Ben Barlock ’15

  • Hometown: Portland, Maine
  • Major/Minor: B.S.P.S./Biology
  • Graduation Year: 2015

Why did you choose URI?
I was accepted into Pharm.D. programs at other schools. After visiting them all, I felt much more at home at URI—and I was willing to come here even though I did not get into the Pharm.D. program. The campus was exactly what I was looking for and not too far from home. With such a good Pharm.D. program at URI, I knew that being part of the College of Pharmacy in in the B.S.P.S. program would give me a great education.
Why did you choose the BSPS program?
I originally applied for the Pharm.D. program but was accepted into the B.S.P.S. program instead. At the time, I had no idea that the program existed, and I planned to switch into the Pharm.D. program after a couple of years. But in those first couple of years, I learned I really loved the research side of pharmaceutics and decided to stick with B.S.P.S. rather than try to move into Pharm.D. I do not regret that decision one bit.
What has been the best part of your studies in the College of Pharmacy?
The best part is the lab work I have been able to do. I’ve really enjoyed getting the hands-on experience that will help me in applying for graduate school. Working with and getting to know professors and graduate students has made the Pharmacy Building feel like home to me. A lot of professors know me by name and I feel extremely comfortable going to them for help or to just talk about my future. I don’t feel like each day is just another day. I really enjoy going to class and look forward to what I will be able to learn in the next lab or class.
What has been the best part of your entire URI experience?
URI has provided me with a huge number of learning opportunities to help prepare me for the future. The electives we can take in the B.S.P.S. program are extremely interesting, and being able to work with different professors in the lab has been really helpful. I have gained so much knowledge I know would not have been possible if I had gone to any other school.
What do you consider the biggest strengths of your major or program?
I think the biggest strength of my program is how well we are being prepared for our future. I have had multiple opportunities to get the experience that I will need in order to get into graduate school and get a good job. Also the classes teach us exactly what we need to know and allow us to apply that knowledge to the laboratory setting. Everything we have learned in B.S.P.S. has been extremely beneficial and has provided us with the foundation we need to succeed.
What kind of internships, experiential learning opportunities, or real-life experiences have you had?
I have done lab work with both Dr. Kovoor and Dr. Akhlaghi. Spring semester I worked in Dr. Kovoor’s lab along with his graduate students Joe Schrader and Chris Octeau. I was able to learn a lot of techniques from them that have and will continue to benefit me in my studies. This past summer I worked for Dr. Akhlaghi along with her graduate students Enoch Cobbina, Sravani Adusumalli, and Mwlod Ghareeb. I was able to apply what I had previously learned in Dr. Kovoor’s lab, along with some self-teaching and help from the graduate students, to accomplish everything that was asked of me.
What has surprised you most about URI?
I never expected I would find going to my classes so much fun—that going to my classes would be something I actually wanted to do rather than something I had to do in order to succeed. Before going to college I never thought that I would like my major so much and that these four years would fly by so quickly just like everyone warned me.