GWU Science Faculty Helped Evan M. Drake, ’12, Gain Life Skills for Graduate School

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Chemistry Alumna Works as Ambulatory Care Pharmacist in Western North Carolina  

A photo of Evan Moffitt Drake at workAs a chemistry major at Gardner-Webb University, Evan Moffitt Drake, ’12, knew she wanted to be a pharmacist. In graduate school, she discovered the profession had more options than working in a hospital or retail pharmacy. Drake, a resident of Hendersonville, N.C., chose to become an ambulatory care pharmacist and is employed with St. Luke’s Hospital in Columbus, N.C.

“I work one-on-one with patients at an outpatient office,” Drake explained, which aligns with her reasons for choosing pharmacy. “I was interested in medicine and people, but more than that, I wanted to be part of a profession where I can help people have a better quality of life.”

Recently, she shared with Gardner-Webb students about her job and gave them an idea of what to expect in pharmacy or any other graduate school program. She also assured them that their GWU professors would prepare them for the next step. “Graduate school is hard work. It requires determination, organization and good communication skills,” Drake informed. “The Department of Natural Sciences at GWU challenged me to learn and perform as a graduate-level student, all the while mentoring me on how to study effectively, manage my time, and still care for my well-being. Thanks to them, I already knew the reality of having to study at night or on the weekends, how to utilize resources, and how to engage with my new faculty to enhance my learning opportunities.”

Evan Moffitt Drake talks to students in a classroom in the Withrow Science Building. Dr. Stefka Eddins is in the background.Drake was accepted to the Wingate (N.C.) University School of Pharmacy and obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2016. She completed a Post-Graduate Year 1 community pharmacy residency with the University of North Carolina (UNC) and Walgreens. She did her Post-Graduate Year 2 Residency with the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) in Asheville, N.C., and the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in Chapel Hill, N.C.

To provide excellent care for patients, Drake told the students that a pharmacist must be resourceful and a versatile communicator. “You have to be able to bring the terms down to the level of the patient,” she related. “Most people think that because I am pharmacist, I know everything there is to know about drugs. I don’t know everything, but I can find anything for you. Be resourceful, know where to get the information, and find things for your patients and yourself.”

She also reminded the students that it is essential to balance work—whether in school or on the job—with enjoying life. “Discipline is important – set up accountability partners,” Drake encouraged. “Take time to relax. Ask for help. Talk to your professors. They are very understanding about these things. Talk to your coaches and see what you can work out. My experience here at Gardner-Webb is people worked with us. Form those good relationships now, so that you will feel comfortable talking to other people later.”