Dr. Rachel Naida '13
Paying it Forward to Celebrate and Inspire Students
Dr. Rachel Naida is an assistant clinical professor at the University of New England College of Pharmacy, a graduate of the inaugural class of '13, and is also a white coat sponsor, reminding her students of the strong community of alumni, parents, and professionals who support them.
Originally from Raymond, Maine, Rachel always knew that she was interested in the health professions. “I wasn’t sure what area to focus on, but I knew that the University of New England really was the place to be when it came to the health professions. I had worked as a technician in a pharmacy so when UNE opened the College of Pharmacy, it made sense for me to apply. As the first inaugural class, we developed strong relationships with each other well as with the faculty and staff, which fostered that nice family feel that still exists today.”
Upon graduating, Rachel went on to do a residency with the VA Maine Healthcare System. “The VA Maine Healthcare System is extremely progressive in its pharmacy practice. The pharmacists have prescribing authority and there are many different pharmacy-run clinics within the VA. I trained in the Anticoagulation Clinic (ACC), the Diabetes Clinic, and the Hepatitis C Clinic, and after completing my residency, I was hired to work there as a clinical pharmacy specialist.”
In 2015, after a year and a half running the Hepatitis C Clinic at the VA Maine Healthcare System, opportunity knocked. “I always knew I wanted to get into academia, but thought I’d need to wait five to ten years to do so. I know that positions in academia do not come up frequently, so when the job opening at UNE was advertised, I knew I needed to take the plunge and apply.”
“My UNE education has taken me across the world, and today enables me to apply my knowledge, experience, and skills as I help to prepare the next generation of pharmacists here at UNE. I am enormously proud of our students and all they accomplish in the four years they are with us, and it is a tremendous privilege to work with them as they achieve their goals. As a member of faculty, I’m proud that our college takes great pride in the individualized attention afforded to each student. I’m also proud that many of our faculty, including myself, recognize and honor our students by being white coat sponsors. For me, sponsoring a white coat lets students know that I am recognizing them, that I am proud of them, and that I support them in their profession. It shows that I am invested in them, and I think helping them both in the classroom and by sponsoring a white coat, is a fantastic way to pay it forward, as well as celebrate and inspire our students.”