My dad’s a pharmacist, and my mom’s a nurse, so health care is what I was born into. When I was little, my dad would bring me into the pharmacy while he was working and I loved it. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to become a pharmacist. All these years later, my dad is going to do the hooding ceremony for me at graduation. That’s going to be a very special moment. 

I applied to the U after high school because it was a top 10 pharmacy school in the nation at the time and I thought it would increase my chances to get in if I went there for my undergrad. I became involved in Health Sciences LEAP, a program for underrepresented students in health sciences. That was huge for me. That’s how I met Dr. Mario Alburges for what was supposed to be one semester of research, but I ended up working with him in the lab for over three years. Initially, I had no idea what I was doing, but I was there early, I stayed late, and I think he recognized and appreciated that. He took the time to mentor me, not just in what we were doing in the lab, but in my professional development and in life. He’s been there since I was an undergrad and throughout pharmacy school. It’s special for me that he can see that the investment he made in me paid off.


I will give back to LEAP for the rest of my life. I came to this big university on my own with this goal, and not really sure how to accomplish it. LEAP gives you a direction, and they opened doors. If you work hard, stay focused and take advantage of the program’s opportunities, the sky is the limit and you can really accomplish anything.

Nathaniel Cordova, Class of 2018, doctorate of pharmacy. He will soon begin an Acute Care Pharmacy Residency in Orlando, Florida

We’ll be featuring Humans of the U and sharing their stories throughout the year with the university community. If you know someone with a compelling story, let us know at