Featured Senior: Lindsey Reiff ’13
Hometown: Elida, Ohio
When Lindsey Reiff visited campus, she knew Findlay was where she wanted to be.
“The campus and College of Pharmacy faculty had such a personal feel. They truly seemed to care about their students and were genuinely interested in me as a prospective candidate,” she said. “But even beyond that, I could sense that they loved what they were doing and were passionate about their new pharmacy program … I knew that their level of motivation would flow into their teaching and I would get an excellent education.”
Reiff knew that as a student in a relatively new program, she could help set a high standard of excellence for future students.
Reiff’s decision to attend UF also was influenced by Wick Colchagoff, Oilers varsity volleyball coach, who also coached a club team that Reiff played on during her senior year of high school. Shortly after Reiff’s boyfriend was killed in a bus accident in Georgia, Colchagoff offered Reiff an opportunity to walk onto the women’s volleyball team as a freshman.
“The thought of going off to college on my own was hard to imagine … Volleyball became a major outlet for me to handle my emotions,” she said. “I had trust in the College of Pharmacy program and the faculty, and felt that continuing to play volleyball at UF would help keep me moving forward. I also had trust in God that He was leading me down the right path.”
Reiff played on the team for two years before injury and the demands of the pharmacy program prevented her from continuing. “Playing volleyball and being part of a team definitely gave me a sense of identity and purpose during my first couple years of college,” she said. “Playing a college sport also taught me many important life skills such as time management and organization, teamwork and leadership. Now that I have been out in a real work setting, I see how valuable these skills are to being successful.”
In addition to those skills, Reiff had the opportunity to develop an interest in pharmacy science as a research assistant with Richard Dudley, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of pharmaceutical sciences. Reiff had an interest in medicinal chemistry, and Dudley helped Reiff learn how to perform synthetic reactions.
Over the course of several years, Reiff, with guidance from Dudley, focused on studying cancer cells. “We had designed several estrogen-derivative molecules, and when we tested them in breast and ovarian cancer cells, the compounds actually killed the cancer cells. Together with Dr. [Ryan] Schneider, we were able to start to elucidate exactly how the compounds were working to kill the cells by running many separate tests,” Reiff explained.
After working on her project for three years, Reiff had gathered enough data and results to present the project at several local and statewide research venues, as well as at a national conference in Boston.
Reiff credits Dudley with helping her become a “collaborating researcher fully capable of thinking analytically and innovatively applying my research and techniques … His continual guidance, support and coaching has pushed me to exceed my academic and professional potential.”
She had equal praise for the other members of the faculty. “There is no doubt in my mind that the outstanding reputation of the UF College of Pharmacy and large network of pharmacy connections they possess has had a tremendous impact on my ability to form strong bonds and relationships with my pharmacy preceptors during clinical rotations and has helped me to make a good impression during pharmacy residency interviews this past year at various hospitals in Ohio.”
After graduation in May, Reiff will complete a Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) pharmacy residency at Blanchard Valley Hospital and then plans to pursue a position as a clinical pharmacist and eventually work in academia.