The University of Mississippi’s School of Pharmacy ranks among the top 25 in the nation . . . but what does that actually mean for students? In short: loads of leadership opportunities, mentoring in the laboratories, and first-rate academic training. Every year our faculty are recognized nationally for their outstanding commitment to quality teaching while at the same time they maintain internationally competitive research careers, securing millions in grant money for critical research projects. Our students’ five-year pass rate on the national licensure exam is 91.15 percent, which is higher than the national average, making our graduates highly sought after and their credentials impeccable. Students receive a variety of scholarships and research fellowships throughout their time with us, making our program a great value in addition to being high quality.

Join us for this month’s event to learn more about how our faculty are contributing to the fight to control COVID-19 and find out why the School of Pharmacy might be a great fit for you.



The Science of COVID-19: What We Know and Possibilities for Treatment

December 8th, 4:30 pm Central

How do COVID-19 infections establish themselves in the body? And what might be done to prevent infection? Dr. Joshua Sharp, faculty in our School of Pharmacy, joins us to discuss his research on a possible nasal preventative treatment for COVID-19 using intranasal heparin. The presentation will be followed by a Q &A with the School of Pharmacy for those who want to learn more about education and career pathways in this growing field.




Sunjay Chawla, our spotlight student

Sunjay Chawla

Q for question

With which Pre-College Programs have you been involved, either as a student or counselor? Please tell us what your role was and how many years of involvement you had.

During the summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I was fortunate enough to take part in the summer program offered by the Lott Leadership Institute on campus. From mid-June to the end of July, I took a political science and speech class on campus at Ole Miss.

& for and

Share with us one or two of your favorite memories of your time with Pre-College Programs. What stands out when you look back?

My favorite memory from my time in the Lott Leadership Program was easily our one-week trip to Washington D.C. at the end of our program’s tenure. A week in the nation’s capital with many of my close friends rendered immense excitement and memories to be made. Sightseeing throughout the city and meeting with Senator Lott were just two of the main highlights. It was our last opportunity to make memories as a group before we all headed our separate ways for senior year and college. What stood out to me the most was how close we had gotten over the program and the ease of traveling to a new city with new friends along with the joy that came from it.

What are you doing now academically or professionally?

Currently, I am a sophomore at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, majoring in Finance (Real Estate Specialization) with a minor in Sport Management. I am very involved on campus, something the confidence the Lott program instilled in me to do, as I am a member of Sigma Nu, Alpha Kappa Psi (business-fraternity), the Indian Student Association, Club Tennis, and various academic focused programs.

A for answer

What’s your next move after this one?

I am not too dead set on what my future holds. I plan to graduate in 2023 and potentially enter the world of Investment Banking or Private Equity. My true passion is the sports, so being able to tie in my finance knowledge with this passion will hopefully lead me to a career either tennis or golf related. I am also heavily considering law school to help me with the agent side of the sports business. Regardless, I am super excited to see how these next few years play out and where I land.

In what way has Pre-College Programs contributed to your success?

The Lott Leadership Program gave me confidence in ways that I carry with me everywhere I go. The ability to speak to large groups or interact and network with new and unique people is something I absolutely love doing and can attribute my success in both to that summer at Lott.

What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self?

Do not dread the future. Enjoy the present moment and make the most of it because stressing over future assignments or due dates, etc, will only impede from the personal enjoyment of the present day. Also, trust who you are and never question anything about yourself based on what those around you are doing. The world only gets bigger and influences only get worse. Set a strong moral base early in your life.

Any other important life news you'd like to share with us? (ex: a big move, reconnections with old friends from Summer College, finding the love of your life, new job offer)

I wish I had more to offer here haha, but life has just been good. Plenty of social and academic opportunities have come my way throughout college and I feel blessed each day as I get to take advantage of those. Still working on that love of my life part.



Preparing for college looks different depending on what year of high school you’re in. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or a senior, there are things you can be doing to make the transition easier. Here are some tips:

If you are a high school freshman:

  • Think about start getting more involved in extracurricular activities or join school groups next spring. Document what you’re doing with a resume!

If you are a high school sophomore:

  • Start looking for summer opportunities to volunteer, attend academic programs or leadership summits. Keep track of people you meet who might be able to write you recommendations later on.

If you are a high school junior:

  • Catch up with your guidance counselor to review your graduation plan and discuss your list of top colleges. Discuss how each school aligns with your personal and academic goals.

If you are a high school senior:

  • Plan to visit your top three schools of you haven't had the chance to do so. (Football weekends don't count!)
  • Get those transcripts, letters of recommendation, and test scores submitted! Be sure to give recommenders at least a month before deadlines.



StarTalk 2019 alum Ava Wilkes was selected to participate in the State Department’s NSLI-Y Chinese Mandarin program last summer and has a French essay forthcoming in the American Journal of French Studies.

Raúl Briseño Lavalley (Lott Leadership for Twelfth Graders, 2016) is currently pursuing a degree in Accounting and Finance at Tec de Monterrey and leading a group of undergraduates focused on organizing conferences aimed at supporting ground-breaking projects around Mexico.

Former StarTalk 2019 participant Jacob Raby was selected for the Ole Miss drumline and joined us on campus as a freshman this year.

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