Kaitlyn Rule ’19  |   Published February 16, 2016

Head of his class

Kevin Askew ’11 excels at University of Illinois Pharmacy School
  • Kevin Askew ’11 graduates as valedictorian from the University of Illinois Pharmacy School
Four years after graduating summa cum laude from Monmouth College, Kevin Askew ’11 has earned another degree with honors, graduating as valedictorian from the University of Illinois Pharmacy School.
  Having accepted an offer with Cardinal Health, Askew practices as a clinical pharmacist at Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services in Gibson City, Ill. He will create a clinical pharmacist position within physician clinics in the healthcare system that will allow Askew to see patients individually and assist other physicians, assistants and nurse practitioners in the management of chronic diseases. He also plans to take student pharmacists on rotations to create a good learning environment where the students can better transition from the classroom to patient care.   For the latter task, he will draw on his experiences at Monmouth College, where he was a tutor and teaching assistant in his major of biology, as well as in the chemistry department. He furthered his teaching skills at the U of I, where he assisted his pharmacy classmates having questions after lectures.   “My time spent tutoring at Monmouth gave me an insight into how to explain something in multiple ways in order to help someone understand a topic,” he said.   “Kevin was one of the most motivated students I’ve seen in a long time, and he’s the example of how hard work and perseverance really do pay off,” said Monmouth biology lab manager Kathy Mainz. “He was always ready to work, ready to study and ready to pull his colleagues along with him. If I ever had to go back to the science building later at night, I would see him there studying, along with some of his friends. He was the leader of that group. He was the one who got the other guys to come with him.”   In addition to his role of helping others at Monmouth, Askew was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the American Chemical Society and two honor societies, Mortar Board and Beta Beta Beta. During his free time, he volunteered at OSF Holy Family Medical Center, carrying meals to patients.   Before coming to Monmouth, Askew was undecided about which medical field career path he wanted to follow and considered teaching, but after a nudge from Mainz, he began shadowing physical therapists, physicians and pharmacists. Through his research into a variety of health career professions and with the help of his professors, he decided on pharmacy school.   “I believe that all of my experiences at Monmouth College, collectively, helped to shape me into the person I am today,” Askew said. “My time here prepared me for the rest of my life. It helped me find my passion in pharmacy and find a profession that allows me to have an impact on others’ lives.”   Asked to “tutor” today’s students at Monmouth, Askew did not hesitate.   “Shadow as many different professions as possible,” he said. “I didn’t have pharmacy in mind when I came to Monmouth, but now I’ve found a path for life.”
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