Donor support made UC possible for pharmacy student

Our scholarships change lives 

Katarzyna Solomianko, PharmD ’23, realizes that making a donation to a scholarship fund requires a leap of faith.

“It’s not tangible,” Katarzyna says. “It’s not like going to a store and buying a shirt. You have to wonder, is this person going to make it through school? I don’t even know what kind of person they are. There are a lot of questions. You might worry where your money is going.”

But as a recipient of three scholarships at the James J. Winkle College of Pharmacy, Katarzyna wants donors to know that their generosity is truly an investment in the future. Scholarship funds have enabled Katarzyna to focus on her studies, pursue research opportunities and evolve toward the accomplished, caring pharmacist you might speak to one day at your local pharmacy or hospital.

“It takes a long time to see your product, but it’s a really good one,” Katarzyna says. 

Katarzyna’s parents met after immigrating to the United States from Poland. As a first-generation college student, she earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She was drawn to UC’s College of Pharmacy by its holistic culture, the many scholarships we offer and the mentorship programs we provide. 

“Everyone I talked to was so supportive,” she says. “They were interested in me as an individual and what my goals were. I left my interview and I was so, so, so impressed.”

"I’m putting myself through school, and the financial burden was a big concern for me," she says. "The fact that I’ve gotten these scholarships has allowed me to look into other opportunities. This year, for example, instead of working two summer jobs to pay for living expenses and tuition, I was able to continue working part-time at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center — a job I absolutely love — and spend the rest of my time working on a research project.

The fact that I’ve gotten these scholarships has allowed me to look into other opportunities.

Katarzyna Solomianko

Making meaningful connections at UC and beyond 

Scholarship funds also enable pharmacy students like Katarzyna to attend professional conferences and undertake specialized rotations outside the Cincinnati area. “At the end of the day, that makes me a better pharmacist,” Katarzyna says.

Following graduation, she hopes to pursue a pharmacology residency and then a specialty. She isn’t sure where she’ll be in five years, but “in an ideal world” she’ll be back at UC, teaching courses in diabetes and helping shape the next generation of pharmacists.  

“I love that UC feels like a family,” she says. “The deans know everyone’s names. The staff is very invested in our future and in us as individuals. After so many conversations with my mentors, I’ve gained confidence that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I’ve developed lifelong skills and lifelong friendships. At the beginning of pharmacy school, they said pharmacy is a small world, and I believe it now.”

Support Katarzyna and students like her.

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