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Astellas Foundation establishes largest annual scholarship in College of Pharmacy History

posted Apr 27, 2012, 8:06 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Apr 27, 2012, 8:11 AM ]

Masooma Razvi recalls the application process for her Astellas USA Foundation scholarship as exciting but intense.  With the largest annual scholarship UIC’s College of Pharmacy awards on the line, covering 25 percent of her PharmD tuition, Masooma envisioned the healthy balance of family, education and service it would allow her.  Now, as the first Astellas Scholar, Masooma feels she can’t say enough to express how grateful she is.   

 “I am married, have a young daughter, own a home, work and volunteer, but still wanted to fulfill my personal desire to serve others,” says Razvi.  “This led me to pursue my PharmD, but without scholarship support the increased work and debt would draw me away from what was important in achieving my goals.”

 The Astellas USA Foundation shares Masooma’s passion for research, and chose UIC’s College of Pharmacy to invest in tomorrow’s innovators.  The organization believes strongly in helping future science leaders realize their full potential, and assists them by funding continuing education for students of diverse backgrounds. 

 “Masooma has a passion for the profession, and her experience, maturity and drive represented UIC well and matched the potential Astellas was looking for,”

says Brad Cannon, PHARMD ’94, the college’s scholarship committee chair. Norman Katz, emeritus pharmacology professor and Razvi’s advisor, agrees.  “Masooma is a skilled researcher, excellent communicator, shows a strong work ethic and commitment to professional growth and finds time to serve others,” says Katz.  “She represents the type of student that any pharmacy college would be proud to have.”   

 A fascination with how medicines work in the body piqued Razvi’s interest in pharmacology.  While pursuing her PhD, she discovered a strong desire to serve others.  This led to a revision in her plans, refocusing on becoming a pharmacist.  Now, with the help of the Astellas scholarship, she has found the balance she envisioned. 

 Razvi serves as the Student National Pharmaceutical Association Diabetes co-chair, volunteers at a free clinic for the underserved and expects to complete her master’s degree this year.  She dedicates the time she would have spent working to her family and community.  As she moves on to pursue her PharmD and looks forward to a career as a pharmacist, Razvi hopes to make pharmaceutical care safer by reducing medication errors and adverse drug reactions and intends to promote preventative care to help patients lead healthier lives.

“Without this award, it would have been difficult to find time to spend with my daughter, give back to my community, excel academically and work on my master’s thesis,” says Razvi. “The Astellas scholarship demonstrates the importance of giving to students, especially in financially difficult times, and has motivated me to do so after my graduation.”