HCC student excels in pharmacy technician program


(Release: July 31, 2013) - Hagerstown Community College student Annie Dillon, of Montgomery Village, Md., recently graduated in HCC’s pharmacy technician program. She was named the outstanding pharmacy technician graduate at the May 2013 commencement ceremony due to her hard work, dedication, and persistence in pursuit of her education.

Dillon, who is deaf, came to HCC after receiving her bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. According to Dillon, she was looking for a career that provided a stable job outlook. She chose HCC because it was one of only two community colleges in the state of Maryland that offered an accredited pharmacy technician program.   

“I never dreamed of becoming a pharmacy technician until I was 26 years old,” said Dillon. “But I didn’t let my deafness stop me. It took courage and determination to get where I am, but I knew I wanted to work in the pharmacy field and become a licensed pharmacist one day.”

During her time at HCC, Dillon interned at numerous internship sites including Potomac Pharmatech and Meritus Medical Center. Dillon says that her HCC instructors, classmates, and the internship site staff members were very supportive.

“First, there was one-on-one tutoring with Dr. Elaine Ashby, which was very helpful,” said Dillion, “[There were also] sign language interpreters who were available to me whenever I needed them. And the rotation of internship [sites] gave me professional, hands-on experience.”

Elaine Ashby, professor and coordinator of HCC’s pharmacy technician and pre-pharmacy programs, says that she is extremely proud of Dillon and her success in the program.

“Annie has been a star in HCC’s pharmacy technician program,” said Ashby. “She finished her certificate in two semesters, which is really fast for a three-semester program, and all of her preceptors have great things to say about her. We are extremely optimistic about Annie’s career as a pharmacy technician.”

Dillon’s internship site supervisors agree.

“We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Annie during her internship period at Potomac Pharmatech,” said pharmacist Jonathan Boyer. “She was very professional and quick to learn a pharmacy technicians’ role in the long-term care setting.  Annie would make a great addition to any pharmacy staff.”

Libby Brown, a pharmacy technician at Meritus Medical Center said that it was a pleasure to work with Dillon. “She has an overwhelming presence and a wonderful sense of humor and is such a smart, hard worker. I feel blessed to have met her.”

Dillon’s future plans include taking additional math, science, and humanities courses before enrolling in the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.

To learn more about HCC’s pharmacy programs, visit www.hagerstowncc.edu/pharmacy.