Image of a test tube with liquid being poured into a beaker.

Kristen’s Bio

  • Major: Pharmacy
  • Hometown: Cheektowaga, New York

It all started with migraine headaches.

Singing with the all-female a cappella group, the Royal Pitches.

Singing with the Royal Pitches, UB’s all-female a cappella group.

As far back as sixth grade, Kristen Mazurkiewicz has tried to find a way to deal with their debilitating pain. Eventually, her journey led her to the University at Buffalo.

“I always tell my mom, ‘I’m becoming a pharmacist so I can change the world,’” said Kristen. “How that is going to work, I don’t know.”

But she’s off to a good start. Whether collaborating with Habitat for Humanity as part of her Honors Colloquium, reformatting computers for Buffalo Public School kids, or lending a hand in a campaign aiming to stomp out domestic violence by performing at awareness events with the Royal Pitches, an all-female a cappella group at UB, Kristen is already making an impact locally. But she’s thinking bigger.

“These teachers, they take the subject they teach, and they put it everywhere in your world.”

A pharmacy major pursuing a combined degree – a doctorate in pharmacy and an MBA – Kristen got her first research experience before she even took her first class, getting matched up with a professor for lab work in the summer before her freshman year. Now she’s continuing to learn about the latest in medications, conducting research on iron metabolism in the body, and exploring natural remedies and how other cultures deal with various infirmities. All of which could lead Kristen to one day travel the globe and realize her dream of making an impact on the world.

“The big thing I want to do to change the world is go to a Third World country and do something different for them,” Kristen said. “My World History teacher, Dr. Henry Sussman, suggested I go to China or India to study the medicine that they do there, so that if I’m practicing, I can say, ‘This might work for you, but in some cultures, this plant works instead.’”

“You can change the world with so little. You just have to know what the little is.”

Last updated: March 13, 2014 11:09 am EST