HFC graduates excel in WSU’s competitive pharmacy program
Photo: Nour Baalbaki in her white pharmacy coat.
A remarkable 27 and 25 percent of the last two incoming pharmacy classes at Wayne State University are students who studied at Henry Ford College before transferring to Wayne State University’s renowned Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
HFC-to-Wayne State was the path graduate student Nour Baalbaki chose when she was graduating from high school in her native Ivory Coast. Baalbaki received her associate degree in biology from HFC in 2014, and her bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food science from Wayne State two years later.
Planning to study in the United States as some family members had done, Baalbaki, of Dearborn Heights, enrolled at HFC where she could earn general education credits while assimilating to a new environment and education system.
Her HFC advisors immediately told her about undergraduate transfer agreements with Wayne State, which she found immensely helpful.
“Every semester, I registered according to their guidance, which kept me on track to transfer while earning my associate degree,” said Baalbaki.
HFC provides the foundation
At Wayne State, Baalbaki's solid HFC foundation prepared her for studies in nutrition and food science. While pursuing her bachelor’s degree, advisors continued to offer her individualized attention.
When it came time to apply to a pharmacy program, Baalbaki applied to the Applebaum School because of the numerous research opportunities for students and the cultural diversity on the Detroit-based campus.
She is currently interning in the pharmacy at Beaumont Hospital Grosse Pointe. Baalbaki also supports the work of Associate Professor Dr. Paul Kilgore, director of research at Applebaum, who is conducting research on shingles and vaccination against the disease.
Baalbaki, a peer mentor for second-year student pharmacists, is active in the Rho Chi pharmaceutical honor society, Fighting AIDS with Nutrition student organization, and the Arab American Pharmacist Association (AAPA).
The path to a professorship
On track to receive her PharmD in 2020, Baalbaki’s studies focus on pharmacology and diabetes. Her Ph.D. mentor is Distinguished Professor Anjaneyulu Kowluru, with whom she will work on a project related to Metformin and pancreatic beta cells. She intends to pursue a career in teaching and research after completing her doctorate.
“Nour is an outstanding who is poised for great things in her future,” said Kilgore. “She’s hard-working, conscientious, pays great attention to detail, and has a very high sense of responsibility. She’s also developed strong leadership skills over the years that will benefit her in her future career.”