Katie Miller Sanders ’11 chose Shenandoah University because it felt like the place she was meant to be. “I wanted a place that valued me as an individual and wanted to see me succeed in a path and way that was uniquely my own,” said Sanders. And, she believes that Shenandoah does just that.
“Shenandoah is a place where you can grow, learn, and think creatively,” said Sanders. You can craft your own path and have experiences that span the globe. Shenandoah allows you to do and be whatever your mind can dream up and with the caring support you would expect of a family!”
Sanders loved the experience she received at Shenandoah so much that she never left. She is the director of admissions and a lecturer of pharmacy practice for Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy. Prior to her current position, she served as an adjunct professor for the School of Pharmacy.
“Shenandoah became my ‘pharmily’ and with current circumstances this has become so important to me,” said Sanders. “I am so proud to say that I get to give this same experience to my students today!”
During her time at Shenandoah, Sanders has developed an elective course called Community Pharmacy Management, spearheaded the Student Ambassador Program, revamped and now advises the Shenandoah Pre-Pharmacy Society, and serves on the School of Pharmacy’s Dean’s Advisory Board and its Technology Committee as well. She received the Shenandoah University Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate Award in 2011, and most recently was awarded the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to the University. She has also served on the Shenandoah University Alumni Association Board of Directors.
The most rewarding part of being the pharmacy school’s director of admissions for Sanders is seeing the success of the students she has recruited into the program. “I felt no greater pride than watching my very first class ‘virtually’ graduate,” said Sanders. “They persevered through unimaginable circumstances with COVID-19 to finish their degree and did it with grace and patience. I am so proud of each and every one of them and am thrilled to call them colleagues and fellow alumni.”
In addition to her positions at Shenandoah, Sanders also works as a pharmacist for Walgreens where the best part of her job is the moments of breakthrough with her patients, whether it is success in their health journey or getting them approved for a product that will change their life.
Sanders’ Shenandoah education prepared her for her career by giving her the knowledge and skills to interact with patients on a daily basis with competence, empathy and compassion. And, she tries to emulate these same skills to prospective students during recruitment and in the classroom.
Sanders’s advice to students is: “To dream big! What can you offer that will change healthcare for the better? Pharmacists have played an important role in the fight against COVID-19 and we must continue to show our value within the healthcare team. Never be afraid to care too much!”
Written by Harley Ryan ’16
Assistant Director of Donor & Alumni Relations