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Washington State University

Meet our Student Ambassadors

Submit a question to our student ambassadors at pharm.ambassadors@wsu.edu.

Spokane

Karen VoKaren Vo, president

Hometown: Spokane, Washington
Program Year: Class of 2023
Undergrad: Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Minor in Chemistry, Washington State University, Pullman

Why did you choose WSU? As a WSU alumnus, I am familiar with the incredibly supportive environment that the university fosters and the endless opportunities for personal and professional growth that are provided to us students. I chose to continue my education with WSU for these exact reasons.

What do you like best about WSU CPPS? I love the wide variety of experiences and opportunities for growth that the college has to offer. For example, the WSU CPPS has a countless number of student organizations that helps students explore different professional interests, and there are fraternities designed to encourage networking. Additionally, there are many opportunities to engage in research. The honors program is a great way for students to gain more research experience, and the dual PharmD/PhD program is ideal for students who are interested in engaging in research in the long-term.

Something unique about you: I am an artist! I love to draw and paint. I work primarily in graphite and gouache (a type of watercolor paint). I particularly love drawing/painting animals, with a particular affinity for birds. John James Audubon’s paintings are a big source of inspiration for me.

Anything fun/interesting/exciting you have done as a pharmacy student? I am engaged in a research project with Dr. Mary Paine, who has been an incredibly supportive mentor for me throughout my time in this program so far. Through this experience, I’ve met wonderful people and learned invaluable skills that will help me reach my long-term career goals.


Tajana Vujić, president-elect

Hometown: Doboj, Republic of Serbia// Seattle, WA
Program year: Class of 2024
Undergrad: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Minor in Chemistry, Specialization in Biomedicine, Central Washington University

Why did you choose WSU? I chose WSU because of the supportive and welcoming environment I was introduced by the faculty, staff, and students. When I came for my interview is when I pictured myself belonging to this Cougar family. The community here at WSU has been encouraging me from day one and has taught me that, if you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything that you set your mind to.

What do you like best about WSU CPPS? I fell in love with the environment, with the campus and overall, the teaching style. WSU creates a learning environment where you can be at home and watch your lectures on your own time and come to class and do hands on learning. This flipped learning style has taught me how to communicate better with my peers and has opened my mind to more creativity. It forces you to work alongside your peers and learn how to be a team while working on case studies. This will be a great benefit as a future pharmacist because you need to learn how to work alongside other coworkers and build great communication skills.

Something unique about you: I came to the United States when I was four years old. I am a first generation as well as the first person to go to college in my family. I come from the former Yugoslavia and can speak multiple languages.

Anything fun/interesting/exciting you have done as a pharmacy student? I have joined many organizations and I hold positions in all the organizations I am a part of. I am a current member of APhA-ASP, SNPhA, Kappa Psi Beta Pi. I have recently started my own organization as well, Pediatrics Pharmacy Association, and I cannot wait to see this organization grow this coming year! Last year during Legislative Day at the capitol, I spoke about my opinions for a legislative bill for insulin prices to be reduced and the bill got passed for Washington state!


Diana Kang, training director

Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Program Year: Class of 2023
Undergrad: Bachelor of Science in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Why did you choose WSU? WSU CPPS stands out among other programs because they are dedicated to collaboration, innovation, and transforming health care. The reason I chose WSU is due to the amount of support that the faculty, peers, and mentors have for each other. The community here at WSU and the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has been nothing but welcoming and encouraging and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience thus far.

What do you like best about WSU CPPS? The program is structured in a way to make sure each and every student succeeds and accomplishes their goals. There are many resources that are available to students to aid in their journey through pharmacy school.

Something unique about you: I have a fear of sloths and really dislike mushrooms/cucumbers.

Anything fun/interesting/exciting you have done as a pharmacy student? So far, I have joined many organizations that have truly shaped my pharmacy career and helped me grow professionally. I am a current member of APhA-ASP, NCODA, Kappa Psi, SNPhA and ASHP. Each of these groups have impacted my pharmacy journey tremendously and I hope to continue learning more from these experiences!


Spencer KnudsonSpencer Knudson, orientation director

Hometown: Spokane, Washington
Program Year: Class of 2023
Undergrad: Bachelor of Science in Medical Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman

Why did you choose WSU? I feel fortunate to have been a part of the Cougar family before starting pharmacy school. It was my love for the Cougar community and spirit that encouraged me to continue my education at the WSU Spokane branch. My grandma is also an alumnus from the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

What do you like best about WSU CPPS? The faculty are endlessly supportive and 100% dedicated to the success of students. I find that our faculty really go out of their way to make us feel like professionals; they hold us to high standards, but always have their doors open if we need to talk. The environment here really fosters each of our individual passions and talents.

Anything fun/interesting/exciting you have done as a pharmacy student? In February 2020, with the WSU chapter of WSPA, I went to Olympia to advocate for pharmacy-related legislation at the Washington state Legislature. As a first-year student pharmacist, having the opportunity to communicate my beliefs to legislators in my state empowered me to become more involved in advocacy and pharmacy policy. I am a proud member of Kappa Psi Beta Pi fraternity, and an active member of APhA-ASP. I am incredibly excited to be the WSU Spokane orientation director; I loved my orientation experience and I am excited to be a part of the welcoming committee for incoming student pharmacists.


Nhi Nguyen, training director-elect

Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Program year: Class of 2024
Undergrad: Bachelor of Arts in Public Health, University of Washington

Why did you choose WSU? I chose WSU because of the inclusiveness that was portrayed during my first time being at the school. The sense of family and community radiated among current faculty, students and even upcoming students. The connections and compassion that I was able to experience were too difficult for me to pass up and I knew I had to attend WSU – it’s where I belong.

What do you like best about WSU CPPS? I like how the professors truly care about their students, making sure everyone is achieving and striving at their best.

Something unique about you: I won second place in a breakdancing footwork freestyle competition.

Anything fun/interesting/exciting you have done as a pharmacy student? I recently became an official member of one of the oldest pharmaceutical fraternities out there, Kappa Psi! This is my first-time being a part of a fraternity.


Garrett Reynolds, orientation director-elect

Hometown: Vancouver, Washington
Program year: Class of 2024
Undergrad: Bachelor of Arts in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology, Carroll College, Helena, Montana

Why did you choose WSU? I chose WSU CPPS because I connected greatly with the college’s mission statement, and I truly felt and still feel that WSU is the best place for me to succeed and actualize my dreams of working in pharmacy.

What do you like best about WSU CPPS? I feel that the instructors here at WSU CPPS truly care about us and our education. They all seem to go above and beyond in terms of getting us to a point of understanding the important information we will use in our clinical practice. Throughout my first year I have felt like I was cared for and have been given ample opportunities to immerse myself in all aspects of pharmacy.

Something unique about you: I helped open a restaurant/bar in the Columbia River Gorge.

Anything fun/interesting/exciting you have done as a pharmacy student? The most interesting and exciting experience I have had while in pharmacy school has definitely been the opportunity to volunteer at the Spokane Arena COVID-19 immunization clinic. Being able to see first-hand the application of our health care system to combat such a virulent pathogen was an experience that has driven me to succeed in this program.


Ester Chan, social media director-elect

Hometown: San Francisco, California
Program year: Class of 2024
Undergrad: Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, Davis

Why did you choose WSU? The emphasis of active learning that WSU fosters is what led me to choose to pursue my PharmD here. This interactive learning style encourages me and my peers to support each other to be successful with our courses.

What do you like best about WSU CPPS? I enjoy seeing how everyone is very supportive with one another, and there are always students out there who sent out positive messages for every block test/comprehensive exam.

Something unique about you: I would be an interior designer if becoming a pharmacist was not my first choice.

Anything fun/interesting/exciting you have done as a pharmacy student? I do not normally apply for leadership positions since it is out of my comfort zone. So, applying for an executive position and now being a part of the team for student ambassadors is the most memorable moment of my first year.


Yakima

Sunshine ThaoSunshine Thao, training director

Hometown: Oakdale, Minnesota
Program Year: Class of 2023
Undergrad: North Dakota State University

Why did you choose WSU? I chose WSU because of the many opportunities they offer their students to grow as leaders. I also chose WSU because of the welcoming community of faculty and students. I found in WSU, an enriching and welcoming university where I could cultivate meaningful skills for future success.

What do you like best about WSU CPPS? What I love most about WSU CPPS is the passion the professors have for the classes that they teach. This attribute provides a great learning foundation for students when it comes to understanding and utilizing the material. The flipped classrooms are also a great part of the program as it allows students to review material and apply their knowledge during class. It encourages discussion and collaborative thinking which are important skills to have.

Something unique about you: I have done a cross country road trip from the West Coast to the East Coast.

Anything fun/interesting/exciting you have done as a pharmacy student? During my first year of pharmacy school I moved across the country with only two suitcases. It has been an exciting and valuable experience I won’t ever forget.


Dana RabourneDana Rabourne, orientation director

Hometown: Walla Walla, Washington
Program Year: Class of 2023

Why did you choose WSU? I chose WSU for several reasons. The first was my grandfather had always wanted me to go for undergraduate coursework but because of health concerns I was unable to attend. I’m happy to fulfill his wishes as we were always very close. Additionally, WSU has always been a very progressive school and I wanted to attend a school that was not afraid to take chances to make its students the best. The flipped classroom model is a unique way of teaching that really suits my learning style and the small classroom size gives more one-on-one teaching. Finally, since my family is so important to me, I wanted to be close to home. Since WSU has a location in Yakima, I am able to go home each weekend to see my children.

What do you like best about WSU CPPS? My favorite thing about WSU’s Yakima extension is the collaboration opportunity with other health professionals.

Something unique about you: I’ve been a veterinary technician for the last 20 years.

Anything fun/interesting/exciting you have done while a pharmacy student? I volunteer for the Healthy Eats cooking classroom in Yakima where Elaina Moon teaches people from the community how to eat plant based and cook yummy food.


Bailey Scott, orientation director-elect

Hometown: North Bend, Washington
Program year: Class of 2024
Undergrad: Health Science, Minor in Chemistry, Whitworth University

Why did you choose WSU? I decided to come to WSU because it was the perfect choice for me to stay in Washington state while maximizing my post-grad opportunities. There is an abundance of paths to take in the realm of pharmacy and WSU provides the resources for me to not only explore my options but also excel in any field. The faculty have a breadth of knowledge and experience to learn from and the extensive connections to the alumni community provide a great resource for networking. Most of all, WSU won me over with their supportive and motivating community. I truly feel a part of a ‘pharmily’ (pharmacy family) and the relationships I’ve made have been instrumental in my current success.

What do you like best about WSU CPPS? I like that my education is very future oriented. All course content is up to date with the rapidly changing field of health care. I feel I am being instructed in a way that prepares me to be a leader in the pharmacy profession, providing me with the skills and knowledge necessary to be an influential individual in the future of health care and pharmacy practice.

Something unique about you: I competed on the cross country and track team for my undergraduate university and I qualified for the National Championship in the Steeple Chase.

Anything fun/interesting/exciting you have done as a pharmacy student? During my first year as a pharmacy student I have been planning my wedding for this upcoming summer! I also adopted a kitten from Yakima Humane Society and named her Pepper Pots.