“Having my daughter and I obtain doctorates at the same time is a seminal moment,” says Maumi Villarreal. She and her husband, Daniel, are both first generation college graduates and have modeled a college education to their daughters — Sarah and Chelsea. “Our parents are very proud of us,” says Villarreal.
Villarreal passed on her love of pharmacy to her eldest daughter, when Sarah would help her mom at the local ASHP meetings.
“When she was young, I’d take her to the meetings and she’d help check people in and sign them up for membership,” recounts Villarreal. “It was the ultimate ‘Take Your Daughter to Work Day’, and I had no idea that that type of exposure might set her on a similar path.” Sarah graduated with a PharmD in 2010 from Texas Tech.
Maumi graduated in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and has been a working pharmacist ever since — holding several positions including as a faculty member at Texas Tech and director of pharmacy at a hospital. She decided to return to school to obtain her PharmD through CU’s North American Trained PharmD program (NTPD) when she took a Medical Liaison position with Novo Nordisk, Inc., in 2011. “They supported me greatly with their tuition assistance program,” says Villarreal. But the support she received from her daughter was really what helped this seasoned pharmacist complete the PharmD program while working full-time. “Sarah talked me off the ledge a few times when I thought I couldn’t go on. She knew I could do it,” says Villarreal.
While Maumi was earning her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Sarah was earning her PhD from the University of Texas College of Pharmacy (UT). Both mother and daughter graduated with doctorate degrees in May — from two separate programs. Instead of walking at UT, Sarah decided to share her mother’s accomplishment by hooding her during the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Commencement ceremony.
Check out the video of the event https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI79Yv0fwBE&feature=youtu.be