The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is well represented on the Drake Women’s Basketball Team, as seven (7) of the 12 players on the team chose health sciences or pharmacy as their future career paths. Courtney Becker, Katie Dinnebier, Sarah Beth Gueldner, Ava Hawthorne, Ashley Iiams, Taylor McAuley, and Anna Miller must balance the rigor of pre-med, pre-health, pre-pharmacy, and pharmacy majors with their busy athletic schedules. These student-athletes have excelled at preparing for their next steps as healthcare professionals by navigating didactic courses and extensive experiential learning along with a rigorous practice and game schedule.  

Four of the seven student-athletes received Student-Scholar Team status and/or other athlete honors granted by the Missouri Valley Conference in 2023.

  • Anna Miller (health sciences): Scholar-Athlete Second Team, Sixth Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year 
  • Katie Dinnebier (pre-pharmacy): Honorable Mention Scholar-Athlete, All-Defensive Team, Third-Team All-MVC  
  • Sarah Beth Gueldner (health sciences): Scholar-Athlete First Team 
  • Courtney Becker (pharmacy): Honorable Mention Scholar-Athlete 
Drake Women's Basketball teammates Courtney Becker, Katie Dinnebier, Sarah Beth Gueldner, Ava Hawthorne, Ashley Iiams, Taylor McAuley, Anna Miller
Top row from left to right: Courtney Becker, Katie Dinnebier, Sarah Beth Gueldner
Bottom row from left to right: Ava Hawthorne, Ashley Iiams, Taylor McCauley, Anna Miller

Having seven Drake Women’s Basketball teammates with majors in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is promising given the future of health care. Overall employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is 8% faster than the average for all other occupations (5%). The rapid growth is expected to result in 2 million new jobs over the next 10 years, in addition to giving rise to 1.9 million openings to replace baby boomers and other retired healthcare professionals. 

Drake health sciences students have multiple opportunities to pursue professional goals with accelerated occupational growth over the next 10 years, including Nurse practitioner (40%), Physician Assistant (28%), Epidemiologist (28%), Medical and Health services managers (28%), Physical Therapist (17%), and Athletic Trainers (17%).  While a lower growth in change over that same time, thousands of openings are also expected each year in other professions like physician (23,800), pharmacy (13,000), occupational therapy (10,000), and nursing (203,000).  

“Being a part of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is an honor, and I am blessed to be included in this incredible organization,” said pre-pharmacy student Katie Dinnebier. “Balancing basketball and academics is a difficult task, but at Drake, we are surrounded by professors who care, an incredible support system, and people that truly want to see us succeed in our professional careers. I think that in order to balance school and basketball, it is important to manage your time and communicate well with the faculty and staff at Drake.”

“Balancing basketball with health sciences is not an easy task, but I have a lot of support to help me,” said health sciences student Anna Miller. “I rely on my advisor for assistance with many things- from academic planning to figuring out what extracurriculars would be most beneficial and worthy of my time for me to gain admission into medical school. Additionally, the professors are very flexible when I miss class for traveling, and they have been extremely accommodating with making up exams and missed content. I often block off time during my day for studying so that I can feel prepared for classes and exams.”