To Taylor Tran, a member of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Pharmacy Class of ‘16, receiving the 2016 Dean’s Leadership Award for the Amarillo campus was a bit surprising.
“To be honest, I am actually very reluctant to assume leadership roles,” Tran said. “It makes me uncomfortable to be in the spotlight and I worry that the decisions I make are the wrong ones. It takes a lot of courage to assume those positions, and I frequently describe myself as a right-hand woman. I get much more fulfillment out of doing an excellent job at whichever tasks I’m assigned by my team.”
During her four years of pharmacy school, Tran often found herself in team situations that required one of the members to provide direction so the group could complete their assigned task. If nobody else was able—or willing—to assume the mantle of leadership, Tran discovered she could set aside her reluctance and step up for the good of the group. Though she worried her decisions might lead the team astray, and she felt “overwhelming relief and satisfaction” when her role was complete, Tran was still able to repeat the process each time the opportunity arose. She said observing her classmates inspired her to do so.
“When I see those around me working with tenacity and determination, while having as much or more personal life activities and obligations, I find myself able to dig deep and work harder for their sake in an attempt to make their part of the project easier for them,” Tran explained.
During her time on the Amarillo campus, Tran also made an impression on faculty and staff with her willingness to tutor others. In fact, Christine Andrews from the Office of Student Services dubbed Tran and classmate Stacy Cox the Dynamic Duo for the way they teamed up to tutor their fellow pharmacy students. Tran credits Associate Professor Krystal Haase for providing support for the tutoring effort during the year.
“Without Dr. Haase, I don’t know that the idea of continuing tutoring into the spring semester would have fully formed,” Tran stressed. “She has always been a fantastic teacher who truly dedicates the time to understanding the learning process and she is one of my role models.”
Tran believes tutoring is important and she urges other students to get involved because everyone has skill and attributes that can contribute to another person’s learning process.
“Each person has unique talents that can benefit another, and in doing so you look outside of your own wants and needs,” Tran explained. “In the end, you gain not only a stronger foundation in your own knowledge base, but also fulfillment from helping someone else in theirs.”
Despite the demonstrated leadership skills and the selfless tutoring sessions, Tran still can’t believe she received the Dean’s Leadership Award.
“To be recognized for this is simply amazing, especially the honoring letter to my parents thanking them for helping me along this journey,” Tran said. “With this award, I feel like I’ve accomplished something truly meaningful if others have seen something in me that I didn’t see it in myself. I’m touched and honored that I was chosen for this.”
In nominating her colleague—and friend—for the award, Cox said Tran is very much deserving of a leadership award and she had no hesitation in suggesting Tran for the special recognition.
“The example Taylor shows others is one of humility, hard work, dedication and passion,” Cox asserted. “She will always be one of my heroes, and being able to see the things she accomplishes is truly inspiring.”