TCOP’s Class of 2023 Dons White Coat

Pharmacy Students Reflect on Their Journeys and Futures

October 31, 2019

Members of TCOP’s Class of 2023 donned their white coats during a celebratory ceremony at the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem on October 24. Friends and family journeyed from across the tri-state area to watch their loved ones take this next step in their pharmacy or professional careers. The White Coat Ceremony marks the beginning of the student’s professional education.

The ceremony began with an introduction by TCOP COO and Associate Dean for Student Affairs Abraham Jeger, PhD, followed by remarks by TCOP Dean Dr. Henry Cohen about the history of the white coat in the medical profession.  Dr. Carole Deyoe, R.PH., Director of Pharmacy Practice for the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York (PSSNY), spoke about PSSNY’s role in guiding pharmacy students. Concluding the ceremony, keynote speaker Stacey Follman, Pharm.D., Director of Student Affairs, Medical Information, at Pfizer, delivered a personal and inspiring account of her journey in the pharmacy profession.  

We spoke with several members of the new class about why they chose pharmacy school, what the white coat means to them as well as their hopes for their futures.

What does the white coat mean to you?

“It represents an achievement to me. It’s a chapter on the way to a greater goal.” Sagar Patel

“It’s the first step on a long journey.”  Kevin Von Borgen

“It signifies the reality of the journey. You are really here.” Zokha Butt

“I feel like the white coat allows us to see and interact with patients. We’ll be wearing them when we do our first summer rotation and it signifies that we made it.” Momina Qureshi

“Patients recognize us as healthcare providers.” Tiffany Mantilla

“The white coat signifies achievement. It shows how hard we worked hard to get here.” Johara Marzo

What surprised you about your pharmacy school experience so far?

“How together all the students are. We all help each other. I’ve grown really close with everyone and I’m looking forward to growing even closer.” Jonathan Lara

“Pharmacy school motivated me. It made me a better person. Everyone is so friendly. It’s the place for me.” Momina Qureshi

Why did you choose to become a pharmacist?

“I have a variety of options with a Pharm.D degree. I can do research, work in a community pharmacy or help manage a team in a hospital.” Annette Brown

“Pharmacists are such an important part of the healthcare professions. We prescribe medications, adjust dosages and double-check scripts. We save lives.” Momina Qureshi

“I volunteered in a hospital and worked in a pharmacy. I shadowed doctors, but the interactions patients had with their pharmacists really spoke to me.” Tyler McGarvey.

Dreams Post-Pharmacy School

“I always thought I wanted to be a community pharmacist and I still might be! But I’ve just discovered the field of veterinary pharmacy and I love working with animals, so I might consider that.” Johara Marzo

“I worked in Nassau Community Hospital before I began pharmacy school and I worked with a lot of Spanish-speaking patients. I was born in Ecuador so Spanish is my first language and I was able to help a lot of patients. After I graduate, I want to return back to the hospital and continue helping this underserved population.” Tiffany Mantilla

The event concluded with a recitation of the Pharmacist Pledge of Professionalism led by outgoing TCOP SGA president Thomas Jackson III.