Pairing pharmaceutical science and psychology degrees helps BSPS student decide career path

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September 19, 2022

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College of Pharmacy Student Spotlight: Christina Himes, BSPS Class of 2023

The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy is shining a spotlight on students throughout the year. Meet Christina Himes, a fourth-year Bachelor of Science of Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) student from Columbus, Ohio.

Himes is a double major in pharmaceutical sciences and psychology that pairs her educational experiences to guide her future career.

Why did you decide to pursue a BSPS along with a degree in psychology?

I always knew that I wanted to do something in health care because I love the science and patient care aspect of the entire field, but I didn’t necessarily want to be a physician or nurse. I went to a few different Ohio State information sessions and attended one on the BSPS program and decided to give it a try. I enrolled in the Early Assurance Program (EAP) – having guaranteed admission into the Doctor of Pharmacy program appealed to me.

I am glad I picked it because the College of Pharmacy has a really good program. Despite Ohio State having a big campus, the college is more tight-knit, which I appreciate.

The psychology degree came about because I have always had an interest in behavioral health. When I was a BSPS major originally, I took an intro psychology course and added the major because I loved it so much. Since then, I have found ways to combine the two interests. Christina Himes with fellow club members rock climbing

What are your plans after graduation? 

I am still deciding but I think being a psychiatric pharmacist or working on a hospital floor for behavioral health would be interesting. I have considered working with adolescents with substance abuse disorders.

What extracurriculars are you involved in?

I have worked as a research assistant in the MINDSET Lab for the past two years under Jasmeet Hayes, PhD, associate professor, and Sarah Prieto, graduate student, from the Department of Psychology. The lab studies the effects of traumatic brain injury and psychological stress on the human brain. Specifically, I have helped write a research paper examining the impact of chronic and traumatic stress, including discrimination, on metrics of cognitive health.

As far as pharmacy goes, I recently completed a pharmacy technician experience at Medication Management Program (MMP). To prevent burnout, I have joined a women’s empowerment fitness group on campus called “CHAARG,” and I am a wellness ambassador at a local yoga studio.Christina Himes with fellow club members

How have these experiences enriched your time at Ohio State?

Through my research experience, I have learned the right way to conduct research and my scientific writing has improved a lot. Since I am around a lot of other students and faculty members, I learned about other pathways I could take after graduation. Connecting with different people was helpful to figure out what I wanted to do.

My pharmacy technician experience has also enriched my time here. I was able to solidify what I learned in class through my job. I was able to network with professionals in the pharmacy field. I continue to keep in touch with those pharmacists which has further allowed me to see what opportunities exist.

Do you have any advice for incoming students?

Know that is okay if you do not know exactly what you want to do after graduation. I am still not 100% sure but I believe I am on the right path. It’s important to try new things and be open to different experiences because they will help you to figure things out as you go.

Get to know the people you work and study with. Networking is important because you never know how others will affect your perspectives and help you in the future.