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

Mondays: 8:30-9:30 a.m.; 12-1:50 p.m.; 4-5 p.m.
Tuesdays: 12-2 p.m.; 4:20-5 p.m.
Wednesdays: 8:30-9:30 a.m.; 12-2 p.m.; 3:30-5 p.m.
Fridays: 8-9 a.m.; 10-11 a.m.; 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Pharmaceutical Sciences
Wednesdays 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Fridays 10-11 a.m. and by appointment

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


Esther Esadah, PharmD/MS, Bronx, NY
Wednesdays, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Email Esther

See “Pharmacy” below.




David Bussing, PhD, Simi Valley, CA
Fridays, 10-11 a.m.
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.


Vivian Rodriguez-Cruz, PhD Student, Puerto Rico
By Appointment
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


Keesha Predestin, P2 PharmD Student, Rockland County, NY
Mondays, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Email Keesha
Keesha is a second-year pharmacy school student at UB originally from Rockland County, NY. After two years of undergrad, she entered pharmacy school through UB's early assurance program. She serves as one of the Women's Health Co-Chair in the school's chapter of APhA-ASP (American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists). She currently works at CVS Health as a Pharmacy Intern. Her interest right now is in the community aspect of pharmacy but is open to exploring what hospital pharmacy has to offer. She would be happy to answer any questions about the transition from sophomore year to pharmacy school or any other questions in regards to what it is like being a pharmacy student.


Charmie Patel, P1 PharmD Student, Toronto, Canada
Mondays, 12-1 p.m.
Email Charmie
Charmie is in the first professional year or P1 in the PharmD program at UB. She completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Biomedical Science at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. She completed her PCAT after her third year of undergrad and applied to pharmacy during her fourth year. Although a Canadian, she is a recent immigrant of the United States. She has gained great insight and experience by volunteering in multiple departments at a local research hospital working alongside a range of health professionals. Furthermore, she has worked as a tutor of STEM related classes at a local tutoring center. Outside of school, she loves to travel and explore new places. She also enjoys painting in her spare time. At her short time at UB, she has discovered that UB’s SPPS is a land of opportunities for those seeking them and she is excited to explore. She is open to answer any questions future students may have.


Sara Salah, P1 PharmD Student, Syracuse, NY
Mondays, 12:30-1:50 p.m.
Email Sara
Sara is a first year student in the PharmD program at UB. Prior to entering pharmacy school, she majored in Pharmaceutical Sciences here at University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She took the PCAT the summer prior to her third and final year of undergraduate studies via PharmCAS. Sara was involved in the Experiential Learning Network where she was a Team Leader for the resident hall organizing events and was involved in a project that helped raise funds for refugee families in need in the Buffalo area. She is also bilingual (Arabic being her first language). She is happy to answer any questions regarding the PharmCAS and PCAT application process as well as the PharmD program.


Destiny Osborne, P1 PharmD Student, Bronx, NY
Tuesdays, 4:20-5 p.m.
Email Destiny
Destiny is a first year pharmacy student at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Starting in 2017, she did two years of pre-pharmacy undergraduate studies in the early Assurance program at the University at Buffalo. Destiny entered the school in 2019 and is now apart of the class of 2023. Her hometown is Bronx, NY. Destiny plans on working in a community pharmacy during school, but hopes to one day continue on to a residency during post grad. Her spare time consist of participating in clubs such as Women in Science and Engineering(WISE), Student Assembly on SA and being the Secretary of RHA Hall Council. Destiny also loves to dance, bake, ice-skate and paint. She would be more than willing to answer any questions regarding the early Assurance process or about the PharmD program.


Autumn Spyhalsky, P1 PharmD Student, Kingston, NY
Mondays, 4-5 p.m.

Email Autumn
Autumn is in her P1 year of the PharmD program. She was admitted to the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences through the Early Assurance program. During her Undergraduate experience she was an Academic Assistant, a Leadership House Mentor, Secretary of Piano Club and an Orientation Leader. Autumn aspires for her future endeavors in Pharmacy to be centered on patient interactions where she can demonstrate competency of the profession on a daily basis. She is interested in pursing the MBA dual degree program UB has to offer and seeking a residency after graduation. She is a strong believer in hard work and perseverance who hopes to change her patient's lives for the better. Autumn is eager to answer any questions you might have about the beginnings of Pharmacy School!


Carrie Yu, P1 PharmD Student, Queens, NY
Tuesdays, 4:20-5 p.m. 
Email Carrie
Carrie grew up in Queens, NY and is currently in her first professional year in the PharmD program at UB. Prior to pharmacy school, she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at the University of Michigan. She is excited for what is to come in pharmacy school, and she is happy to answer any questions from current, incoming, and prospective students regarding her experience with the application process and the program.


Maura Mullen, P1 PharmD Student, Poughkeepsie, NY
Tuesdays, 12-1 p.m.
Email Maura
Maura graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a minor in Public Administration in May 2018. She worked as a Certified Pharmacy Technician at a Rite-Aid now Walgreens pharmacy and as an administrative assistant at Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology. She founded the women's club volleyball team and was a very active member in the national community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega (APO).  In both organizations, she took on leadership roles mainly as President of the volleyball team and also committee leader in APO where she organized annual toy drives and other service activities to benefit the Golisano Children's Hospital and non-profit organizations.    


Zakiya Rhodie, P2 PharmD/MPH Student, Valley Stream, Long Island, NY
Tuesdays, 1-2 p.m.
Email Zakiya
Zakiya is a PharmD/MPH in Health Service Administration student. Prior to enrolling into the pharmacy school via PharmCAS, Zakiya obtained a BS in Pharmacology and Toxicology and minored in General Chemistry. She is the president of the International Pharmaceutical Student Federation (IPSF) and secretary of the Christian Pharmacist Fellowship International (CPFI). As the refugee education workshop research assistant, she organizes health literacy workshops. She has provided pharmacy services to individuals in underserved communities domestically in Wise County, VA at the largest free health clinic known as Remote Area Medical (RAM) and ,internationally, every year, with Serving in God’s Name (SIGN Inc.) to Haiti. Feel free to contact Zakiya regarding interests in public and global health, applying through PharmCAS, and opportunities in pharmacy. She is happy to receive any questions or concerns that you have!


Wiktoria Jedrzejczyk, P1 PharmD Student, Niagara Falls, NY
Wednesdays, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Email Wiktoria
Wiktoria is a current P1 student and this past spring she earned her Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences at the University at Buffalo. She took the PCAT during her fall semester as an undergraduate senior and used the PharmCAS application to apply to pharmacy school. She is  currently employed at Wegmans Pharmacy where she has worked as a Pharmacy Technician for two years. She previously worked at Wegmans as a full time Management Intern as well as a part time customer service representative. She has future plans of continuing in community pharmacy.  She was born and raised in Buffalo, NY so she can absolutely refer any incoming students to any local spots they may be interested in. Some things that she enjoys to do outside of school include hiking, gardening, and photography.


Corian Hess, P1 PharmD Student, Buffalo, NY
Wednesdays, 12-1 p.m.
Email Corian
Corian is a first-year pharmacy student here at UB. Before attending UB, she worked in healthcare as an administrative assistant for numerous years in many professions such as physical therapy, general surgery and sleep medicine. She returned to school with a desire to learn more, found passion in STEM, and become a healthcare leader in Western New York. All required coursework for the PharmD program has been completed at UB. She applied to the PharmD program through pharmCAS with successful completion of the PCAT. She currently works as a certified pharmacy technician at Sam’s Club Pharmacy and is interested in pursuing a career outside of a community pharmacy setting. She grew up in Niagara Falls, currently resides in Buffalo and is a proud fan of the Buffalo Bills. Corian would be happy to answer any questions from current or prospective students.


Nathan Webster, P1 PharmD Student, Corning, NY
Wednesdays, 12-1 p.m.
Email Nathan
Nathan is a first year student of Pharmacy at UB. Prior to that, he graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in Health Professions. At HWS, he spent 2 full years doing organic synthesis and organic chemistry research with a faculty mentor in creating potentially biologically active compounds to test their ant-cancer properties. He also played football at HWS for two years before he decided to focus on academics for the remaining two years of undergrad. He was also apart of Sigma Chi, a prominent philanthropic and academic fraternity on our campus. He has experienced a lot of great times as well as hard times throughout his 4 years of education up until this point so he can help with anything needed from academics to personal questions and help.


Morgan Beres, P1 PharmD Student, Orchard Park, NY
Wednesdays, 1-2 p.m.
Email Morgan
Morgan is a P1 student in the PharmD program who had applied through the 2+4 early assurance program. She is also a Buffalo native and very familiar with the area. She has worked in an independently owned pharmacy for almost 5 years now and has shadowed and volunteered at Buffalo General Hospital. She is interested in getting her MBA through the dual degree program here. Outside of school, she loves to read, spend time with friends and family, hike and travel. 


Esther Esadah, P3 PharmD/MS, Bronx, NY
Wednesdays, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
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 is currently a P3 PharmD/MS candidate and works at Rite Aid as a pharmacy intern. 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. 


Jin Hong, P1 PharmD Student, Fujian, China
Wednesdays, 4:30-5 p.m.
Email Jin
Jin is currently in her first year in the PharmD program. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at The City College of New York. She was part of the SEEK Research Fellowship, which granted her a research internship in Distinguished Professor Ruth Stark’s lab at the City College Center for Discovery and Innovation. Although her research interests were propelled in Dr. Stark’s lab, participating in CCNY-MSK Partnership program encouraged her to continue this path. She will be applying for PharmD/MS in Pharmacometrics and Personalized Pharmacotherapy this upcoming spring. While earning her undergraduate degree, she also worked as a chemistry tutor at the SEEK PAL Center, where she was not only supporting her fellow students academically but also advising them for success.


Melissa (Lissa) Stein, P1 PharmD Student, Webster, NY
Fridays, 8-9 a.m.
Email Lissa
Lissa is a first-year pharmacy student here, originally from Webster, NY. Prior to entering the program, she received her Bachelors of Science in Pharmacology and Toxicology from UB in 2018. As an undergraduate, she competed as a varsity coxswain for the school’s D1 women’s rowing team from freshman year up until the end of the program her junior year. She also worked as a home-care aid for various families in the Buffalo and Rochester area.  During her senior year, the pharmacology classes quickly became her favorite and she starting looking into a career in pharmacy, speaking with and shadowing multiple different types of pharmacists. After graduation, she decided to take the PCAT and apply early decision to UB for Fall ’19, while also working full time in the labs at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY. She’s happy to help answer any questions about the application process, UB, or the Buffalo area! 


Zi An (Jeffrey) Gao, P1 PharmD Student, Bayside, NY
Fridays, 10-11 a.m.

Email Jeffrey
Jeffrey is a dual PharmD/MBA degree student currently in the MBA portion of the dual degree after completing his P1 year. He is from Bayside, New York and entered the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences through the Early Assurance program. Jeffrey is currently working as an intern at Rite-Aid pharmacy. He plans on working in hospital management as the director of pharmacy or as a district/regional manager of a retail chain after graduation. He likes playing poker, video games and going to the gym in his free time. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and helping others so feel free to contact him with any questions or concerns you might have about pharmacy school or the dual degree program.


Neo Su, P2 PharmD Student, Taipei Taiwan ROC
Fridays, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
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 data analysis.  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 anything etc...


Kory Zelen, PharmD Student, Lake Grove, NY
Email Only
Email Kory
Kory is a fourth-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.

Allison Oddi.

Alison Oddi, PharmD Student, Victor, NY
Email Only
Email Alison
Hello! My name is Alison Oddi, I am currently in my 4th 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.


Dylan Goodwin, P1 PharmD Student, Peoria, AZ
Email Only
Email Dylan
Dylan Goodwin is a first year student in the PharmD program at UB's School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology with an Emphasis in Pre-Pharmacy at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. He comes to UB after living in Arizona his whole life. He has been working as a pharmacy technician in multiple different aspects of the field such as community, compounding, and mail order pharmacy, and as a result he is able to offer a peek into those aspects of the field of pharmacy.