York region.
Each fellow is awarded up to $25,000 in scholarship and internship support for an academic year as well as other opportunities including a networked, cohort-specific enrichment experience to enhance professional development skills and the capacity to engage effectively with the Western New York community. Fellows also receive complimentary membership to attend meetings and trainings sponsored by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership 360 program, Emerging Business Leaders and the WNY Venture Association.