Alumni Profile: Carolynn Harris
Recent alumna, Carolynn Harris, earned her Masters of Science in Regulatory Science from the UMB School of Pharmacy in 2017. She is now the Lead Regulatory Specialist at the University of Maryland Marlene & Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC), where she and her team of regulatory specialists oversee over 200 clinical trials in various states of activation. Below, she shares her advice, experience, and career story.
How did your experience at UMB help you find your first position after graduating? What has your career path been like?
The program helped to broaden my understanding of the development of drugs and biologics, the mechanism of action, as well as the pre-approval process of drugs and biologics.
After being a stay at home mom for several years, I returned to the workforce as an Office Assistant with Staffing & Career Services, UMB’s HR department. Based on previous training, I later obtained a position as a study coordinator with department of pathology as part of a case control trial (screening/interviewing, collection of blood and urine samples). This position allowed me to move further into the field of clinical trials, where I was able to further my knowledge and skills of clinical trials (study coordination and regulatory compliance).
Additionally, while working full-time, I completed my undergraduate degree from UMBC (a longtime goal). I decided to take the next step and pursued a Masters in Regulatory Science degree. While working full-time, I completed the program and graduated May 2017 from the UMB School of Pharmacy.
What do you like most about your job?
Though I no longer work directly with patients, my position as a regulatory specialist plays a vital role in making available to patients some of the most innovative oncology clinical trials for new drugs and biologics. Knowing that I was able to play a small part in having these trials available to patients with otherwise limited available options for therapy has been very rewarding.
What is one piece of advice that you have for current graduate students?
If you desire to complete your education of higher learning, it is more than possible to do so. Pursue your goal until completion.