“My favorite CBU memory stems from my freshman year Honors Program retreat. College had just started, but I was already feeling its lasting impacts… and I didn’t even know it. One of our activities during the retreat was to write a letter to our future selves, which we would then read before graduation. I remember writing about how nervous I was to start my college journey as a Biochemistry major and how I had better study hard so I could graduate on time! But I also remember being so excited about the connections I was making within the Honors Program and outside of it. I had just joined Alpha Xi Delta, where I was about to meet some of my best friends, and I had recently met a nice young man who would later become my husband. I didn’t know any of these things yet. Still, when I read that letter to myself at our Honors Program dinner before graduation, I couldn’t believe the impact CBU had on me: I was about to graduate with my BS in Biochemistry and start pharmacy school, and I had a wonderful support system beside me.”

Anna Birg Mitchell was involved in various leadership roles as a student at CBU, including Tri Beta Biological Honor Society — for which she served as president, the student chapter of the American Chemical Society, the Honors Program, and Alpha Xi Delta sorority. Anna was also one of the inaugural leaders of the September of Service initiative in 2012, in which she organized several volunteer events for students, faculty, and staff.

Anna received the Dominic Dunn Award from the CBU School of Sciences in April 2014, which recognizes one graduating senior each year with a major in math or science honoring academic achievement and involvement in the campus and community. She also received one of the highest honors at CBU by being named a CBU Lasallian Fellow for the Class of 2014, a distinction awarded to five graduating seniors each year who embody the Lasallian mission of faith, service, and community.

And, right on time, she graduated summa cum laude with her BS in Biochemistry in 2014. Upon graduating from CBU, Anna went to work on her Doctorate in Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. During pharmacy school, she worked as a student intern at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Kroger Pharmacy, where she was named Employee of the Month in April 2018. Just like her days at CBU, Anna stayed active in pharmacy school organizations — she served as a teaching assistant in the non-sterile pharmacy compounding lab, organized flu shot events as the Operation Immunization Chair of the student chapter of the American Pharmacists Association, provided campus tours to incoming students as a student ambassador, and was the historian of the pharmacy fraternity, Phi Delta Chi. Anna also managed to maintain her personal life during her busy days in pharmacy school; in 2016, she married that nice young man she met during her freshman year, Ryan Mitchell (Marketing ’13).

Anna graduated from UTHS in 2018 and started her post-graduate residency training program in clinical pharmacy with a specialization in internal medicine at the Memphis Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. Since she completed her residency in 2020 and received her Board Certification as a Pharmacotherapy Specialist, she has remained at the VA as a clinical pharmacist in inpatient acute care, specifically in internal medicine and the intensive care unit (ICU). The beginning of Anna’s pharmacy career coincided with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and she played an integral role in creating and maintaining the Memphis VA’s local inpatient COVID-19 protocol. Anna is now taking her passion for spreading knowledge and evidence-based policies to a wider audience as an Academic Detailing Pharmacist. In this role, she will work to spread the most up-to-date information to providers across the Memphis VA and implement change on a broad scale to positively impact patient care for the local veteran population.

Anna has also been involved in restoring the Memphis Area Alpha Xi Delta Alumnae Association, in which she serves as the Secretary and Communications Vice President. In this role, she helps spearhead events benefitting the association’s local philanthropy — the Dorothy Day House. This organization temporarily houses families experiencing homelessness while providing support and resources to ensure their success.

CBU taught me to say ‘yes’ to opportunities. The small and personable setting helped me feel comfortable to try new things — to take on leadership roles, to be a mentor, to volunteer… to go on that camping trip my friends talked me into, to participate in that one intramural volleyball game that I didn’t help win but, hey, it was fun. CBU gave me confidence.