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Meet Our Graduates

May 16, 2016

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It is the season of tassels and mortarboards. Representing the disciplines of pharmacy, speech-language pathology and physical therapy almost 300 graduates will have their degrees conferred at the Commencement Ceremony on May 21, 2016. A few of our graduates share their plans after graduation and what memories will stand out to them when they look back at their time at Pacific.

Renee Fini headshotRenée C. Fini '15, DPT accepted a position as a physical therapist at Fritter, Schulz & Zollinger Physical and Occupational Therapy, a private outpatient clinic in Gilroy, California. "I am excited to be able to enhance my manual skills with the orthopedic population along with the ability to fine tune my aquatic therapy skills," said Fini. "I was lucky enough to be chosen [for an internship at this clinic] and I had a great connection with the clinic director during my rotation. I applied for a position that opened up recently and was hired to join the team."

Professor who had a profound impact: "Hands down, Dr. Jim Mansoor! Dr. Mansoor really took me under his wing and advised me in a way that I really understood; a 'tell it like it is,' down-to-earth approach. I will always be grateful for his time and effort given during office hours to help me understand concepts that I struggled with."

Professional goals: "I don't want to just 'help people,' but I would rather 'help change peoples lives.' I look forward to someday working with individuals who struggle with movement on an everyday basis due to disease or pathology. I would also like to travel to underserved countries and contribute my services for those who cannot afford care."

Favorite Pacific memory: "I cherish all of the great friends I made in the DPT program at Pacific. The bond we shared is unlike any other college experience I have had before. We understood the challenges of being in an accelerated program and encouraged each other to keep pushing forward to do our best. I will always remember the challenges, but will remember the friendships even more."
Andrew Bagdasarian headshotAndrew Bagdasarian '15, DPT is currently working as a physical therapist at Golden Bear Physical Therapy and Sports Injury Center in Modesto, California. "I am looking forward to broadening my knowledge base by treating a variety of patient populations [and] improving my treatment approach of an athletic population, ranging from high school to professional athletes," shares Bagdasarian. The connections he made through Pacific were instrumental in leading to this opportunity. He explains, "Not only did I complete a clinical experience through Golden Bear while at Pacific, I also had chances to meet the clinic owners, Bobby [Ismail '94] and Brandon [Nan '09], when they participated in the Physical Therapy Employer Showcase and 5K Tiger Dash our program puts on."

Professor who had a profound impact: "Many professors impacted me in multiple ways throughout my education at Pacific. It would not do them justice to single one out above the rest as I appreciate all of their respective efforts."

Professional goals: "Hopefully I contribute [to the profession as] a thoughtful, well-rounded clinician who is always searching to better himself and his treatment approach. Specifically, I would like to expand on evidence-based return-to-sport testing to improve decision making about appropriateness and safety of athletes returning to their respective sports."
Favorite Pacific memory: "One of the highlights was traveling to Indianapolis to attend the Combined Sections Meeting, our national physical therapy conference; getting to spend time learning from the presentations and exploring the city with a great group of classmates. Also, a memory I'll never forget was being able to complete a clinical rotation with the San Francisco Giants, the baseball team I've grown up being a fan of since I was young."

Read more about how our graduates plan on using their doctor of physical therapy degree > 
Tiffany Riley headshotTiffany A. Riley '16 has been matched with a Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) pharmacy practice residency at VA Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto, California. "I'm deeply humbled with the opportunity to serve our nation's veterans," shares Riley. "Growing up, both of my grandfathers were veterans and I remember being in awe of their stories of bravery and sacrifice. I look forward to serving this unique and truly inspiring patient population." She adds, "I had the first-hand experience of rotating through various institutions in the Palo Alto region, such as the VA and Stanford. Being in this clinical world among highly skilled practitioners opened my eyes to the possibilities of what I could do after graduation."

Professor who had a profound impact: "My journey at Pacific began as a pre-pharmacy student and my advisor, Dr. James Uchizono, became a mentor over the years. As I advanced to pharmacy school, Dr. Uchizono, alongside Kimberly Eayrs and Kim Whitesides, were always welcoming to share advice and encouragement. I know that as I progress on in my career as a clinical pharmacist I will still be in contact with them. The professors at Pacific are more than just teachers, they are life-long mentors who truly value their students' professional and personal development."Professional goals: "With a genuine passion for helping those in need, I hope to provide more than just medication related recommendations for my patients. I intend to inspire future generations of pharmacists by precepting pharmacy students, form relationships with a variety of providers by contributing to an interdisciplinary team and stretch the boundaries of the profession in this exciting era of pharmacy practice."

Favorite Pacific memory: "I'm eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to be a member of the California Pharmacy Student Leadership (CAPSLEAD) team. Upon initiation of our team's research project, we attended the annual CAPSLEAD conference. Attending this conference and working with the CAPSLEAD advisors, Dr. Don Floriddia ['71], Dr. Denis Meerdink and Dr. Veronica Bandy ['00, '08], throughout the course of the year sparked in me a deeper interest in leadership development."

Hasna Manghi headshotHasna Manghi '16 has been matched with a Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) residency in academia through Touro University and NorthBay Healthcare in Fairfield, California. "I am looking forward to letting the knowledge I've gained thus far come full circle," shares Manghi.

Professor who had a profound impact: "Dr. Rajul Patel ['01, '06] has made such an immense impact on my life. The span of his influence encompasses my didactic work, my motivation during APPE rotations and my ambitions as a future pharmacist, as well as the qualities of integrity, positive attitude and a true work ethic."

Professional goals: "I hope to contribute a positive attitude. I want to take the apathy out of pharmacy practice and encourage a zealous mindset for this profession."

Favorite Pacific memory: "I have many great memories at Pacific, but the best was of the time spent with Drs. Nancy ['89] and Gary ['89] DeGuire in their cabin in the woods with my close group of friends. It was truly an unforgettable weekend!"

Read more about how our graduates plan on using their doctor of pharmacy degree >

Karen Soltow headshotKaren Soltow '15 is currently a clinical fellow at Shoreline Speech and Language Center, a private speech-language pathology clinic in Hermosa Beach, California. "The clinic I am working at had heard great things about the graduates of University of the Pacific, so they emailed our department to advertise their job opening," shares Soltow. "I emailed them right away and I am so happy I did!"

Professor who had a profound impact: "Dr. Derek Isetti ['08] has been a prominent support system for me as I transitioned from my post-baccalaureate studies into my masters program. I first met Dr. Isetti while studying at University of Washington and had the privilege to continue learning from him here at University of the Pacific. His office door was always open and he always greeted everyone with a smile. It was clear that he was passionate about our field and eager to support all of those in it."

Professional goals: "My goal is to foster a community where therapists are continually collaborating and sharing ideas in order to meet the needs of all of our clients. I hope to never lose sight of the fact that I will forever be a student in this field as there is always more to learn!"

Favorite Pacific memory: "To me, University of the Pacific was all about the people. My cohort and professors were always there for me. Whether we were meeting to collaborate on our studies or clinical work, or to enjoy some good food or sunshine, we were always there to support each other. I will never forget the people I met while at Pacific."
Yvette YoungYvette Young '15 is currently working as a speech-language pathologist at Manteca Unified School District and Beyond Words Intervention Services in Stockton. She welcomes the variety of patients she has the opportunity to work with. "I'm looking forward to helping people in all stages of life communicate," said Young. She adds, "Both of my positions were obtained due to professional connections made during my time at University of the Pacific."

Professor who had a profound impact: "Professor Simalee Smith-Stubblefield ['83] supported me from freshman year all the way through graduate school. She always makes it clear to her students how much she cares and that they can come to her for guidance and encouragement. My supervisors on my medical externship at UC Davis Medical Center also changed my clinical and life perspective in such meaningful ways. I'm thankful for Simalee and other Pacific speech-language pathology department staff who worked diligently to place students in wonderful medical externships."

Favorite Pacific memory: "When I reflect on my time at University of the Pacific I'm flooded with memories of people who encouraged me. All of my professors created an environment in which students could grow into informed, caring, flexible and supported speech-language pathologists."

Read more about how our graduates plan on using their master of science in speech-language pathology degree >