Diana Carolina Rojas-Chavez
Diana Carolina Rojas-Chavez is about to graduate with a doctoral degree in pharmacy. During her years at Creighon she helped conduct research into whether pharmacy schools around the nation are keeping up with diversity, equity and inclusion policies.
Diana Carolina Rojas-Chavez, BS, CPhT, has been accepted for her post-graduate year into the pharmacy residency program at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Fayetteville, North Carolina where she will work to become a clinical pharmacist and earn her designation as a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist. During her years with Creighton, she conducted research into whether pharmacy schools are keeping up with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policies. Diana and her team members presented their research at the American Association of College of Pharmacy 2022 annual pharmacy education conference.
We asked her some questions:
Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born and raised in San Diego, California. Both my parents are from Mexico, so English is my second language. My family (three children and my spouse) moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, two years ago. My husband is active-duty military.
Q: What was the nature of your research?
A: We wanted to shed light on whether pharmacy schools are keeping up with the national forefront of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Specifically, we wanted to see if pharmacy schools are using their front-facing websites to portray DEI to potential and current students. This question arose from personal experience. When I searched for pharmacy schools back in 2018, I looked for a school that would understand my needs as a first-generation citizen/college student. I looked for a school that had people that looked like me. I noticed that not many schools did.
Q: Did you enjoy your research experience?
A: This project was unique in that it mixed the best of both worlds — research and my passion to advocate for DEI. It helped further dialogue about DEI in pharmacy programs.
Q: Have Creighton faculty been helpful?
A: Extremely helpful, not only in this research project but in my academic career and personal life. Kevin Fuji, PharmD, my research mentor, understood what I wanted to do with this research project and really helped our team bring it to light. My advisor, Shana Castillo, PharmD, has supported me in my personal life and academic career. When I told her I was interested in research, she connected me with Dr. Fuji and the idea just flowed so fluidly.
Q: Do you feel Creighton is preparing you for your next step?
A: I do. Attaining a residency, as you may know, is no small feat. As a distance student, I evolved into a self-learner, which really strengthened my time management and organizational skills. My time here at Creighton made me as competitive as I can be for the residency matching process, and I am fortunate to have matched in Phase I.
Q: Should other students specifically interested in research come to Creighton?
A: Creighton has amazing faculty that are willing to help you achieve your goals in research. I was connected to the right people who helped mold my interest into a researchable idea. Even when a faculty member wasn’t sure where to look, they were able to refer me to the right people to get the help I needed.