Stacey Thomas, a student in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, is well into her challenging six-year program of study toward a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. She was born and raised in Queens, New York and so only a stone’s throw from the University’s main campus, Stacey has nevertheless journeyed miles intellectually since she began her pharmacy studies three years ago.
Stacey credits her successful academic journey (with so much accomplished in such a short time) to the large number of opportunities that have opened to her through her PharmD studies as well as through the University Honors Program. She was a founding member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, into which she was inducted last spring. She has also become a member of many pharmacy related organizations, such as the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. Her long-term goal is to pursue a career in the field of clinical pharmacy and promote the role of pharmacists in New York State.
Stacey is also actively involved in her church, located in Hicksville, NY. On Sunday mornings, she helps coordinate the "Children’s Church" and teaches religious studies to children between the ages of five and eleven. She is also a leader in a boys and girls club. There, she helps mentor children to understand the teachings of the Bible. She participates as well in various community projects such as blood drives that are held at her church and fundraising events for charities and mission trips around the world.
Stacey looks upon the Honors Program and its Commons as a second home in lieu of a room in the residence halls. As she describes it, “Since I’m a commuter, it’s difficult travelling with a heavy backpack without having a dorm room to rely on. That’s why the Honors Commons, a lounge provided by the Honors Program, has become an essential part of my college experience.
"The Honors Commons is a place exclusively for Honors students to meet with friends, have lunch and unwind after class. I call it my home away from home because I am able to leave my lunch in the fridge and use the cabinets and microwave as though they were my own. This is particularly convenient on days when I have late labs or a long day of classes.”
The Commons is just one of the perquisites of the Honors Program that Stacey uses frequently. She also takes advantage of the many cultural events and tickets the Honors Program provides for its students. As she says, “It had always been a dream of mine to see a major world orchestra play at Lincoln Center. Because of the Honors Program, I was able to get free tickets and see the New York Philharmonic play Mahler’s Second Symphony (The Resurrection). It was a transforming experience that I will never forget!” She has also been on many walking tours of New York City given by Dr. Forman as well as gallery tours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
As Stacey puts it, “Some first-year Pharmacy students are afraid to accept the Honors Program invitation thinking that the workload might be too overwhelming. However, as a pharmacy student in the Honors Program, I have found not only that the courses are no harder than regular sections of the courses all undergraduates take. The main differences are the smaller class sizes, honors professors, and the atmosphere of the Honors community. I’m proud to be part of the St. John’s Honors Program and look forward to the years ahead!”