Brian D.

Graduate Recipient

"Describe an achievement or rewarding experience that you are most proud of accomplishing while living with CF, and how it has molded the person you have become."

I would love to say that I have scaled Mount Everest, swam the English Channel, or rode in a barrel down Niagara Falls, but thus far my achievements have fallen closer to home and a bit less extensive. In my life I have won awards, been the president of clubs, taken lead roles in plays, and played on varsity sports teams. These are all events that I am very proud of but the one accomplishment I take the most pride in is finishing my first three professional years of pharmacy school and beginning my clinical rotations.

This may not seem to be much of an accomplishment as compared to the above mentioned ones, but to me this is my greatest achievement. School has been part of my life for nearly all my life. It has helped to mold me into a well-rounded individual by teaching me perseverance and dedication. These two traits have been the most important when dealing not only with school, but also with CF. I have taken exams with central lines and on oxygen in order to achieve my goal of becoming a pharmacist who will give back to those who are in need of medication therapy much like I am, helping them to live their lives like me, unrestrained by disease. You could say my greatest achievement is being like everyone else. When I walk in graduation to receive my PharmD it will be something special; I will be just that, like everyone else.


Brian D.'s Artwork


This poem, like my personality, is all about looking at things with a positive spin and taking life as it comes. Each stanza begins with a different concept of filling but the poem ultimately ends with fulfilled and the concept of being able to achieve everything we strive. The last line imitates what many hear as they finish a pulmonary function test and take a deep breath in. This signifies the end of a trial and this poem but also serves to prepare the individual for another round, refilled and ready to go yet again at whatever life brings.

Brian D.'s Achievements

  • Dean's List (Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Fall 2013)
  • Knights of Columbus Duquesne University Council 10812 (2009 – Present), Recorder (2011 – 2012), Dept. Grand Knight (2012 – 2013), Greek Carnival Chair and Participant (2009 – 2013)
  • UPMC Shadyside Hospital, Pharmacy Intern (2010 – Present), Medication Safety Intern (2012 – 2013), READ Initiative Intern (2012), ER Medication Reconciliation Intern (2012 – 2014), Ez797 Intern (2014)
  • Phi Delta Chi Professional Pharmacy Fraternity (2011 – Present), Worthy Vice Councilor (2012 – 2013), The Ralph L. Saroyan Brotherhood Award Runner Up (2011 – 2102), Window Display Board Report Author, Presenter, and Committee Chair (2013)
  • National Community Pharmacy Association (2011-present), Treasurer (2013 – 2014), Business Plan Competition Team (2013)
  • American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Academy of Student Pharmacists, State Pharmacy Association Student Chapter (2011 – Present)
  • Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association (2012-present), Alleghany County Pharmacy Association Delegate (2013-2015), Pharmacy Legislative Day- met with legislators to discuss and lobby for Pharmacy Related Bills in the PA House and Senate
  • Duquesne University George M. Puskar Endowed Scholarship Recipient
  • Helping to Educate and Rehabilitate Together (H.E.A.R.T.) (2012 – Present)