Doctor of Pharmacy Graduates’ Future Plans

The graduates from the doctor of pharmacy Class of 2016 are pursuing a wide variety of exciting opportunities ­­- from a fellowship at the preeminent pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly to a residency at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. As Commencement approaches we asked them to take a moment and reflect on their time at Pacific and their path ahead.


Utsav Patel ’16 has been matched with a Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) managed care residency at Kaiser Permanente Central Valley in Stockton. I am looking forward to continuing to develop my skills in the field of managed care, as well as add on to my clinical knowledge as I rotate through the ambulatory care rotations offered in this program,” shares Patel. The connections that he made while at Pacific were influential in leading him to this residency. He explains, “I was able to speak with managed care pharmacists that I had connected with when I was a student. They were able to offer me great advice for the different managed care programs available in California.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. James Uchizono. I have known him since my time as an undergraduate and as such he has had a great impact on me professionally and personally. We would meet occasionally and talk about everything ranging from school to personal life and he would always have great advice, which pushed me to aim higher in everything I pursued.”

Professional goals: “I hope to design and implement a clinical program related to mental health that can be widely adopted.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “My time spent in the Medicare Part D elective, especially during outreach season. Being able to go out into the community and practice what we have learned through the Medication Therapy Management interventions and also helping the beneficiaries cut down on their prescription drug costs.”


Saranpreet Nagra ’16 has been matched with a visiting scientist fellowship in the Clinical Innovation Department at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, Indiana. “I am looking forward to being immersed in a company and environment which fosters innovation,” shares Nagra. “Eli Lilly, and specifically their innovation department, is very well known for being very forward-thinking and being open to pursue ‘long-shot’ ideas.” He adds, ” I was able to learn about this specific fellowship position through references from recent alumni and peers.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “I’ve been extremely lucky during my short time here to have multiple mentors, both faculty and alumni, who were willing to go above and beyond to help me reach my potential. One of my mentors, Dr. Sachin Shah, has always been willing to do whatever possible to help me reach my goals and has served as an amazing guide in helping me to navigate the opaque process of applying to fellowships.”

Professional goals: “The biggest thing I hope to contribute to the profession of pharmacy is the idea that the value of the PharmD is far reaching and can supersede the traditional roles in the pharmacy.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “One of my favorite memories during my time at Pacific was our chapter’s APhA-ASP Operation Immunization winning National First Runner Up at the APhA 2016 Annual Meeting and Exposition. It was amazing to see our team and university get some national spotlight for the countless hours our committee put in to help make our communities healthier through direct patient care and education.”


Martina L. Rigmaiden ’16 has been matched with PGY1 pediatric pharmacy residency at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California.

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Joel Wagner has been my constant support system throughout my time at Pacific.”

Professional goals: “I hope to bring awareness to the pediatric population and continue to be an advocate for health-system pharmacy and those who wish to pursue a residency to grasp the inpatient clinical aspect of pharmacy.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “When a professor came up to me and said, ‘I can’t believe your performance on the final exam.’ [I was terrified, but] the professor revealed that out of the whole final exam I had only missed half of a point. It was very rewarding to know that all the hours, sleepless nights and office hours consulting with my professor paid off and I completely grasped the concept.”


Sophie Hoang ’16 has been matched with a medical affairs fellowship at Novo Nordisk in Plainsboro, New Jersey. “I look forward to learning about the pharmaceutical industry and how new products are launched to create a global impact,” said Hoang. “Participating in various projects, organizations and committees have helped me to create long-lasting relationships with professors and mentors. Not only have they recommended me to potential employers, but also supported and guided me along the way.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Ed Sherman served as the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) advisor during my time as president of the NCPA Pacific Chapter. He opened my eyes to the world of independent pharmacy and encouraged me to participate in the NCPA Student Business Plan Competition.”

Professional goals: “I hope to create a global impact through the launch of new medications, better access to care in rural communities and to ultimately improve patient outcomes across the world.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “One of my proudest moments was planning the Alternative and Integrative Medicine Committee Health Fair in collaboration with the Tzu Chi Foundation.”


Tinh An “April” Nguyen ’16 will be the inaugural fellow of the global regulatory program at Biogen in Boston, Massachusetts. She has also been offered an adjunct position at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “I can’t wait to face so many new amazing opportunities, apply what I’ve learned from the California Pharmacists Association to the Massachusetts Pharmacists Association, make a difference and expand Pacific’s legacy!” exclaims Nguyen.

Professor who had a profound impact: “I was a research coordinator with Dr. Sachin Shah for a study on energy drinks and their cardiovascular safety, which was recognized nationally and internationally across multiple news media, including CBS, NPR, UK Daily Mail and Times of India. I’ve been fortunate to work with a mentor who built my foundation of technical skills in the pharmaceutical industry and cardiovascular clinical research.”

Professional goals: “I want to continue to make a difference in the lives of the patients we serve and be an advocate for the profession of pharmacy.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “Staffing the inaugural Rx Boot Camp with students from 12 schools of pharmacy across California inspired me to become the 2016 Rx Boot Camp Director in the state’s first student-led pharmacy conference, which is focused on collaborative practice and communication. I also have fond memories of organizing the first APhA-ASP Health Fair at the Midtown Farmers Market which provided services to 400 community members in Hmong, Spanish and Vietnamese.”


James Wall ’16 has been matched with a clinical operations oncology fellowship at Roche Group in San Francisco. In addition, he has been offered an adjunct faculty position at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. “I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge in the area of oncology,” said Wall. “This opportunity will allow me to pursue my interests in oncology therapeutics while simultaneously allowing me to contribute to the development of novel treatments.” He adds, “I would not have this opportunity without the guidance and support of the faculty at University of the Pacific.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Marcus Ravnan [’94] had a significant impact on my development as a pharmacist. I thoroughly enjoyed his therapeutics courses due to his unique style of teaching. His residency/fellowship elective course should be considered by any student with the desire to pursue post-graduate training. Dr. Ravnan continued to make himself available as a mentor during my clinical rotations.”

Professional goals: “Over the past few decades the pharmacy profession has changed dramatically, expanding to include more clinical functions. I would like to continue this expansion and enhance the pharmacist’s role in both the acute healthcare environment and the general medical community.”



Speech-Language Pathology Graduates’ Future Plans

Equipped with a master of science in speech-language pathology our graduates are pursuing careers all across the United States. As Commencement approaches we asked them to take a moment and reflect on their time at Pacific and their path ahead.


Kimberly Kamada ’15 is currently working as a clinical fellow in speech pathology at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California. “I was placed at Eisenhower Medical Center for my medical student externship through Pacific,” shares Kamada. “After my externship was over, I was offered a job at the hospital. I’m looking forward to learning more about my profession and role as a speech therapist in a hospital setting. I look forward to impacting lives of patients and their family members, as well as being impacted by them.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “One clinical supervisor that stood out to me was Mimi Tran [’04, ’05]. Mimi supervised me at the adult clinic and after each session she gave me great feedback. She was always available for questions and encouraging with advice for sessions.”

Professional goals: “I want to give my patients the best care I can and make a lasting difference in their lives.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “All of the clients at the adult clinic came together for a social during the last session to celebrate the end of clinic. Patients with various communication disorders were able to gather and carry over their communication skills to real life situations. I had a patient with severe expressive and receptive aphasia at the time and being able to see her enjoy herself in a social situation where communication is important was amazing.”


Brooke Richardson ’15 is currently working as a speech-language pathologist at Manteca Unified School District and Beyond Words Intervention Services in Stockton.

Professor who had a profound impact: “Many different professors have been encouraging in my endeavors to pursue this career.”

Professional goals: “I hope to further the field of speech-language pathology by contributing further research in communication disorders as well as providing education and awareness about communication disorders.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “Every year at the department Christmas party our professors would dress up and perform for the students. Definitely a highlight of the Christmas season for me!”


Meet Our Graduates

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.


Renée 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 ’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 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 ’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 ’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 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 >



Doctor of Physical Therapy Graduates’ Future Plans

The graduates from the doctor of physical therapy Class of 2015 have accepted job offers all across the United States. As Commencement approaches we asked them to take a moment and reflect on their time at Pacific and their path ahead.


Vincent Morelos Villalon ’15, DPT is currently working as a physical therapist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He has found Cedars Sinai Medical Center to be a rewarding and challenging environment where he is continually learning about acute care. He explains, “Cedars Sinai hospital is a teaching hospital where each staff rotates to new areas […] that way all of the therapists’ minds are continuously engaged.”

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Kylie Rowe is such an expert of pain management and each session was a wonderful learning experience. All four of us in the class were able to learn more in-depth of how persistent pain works in our system and how we are able to treat patients with persistent pain.”

Professional goals: “To be a mentor to future students and to learn from students as physical therapy is a profession of consistently learning new information. In addition, to becoming a cardiovascular and pulmonary clinical specialist.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “We are all one family and help each other learn as a whole. Being in labs, learning new treatments that we can provide to our patients and having class sessions outdoors. Finally, spending quality time with my friends as they are my family.”


Dinah Compton ’15, DPT is currently working for PT Solutions, an inpatient rehabilitation facility in Destin, Florida.

Professor who had a profound impact: “Every professor had an impact on me. Everyone cared so much about our future and continue to be our strongest supporters as we move forward in our career field.”

Professional goals: “Getting my Neurologic Specialist Certification and helping patients return to their prior level of function.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “I had the opportunity to volunteer my time treating a spinal cord injury patient and discovered how much of what we do as professionals positively influences people’s lives.”


Katherine Samstag ’15, DPT is currently working as a physical therapist at ATI Physical Therapy in Mercer Island, Washington. At ATI Physical Therapy she has had the opportunity to work with a wide range of patients, from pediatric patients to patients that are over 100 years old. “I have enjoyed the benefit of working with a strong group of other manual therapists who have a wide background and array of education […], which drives collaboration and teamwork for all patients seen at the clinic, ” shares Samstag.

Professor who had a profound impact: “From Dr. Casey Nesbit’s caring and compassionate nature, to her drive for the importance of education and patient access to specific healthcare, I will always hold her perspective close to heart.”

Professional goals: “I hope to contribute [to the profession] a well-rounded and biomechanical perspective on physical therapy examination and treatment, which I learned at Pacific, to each individual patient I treat.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “Traveling with Dr. Casey Nesbit, as well as my fellow DPT students Meiying Lam [’15] and Michael Dessel [’15],to Malawi, Africa.”


Steven Carmack ’15, DPT is currently working as a physical therapist and aquatic physical therapist at Integrated Physical Therapy in Yuba City, California. He welcomed the opportunity to return to his hometown.

Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Todd Davenport, inspired all of us during a very difficult first semester with motivational speeches and an abundance of knowledge that he presented in understandable ways for us newcomers.”

Professional goals: “To give people who don’t know much about physical therapy the education and confidence to achieve a higher quality of life in a fun and interactive way.”

Favorite Pacific memory: “Winning the co-ed soccer intramural championship with a team of PT students.”