Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Kotzebue until high school when I went to Mt. Edgecumbe High School. After that, I went to Missoula, Montana for college and ended up transferring to UAF after 1.5 years out of state. I then returned to Missoula for pharmacy school in 2011. I graduated from Pharmacy School this May and came back to Kotzebue. I enjoy berry picking, hiking, camping, fishing, and learning new languages.
What is your Inupiaq name? Naŋmak, after my grandmother’s late sister, Mae (Tuzroyluk) Jacobson.
What is your role at Maniilaq Association? I am currently the Village Pharmacist but I will soon be rotating to Outpatient Pharmacy and Inpatient Pharmacy.
What made you want to pursue pharmacy? Growing up, my neighbor was the Chief of Pharmacy and she inspired me because she was so nice and caring. My parents told me that I have been saying “I want to be a pharmacist” since the age of 9.
Why did you decide to return to Kotzebue after graduation? I decided to return home because this is where I grew up. I learned some of my most important life lessons in Kotzebue. There are a lot of amazing people in this region and it is nice to be back.
What piece of advice would you give to someone thinking about pursuing pharmacy? Don’t give up. I encountered numerous hurdles during my college career and many times I felt like quitting. One of my most difficult times was when I had my son during 3rd year of Pharmacy School. I had a lot of sleepless nights but I knew it would be worth it in the end. I like the quote: “This too, shall pass.” ~unknown
What do you enjoy most about your job? I enjoy working with all of the people in the villages and helping to improve patient care. We have a unique healthcare system and I’m excited to be a part of it.