Valerie Glodowski, Member of College of Pharmacy’s Inaugural Class, Sees Star Rising

College of Pharmacy Alumni Profile

by Julian Zeng

The principle of Occam’s razor explains that the simplest explanation to an occurrence tends to be the correct one. Ask any given working professional how they ended up in their chosen position, though, and you are bound to encounter myriad branching storylines that contradict this very philosophy.

For Valerie Glodowski, however, her career path could indeed best be epitomized by the above principle: “I was always drawn to health care, so that’s what I pretty much did.”

That may be oversimplifying it. Glodowski, 34, was intrigued by the prospect of becoming an orthopedic surgeon growing up, but balked at the amount of schooling required. She narrowed her path to pharmacy and dove in headfirst.

After earning her bachelor’s at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, and her MBA from Kaplan University in Milwaukee, Glodowski discovered Roosevelt University’s new (at the time) College of Pharmacy, which drew her in with its accelerated three-year degree track and small class sizes. She became part of its inaugural graduating class and graduated with her Doctor of Pharmacy in 2014, carving out a legacy of talented pharmacists who have bolstered the college’s impressive job placement numbers. (Per student performance data from 2017, the College of Pharmacy enjoyed a 98 percent employment rate.)

“She stood out in the class with her mature approach to learning. She digested the material differently and asked really insightful questions,” said Melissa Hogan, dean of the College of Pharmacy.

“She stood out in the class with her mature approach to learning. She digested the material differently and asked really insightful questions.”

– Melissa Hogan
Dean , College of Pharmacy

The College of Pharmacy was aided by Glodowski’s intermittent feedback of how to improve and best serve its students. “I wanted to be in that first class,” Glodowski said. “I wanted to make it stable, to be a part of its history.” Glodowski helped pioneer the launch of a Kappa Psi Fraternity on campus, which hosted community fundraisers and volunteering events, and became involved in starting an American Pharmacists Association chapter.

Glodowski was a standout in the classroom, too, earning straight As in her six advanced practice experiences. When she was placed at the CVS Pharmacy in Schaumburg, her competence was evident to her boss at the time, who offered her an internship position. Glodowski showed some hesitation about working while in school, but was encouraged by Hogan to jump at the opportunity. Fast-forward to today, and Glodowski is currently pharmacy manager at the CVS in Appleton, Wisconsin, the highest-volume store in its district.

Glodowski has goals to become a full-time district leader and later a regional director. For her outstanding performance and longstanding tenure with the company, she was awarded the CVS Paragon Award in 2016. She owes much of this success to Hogan and Roosevelt.

“Doctor Hogan has been my role model and mentor. I really dedicate a lot of my success to her, because she’s a very strong-willed, independent, great leader in this business,” Glodowski said. “She’s somebody who will not let you fail. And she helps you impact other people. She’s a perfect face for that school.”

Outside of the classroom, Glodowski attributes much of her inherent motivation to her parents, her major support system. “They’ve been the backbone of my career. They help me challenge myself to be better through the ability to continually impact people’s lives on a daily basis for the betterment of their health,” she said. “Without them I wouldn’t be who I am today and have the strong passion to improve the lives of others.”

“She’s very passionate about what she does, helping others. She’s a real team player and does a great job leading by example,” said Charles O’Hagan, pharmacy manager in Neenah, Wisconsin. “It’s very unique and I don’t encounter that often.” As manager of the second-busiest store in the Fox Valley District, O’Hagan said some friendly competition helps motivate them to perform their best.

“I’ve never met a more motivated person than her. She is continuously and tirelessly working toward new goals. Her mentorship has fundamentally changed the route of my life.”

– Brandon Wolberg (PharmD, ’22)
Concordia University Wisconsin

In the meantime, Glodowski has also become a mentor to budding pharmacists such as Brandon Wolberg, continuing the cycle of providing expertise that she picked up while a Roosevelt student.

“I’ve never met a more motivated person than her. She is continuously and tirelessly working toward new goals,” said Wolberg, a Class of 2022 PharmD candidate at Concordia University Wisconsin. “Her mentorship has fundamentally changed the route of my life, as I would certainly not be on track to be a pharmacist if it wasn’t for her recognizing and convincing me to utilize my potential. Her knowledge and guidance are almost solely responsible for my own future success, and I’ll owe her for that forever.”

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