Peer Mentors

Our Dean’s Student Ambassador (DSA) 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 Pharmacy Building.  

DSA Peer Mentor Availability

Fall 2019 schedule will be available in August. In the meantime, feel free to email the DSA's below.

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
Email Emily
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.


Esther Esadah, PharmD/MS, Bronx, NY
Email Esther
See “Pharmacy” below.




David Bussing, PhD, Simi Valley, CA
Email David
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.


Amy Intini, BS/MS Student, Pittsford, NY
Email Amy
Amy is a BS/MS Pharm Sci student in Dr. Javier Blanco’s lab with a concentration in pharmacogenomics. She was the Pharm sci class president her senior year (2017-2018). This semester, she is also a Molecular Genetics Intern at KSL Diagnostics. She is  hoping to stay in Buffalo once she graduates and continue to work on pharmaceutical research. She is happy to answer any questions students may have about Pharm sci undergraduate courses and the combined BS/MS program. She can also answer any questions you might have about finding internships in this field.

Alan Cheung.

Alan Cheung, Staten Island, NY
Email Alan
Alan is a second year pharmacy student at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He grew up in Staten Island, New York. Alan attended UB in 2016 and completed the early assurance program to enter pharmacy school in 2018. He is currently the fundraising chair for Lambda Kappa Sigma. In the future, he would like to complete a residency to help him gain more experience. Aside from school, in his free time he likes to play basketball, try new food, and travel. If you have any questions, feel free to contact him.


Vivian Rodriguez-Cruz, PhD Student, Puerto Rico
Email Vivian
Vivian is currently in her fifth year in the Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD program. Originally from Puerto Rico, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico. After obtaining this degree, she worked for a year in the Respiratory Research and Development Team at TEVA Pharmaceuticals in Miami. During her job at this company, her desire for Pharmaceutical Sciences grew and, therefore, she decided to apply to this program. Currently, she is part of Dr. Morris’ laboratory, where she conducts research on Gamma-hydroxybutyrate acid (GHB) overdose. Vivian will be happy to answer any questions and help students, especially those who are out of state. 

DSA Peer Mentor Bios - Pharmacy

Kory Zelen.

Kory Zelen, PharmD Student, Lake Grove, NY
Email Kory
Kory is a third-year pharmacy student at UB. He currently sits as the Vice President of two student chapter organizations: Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO) and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP). He is also a member of the Rho Chi Honor Society. Prior to pharmacy school, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Delaware. His internship experiences include working at a pharmaceutical company and specialty pharmacy (oncology). After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Outside of school, he enjoys playing sports, watching football, and going to the beach.

Neo Su.

Neo Su, PharmD Student, Taipei Taiwan ROC
Email Neo
Neo was admitted to University at Buffalo in Fall 2016 as an Early Assurance candidate. He successfully completed the prerequisite courses and met the criteria and was accepted into the PharmD program last fall. He is the treasurer of Industry Pharmacy Organization and has great interest in pursuing a career in pharmaceutical industry as well as drug development. Neo is also applying for the PharmD/MS program in Fall 2019 in which he would like to focus in PK/PD and modeling. During his P1 year, Neo’s favorite course was pharmacology and he is going to be a TA for both Pharmacology 1 and 2. Outside of being a nerd, Neo loves to breakdance and is an active member of UB Breakdance.  Neo looks forward to answering any questions regarding early assurance courses, life of a pharmacy student, pharmacology, time management or even anything involves dancing, music, movies, video games etc…


Esther Esadah, PharmD/MS, Bronx, NY
Email Esther
Esther was admitted into University at Buffalo's undergraduate program as a 2-year early assurance pre-pharmacy student with hopes of entering into University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences of which she did in the year 2016. She currently works at Buffalo Pharmacies as an Intern and currently taking a year to do her MS degree in Dr. Balu-lyer lab, via the Dual program PharmD/MS. She believes in hard work and taking risks, and loves taking on new adventures, with her main goal in life being to positively impact the lives of people with the help of the knowledge from both pharmacy and the pharmaceutical science. She looks forward to interacting with current and prospective students of the pharmacy program and or pharmaceutical sciences program. 


Pauleena Pal, PharmD/MBA, Dumont, NJ
Email Pauleena
Pauleena is 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!


Tony Chang, PharmD Student, New York, NY
Email Tony
Tony is in the third professional year in the pharmacy program at UB. He received a Bachelor's of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University at Albany. He is an active member of APhA, SNPhA and PPAG. In his spare time, Tony enjoys traveling and volunteering. If you have any questions, feel free to contact him.


Lena Kuffuor-Afriyie, PharmD Student, Brooklyn, NY
Email Lena
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 the president-elect of 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.


Fatima Yasin, PharmD Student, Buffalo, NY
Email Fatima
Fathima is in her third professional year in the PharmD program. Prior to entering pharmacy school, Fathima completed her Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences at the University at Buffalo. She took the PCAT in her junior year and applied via PharmCAS shortly after. As a pharmacy student, Fathima has worked on research involving medication adherence and workflow management in the community setting and presented a poster for that research at the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York (PSSNY) Mid-Winter Conference. She has enjoyed being a teaching assistant for compounding lab (her favorite part was teaching students how to prepare IVs!). She is also involved with refugee health education services provided by the school. Outside of school, she loves to bake, go ice skating and snow tubing in the winter and hiking scenic trails in the fall and summer. She would be happy to help answer any questions you may have regarding the PharmD program.


Courtney Mamone, PharmD Student, Voorheesville, NY
Email Courtney
Courtney is a third-year pharmacy student here at UB. She grew up in Voorheesville, NY, a small town just outside of Albany. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in which she obtained here at University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She applied to pharmacy school through the pharmCAS application, and took the PCAT the summer before her senior year. She is currently an intern at Walgreens and is interested in continuing her career in community pharmacy.  Although she loves Buffalo for the windows of opportunity it has opened for her, she is interested in practicing pharmacy somewhere down south. She is happy to answer any questions regarding the pharmCAS and PCAT application process.

Allison Oddi.

Alison Oddi, PharmD Student, Victor, NY
Email Alison
Hello! My name is Alison Oddi, I am currently in 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.

Ivana Miladinovic.

Ivana Miladinovic, Ontario, Canada
Email Ivana
Ivana is a second-year pharmacy student at UB.  Prior to starting pharmacy school, she majored in Chemistry at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. She wrote the PCAT the summer following her third year of undergraduate studies and then applied via the PharmCAS application. Currently, she is an active member of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists that has a focus on the geriatric population. She would be happy to answer any questions including ones pertaining to her move to Buffalo and any aspects of the application process.

Yaniv Levy.

Yaniv Levy, Ontario, Canada
Email Yaniv
Yaniv is in his third professional year in the PharmD program. He has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Honors Biological Sciences at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. He is currently an intern at an Independent pharmacy in Buffalo. Outside of school he enjoys exploring the Buffalo and WNY area, photography, and meeting new people. He looks forward to answering any questions you may have regarding the PharmD program.