Ivory Coast native, Henry Ford transfer Nour Baalbaki finds success in pharmacy program

This story originally appeared on the Office of International Programs website. 

Nour BaalbakiA remarkable 27 and 25 percent of the last two incoming pharmacy classes at Wayne State University are students who originally started at Henry Ford College before transferring to WSU and being accepted into the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

HFC to WSU was the path grad student Nour Baalbaki, who received her associate degree in biology in 2014 and bachelor’s in 2016, chose when she was graduating from high school in her native Ivory Coast. Planning to study in the U.S. as some family members had done, she took their advice and enrolled at HFC where she could earn general education credits at a lower tuition rate while assimilating to a new environment and education system.

She says her HFC advisors immediately told her about undergraduate transfer agreements with Wayne State, which was immensely helpful.

“Every semester I registered according to a list they gave me to keep me on track for transferring credits while earning my associate degree,” she says.

When she arrived at WSU, she had a solid foundation that prepared her for her studies in nutrition and food science. As she was pursuing her bachelor’s degree, advisors continued to offer individualized attention.

When it came time to apply to a pharmacy program, Baalbaki says, she didn’t see any reason to apply anywhere else but to the Applebaum College at Wayne State because of the research opportunities for students and the cultural diversity on campus.

Living with family in Dearborn Heights, she commutes to Detroit for class and to her internship in the pharmacy of Beaumont Hospital Grosse Pointe. From home, Baalbaki supports the work of Assistant Professor Paul Kilgore, director of research in Applebaum, who is conducting research on shingles and vaccination against the disease.

Baalbaki, a peer mentor for second-year student pharmacists, is active in the Rho Chi pharmaceutical honor society, Fighting AIDS with Nutrition student organization and the Arab American Pharmacist Association.

On track to receive her PharmD in 2020, Baalbaki’s studies focus on pharmacology and diabetes. Her Ph.D. mentor is Distinguished Professor Anjaneyulu Kowluru, with whom she will work on a project related to Metformin and pancreatic beta cells. She intends to pursue a career in teaching and research.

The Office of International Programs leads Wayne State’s global engagement by creating opportunities that foster international education and research, facilitate the exchange of individuals and ideas that promote global competencies and citizenship, and provide resources that support the expansion of the university’s global agenda. Follow them on Twitter @WayneOIP.

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