The desire to have successful careers in a healing profession led siblings Jaclyn Tripptree ’16Pharm.D. and Kyle Tripptree, PA-C ’17P to St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
“When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher, but in high school I discovered how much I like science,” said Ms. Tripptree, who is currently a staff pharmacist at CVS Pharmacy in her hometown of New Hyde Park, NY. “I also like sports and wellness activities, so pharmacy seemed like a good fit—and, I knew I would be able to help people.”
Although she applied to several pharmacy programs, a visit to the Queens, NY, campus sealed the deal. “It felt like the right place for me.”
Like his sister, Kyle Tripptree was looking for a career through which he could help others. He considered nursing, but ultimately decided to enroll in the College’s Physician Assistant (PA) program. “My sister’s experience at St. John’s influenced my choice, as did the application interview held at my high school,” Mr. Tripptree explained. He now works as a PA in the orthopedic surgery and sports medicine department of NewYork–Presbyterian Queens.
“I am glad I chose St. John’s,” he said. “By fourth year, I was doing my clinical work and was prepared to go into the field immediately after graduating.”
The Pharm.D. program’s extensive selection of clinical rotations was significant for Ms. Tripptree. “After a few community pharmacy rotations, I realized this was where I could help the most people,” she said. “The simulation lab also was very valuable because it made me comfortable with the work and confident to go out into the working world.”
They both participated in numerous service projects while at St. John’s, and credit the University’s Vincentian mission with giving them greater perspective. “I learned to treat every person the same way, regardless of who they are or where they come from,” said Mr. Tripptree. “That is very important for building trust with patients.”
“The Vincentian mission is about the giving of yourself,” added Ms. Tripptree. “For me, working as a community pharmacist in my hometown is more than a job. Pharmacists are on the front line of health care and we can really help and make a difference.”
They both recognize the importance of contributing to the College’s mission as alumni. Mr. Tripptree benefited from the advice of an alumni mentor who helped him select the best clinical rotations for his chosen specialization. Connections he made at one of those sites helped him obtain his current position. He has applied to serve as a mentor as part of the College’s Alumni Mentoring Program and continues to informally advise current student friends.
Ms. Tripptree also does her part. “Many of the pharmacy techs I work with are St. John’s students and I try to advise them as best I can,” she said. “I would like to become a preceptor so I can help even more students. Perhaps I will live my childhood dream of teaching after all!”