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Graduate Spotlight: Holt follows calling to serve others in pursuit of pharmacy degree

May College of Pharmacy graduate perseveres to accomplish her dream of becoming a community pharmacist.

Kim Chaudoin | 

Jalicia Holt

From a very young age Jalicia Holt felt a call to help others. 

Her visits as a child to a pharmacy in her hometown of Dickson, Tennessee, left an indelible mark on Holt’s heart that inspired a passion to serve others in that way. In May, she will be one step closer to achieving that lifelong dream when she graduates from Lipscomb University with a Doctorate of Pharmacy

“I was inspired to pursue a Pharm.D. degree because I knew my calling was to work in a setting that helped people,” she recalls. “As a young child, I remember visiting a local independent pharmacy and deciding that was the career I wanted. The pharmacist at the pharmacy was kind and always willing to help when we visited the location. I felt a pharmacy career would be the best way to spread my love and joy to patients.”

Holt’s journey to this milestone has been marked by challenges and triumphs, marking the culmination of years of hard work and perseverance. 

She began her undergraduate studies at Lipscomb University and completed a year then transferred to Austin Peay State University, where she completed two years. Holt ultimately graduated from Nashville State Community College with an Associate of Science degree focused on pre-pharmacy. When looking for a university at which to pursue her doctoral studies, Lipscomb emerged as a place Holt found more than just an academic institution. 

“I did not choose Lipscomb, but instead I believe Lipscomb chose me,” she shares. “I love the fact that Lipscomb is a Christian school. The best part about Lipscomb is that you don’t just gain classmates and faculty, but you gain a new family that will love and support you along the way.”

Holt embarked on her Pharm.D. studies in Lipscomb’s College of Pharmacy in the fall of 2019. She faced several twists and turns along the way. With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, she had to quickly adapt to learning from home. In fall 2021, she was hospitalized for three months due to complications from Covid. This set her back a year in the program and forced her “out of the comfort” of her original cohort. But Holt was determined to keep her eyes on her goal.

In fall 2022 Holt was able to return to the program and pick up where she left off, but this time with the class of 2024 cohort. “This gave me a chance to grow with another cohort and to gain a better understanding of compassion and grace,” she reflects.

“After my Covid experience, my eyes were opened to life and what it really means. This journey has taught me lessons to better me for my future career,” continues Holt. “The experience in Lipscomb's College of Pharmacy has been an adapting type of journey from the beginning.” 

Throughout her time as a student pharmacist, Holt has been actively involved in various organizations and activities, including APhA, PDC, and PLS. She has participated in Bison Flu Fests, health fairs and other community outreach initiatives, embodying Lipscomb's commitment to service and excellence.

As she prepares to walk across the stage and receive her diploma, Holt is filled with gratitude and humility. "Because of God's grace and mercy and the people I have encountered during this journey, I am graduating from this program," she acknowledges.

Holt is quick to credit the entire faculty of Lipscomb's College of Pharmacy for their unwavering support and inspiration throughout her academic journey. Their encouragement and guidance have played a significant role in her success.

Looking ahead to life beyond graduation, Holt says she is excited to begin her career in a community pharmacy, where she hopes to continue spreading love and kindness to everyone she encounters. 

Reflecting on her journey she offers a message of hope and encouragement to others. 

“Even though my journey was not picture perfect, I was able to finish,” says Holt proudly. “I gained more strength going through the challenges of this journey rather than having no challenges at all.  I would like people to know it is not how you start your journey, but it is how you finish it.”

Learn more about the Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy.