AAs a high school student in Bay City, Texas, Marissa Schlaifer (B.S. ’87, M.S. ’92) had limited involvement with academic clubs. At The University of Texas at Austin, Marissa took the leap into extracurricular activities thanks to the encouragement of faculty and staff. She entrenched herself in the community and culture of the College of Pharmacy and the pharmacy profession, running for national office in the Student American Pharmacists Association, Student APhA, (now the APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists) and running (albeit unsuccessfully) for the position of speaker of the house.
“It is important that students receive professional development opportunities,” says Marissa, who hasn’t missed an American Pharmacists Association conference in 35 years, and has been actively involved in the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), serving on committees, on the board and as AMCP President. “For me, it would be a dream to be in the position to pay for every student pharmacist to attend their chosen conference. I would not be in the job I am in today if there hadn’t been money from the college to go to that first conference.”
Marissa confesses that her grades didn’t put her at the top of the class; nonetheless, her commitment to her field of study earned her accolades like Outstanding Pharmacy Administration Student. “My future major professor told me to consider that award to be an invitation to consider grad school,” says Marissa. She completed her M.S. in pharmacy administration at UT in 1992 and distinguished herself in her field, earning the William J. Sheffield Outstanding Alumnus Award from the UT College of Pharmacy and being named the AMCP Distinguished Service Award recipient this year.
education. “If not for the College of Pharmacy, I would not have the opportunities I have today. And my opportunities at the College of Pharmacy came from the donors before me,” she says. Marissa applies the same kind of dedication and commitment that got her through pharmacy school to her philanthropy. “Donors to the College of Pharmacy allow students to graduate from one of the top pharmacy programs in the country, get a great job and make decent money. To me, giving back is an obligation. If you can give back but don’t, you’re ignoring all of what was given to you.”
Through exemplary education and training, research and professional development, the College of Pharmacy advances discovery, innovation and patient care.
Texas Leader Magazine
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