Masooma Razvi, the first recipient of the Astellas USA Foundation Scholarship at UIC, envisioned the healthy balance of family, education and service. The Astellas USA Foundation turned her vision into a reality when she was honored with the largest annual scholarship UIC's College of Pharmacy awards, covering 25 percent of her PharmD tuition.
"I am married, have a young daughter, own a home, work and volunteer, but still wanted to fulfill my personal desire to serve others," says Masooma. "This led me to pursue my ParmD, but without the scholarship support, the increased work debt would draw me away from what was important in achieving my goals."
Astellas USA Foundation shares Masooma's passion for research, and chose UIC's College of Pharmacy to invest in tomorrow's innovators. The Foundation is active in helping future science leaders realize their full potential, and assists them by funding continuing education for students of diverse backgrounds.
"Masooma has a passion for the profession, and her experience, maturity and drive represented UIC well and matched the potential Astellas was looking for," says Dr. Bradley Cannon, the college's scholarship committee chair. Dr. Norman Katz, emeritus pharmacology professor and Masooma's advisor agrees. "Masooma is a skilled researcher, excellent communicator, shows a strong work ethic and commitment to professional growth and finds time to serve others," says Dr. Katz. "She represents the type of student that any pharmacy college would be proud to have."
A fascination with how medicines works in the body piqued Masooma's interest in Pharmacology. While pursuing her PhD, she discovered a strong desire to serve others. This led to a revision in her plans, refocusing on becoming a pharmacist.
Masooma serves as the Student National Pharmaceutical Association Diabetes Co-chair, volunteers at a free clinic for the underserved and expects to complete her master's degree in Pharmacology this year. She dedicates the time she would have spent working to her family and community. As she moves on to pursue her PharmD and looks forward to a career as a pharmacist, Masooma hopes to make pharmaceutical care safer by reducing medication errors and adverse drug reactions and intends to promote preventative care to help patients lead healthier lives.
"Without this award, it would have been difficult to find time to spend with my daughter, give back to my community, excel academically and work on my master's thesis," says Masooma. "The Astellas USA Foundation scholarship demonstrates the importance of giving to students, especially in financially difficult times, and has motivated me to do so after my graduation."