Biology program helped prepare alumna Allison Wright for career in pharmacy
#myJourney -- A wise trustee and a look at the campus was all it took to convince Allison Catoe Wright that Anderson University was the place for her.
"One of my teachers in high school was on the board and he encouraged me to visit," says Wright, a 2009 biology graduate of AU. "The campus was beautiful and all the faculty I talked to were very friendly."
That teacher at Carolina Christian Academy in Lancaster, S.C., was Dr. W. Todd Morris. Morris, who passed away in 2012, served three stints as an Anderson University trustee between 2000-11.
Wright liked the size of AU's campus and came away from Morris' suggested visit with a feeling that she "could really get to know" her professors. It set her on a path that now has her serving as pharmacy manager at Walgreens in Hartsville, S.C.
After earning a bachelor's degree from AU, Wright received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Wingate University in 2013 and served as a pharmacist floater at multiple Walgreens locations before landing in Hartsville. She credits tough classes at AU such as biochemistry and anatomy and physiology that helped prepare her for an advanced degree and, ultimately, her career.
"It was very helpful," she says. "I felt like I had a good foundation. I definitely felt prepared."
AU was also where Wright became interested in a career in pharmacy.
"It was probably my sophomore year," she says. "A pharmacist came and spoke to us. I really liked what he had to say. I started volunteering at the Anderson Free Clinic pharmacy and I really liked that."
Wright says she also grew spiritually while at AU.
"I had a good, encouraging group of friends, and there were so many organizations on campus," she says. "It helped me build a good foundation so I'm not afraid to share my beliefs with people.
"It's also where I met my husband."
Adam Wright is pastor at Beaver Creek Baptist Church in Heath Springs, S.C. Adam received his bachelor's degree in Christian theology from Anderson University and the couple resides in Heath Springs, just a few miles away from where Allison grew up in Kershaw.
Wright says she continues to stay in touch with friends from her days at AU. She has also been a return visitor to campus.
"I've been a few times because my sister graduated (last) year," she says.
Kelly Catoe received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from AU. She is in her first year as a kindergarten teacher at Bethune Elementary, which sits about halfway between Kershaw and Hartsville.
Hartsville is "a nice little town," Wright says, and for now her main career focus is simply "trying to hang on and learn the pharmacy manager job."