Peer Mentors

Our Dean’s Student Ambassador Peer Mentors are happy to speak with you about their experience with the application process and what it is like to be a professional/graduate student at UB SPPS. During the fall and spring semesters, they are available in in 270 Kapoor Hall.  

DSA Peer Mentor Availability - Fall 2018

Mondays: 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.; 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Tuesdays: 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wednesdays: 11:50 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Thursdays: 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Pharmaceutical Sciences
Mondays: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Wednesdays: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.; 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Questions to ask Peer Mentors

Not sure what to ask?  Here are some suggestions for questions:
- How did you get to where you are today?
- What undergraduate classes have you found interesting or useful?
- How is the PCAT? How did you study?
- What do you do in pharmacy school?
- What do you like most about the program and what do you find most challenging?
- What skills do you think are most important for this program and the profession?
- Tell me about your daily schedule.
- How does the course work compare to the undergraduate coursework?
- What special programs are offered by the school (research, collaborative degrees, etc.)?
- Do you belong to any professional organizations?
- What kinds of opportunities for employment are there in the field?
- Can you recommend other people who might be valuable sources of information?
- Are you able to work during the school year?  How many hours per week do you typically work?
- What activities do you do during your spare time?
- Do you miss home?  How often do you go home throughout the school year?
- How is the camaraderie within the school - does everyone get along and help each other?
- What advice can you give to the students who want to be a part of the PharmD program?

DSA Peer Mentor Bios - Pharmaceutical Sciences

Emily Bonacquisti

Emily Bonacquisti, PhD Student, Buffalo, NY
Mondays, 9:00 a.m – 10:00 a.m.
Emily is a Buffalo native and is currently a second year PhD student in pharmaceutical sciences. She graduated with high honors from the biological sciences department here at UB in the fall of 2017. She will begin her PhD research with the mentorship of Dr. Julian Nguyen, and she hopes to enter the pharmaceutical industry after graduation. Emily is happy to answer questions especially from students with backgrounds that aren’t strictly pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences, or students that need help adapting their study methods to a new academic environment.


Juliany Marrero Vega, PhD Student, Toa Alta, P.R
Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Juliany is from Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. She is a second year Ph.D student in the Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate program. After finishing her Bachelorette degree in Industrial Chemistry, she worked for two years as a Raw Material Laboratory Analyst at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Puerto Rico. Then she decided to expand her knowledge in pharmacology and she joined the Masters program of Pharmacology and Toxicology at UB; her research emphasis was in circadian rhythm disorders and how psychostimulants alter circadian behavior. Throughout her academic studies, she has been an active member of student organizations and worked as a math and chemistry tutor. She has also been fortunate to present her research at local and national conferences during her undergraduate and graduate studies. After finishing her Ph.D, Juliany plans on going back to industry in Regulatory Affairs area. 


David Bussing, PhD, Simi Valley, CA
Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
David is in his fourth year of the PhD program at UB. Originally from Southern California, he graduated with honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BS in Pharmacology. Before attending UB, he worked for several years at Allergan, Inc. in Irvine, CA in the pharmacokinetics and translational sciences department. At UB, his research focuses on ocular disease, the pharmacokinetics of biologics in the eye, and the development of antibody drug conjugates. David is happy to answer questions from new graduate students, especially those from out of state.

DSA Peer Mentor Bios - Pharmacy


Brenna Gelen, PharmD Student, Allegany, NY
Mondays, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Brenna is in her second professional year in the PharmD program. She was admitted into the program after completing her undergraduate studies through the 2-Year Early Assurance program at UB. While at school, she works in the Genome, Environment, and Microbiome office as a student assistant that reaches out to the community to talk about healthcare. She also has an internship at Tops Pharmacy. Brenna is a member of Operation Immunization, which is a subdivision of the American Pharmacist’s Association (APhA). In her spare time, she likes to go to the gym and go on adventures throughout Western NY (canalside, hiking, finding new places to eat). Brenna would be happy to answer any questions you have!


Renae Gozelski, PharmD, Castile, NY
Mondays, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Renae is currently in her third year of pharmacy school at UB! She grew up in a small town near Letchworth State Park and came to Buffalo to complete the  Early Assurance Pharmacy Program. She currently works at Mercy Hospital as an intern. In school she enjoys participating in the Generation Rx program, a subdivision of the American Pharmacist's Association (APhA). Outside of school, Renae loves riding horses and being outdoors! Feel free to contact her with any questions regarding UB's pharmacy program.


Ariel Walker, PharmD Student, Kenilworth, NJ
Mondays, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Ariel is in her third professional year in the PharmD program. She completed her Bachelor's of Biology and Chemistry at a small private college in VA called Shenandoah University. She decided to take her PCATs and to apply to pharmacy school after 1 year of working at CVS pharmacy. Ariel is a member of student national pharmaceutical association (SNPhA) and a member of the executive board with Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP). In her free time, Ariel likes to go hiking, finding new trails for a good run around WNY and loves trying out new places to eat. If you have any questions, she is happy to help with any questions you may have!


Pauleena Pal, PharmD/MBA, Ewing, NJ
Mondays, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Pauleena is moving into her third professional year in the PharmD program. She completed her Bachelor's of Biopsychology at a small public college down in NJ called The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). She decided to take her PCATs and apply to pharmacy school after her Junior year in undergrad. She competed in a Business Plan Competition in her senior year and was fortunate enough to win first place! After graduating TCNJ she decided to pursue her PharmD/MBA at UB. She currently works at Univera Healthcare as a pharmacy intern. Pauleena wants to utilize both degrees to improve the quality and access of healthcare in our country. Outside of school, she loves to go on fun adventures and explore WNY- whether that be hiking on the weekends or playing trivia at Canalside. The people at Buffalo made the transition to this new city seamless and she is excited to see what the future holds. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact her!


Lena Kuffuor-Afriyie, PharmD Student, Brooklyn, NY
Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Lena is a second year student in the pharmacy program here at UB. She was a 3 year early assurance student and received her Bachelors of Science degree in pharmacology and toxicology in 2016. She is currently an intern at Rite Aid. On campus she is active in CPFI (Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International). Outside of school Lena loves to sing, cook, and spend time with loved ones. She looks forward to answering any questions from current, incoming, and prospective students.

Allison Oddi

Alison Oddi, PharmD Student, Victor, NY
Wednesdays, 11:50 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Hello! My name is Alison Oddi, I am going into my 3rd year in the PharmD program. I attended undergrad at UB for 2 years and entered pharmacy school through the early assurance program. I was involved with UB Honors College and gave tours of UB North Campus. Currently I am highly involved with SPAWNY and SPSSNY in the pharmacy school and love to being involved with local and state projects. I currently work at Tops Pharmacy and Independent Health as intern. I am originally from Victor, NY (outside of Rochester) but I am a huge fan of Buffalo! I love attending Buffalo Bills and Sabres games.


Gregory Statt, PharmD Student, Rochester NY
Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Greg is going into his 3rd professional year in the PharmD program. He was admitted into University at Buffalo to complete a 3-year pharmacy early assurance program. He is currently the Vice President of the Class of 2020 and Student Diplomat for the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Student Chapter (AMCP). Greg currently loves his internship at Independent Health as a Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Intern and has also worked retail pharmacy at CVS for over 4 years. Outside of school, he loves getting involved with any adult league sports Buffalo has to offer. Greg would be happy to help with any questions you might have!