Featured Alum: Ting Wong, Biology 2010

Ting Wong at her whitecoat ceremony. Image courtesy of Don Pham.

The note below is from Ting Wong, Biology 2010, writing to Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald. Ting is currently in Pharmacy School in Florida.

I miss you dearly! I won’t be able to come back home this Thanksgiving since the ticket price to fly back home is very expensive. I will be back for Christmas. I don’t know when, but the cheapest flight will probably be to Atlanta and then I’ll ride back home with my sister.

Pharmacy school is very interesting and I enjoy every day and every single minute of it being in West Palm Beach, FL. I am super involved in organizations and am an advocate in fund-raisier ideas for a professional pharmacy fraternity, Phi Delta Chi. Proceeds of the fundraiser and events that we do as a group are donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I found that the world of science is very integrated, and I realize that there are several people who have common interests with me. Also, I met a faculty member at NOVA that we were involved with in research at UTHSC. I love going back to school and getting to meet students and professors. The classes are going really fast, and there is a lot of material to learn in all the pharmacy core courses. But the quality of education from Christian Brothers University really did prepare me well for these graduate courses. So far, moving to West Palm Beach was a journey that I am glad I made. I am becoming more independent and learning how to manage time wisely. I am also becoming an advocate for several great ideas for the University and building up my leadership skills, something that I have always shied away from. My activity in school organizations in the College of Pharmacy is enhancing my networking skills and refining my professional behavior here at Nova Southeastern University as I commute back and forth to the main campus in Davie or in Fort Lauderdale. The faculty and staff here at the satellite campus in Palm Beach really make sure students practice professionalism and are present in class with our white coats on at all times. Faculty members on site are really helpful and communicative even though we are a satellite campus. All class lectures are broadcast via the main campus. We have a brand new building this year that is situated at a great spot by the highway and very close to a luxury mall, fine restaurants, and shopping centers in downtown Palm Beach Gardens.

I also love the sunny weather here in Florida. Right now, the weather is on average in the 78-80′s and always sunny! I live just 7 minutes from the beach, so at times, I can go surfing or just watch the sunrise and sunset on the weekends when I am free. I am also just 1 hour away from Fort Lauderdale and an extra 30 minutes more from Miami. This is a wonderful spot to go to school. I am making a new group of friends and they are very helpful and supportive since we are along on this long journey together. I am actually looking forward to upper level clinical courses and doing my rotations in the next years to come.

For the first time, since the day I received my white coat, I am actually proud to be a student pharmacist advancing the science of pharmacy and its allied interests. I am also proud of the decision I made and the road I have chosen. I will make the best of it! This profession is necessary to help communities and patients understand the most safe, efficient, and proper ways of drug consumption. I am becoming more attentive and aware and caring. I keep myself busy at all times by volunteering and participating in community events (e.g., walks, car washes, diabetes operation screenings). I haven’t left my art side either, as I am also making jewelry, designing, and taking photos. Keep me updated and tell everyone in the UT lab I miss them too, and I appreciate your help in getting me into pharmacy school.

Since I did research throughout my undergraduate years at Christian Brothers University, it motivated me to practice good independent study skills. Since my first research experience was done at Meharry Medical and then at Vanderbilt the following summer, I was able to work on a project that I became engaged in with a mentor. By being engaged as a student researcher I learned several techniques that expanded what I learned in my courses at CBU. Most importantly I was able to interact and socialize with different minority groups, and I learned about different cultures. When I went to Brazil the next summer through MHIRT, I was excited to build my research experiences up to an international level in a foreign country. It was my first time to travel outside the country and away from my family. I learned to adapt quickly to the new culture, a new mentor, a new language and people in Brazil, and I became less of an introvert. From these experiences, I continued to be involved with and engaged in biomedical sciences and work at UTHSC. All of these experiences in laboratory research helped me interact with different professions with the same interests for sciences. I also expanded my social skills and communication skills as I presented my research projects at various conferences and symposiums. After entering pharmacy school, I continue to search for research experiences with other health divisions at the main campus in Fort Lauderdale. Overall, my education and research experiences after graduating from CBU definitely improved my leadership skills, and I became engaged both in graduate school and in community outreach programs and volunteer opportunities.

I really want to say thank you, Dr. Fitz!!, to you and all those who have been such a great help to get me to where I am now. I wouldn’t have been able to get here without your support and help in keeping me motivated and feeling loved.

love you much,
see you soon!

Ting