Hometown Pride

Kendra White
Photos and video by Brandon Parigo; interview by Stacy Downs; graphics by Sarah Richardson | Strategic Marketing and Communications

Pharmacy student graduating from the first class of Springfield campus

The 2018 commencement is an exciting one for this self-described full-of-grit mom of three young sons. It means she will get to be a pharmacist, an opportunity that wouldn’t be available to her and her 30 classmates if UMKC hadn’t struck an unusual partnership with Missouri State University to fill critical healthcare needs in rural areas of the state. Watch a video and read a Q & A to learn more.

Kendra White, ’18
Doctor of Pharmacy
School: School of Pharmacy
Hometown: Marionville, Missouri



Why did you choose UMKC?

I chose it because of the satellite UMKC pharmacy campus at Missouri State University in Springfield. It was an easy commute for me and I didn’t have to uproot my family to pursue my goals.

>Read more about the inaugural graduating class of the UMKC School of Pharmacy at Missouri State University in Springfield.




Why did you choose pharmacy?

I had been a pharmacy technician for a long time but was limited in the health-care services I could provide to the community.

I have realized what I am capable of and the impact I can have in patient lives and the healthcare field. It’s inspiring when patients compliment and thank you for your part in helping them with their pharmaceutical needs and healthcare goals.



Tell us about the job you already have lined up after graduation.

It’s at HomeTown Pharmacy in Mount Vernon, Missouri, which isn’t too far from my home in Republic, Missouri. It’s funny, but I worked there 20 years ago when I started as a pharmacy technician so I’ve come full circle.



Before having kids, why was attending school in the southwest Missouri area important to you?

I love this area and its landscape and outdoor activities. I also didn’t want to be far from family. I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from Missouri State University.



What was the UMKC pharmacy program like in Springfield?

The small class size of the Springfield campus — 31 in our class and about the same number in each of the subsequent classes — has been a benefit. We are a pretty close group and work together well, learning from one another and building off each others’ strengths.

Retaining information throughout the program and being able to retrieve that knowledge for future classes and experiences was challenging.



What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?

Don’t waste your jelly beans, and don’t waste others’ jelly beans. Dr. Wombwell showed us a video “The Time You Have in Jelly Beans,” that put life into perspective. The point was to be aware of your time, especially your free time. Invest less time worrying and wasting your time and invest your time in something you love, and make it worth it, because what if it was your last day, what would you do with your time?



What do you admire most about UMKC?

I admire the faculty and staff at the UMKC School of Pharmacy Springfield campus. They are invested in the students, driven and determined to help us and the new campus succeed.  They were always available to offer advice, give feedback and build our confidence. They focus on developing a well-rounded pharmacist, with many skills, not just academic excellence.



Since entering the Pharm.D. program at UMKC, what have you learned about yourself?

I have learned that nothing is impossible. If you are determined and driven, you can accomplish more than you ever dreamed of.


From across the country and around the world, our students come together in Kansas City to study business, medicine, theatre and more than 100 other academic areas. Roos become leaders in their fields and give back to their communities.

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