UAA/ISU Doctor of Pharmacy Program
A Century of Excellence...
Alaska needs pharmacists. Pharmacists play a vital role in improving people's lives. Through a partnership between the UAA College of Health and Idaho State University College of Pharmacy, students can earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree while staying in Alaska.
The following graduates are the first cohort to complete the program under this partnership.
Hannah Fjeld moved to Alaska to attend the UAA/ISU Doctor of Pharmacy Program, which has become a pivotal point in her life — finding a career she is passionate about and a state she wants to forever call home. While a student of the program, Hannah served as an antimicrobial stewardship intern for three years and worked on quality improvement projects monitoring targeted antimicrobial use, antibiotic-induced diarrhea (Clostridioides difficile), true penicillin allergy reactions and communication of interventions to providers. Her research has been presented at the state and national level and has been published in the Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (ICHE) and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) journals. Student-led community outreach events for diabetes, heart health and immunization fostered her passion for collaborating with patients, optimizing their quality of life and health outcomes. She was inducted into Rho Chi, the pharmacy academic honor society. Her experiences and opportunities through the UAA/ISU Doctor of Pharmacy Program have shaped her professional interests and she is excited to start her professional career.
Hannah looks forward to a postgraduate residency serving at the Sierra Nevada Veterans Affairs Health Care System. She plans to return to Alaska to work as a primary care pharmacist, optimizing medication therapy and patient outcomes for chronic conditions.
Outside of pharmacy, Hannah enjoys being outdoors hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowboarding. She has hiked 81 unique peaks in Alaska and hopes to make it to 100 before heading to residency in Nevada.
At age 20, Maidelin Gonzalez immigrated to the United States from Cuba where most of her family is located. Inspired by her mother, she came with a passion to help others. As she worked to learn a new language and culture, she started working as a cashier at CVS Pharmacy, eventually becoming a pharmacy technician. This led to her falling in love with the pharmacy profession and deciding she wanted to become a pharmacist.
Pharmacy school gave her the opportunity to grow professionally and intellectually, providing tremendous support and countless resources to succeed. As a pharmacy student, Maidelin participated in numerous patient care community outreach events such as heart and diabetes screenings and vaccinations. She feels these experiences were one of the best parts of being a pharmacy student and shaped her to become a better patient health advocate ready to serve her community. She also credits a great part of her success to the dedicated and kind professors and staff that helped her throughout her education.
After graduation Maidelin plans to remain in Alaska and do a residency in pediatrics or oncology. Her goal is to learn as much as possible during residency, and then work as a clinical pharmacist in Anchorage or one of the rural villages.
Alex Marinelli was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, and has known since a young age he wanted to stay in Alaska and work in the health care field. While completing his undergraduate studies, Alex explored physical therapy and chiropractic areas but discovered he was more fascinated by the physiology and medical aspects of health care. As he progressed through his chemistry courses, he found the lectures that used medications as examples were most interesting. He hadn't considered pharmacy before but quickly realized that becoming a pharmacist was really what he had been searching for all along.
Alex’s most fond achievement while part of the UAA/ISU Doctor of Pharmacy Program was the unique places it has brought him. While on an Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience rotation, he found himself on an island in the middle of the Bering Sea in Gambell, Alaska, one of the 15 villages Norton Sound Health Corporation serves. The pharmacy program allowed him opportunities to talk with legislators to discuss health care and the profession of pharmacy in Alaska and the people he has met along the way is something he will never forget.
Alex’s first goal is to become a licensed pharmacist, so he will be diving right back into the books immediately after graduation to complete examinations. Once licensed, he has accepted a position as an inpatient pharmacist in Juneau, Alaska at Bartlett Regional Hospital.
As a first-generation American born and raised in Anchorage, Tiffany Ma is the definition of Alaska grown. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Baylor University, she returned to Anchorage and met her husband, Barry, another lifelong Alaskan. They have three children: Abram, Coen and Opal, and her youngest two were born while in pharmacy school. Who says you can’t do it all?
As a nontraditional PharmD student, Tiffany managed rental properties, renovated a fixer-upper, worked as a pharmacy intern with the Alaska VA Healthcare System and cared for her young children. Despite those external challenges, she was awarded several merit-based scholarships, inducted into the pharmacy academic honor society Rho Chi, served in multiple leadership positions and established community service programs for future students. As she thrived in team-based settings most of her life, she continued with that mindset in pharmacy school by tutoring fellow students and serving as the sole student representative on the ISU College of Pharmacy dean search committee. Managing all her roles and responsibilities was a challenge but has prepared her well to succeed in her future career.
The culmination of Tiffany’s efforts in the UAA/ISU Doctor of Pharmacy Program was recognized when she was selected for the Indian Health Service’s PGY1 residency program with Southcentral Foundation. Her plans for future practice are to become a residency-trained, board-certified integrated pharmacist, working collaboratively with fellow health care professionals to better the health and care of the people in the community.
Corrie Black’s background in biochemistry and benchtop research lead her to the field of pharmacy, which provides opportunities to apply her interest in health sciences to patient care. Corrie, whose family operates a commercial fishing operation in Kodiak, Alaska, was drawn to the UAA/ISU Doctor of Pharmacy Program because of the appeal of location, as well as the new and rewarding opportunities for Alaskan pharmacy students.
From the beginning of pharmacy school, Corrie sought to optimize her educational experience by seeking employment at Providence Alaska Medical Center (PAMC), and becoming deeply involved with student-led community outreach initiatives, pharmacy advocacy including traveling to Washington, D.C. to represent the profession and research on antibiotic prescribing trends presented at both state and national levels. Corrie was inducted into Rho Chi, the pharmacy academic honor society, and became the first Alaska student inductee into Phi Lambda Sigma, the pharmacy leadership society. During her training, she specifically enjoyed infectious disease and critical care rotations, knowing early on that she wanted to pursue postgraduate residency training.
In March, Corrie secured a position as a PGY-1 pharmacy resident at PAMC and is excited to remain in Anchorage, Alaska after graduation.
As a proud Athabascan born and raised in Alaska, Janelle Solbos has the honor of being the first Alaskan Native pharmacist to graduate in the state. Having grown up living in various villages and eventually settling in Anchorage, she takes great pride in being able to serve her community. She and her husband, dog and cat spend every free moment enjoying camping, hiking and fishing. They are expecting their first child in May 2020 and look forward to providing him with a life of fun and adventure in Alaska.
Janelle believes one of the best parts of being the inaugural class of pharmacists of the UAA/ISU Doctor of Pharmacy Program, was having opportunities to be the first to establish new student roles on the Anchorage campus. Service to others is important to her and she sought every opportunity during pharmacy school to find and fill new service roles. Janelle was the first chair for the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Operation Diabetes in Alaska, implementing outreach events for student pharmacists to screen and educate patients on diabetes, and was fortunate to travel to Juneau and Tatitlek to conduct student outreach events with Alyeska Pipeline’s Prince William Sound Traveling Health Fair. She was the first student to organize the annual Alaska Pharmacy Fair which connects student pharmacists with Alaska employers. She was actively involved with the Alaska Pharmacists Association (AKPhA), volunteering at the annual convention, and acting as the first student representative on the AKPhA Academy of Health System Pharmacy Committee, traveling to Juneau annually to lobby pharmacy issues and conduct student outreach events. While managing her many leadership roles, Janelle maintained academic excellence and was inducted into Rho Chi, the pharmacy academic honor society.
Throughout her pharmacy education, Janelle found a passion for meeting and building relationships with her patients. She and her husband will remain in Anchorage until their son is a few months old, then relocate to Southeast Alaska to be closer to family and enjoy the triumphs and challenges that come with practicing in a small island community. Janelle looks forward to applying the many skills learned in pharmacy school to serve others while living the Alaskan dream.