Student Spotlight: Zion Brannon
A sophomore in the Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences program from Grayson, Ga., Zion Brannon is a stellar example of a student who has benefitted from the College’s recruitment and advising efforts. Zion shared her College of Pharmacy experience, her favorite aspect of UGA, and her plans for a dynamic future.
Why did you choose Pharmaceutical Sciences as your major?
I always liked science. In the 5th grade, my science fair project was about E. coli and how it responds to man-made vs. natural antibiotics! Seriously, I am a “practical application” sort of person. I like knowing that what I am doing will have real-world implications. When I considered UGA, I liked the fact that Pharmaceutical Science had its own niche. It is not a typical major. It will help and support humankind for the long-haul.
What are your future career goals and aspirations?
My answer is somewhat involved! Currently, I am on the BS/MS track in Pharmaceutical Sciences. I am a McNair Scholar, which is a Ph.D. prep program for underrepresented, undergraduate students. Right now I conduct research on malaria drugs, but ultimately I want to conduct research on Alopecia-Areata, a disease that affected my younger brother and isn’t commonly studied. I believe that people’s quality of care shouldn’t be determined by the quantity of individuals affected by the disease.
However, I have a plan for an after-school venture as well! I have always been passionate about music. I would like to start a music school program in an underserved community. Financial and cultural barriers often prevent people from pursuing music, but I think it is an important part of the success equation, and I want to provide students quality access to it. So, along with my BS/MS track in Pharmaceutical Sciences, I am getting a minor in music and business!
How has your advising experience been at the College of Pharmacy?
I chose UGA because it was a liberal arts university with numerous options. Dr. Pruitt solidified that vision. As soon as I met Dr. Pruitt, we just clicked. He took a personal interest in me and kept me centered and grounded. His calm, common-sense, open-minded demeanor allowed me to have a smooth transition into my college experience. When I told him how conflicted I was about science vs. music, Dr. Pruitt made me realize I could do it all. He made me understand that I can pursue all of my passions here.
What’s your favorite aspect about UGA and the College of Pharmacy?
The BSPS program is more personalized. The opportunities are better, because the program is smaller. In addition, UGA is structured so that I am allowed to pursue both of my passions: music and science. I can’t be put in a box – so I am so happy that UGA has allowed me to pursue both.
How are you involved at UGA?
I am involved in three choirs: the African-American Choral Ensemble, in which I serve as secretary; the Women’s Glee Club; and the Repertory Singers. In addition, I am active in my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated, in which I serve as chaplain, community service chair, and economic development chair. I am also the Alumni Relations chair for Georgia Daze.