Ryan Walker – Spotlight

March 8, 2023 0 comments admin Categories Alumni Spotlights, News
  • Class of 2002
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Healthcare Specialty Supervisor, Walgreens Boots Alliance
  • Pharmacy Alumni Association Council Member

When asked what do you like most about being a pharmacist, Ryan said,

“The thing I enjoy about being a community pharmacist (and community pharmacy) is that no 2 days have ever been the same in 20 years. Things are always fresh, and I am constantly challenged to learn and work smarter.” 

Ryan is a Healthcare Specialty Supervisor (Oklahoma, New Mexico and West Texas) with Walgreens Boots Alliance. He stated, “Healthcare is not easy, but it is incredibly rewarding. Be ready to adapt quickly to change, no matter where you find yourself practicing.” He graduated from Weatherford High School then attended the University of Tulsa. His sophomore year, he realized that he wanted to pursue a PharmD and transferred to SWOSU. During his time at SWOSU as a pharmacy student, he was involved in ASHP. Currently, he is a member of the Pharmacy Alumni Association Council as well as a Pharmacy Alumni Association Lifetime Member. Now he resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma with his wife, LaKrisa (also a SWOSU grad), son Julian, and daughters Noelia and Alora (as pictured). To learn more about Ryan, read the information below.

Hometown Weatherford
High School Weatherford
Current/Past involvement (memberships, committees, etc) with SWOSU and/or the College of Pharmacy (including Pharmacy Alumni Association or Pharmacy Foundation), since graduation SWOSU CoP Dean’s Advisory Council; SW Pharmacy Alumni Council Member; Lifetime Member of SW Pharmacy Alumni Association
Community/Civic Activities, Special Interests, etc. OK BoP Tech. Immunization Committee (2022), OKBoP Temperature Excursion Committee (2022), American Heart Association Eastern Oklahoma Leadership Board, American Diabetes Association past President and Chairman Eastern Oklahoma Leadership Board, Adjunct Faculty-University of Tulsa Oxley College of Health Sciences
What made you choose pharmacy as your degree? As a native of Weatherford, I was always familiar with the prestige of the SWOSU College of Pharmacy.  In addition, my sister, Dana, was an alumnus of SWOSU CoP and one of my good friends, Dusty Harms, was in the pharmacy program.  During my sophomore year at the University of Tulsa, I discovered that I enjoyed Chemistry far more than Biology, and at TU, the engineering majors were envied due to job placement and starting salaries.  One evening while studying for finals (at the computer lab), I read an article about the top earning majors upon graduation.  The only thing higher than engineering was pharmacy.  That week (Spring 1997), I decided that I would transfer in the Fall to SWOSU to pursue my Pharm.D. while saving a ton of tuition money.
What is the most interesting job you’ve had and why? During Summer in my undergraduate years, I worked for the City of Weatherford Water Department.  I don’t know that the job itself was that interesting; however, those Summers were invaluable in creating my ability to connect with people from different backgrounds.  I learned how to communicate with business professionals as well as blue collar employees.  I also learned a lot of “handy” skills in the process!
What do you like most about being a pharmacist? The thing I enjoy about being a community pharmacist (and community pharmacy) is that no 2 days have ever been the same in 20 years.  Things are always fresh, and I am constantly challenged to learn and work smarter.
Who is your favorite and/or most memorable pharmacy teacher, and why? This one is really tough, because so many of our professors are excellent.  My favorite class was definitely JP with Van Dusen. For whatever reason, law “clicked” for me in a way that some other things did not.  Dr. Van Dusen also made the class really interesting, which is hard to do with law!  
What is your best memory of your time at SWOSU? I never gave JC Cowboys enough credit…. it was truly one of the best roadhouses in America.  We had a lot of fun, celebrated a lot of successes, and shared a few sorrows through the years.
What is your funniest memory of your time at SWOSU? Our first semester was also Dr. Ramos’ first year at SWOSU.  Coming from Maryland, I don’t think he was informed about how tornado sirens worked and when those seasons occurred.  During class, there was some kind of siren noise outside of CPP building–  his lecture came to a halt as he anxiously walked to the windows and asked if a tornado was coming.
Where was your favorite place to study or hangout during pharmacy school? The pharmacy student lounge
What is the most important thing you learned in pharmacy school? Intense education on OTC drugs (Dr. Pray).  This skill is something that is used multiple times per day, and most patients (and providers) find a ton of value in pharmacists to help with these consultations.
What is one thing you know now you wish you knew in pharmacy school? The importance of being present with your family and loved ones.  During school, everything was hyper focused around studying and attending class.  I wish I would have spent more quality time with family during school.
What are your current hobbies/travels/activities? outdoor projects/landscaping, college football
Complete this sentence: “One thing you probably didn’t know about me is….” I was halfway to an Anthropology degree before deciding to attend SWOSU.
What is your proudest accomplishment since leaving SWOSU? Having the privilege of working with and hiring pharmacists in Eastern Oklahoma and NW Arkansas since 2006.  I love having this network of colleagues.
What advice would you give a current pharmacy student? Healthcare is not easy, but it is incredibly rewarding.  Be ready to adapt quickly to change, no matter where you find yourself practicing.
List family members that also graduated from SWOSU: LaKrisa Walker (spouse), Ronnie Walker (dad), Dana Berryhill (sister), Boone and Alyssa Walker (nephew and spouse)
List immediate family names: LaKrisa (wife), Julian (son), Noelia (daughter), Alora (daughter)

Posted: March 8, 2023