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 - Spring 2018

Coming soon - check back mid-January.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Students


Pharmacy Students


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 (Fall 2017)

David Bussing, PhD, Simi Valley, CA
David is in his third 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.

Farah Al Qaraghuli, Liverpool, NY
I graduated in summer 2016 with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences, UB. I joined the graduate program in Fall 2016 and  I'm currently a second year master's student. My adviser is Dr. Dhavalkumar Shah. My research area of interest is immuno-oncology. I also work for institute for clinical pharmacodynamics (ICPD) on PKPD modeling. I dream of becoming a successful pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic scientist. I also worked at Rite Aid pharmacy for 2 years. I think I have enough knowledge regarding both pharmD and pharmaceutical programs to share with students. Please feel free to email me/ meet me if you have any questions. I would love to help.

Juliany Marrero Vega, PhD student, Toa Alta, P.R
Juliany is from Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. She is a first 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. 

Peter Bloomingdale, PhD, Lockport, NY
Peter is from Lockport, NY and is a 6 year PhD student in the pharmaceutical sciences graduate program. He transferred into the undergraduate pharmaceutical sciences program from Niagara County Community College and graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in 2012. Peter was a member of the graduate student association (GSA) finance committee for several years and is currently the pharmaceutical sciences GSA treasurer. He also served as the SBI treasurer for the 2015-2016 academic year. His advisor is Dr. Donald Mager and his dissertation involves the integration of pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics with systems pharmacology network-based approaches to discover novel drug combinations for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. After his time at UB, Peter plans to pursue a post-doctoral position with the goal of one day become a full professor. 

DSA Peer Mentor Bios - Pharmacy (Fall 2017)

Esther Esadah, PharmD, Bronx, NY
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 wishes to pursue a Dual degree in PharmD/MS of which she is currently working towards to by volunteering in an HIV research lab. She is hardworking, adventurous, family oriented and a risk taker, with her main goal in life, is to positively impact the lives of people with the help of Pharmaceutical knowledge and the pharmaceutical society.

Renae Gozelski, PharmD, Castile, NY
Renae is currently moving forward into her second 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 Rite Aid and Lifetime Health Medical Group 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.

Jessica Mason, PharmD, Syracuse, NY
Jessica is moving into her second professional year in the PharmD program. She was accepted into the program after completing the 3-Year Early Assurance Program at UB for her undergraduate prerequisites. When home for winter and summer breaks, she works as a pharmacy intern at Kinney Drugs, a retail pharmacy in Syracuse. During the semesters she works as an intermittent pharmacy intern in the inpatient pharmacy at the Buffalo VA Medical Center. Jessica is involved in the American Pharmacist’s Association (APhA) and the Student Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (SSHP), and she is the secretary for the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) student chapter. In her spare time she sings in a co-ed a cappella group on campus and enjoys hanging out with friends. Jessica would love to answer any questions you might have about the Early Assurance or PharmD program!

Pauleena Pal, PharmD/MBA, Ewing, NJ
Pauleena is moving into her second 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 CVS Pharmacy and 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 with her friends. 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!  

Devon Coffey,  PharmD,  Albany NY
Devon is entering her second professional year in the PharmD program. Her undergraduate prerequisites were completed at UB through the two year early assurance program.  She currently works for NYS Medicaid in a pharmacy formulary and operations unit.  After graduation, Devon plans on completing a PGY1 and PGY2 residency and working as an oncology pharmacist.  Devon is a member of American Pharmacist’s Association (APhA) and Student Society of Health System’s Pharmacists (SSHP).  In her free time, she enjoys running, a good show on Netflix and spending time with friends and family.  Devon would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Emily Thurnherr, PharmD, Holland, NY
Emily is a second year student in the PharmD program, and applied to the program through PharmCAS. She is originally from Holland, a hamlet south of Buffalo, and has come back to Buffalo after completing a Bachelors degree in biochemistry from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2016. She is a member of the American Pharmacist’s Association (APhA) and the Industry Pharmacist’s Organization (IPhO), along with being a Dean’s Student Ambassador. Emily is a pharmacy intern at Larwood Pharmacy, an independent community pharmacy in East Aurora, NY. Outside of school, she is an active volunteer with the Erie County 4H organization, helping youth learn how to knit and bake. After completing an internship at Merck, Emily cemented her decision to pursue a PharmD degree instead of a PhD but still hopes to work on clinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry. She is excited to meet perspective students and answer any questions they have!

Richard Towne, PharmD, Clarence, NY
Richard is currently a 3rd year (P3) student in the PharmD program hailing from Clarence, New York. He was accepted into the program after completing 2 years of undergrad and then applying through the PharmCAS process. He is currently a Dean’s Student Ambassador and a member of the Hempling Fund Committee. He was formerly the treasurer of his P1 class and the P2 liason for IPhO. Richard is also a member of the American Pharmacist’s Association (APHA), Student Pharmacists for Global Outreach (SPGO), and the Student Pharmacist Association of Western New York (SPAWNY). Outside of school, he works as a clinical interviewer / pharmacy intern at Clinical Support Services, and enjoys weightlifting and spending time with friends. No matter what type of question you have, Richard is glad to help!

Stephanie Carter, PharmD, Honeoye Falls, NY
Stephanie is currently in her P3 year of the PharmD program at UB. Before entering pharmacy school via PharmCAS, she completed her Bachelor’s of Biomedical Sciences degree at UB in 3 years. Stephanie is originally from Honeoye Falls, NY, which is a small suburb just south of Rochester. Currently, she is a member of the professional pharmacy fraternity, Phi Delta Chi, and is also a Dean’s Student Ambassador. Addtionally, she is a part of many pharmacy organizations including APhA, CPNP, SPAWNY, and NCPA. Stephanie currently works pharmacy intern at Rite Aid Pharmacy and has previously worked at Middleport Family Health Center. In her free time, she loves to hang out with her cats, Shadow and Luna. With a unique perspective on the application process and many undergraduate classes, she looks forward to meeting prospective students and invites any questions they may have!

Dhiral Patel, PharmD, Toronto, Canada
Dhiral Patel is a P3 student at SUNY at Buffalo expected to graduate in 2019. He was accepted into the four-year PharmD degree through the early assurance undergraduate program. Although, originally from Toronto, Canada he is now a resident of Buffalo, NY. He plan's to chase his dreams and become a nuclear pharmacist. In addition, he is an active member of Student Pharmacists for Global Outreach (SPGO), Student Society of Health-system Pharmacy (SSHP) and American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP).  Outside of school, he enjoys weightlifting, watching sports and spending time with friends. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact him.

Miranda Graham, PharmD, Le Roy, NY
Miranda has attended UB for her entire college career. She completed her prerequisite courses over the course of three years and entered the PharmD program after taking her PCAT. During this time, Miranda was involved in campus life in numerous ways. She was a member of the Academies at UB, worked at Putnam’s dining center on North Campus where she was promoted to Student Manager, became a Teaching Assistant for Evolutionary Biology (BIO200), was an RA for the Living Learning Community dedicated to pre-pharmacy first year students, and became a more well-rounded student by exploring different classes throughout these years, from the History of Rock Music to Abnormal Psychology. This fall, she will be entering her second professional year with UB SPPS and couldn’t be happier. She loves to volunteer her time to the community through the Alzheimer’s Association, eat at new restaurants in Buffalo, and have ice cream at Parkside Candy! She’s been a resource on campus to students interested in pharmacy before, and would love to help with any questions you may have!

Kaitlin McCadden, PharmD, Clarence, NY
Kaitlin McCadden is currently entering her third year of the PharmD program, after completing the pre-requisites required for the 3-year Early Assurance program at UB. Kaitlin currently works as a pharmacy intern at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo and at Rite Aid. Additionally she is involved in research, is a member of APhA, the secretary of SCCP, as well as a Dean's Student Ambassador. She intends to complete a residency after graduation, and work as a clinical pharmacist in the institutional setting. Kaitlin would be glad to answer any questions you may have!