Future pharmacist Jennifer Thulien Nguyen’s prescription for making the most of her time at UCI included researching Alzheimer’s disease antibodies in the lab of Distinguished Professor of chemistry James Nowick, working as a peer academic advisor in the School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences and getting involved with the Associated Students of UCI under the Office of Academic Affairs. Sandwiched among all that, the Garden Grove native enjoyed playing tennis, trying new foods, watching anime and spending time with friends. Adam Kreutzer, assistant project scientist with the Nowick Research Group, says: “When Jennifer joined our lab, I was immediately impressed with her ability to quickly master different laboratory techniques. Over the course of her undergraduate career, she has … blossomed into a promising young scientist. Jennifer is a bright, dedicated student with a strong work ethic, and I know that these qualities will contribute to her success in pharmacy school and beyond.”
What is your favorite memory at UCI?
Late-night food runs to The Anteatery, Taco Bell and Cha for Tea with my friends after a long night of studying, especially during finals week.
What are your plans after graduation?
I’m excited to be attending UC San Francisco’s School of Pharmacy this summer.
“Over the course of her undergraduate career, she has … blossomed into a promising young scientist. Jennifer is a bright, dedicated student with a strong work ethic, and I know that these qualities will contribute to her success in pharmacy school and beyond.”
– Adam Kreutzer, assistant project scientist with the Nowick Research Group
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to have received my Doctor of Pharmacy degree and be practicing as a pharmacist, making a difference in patients’ lives and providing the best care possible. In my personal statement to pharmacy school, I wrote about how I wanted to incorporate my double major in sociology into my passion for pharmacy. I find that it’s important to view pharmacy and healthcare holistically, in that we can’t just focus on biology or chemistry but also the social determinants that can affect patients’ health. Like I mentioned in my personal statement, “I will improve the quality of life and make a positive contribution to my community” as a pharmacist. Although I’m not exactly sure which field of pharmacy I’d like to go into, I’m currently exploring my options, and after I receive my Pharm.D., I would love to travel to Japan.
Who was your biggest influence at UCI?
I’ve had many amazing mentors who have guided me through my undergraduate career; however, Adam Kreutzer and grad student Chelsea Parrocha have been instrumental in my growth here at UCI. I’ve known them both since joining Professor Nowick’s lab as an undergraduate researcher during my freshman year. Throughout my four years at UCI, they’ve always been supportive of me, and I know that I can always go to them for anything – from my academics to what color I should dye my hair!
What do you know now that you wish you had known before coming to UCI?
That it’s OK to not know what you want to do when starting college. That’s what college is for, and everyone’s path is different.