In her fourth year in the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, Ashley Fukuchi is completing clinical rotations at sites across Hawai‘i and in the continental United States. The Moanalua High School and UH Hilo chemistry grad had medical school in mind before a pre-pharmacy orientation course led to conversations with Hilo pharmacists and pursuit of her doctorate in pharmacy.
Ashley is a recipient of the E. E. Black Scholarship and the Safeway Pharmacy Scholarship. In thank-you letters to donors, she writes, "I wholeheartedly thank Evie J. Black and Safeway, Inc. for their generous financial support. These scholarships are a tremendous help in my endeavors as a student pharmacist, especially during this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic."
What were some highlights of studying in Hilo?
I was really grateful for the mentors I met along the way. The smaller class sizes allowed me to build professional relationships with professors, to conduct numerous research projects, and to travel across the country, presenting at national conferences like SACNAS and IDeA.
I was able to make long-lasting friendships along the way as well!
Preference for the E. E. Black scholarship is given to children of engineers, contractors or construction workers. How did you qualify for this scholarship?
My father was a civil engineer with the Army Corp of Engineers. He recently retired and has returned to his hometown of Hilo.
How have the scholarships helped you in pursuit of your degree?
The scholarship has been instrumental in allowing me to focus on my studies and devote my time to pursuing extracurricular activities. I have conducted biomedical and pharmaceutical research with Dr. Chang beginning in 2014. I’ve had opportunities to publish a peer review journal and to gain job experience with Safeway Pharmacy during my time at DKICP. I was also able to devote my time to several student organizations such as APhA-ASP, NCPA, the Rho Chi Honor Society, Phi Lambda Sigma Honor Society and Phi Delta Chi.
I recently completed two clinical rotations, one at University Health Partners - Family Medicine Clinic with Hawaii Pacific Health, and a managed care rotation with HMSA. Both experiences were amazing and instrumental in further developing my skills as a future pharmacist!
I am greatly interested in ambulatory care pharmacy, especially in the field of diabetes, due to working with my preceptor, Dr. Camlyn Masuda, who is a board-certified ambulatory care pharmacist and certified diabetes educator. I truly enjoyed working with patients at this clinical site and being able to make an impact in their lives.
Again, I thank Safeway, Inc. and Ms. Evie J. Black very much for their continued support of my pharmacy education. Words cannot express my gratitude for these scholarships. Thank you very much for supporting University of Hawaii students.
What kind of aspiring pharmacists should consider applying for DKICP?
DKICP allows students to gain certificates in leadership, rural health and research on top of their PharmD. I recommend students who want a balanced education, as our curriculum gives the foundation needed to pursue anything from clinical, industry and community pharmacy. Our school also has opportunities with more than 40 states for clinical rotations. Students have studied abroad in Thailand and Australia; I will be going to Saipan through our school rotations, which is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!