Meet Jaden Spring 2022 Campus Ambassador

Jaden Richardson is a junior at the University of Hartford studying biology and pre- pharmacy. He graduated from Freeport high school in NY in 2019.

While writing this piece, I stopped to reflect on what keeps me going and why I wanted to be a part of the medical field, specifically pharmacy. Being the oldest of three and the protector of my little brothers, compassion and my constant desire to help others was almost innate .

Growing up, my first dream job was definitely to be an astronaut. The thought of space’s vastness and striving tounlock its limitless bounds was something that always intrigued me. Similarly to my fascination with space, the unknown aspects of the study of medicine and biological sciences is what mostly intrigues me about the field.

In the third grade is where my big shift from astronomy to my love of medicine came to fruition. My third-grade teacher at the time was a person who took the study of animals very seriously. The class at the time had a turtle named Benji. Benji was a very interesting turtle in that he had a large abscess on the side of his face. Throughout the school year, all my classmates would take turns feeding him and giving him his medicine. Now, at the time none of us knew what the medicine was for but we still willingly gave it to him in order to help .This was a pivotal point for me in that it subconsciously made me more interested in different types of treatments out there andtheir effects on living things. My turn came towards the end of the year and the week I was feeding him, his infection was almost completely gone. The whole class cheered and I was seen to be the hero of the year for saving Benji. From then on, I knew I wanted to work with medicine and save others like Benji. This way of playing doctor evencontinued at home and to this day. When anyone in my family gets sick, I’m the first one everyone goes to for help.

As my education furthered, my love for science continued to grow. I took more science classes in order to learn as much as I could and it became like an obsession to me. Being as competitive as I am, in high school I began taking part in science fairs and outside research. This influenced my decision to come to college in hope thatI can continue my passion.

Currently, I am an undergraduate junior at the University of Hartford as a biology, pre-pharmacy major.The deciding factor for me in going this route was when I had a

conversation with a family member who is recently new to the field. His overall passion for the impact he was making on his patients on a daily basis inspired me to want the same career. I’ve envisioned working in a hospitalbecause that’s where I believe some of the best work is done in this field.

Therefore, as an aspiring pharmacist, something I hope to accomplish or gain out of this career path is totruly impact people’s lives through medicine and science.

-Written by Jaden Richardson

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Published by Britt Knight PhD, Director

I received my PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Connecticut. My doctoral research focused on basic mechanisms in peripheral inflammatory pain biology. After, I completed about two years of postdoctoral research understanding how biomaterials can be used to deliver analgesics for treating musculoskeletal pain I transitioned to the Program Coordinator position for the United States Association for the Study of Pain (USASP). I am also the regional Director of CT Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

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