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2020 Graduates: Five Standout Students Flipping Their Tassel

Thousands of UArizona students are graduating this week, including several standouts who studied at Health Sciences, now looking at much brighter futures.
Five graduating students who studied at Health Sciences colleges or centers: (from left) Jeffrey A. Asman, Meucci Ilunga, Victor Miranda, Samantha Dando, Erik Ceron.

2020 Graduates: Five Standout Students Flipping Their Tassel

It’s graduation week, and with it comes a unique story for each University of Arizona and UArizona Health Sciences student embarking on the next step of their journey. Among those thousands of stories are five who represent the promise of a next-generation Health Sciences education in new and distinct ways.

Two of these graduates have completed new degree programs at Health Sciences.

Erik Ceron is the first to graduate from the College of Medicine – Tucson with an emergency medical services degree. He’s also already working in the profession as a firefighter/paramedic at the Sonoita-Elgin Fire District. He switched majors to study in the new degree program.

Samantha Dando is among the first class to earn a Bachelor of Science in pharmaceutical sciences at the College of Pharmacy, and plans to use the experience to propel her into her next degree. She says the bachelor’s degree is useful to more than just aspiring pharmacists.

Another student is marking the end of his education to prepare for a second career. Jeffrey Asman left a business career to study for his Doctor of Pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy. He expects to begin his career in a community pharmacy.

At two Health Sciences research centers, undergraduate students who came from small communities in Arizona received mentorship and inspiration to pursue additional opportunities in higher education.

Meucci Watchman Ilunga conducted research at the UArizona Cancer Center, which has inspired him to apply for PhD programs. He plans to carry his Navajo Nation upbringing to his science.

Victor Miranda’s experience working in a lab at the Center for Innovation in Brain Science set him on a path to Harvard’s prestigious chemical biology program. “I loved every minute of it,” he said.

Congratulations to the University of Arizona Health Sciences Class of 2020!