Pharmacy Scholarship Opens Doors to Opportunity

April Jue

Thanks to the Pharmacy Alumni Association Great People Scholarship April Jue can consider spending time abroad to increase her knowledge of world pharmacy needs.

Pharmacy gives April Jue the opportunity to blend her interest in seeing results for patients with her love of science.

“I like understanding the way things work and understanding processes,” said the second-year PharmD student in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy. “As a pharmacist, I will be able to see how drugs are working and affecting patients.”

Thanks to the Pharmacy Alumni Association (PAA) and several hundred alumni and friends, Jue has another opportunity: She can seriously consider studying in Ecuador this summer.

Jue is the first recipient of the PAA’s Great People Scholarship, and she said the award makes her less hesitant to pursue opportunities that will enrich her educational experience. A scholarship eases the financial burden, she said. “To be given a scholarship is also an honor. There are a lot of people in the School who are deserving.”

PAA has a long-standing tradition of providing scholarships for students, said Sarah Mireski, PAA president and a PAA scholarship recipient. “These scholarships may directly impact one student by helping to offset some of their schooling costs, but they, also, indirectly give back to the School and our community,” she said. “I know these students, including April, are striving to become the future leaders of our profession while setting an example to their families, peers  and local community. They make a global impact on the School by helping us advance research, recruit the best faculty and have a significant impact on today’s health care.”

A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Jue’s educational journey to the School of Pharmacy includes a chemistry degree with an emphasis in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a stint in criminal forensics at the FBI Academy in Virginia. She came to the UW-Madison to pursue a doctorate in chemistry but chose to earn a master’s degree instead when she realized research was not the career for her.

“I wanted a job that had more direct people interaction than research did,” Jue said. “I wanted to feel at the end of the day that I’d made a positive impact in someone’s life.”

Jue has not yet decided whether she prefers ambulatory or clinical/ in-patient pharmacy, but she sees advantages in both. Ambulatory would take her into the community and allow her to establish long-term relationships with patients. In-patient pharmacy would take her into a hospital setting, which would call more on her science background to work with physicians and nurses to determine the best medication regimes for patients.

The PAA Great People Scholarship was established in 2008 with a $25,000 gift from Don Lindsay (BS PHM ‘55). Since then, 340 gifts have been made to the fund, including proceeds from PAA annual golf tournament, raffles and events at the School’s alumni weekend.

The fund, including a 50-cents-per-dollar match from the University of Wisconsin Foundation, had grown to $175,000 by the end of 2010.

The Foundation established the campus-wide need-based Great People Scholarship Campaign to ensure that all eligible students have access to a UW-Madison education. The Foundation has set aside a total of $20 million to match gifts to Great People Scholarships.