Meet our new Peer Academic Advisors

Meet our new Peer Academic Advisors

We are pleased to introduce our new Peer Academic Advisors (PAAs): Alex, Brian, and Dariush.

Our PAAs are here to help you plan out a successful career at UCI. As PharmSci majors themselves, our PAAs have experienced the challenges of selecting classes, managing time, and setting career goals. They have undergone a rigorous quarter long training followed by continued bi-monthly training throughout the academic year. When you come in for an advising session, you can rest assured knowing you are in the hands of UCI’s most knowledgeable and involved students. Our PAAs are here to assist you with:

  • Planning programs of study
  • Scheduling classes
  • Learning about majors and minors
  • Time management
  • Career and goal assessment
  • Research opportunities
  • Graduate school planning
  • Campus resource referrals
  • Campus involvement

Without further ado, meet are our PAAs:

Alex Shahverdian

What do you find exciting about pharmaceutical sciences today?

The idea that we are moving toward an integrated approach to health sciences is fascinating. The future UCI integrative health campus is just one example of institutions taking this route. I’m eager to see what discoveries in treatment are found as a product from this type of collaboration.

Why did you major in pharmaceutical sciences?

I’ve always wanted to understand how the medications we use in our lives interact with our bodies and how we achieve their desired effects. I knew pharmaceutical sciences was the perfect area of study to answer these questions and immediately took an interest.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

I plan on attending pharmacy school after UCI to get my PharmD.

Why did you want to be a PAA?

As a transfer student, I can understand how some students may need assistance in adjusting to the UCI lifestyle. That is why I wanted to do my part as a PAA by helping students feel as comfortable as possible at UCI.

Why should students come and see you?

Anytime a student has a question or concern regarding their academic career, no matter how big or small, they should always remember that our office is a valuable resource to help guide them toward success so we encourage students to utilize our services as much as possible.

What types of services/assistance can you provide students with?

In addition to helping students with questions about pharmacy school preparation and study routines, I also help run our department’s Transfer Track program which aims to assist transfer students make a smooth transition into UCI.


Brian Chen

What do you find exciting about pharmaceutical sciences today?

The pharmaceutical sciences are experiencing a sea of changes with the rise of technological advancements and healthcare reforms. What I find most exciting is that pharmacists today are becoming active leaders in patient care. I love the patient interaction that comes along with healthcare and am excited to one day be apart of it.

Why did you major in pharmaceutical sciences?

In all honesty, I chose pharmaceutical sciences out of sheer spontaneity. But as I progressed through the curriculum, I became extremely fascinated in pharmacology and how various molecules can affect the human body.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

After graduation, I hope to go to pharmacy school.

Why did you want to be a PAA?

I wanted to be a PAA to be that friend that people didn’t know they had, and also the friend that they needed in tougher times. I want to help my peers achieve whatever aspirations they have, and I want to give back to the department that has helped me grow as an individual.

Why should students come and see you?

Students should come and see me because of all the experiences I have gained throughout UCI. I have been in all the PharmSci organizations, worked at a pharmacy, and am currently applying to pharmacy schools.

What types of services/assistance can you provide students with?

I can help students plan out their pre-pharmacy schedule in order to meet pre-reqs for each school. I am able to help students with the PCAT and PharmCAS as well.


Dariush Bazyani

What do you find exciting about pharmaceutical sciences today?

I see the field as constantly evolving. It amazes me how one year a breakthrough therapy is released and how another breakthrough therapy can emerge shortly after. The potential in pharmaceutical sciences is virtually limitless.

Why did you major in pharmaceutical sciences?

I was always fascinated by how a tiny pill or fluid can have a drastic effect on another persons well being. The ability to construct an almost magical pill by combining all of the basic sciences is extremely exciting.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

I’d love to study medicine and experience more of life.

Why did you want to be a PAA?

I wanted to give back to UCI and the PharmSci community.

Why should students come and see you?

I have a great understanding of the resources and services that the university offers and I also know a thing or two about doing well in school. I’m also here to listen to your concerns when you need someone to talk to.