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Sami Roughton seeks pharmacy doctorate

Sami Roughton '13Throughout middle and high school, Samantha “Sami” Roughton’s bedroom was painted blue and orange, complete with a University of Florida Gator bedspread.  When she was accepted at UF’s undergraduate school, her parents threw her a Gator-Party to celebrate. But when she went to visit their campus shortly before term began, it felt too large and overwhelming.

At the last minute, she took a campus visit to Stetson University and immediately knew this was the place she needed and wanted to be…if they would still accept her application. With excellent grades and superior “can-do” attitude, Stetson was more than happy to enroll Sami even at the eleventh hour.

“Choosing Stetson was probably the best decision of my life,” she explained with a smile.

Sami’s ability to create a successful path and her desire to become more significant continued at Stetson. While typically she avoided taking so much as an aspirin for headaches, she came down with a serious sinus infection that required antibiotics her sophomore year. Unfortunately, she was subsequently afflicted with clostridium difficile (better known as “C. diff”) due to the antibiotic killing too much of her “good” bacteria. It resulted in even greater illness.  True to form, she rose above the problem and used the experience for good because, at that moment, it cemented her desire to become a pharmacist.

“I want to help people understand what medications they need to take, and in the proper dosages they should be taking them,” she said. “Also, I believe this career path will allow me a great family-work balance, which is a priority because I grew up in a tight-knit family.”

This past year, Sami’s had tough classes, tutored several hours a week, filled out pharmacy school applications, and embarked on a rigorous senior research project.  She never cared for lab before because it was someone else’s research and it was already known what the outcome was supposed to be. “But once I started doing my own (research), it became very exciting for me and now I know that is an area of Pharmacology on which I’d like to concentrate,” explained Sami. “I’ve built up a lot of confidence at Stetson. The professors push us to do more, to go beyond minimum requirements. That’s what prepares students and makes Stetson unique.”

Of course, as no surprise, Sami selected UF as the place to earn her Doctorate in Pharmacy degree.  Even though she will be amongst all that is blue and orange this fall, this is one “Gator” who will always be “Hatter” green.

by Trish Wieland