Grounding in liberal arts takes Rachel Hawley ’19 to graduate studies in pharmacy

Now a first-year doctor of pharmacy student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rachel Hawley ’19 appreciates the grounding she received as a student at Ripon College.

At Ripon, Hawley majored in chemistry-biology, and she says this prepared her well for the Pharmacy College Admission Test. She also found Ripon’s course offerings very helpful. “All of the prerequisite courses I needed were offered at Ripon and I got to take some really cool classes outside my major: Gender and American Politics and Psychopathology to name a few of my favorites,” she says.

Hawley originally did not plan to attend Ripon College but soon discovered it was the perfect fit for her. “My parents (Jamie Hawley ’88 and Kristen Diemer Hawley ’88) met at Ripon College in 1984 and graduated together in 1988,” Hawley says. “I grew up hearing their stories and the last thing I wanted was for them to live vicariously through my college years. Every time a Preview Day invitation was sent out my mom was like, “We have to go!” After 5-plus campus visits – two of them being overnights – I knew Ripon was the perfect fit for me. I loved the small class sizes, the accessibility in getting involved, the small town charm and so much more.”

One of her favorite opportunities at Ripon was volunteering in Hagley Gap, Jamaica, through the Blue Mountain Project. “I, along with a handful of other Ripon students, went to Jamaica for two weeks and facilitated a summer camp for the kids in the community,” she says. “While there, I had many conversations with members of the community regarding their healthcare system because I knew that was the career I wanted to pursue. My time in Jamaica sparked my interest in public health and global health and I can’t thank Ripon enough for that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!”

Madison has proven to be quite different from Ripon, but Hawley still finds things that remind her of Ripon. Her pharmacy cohort consists of about 120 students and they take nearly every class together, so she finds herself reminiscing about the sense of community in Ripon.

“My goal is to complete UW-Madison’s Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Public Health dual degree in the next five years and then begin a career in pharmacy industry and global health,” Hawley says.

Zoe Hazel ’22
Friendship, Wisconsin


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