Arts & Academia

Prof Bugewa Apampa: Being A Pharmacist Is More Than Learning About Drugs

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Bugewa Omawumi Apampa is a professor of Pharmacy Education at the University of Sussex and the former Director of Pharmacy Development.

At the time she was promoted to become a professor, she was one of 18 black female university professors in the United Kingdom.

Prof Apampa obtained her first-class honours degree in pharmacy from the University of Benin, Nigeria. She relocated to the United Kingdom in 1983 to pursue a master’s degree in Pharmacy at the University of Manchester. After her Master’s, she finished her PhD at the University of Manchester with a thesis titled ‘The Biological and Pharmacological effects of Interleukin-1ß’.

Prof Apampa joined the University of Sussex in 2016 as the Director of Pharmacy Development and was saddled with the responsibility of setting up the pharmacy degree programme. While at Sussex, she was included in the ‘Twelve Women in Academia’ exhibition, an event held to celebrate women working hard and making an impact in the sector.

“Being a pharmacist is more than learning about drugs; interaction with patients is just as important. You have to be committed to caring about the person who is in need of pharmaceutical care,” she says. “You need to be aware of the impact you can have on those who are unwell or who have long-term health conditions. That’s how I am, and it’s what I encourage my students to be.”

Prof Bugewa is often described as an inspirational and understanding leader, and she has a genuine interest in creating a work culture that promotes habits of excellence and motivates people. This requires an ability to listen and formulate decisions in an emotionally intelligent manner.

As an academic enthusiast, she is passionately devoted to the transformational impact of Higher Education, centred on an ethos of employability, with its ability to raise people, families and their communities out of poverty.

Engaging students as co-creators of modern and creative strategies of learning and curricula content serves as an effective motivator for transforming lives, especially the lives of students who may be first-generation scholars or have followed a non-traditional route to higher education or are disadvantaged in any way. According to her, “the power of a sense of belonging, role modelling and identity cannot be underestimated.”

Bugewa Apampa is committed to making a difference in the academic sector as she genuinely believes in the transformational power Higher Education carries and the numerous positive impact it can have in the lives of individuals, their families, communities and the wider population.

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