Ashley Roding ’23, School of Pharmacy

Ashley Roding reflects on her time at UConn

Portrait of Ashley Roding

Portrait of Ashley Roding, taken March 27, 2023. (Sydney Herdle/UConn Photo)

Ashley Roding is graduating from UConn with a degree in pharmacy science – and it is the second undergraduate degree in her life. She discovered a passion for pharmacy while studying for her first degree in biomedical science, and decided to pursue another. She will remain at UConn for two more years and study for a Pharm.D. degree.

Why did you choose UConn?

Once I realized pharmacy school was the path for me, I was immediately drawn to UConn. The UConn School of Pharmacy is well respected and has great program statistics. I have a strong interest in pursuing pediatric pharmacy, and UConn is unique in that it offers a specialized pediatric track that allows interested students to explore the world of pediatrics during their schooling. In addition, I loved the idea that I would get to enjoy the large university feel of UConn, while also being a part of a smaller community in the school of pharmacy.

What’s your major/field of study, and what drew you to it?

Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Studies. I’ve always known I wanted to go into healthcare, but I didn’t know what specific field.  I previously received my B.S. in Biomedical Science from Quinnipiac University in May 2021. During my time at Quinnipiac, I discovered a passion for pharmacy and knew that this was my next step. Pharmacy is an expanding field that has many different career opportunities, such as retail, hospital, industry, drug policy, and so much more. Pharmacists are also in a unique position to make a huge impact on a patient’s quality of life as well as improve their access to healthcare. Overall, pharmacy provides the perfect combination of patient care and medication knowledge, which I really enjoy studying.

Did you have a favorite professor or class?

Dr. Jennifer Girotto has been my favorite professor at UConn. Dr. Girotto is one of the School of Pharmacy’s clinical professors of pharmacy practice, as well as a board-certified pediatric pharmacotherapy specialist and infectious disease pharmacist. She leads the pediatric track, and I’ve gotten to work closely with her through this as well as in classes. Dr. Girotto is someone I can always count on, and she is always there to answer any questions I have, whether it’s clinical or about potential career paths. It has made a huge difference in my education to know that I have someone supporting me and who I can turn to for advice along the way.

What activities were you involved in as a student?

Within the School of Pharmacy, I am a member of the pediatric track and of Phi Lambda Sigma, the International Pharmacy Leadership Society. I also serve as the Professional Program Student Representative on the UConn School of Pharmacy Advisory Board. Additionally, I am Chair of the Dean’s Student Liaison Committee, President of the Student Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group, and a member of SEA, the School of Pharmacy’s Student Educational Assistance Program that creates supplemental resources for pharmacy class material.

What are your plans after graduation/receiving your degree?

After graduation, I will be at UConn for another two years to complete my Doctor of Pharmacy degree! My goal is to complete two years of residency after receiving my doctorate, and ultimately go into a career in clinical pediatric pharmacy.

How has UConn prepared you for the next chapter in life?

UConn has given me so many opportunities to grow as a person, not only through traditional classes but through all of the unique opportunities I’ve gotten to be a part of. For example, I created an outreach project for the pediatric track on Prescription Drug Abuse that I was able to present at Coventry High School with a team of other students. Experiences like this gave me the chance to build and expand on skills I’ve learned in classes.

Any advice for incoming students?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! During my first year at UConn, I explored many different organizations at the involvement fair, and have since then grown into leadership roles I couldn’t have imagined having. If I hadn’t put myself out there, I would not have grown and developed into the person I am today.