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Barber Receives Inaugural Purdum Scholarship for First-Generation Students

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Megan Barber, third-year student pharmacist, was awarded the inaugural Anna (Filippelli)  and James Purdum Family Endowed Pharmacy Scholarship. This scholarship recognizes third- or fourth-year student pharmacists within Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS) who are first-generation students. 

As a Drake student, Barber has maintained a high GPA and asserted herself as a leader in student organizations. She is the treasurer of Lambda Kappa Sigma (LKS), a professional pharmacy fraternity, is the treasurer/fundraising chair for the College’s chapter of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), and serves as the operation immunization chair of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA). Barber is also a member of the Student Society Development Advisory Group in the ASHP Pharmacy Student Forum. 

“I am so grateful to receive the Purdum Family Endowed Pharmacy Scholarship for first-generation college students,” said Barber. “Being a first-generation student can be a learning curve, but Drake and their alumni have given me ample opportunities to grow and learn as a student and future healthcare professional. This scholarship will allow me to invest in my pharmacy rotations experience and grow as a future pharmacist. Thank you to the Purdum family for their contribution to my education.” 

The Purdum Family Endowed Pharmacy Scholarship is funded with a generous gift from alum Anna (Filippelli) Purdum, PH’89, and her husband James. Purdum is the Senior Director of Health Economics and Outcomes Research at Kite Pharma in Santa Monica, California. 

“As the sixth of seven siblings growing up, I was acutely aware that I would need to find my own path forward with regards to any college aspirations,” said Purdum. “While neither of my parents are college graduates, both knew the value of an education and advocated for us to find our passions through subjects which energized us. Drake’s academic and other merit-based scholarships plus available Pell Grants made it possible for me to attend pharmacy school and launch my career as a pharmacist. For these reasons, I wanted to pay it forward to other first-generation pharmacy students–establishing this endowment as they complete their college endeavors while reducing financial barriers for them.”

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