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Pharmacy grad promoted equity and diversity within program

Posted by Dal Health Communications on June 6, 2023 in News, College of Pharmacy
Richard Popoola was the Co-President of the Dalhousie Student Pharmacy Equity and Inclusion Committee
Richard Popoola was the Co-President of the Dalhousie Student Pharmacy Equity and Inclusion Committee

Congratulations to all of our Dal Health Class of 2023! To celebrate Spring Convocation, we chatted with students from across Dal Health. Richard Popoola is graduating from the College of Pharmacy with a Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy).

Convation Q&A: Richard Popoola

  • Pronouns: he/him
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy)
  • Where you’re from: I was born in Nigeria but moved to Canada in 2016 with my family as permanent residents

How significant is it for you to receive this degree?

It is extremely significant to receive this as it allows me to begin the next chapter of my life where I can begin practicing providing the best care to folks after so many years of study. Being able to be part of the work force in our current climate is also a big significance.

What were the highlights of your degree?

There were so many. One was the adjustment to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was unprecedented and somehow, we as individuals and a class were able to push through it.

I think the members of the Pharmacy Class of 2023 must be the biggest highlight of my degree. Folks I met going through this program have become my closest friends for life. We went through so many ups and down together as a class, but we were also able to support each other together as a class. I will miss all my peers and want to take this opportunity to wish the Class of 2023 my best wishes and best of luck in their future endeavours.

What will you miss about your time at Dal?

A small part of me is going to miss the late nights studying with friends at the library. I am going to miss a lot of friends and members of faculty that I might not see ever again after spending a lot of time learning from them. Most of all, I am really going to miss the life of being a university student especially at Dalhousie.

What was your journey to Dal and to this program?

My journey to Dalhousie started with my parents immigrating back to Halifax, Nova Scotia. I was just done with high school. I decided to go to Dalhousie because it was going to be close to home for me. I initially wanted to pursue a degree in Maths and Biochemistry, but I decided to switch over as I began to learn more about the profession of pharmacy. I decided to apply and got in and here we are now graduating. The journey was filled with lows and high, but I am very grateful to my family and friends who supported me.   

What topics/research/work did you become passionate about during your education?

I am very passionate about the health equity and diversity with goals of improving diversity and inclusion to provide culturally competent care to all patients I come across. I have always had this passion and I found being a member at the Dalhousie College of Pharmacy allowed me to be in an environment that amplified this passion. I was a member of the Dalhousie Student Pharmacy Equity and Inclusion Committee from my first year and I am leaving as Co-President of the committee. We worked extensively with the college to promote themes of Equity and Inclusion not just internally but externally with events like our Annual Race against Racism with the goal of gathering donations for organizations who provide healthcare to the less privileged in our society.

Mental Health and Substance use Disorders are also key passions of mine. During my time in Pharmacy School, I was able to work in a pharmacy who goals were to alleviate the effects of these concepts on our society, and I plan to continue working to improve the status of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in our society.

What’s next for you?

I am excited to be doing a pharmacy residency at the IWK Health in Nova Scotia after graduation. This was very exciting for me as I believe it is an environment that would allow me to pursue my existing passions while learning more with the opportunity of further professional development.