By JEFF KLEIN
Published May 11, 2023
Tammie Lee Demler has seen UB from all sides: as an undergraduate, a graduate student twice over, and now as a faculty member. Small wonder the annual commencement ceremony holds special meaning for her.
“I can be very nostalgic, remembering exactly how I felt all three times that I walked this stage when I got my degrees,” says Demler, who serves as director of the Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency Program, adjunct clinical professor in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and adjunct clinical associate professor in the Department of Medicine in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “And now, watching as a faculty member, the students that I'm working with doing the same thing and being able to have that pride is my favorite thing.”
Demler sat down with UBNow to talk about her UB experience and the True Blue pride it’s engendered. She says she decided on a career in pharmacy in high school and made it her goal to attend UB, a “top school in the nation” for her chosen field. She got in, earned her undergraduate degree and, after a stint as a community pharmacist, returned to earn a doctorate, which she called “one of the best rewarding experiences ever” and led her to her current position teaching psychiatric pharmacotherapy at the university.
Meanwhile, Demler says, “I knew I wanted to pursue management.” So she earned an MBA from UB, which led to two other current posts: psychiatric pharmacy residency director for the New York State Office of Mental Health and director of pharmacy services at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.
“My time at UB was this channeling of growth and a journey,” she says. “I started as a student, not really knowing what university life would be like. But the day-to-day life experiences building friendships with people from all over the world was incredibly important, and being able to experience the diversity I hadn’t experienced at that point was very enriching to me. I was able to see the world in a more global way.”
Now, Demler gets to reflect on that with each graduation ceremony she attends. And not solely as a faculty member, but maybe — who knows? — as a student once again.
“I don’t think I’m done yet,” she says with a laugh. “I might go back for more.”