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Lauren Samford

Fourth-year pharmacy student

Lauren Samford, a fourth-year pharmacy student from Montgomery, is the latest in a long line of Samfords to graduate from Auburn University. Her great, great, great grandfather was William J. Samford, Alabama's 31st governor and the namesake for Samford Hall. Lauren spent this past year completing a pharmacy rotation in Huntsville in order to graduate May 10. She plans to move to Chapel Hill, N.C., for a one-year post-graduate pharmacy residency at the University of North Carolina Hospitals and Clinics. Lauren has been recognized through the years on the Plains for her leadership and scholastic achievement in the Harrison School of Pharmacy. This year, she was honored as the representative of the school to earn the President's Award. Outside of the classroom, Lauren has been involved with professional pharmacy organizations, as well as Student Development Board, SGA Big Event, Delta Gamma and Grace Campus Ministries. She also helped during the "It Begins at Auburn" fundraising campaign.

1. Samford Hall, perhaps the most iconic building on campus, is named for your great, great, great grandfather William J. Samford. Did you feel any pressure to attend Auburn University where the Samford name is so prominent?

Surprisingly, no. My family encouraged me to consider numerous universities and to find the best fit. But after choosing Auburn, the history between my family and Auburn definitely enhanced my Auburn experience. In addition to William J. Samford's legacy, my grandfather Thomas D. Samford III served as general counsel and his cousin, W. James Samford Jr., served as a member of the Board of Trustees. My parents and several aunts, uncles and cousins also attended Auburn. I am grateful that I have been able to follow in each of their footsteps by serving Auburn and the surrounding community in my own small way.

2. In the course of your time at Auburn, you have been involved in a number of organizations within the Harrison School of Pharmacy. How do you manage to devote so much time outside the classroom and keep up with the challenging course work of a pharmacy student?

Balance has always been very important to me. Involvement in pharmacy organizations is essential for becoming a well-rounded professional and provides valuable time to get to know other students and faculty members at Auburn, as well as throughout the country. In order to maintain this balance, I worked hard to manage my time, learned to prioritize and sacrificed a little sleep when necessary. One way or another, everything always got done.

3. You spent five weeks in Kenya last fall for an international rotation. How did that experience help you in the study of pharmacy?

The time I spent in Kenya provided an invaluable opportunity to apply my pharmacy knowledge in a unique and challenging environment. More importantly, I was able to work alongside some incredible doctors, nurses, pharmacists and non-health care volunteers from both the U.S. and Kenya to provide high-quality medical care to people with no other options. I also learned how to ensure safe and effective medication use in a setting with limited resources. You can learn more about the work that Kenya Relief is doing for the people of Western Kenya at

4. You were recognized with a number of honors in the Harrison School of Pharmacy (HSOP) last year for leadership and scholastic achievement, and this year, you were selected as the HSOP student to receive a President's Award. What do these honors mean to you?

My primary goal throughout school has simply been to do my best. These honors have affirmed that I achieved that goal during pharmacy school. Because I know of many other deserving pharmacy students, I was extremely honored to be selected for these awards and appreciate the people who considered me for them.

5. You've spent seven years on campus. What advice would you give a first-year pharmacy student?

Work hard. Get involved. Don't forget to sleep. Get to know people who are different from you. Maintain some work/life balance. Take breaks when you need to. Explore Auburn outside of the pharmacy school. Go to football games. Learn the alma mater. Take time to give back.

May 2, 2011