Lindsey Ahrens McCrary’s educational goals ultimately led her to pharmacy school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, but she always remembered that Russellville and Arkansas Tech University were where her story began.
So on Saturday, Dec. 17, she was back at John E. Tucker Coliseum in Russellville to participate in fall commencement ceremonies and receive her Bachelor of Science degree from Tech on the same day she became a Doctor of Pharmacy through UAMS.
Hers was among approximately 700 degrees conferred by Arkansas Tech upon graduates at the conclusion of the fall 2016 semester.
“I met my husband (Michael) right outside of the Ross Pendergraft Library, I was crowned Miss Arkansas Tech on the Witherspoon Auditorium stage and I learned what I was truly made of in McEver Hall,” said McCrary. “As I set foot on the ATU campus, I can’t help but feel such nostalgia and to feel right where I belong. To come back and walk across that stage to receive my diploma is to see a beautiful adventure come full circle.”
McCrary completed three years in the pre-professional pharmacy track at Tech before moving on to UAMS. As her graduation from pharmacy school drew near, she worked with faculty members in the Arkansas Tech College of Natural and Health Sciences to take the steps necessary to complete a degree audit and become a Tech graduate.
“From the life-long friendships that were formed to the education that I received, I can’t describe my experience (at Tech) as anything less than amazing,” said McCrary. “I was given multiple opportunities to be involved on campus, each of which helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. My experience at ATU is unforgettable and one that I will always hold dear to my heart.”
She points to the mentorship she received from Arkansas Tech faculty as one of the main factors in her success at pharmacy school.
“The professors (at Tech) are 100 percent dedicated to their students’ education,” said McCrary. “It’s because of several of them that I am where I am today. I was pushed and challenged to learn more than I ever thought possible. From working as a teaching assistant to doing undergraduate research, or even being involved in a pre-professional club, the opportunities that are offered through (the Arkansas Tech College of Natural and Health Sciences) are endless in helping prepare you for professional school.”
McCrary was so prepared that she was able to balance multiple life changes alongside her successful completion of pharmacy school. In addition to marrying Michael and moving to Malvern, she also became a mother when they welcomed Owen to the family in August 2014.
“Owen has brought so much joy to our lives, and he, along with his dad, have been my driving forces to cross the finish line,” said McCrary. “I also can’t say enough how much I appreciate my parents, Dwane and Anita Ahrens. They have always offered me unfailing love and support. The balance of life with pharmacy school wasn’t always easy, but it most certainly was worth it.”
With her Arkansas Tech University and UAMS degrees in hand, McCrary is prepared to pay forward the opportunities she has received.
“My biggest goal is to impact the lives of others through my career,” said McCrary. “I want to give back to the community what has been sewn into me. Pharmacists have a unique opportunity to help others as one of the most accessible health care professionals. All it takes is one moment of sincerity and kindness to change the course of someone’s day.”