Kelsee Rolen

You have just been accepted to the Gatton School of Pharmacy as a junior.  Can you tell us a little bit about how that experience has been and what it means for you going forward? 

            When I first came to Emory & Henry, my original plan was to pursue the usual 4-year bachelor’s degree and then apply to my desired Pharmacy schools my Senior Year of Undergraduate. However, after the completion of my first year, I felt a bit lost as I still lacked a declared major and any true plan as to what would be the best option for me going forward. However, my path became clearer once I visited my top choice for Pharmacy School, the Bill Gatton School of Pharmacy at ETSU during the Fall of my Sophomore year. During my visit, I was informed of the working articulation agreement ETSU was establishing with Emory in which I could apply for early enrollment into Pharmacy School. This would essentially be my Senior year at Emory & Henry; however, my credits transfer back to complete my Bachelor’s Degree at Emory & Henry.

            I was a little apprehensive at first about pursing this path of Early Enrollment, however, after much deliberation and encouragement with my Advisor’s at E&H, I decided that I needed to put forth the effort now, and hope that this would come to fruition later with an acceptance into Pharmacy School. Now, as a Junior at Emory & Henry, I have just been accepted into the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy where I will be starting in the Fall of 2019, and graduate with the Class of 2023, while still receiving my Bachelor’s Degree from Emory & Henry in 2020.

            My experience getting to the point that I am now in my academic career has been challenging, but humbling, as I have gained crucial experience from both my time in the classroom and in my job setting.


What advice would you give to students who are interested in pursuing pharmacy as a career?

            In pursuing pharmacy as a career, I would recommend learning as much as you can about the field through hands-on experience such as shadowing at pharmacies, or working as a Pharmacy Technician. Working in a pharmacy during my time as a student at E&H has really emphasized to me that this field is truly something I feel passionate about.  It has demonstrated the daily activities and responsibilities of a Pharmacist while opening many networking opportunities for me in the future.

            From an academic standpoint, my advice would be to not be afraid to ask the difficult questions to your mentors, advisors, or visitors who work in the field about what path is best for you to pursue in order to accomplish your end goals. Push for a plan, and try to stick to this plan as much as possible, even when sometimes it might feel impossible. Do not get discouraged! Sometimes it is easy to do so with the volume of work that is thrown your way, however, you can do it! It will pay off in the end. Listen to your heart and what you feel is best for you. 


What has been the best part of being at E&H?

            The best part of being at Emory & Henry is the small learning environment and attention to detail the faculty and staff take. When looking for a college, I wanted to go somewhere where I was a name, not a number, and I feel like Emory & Henry is a place that puts great emphasis on that feeling. In fact, it is not uncommon to be walking to and from class and be directly addressed/greeted by a professor by your name, which I feel is one of the greatest things Emory has to offer. This commonality also allows for more direct contact between the professor and you when it comes to your questions as they can be answered and addressed in a timely manner.


What are some of the extracurricular activities you participate in while at E&H?

            During my time at Emory, I have actually been a commuter and not lived on campus due to the proximity of the college to my hometown. Due to the time constraints and working part time, I currently do not participate in many extracurricular activities. Some opportunities I have taken advantage of during my time at Emory & Henry has been my involvement in the Orientation Leader program during my sophomore year. I also am a part of the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and Healthcare Professions Club.

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Abingdon, VA