Ashley Morford

Ashley Morford

Purdue University North Central alumna Ashley Morford had long planned to become a pharmacist. She is on her way to fulfilling her dream as a student in the Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

At PNC, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Initially, Morford thought that she wanted to become a doctor.

“As I got older and took time to think about it, I decided pharmacy would work better for me,” she explained. “I’m interested in oncology so I plan to specialize and become an oncology pharmacist. I want to be part of a team that helps patients. Pharmacy allows me to combine my love of chemistry and medicine with my passion for helping others.”

The Westville native transferred to PNC after attending Loyola University in Chicago. “I realized living in Chicago and visiting Chicago are completely different,” she admitted. “So I came back home to my small town.”

At PNC she went to school fulltime, worked two jobs and played for the PNC volleyball team its first season. When she decided to begin taking more credit hours, she dropped some outside activities to apply herself to her studies. One semester she took 21 credit hours.

“That was pretty difficult, but I’m the kind of person that if I’m not challenged, I’m not comfortable,” she said. “I pushed myself. I loved what I was studying so it didn’t seem like a chore to me. It helps when you have an extremely supportive family and awesome staff to accompany you throughout your college years.”

That willingness to push herself may have helped to draw her into pharmacy. “I wanted to be in a competitive field because I want to realize my full potential,” she said. “I love Chemistry and Biology. Pharmacy will be a perfect fit.”

She has plans to earn an MBA and has already given some thought to obtaining a Ph.D. so that she can pursue her interest in research.

Traditionally hundreds of students apply for the few open seats in the pharmacy programs. Butler University looks at a student’s academic record, and considers extracurricular activities, volunteering or working as a pharmacy technician.

During her four years of pharmacy school, Morford will have an opportunity for hands-on clinical experience and would like to intern at Riley Hospital for Children or IU North Hospital in Indianapolis. After that, she will apply for a residency to specialize in Oncology or Pediatrics.

“My PNC professors were great. I look up to Dr. Nancy Marthakis (associate professor of Biology) because she is incredibly intelligent and her classes were always the most difficult. I was most proud when I got good grades in her classes. Dr. Vanessa Quinn (associate professor of Biology) was supportive and made class enjoyable. I was lucky enough to T.A. for her Elementary Biology lab for a couple semesters. Dr. Chris Holford (associate professor of Biology) is a great professor and adviser. My favorite class of his was Molecular Biology. It was difficult, but I learned so much. Dr. Jason Curtis (associate professor of Biology) was perhaps the professor I related to the most. My favorite classes of his were Genetics and Parasitology. The PNC staff is awesome and always willing to help.”

“I sustained my grade-point-average because I was really interested in what I was studying. To succeed, you have to love what you do. If you don’t love it, or aren’t interested in your area of study, pick something else because you don’t want to have a career where you are miserable.”

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