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National Alumni Society Member

Tommy_Babaktis_photoName: Tommy Babakitis, PharmD. 
Degree and Graduation Year: BS in Biology, 2003
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
Current town: Birmingham, AL
Current employer and job: UAB Hospital

Why are you proud to be a UAB Blazer? I believe UAB is an excellent university as well as a world renowned healthcare provider for the state of Alabama.

What made you choose UAB? I wanted to stay close to home and play football for the Blazers.

What are your hobbies/what do you like to do in your free time? I play rugby for the Birmingham men’s club and I’ve been able to travel to cities across the country, playing in tournaments and games. 

Why did you decide on your career? After graduating with a degree in biology, I knew I wanted to work in the medical field. Pharmacy appealed to me because of the various career options within the field and the ability to provide patient care. 

How has UAB changed since you graduated? UAB has continued to expand the campus and will hopefully do so with a campus stadium.

What’s your favorite quote? “When you lose say little. When you win say less.”

What was your first job? (This can be when you were a child or teens.) I work as a summer camp counselor at YMCA.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Graduating from pharmacy school and completion of my residency.

Out of your college experiences, what was your favorite UAB memory? The great times I had and relationships I built while playing football at UAB.

What was the last book you read? Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

What do you like best about your job? I really enjoying working in the hospital setting and interacting with patients.

What are your pet peeves? When people think pharmacists just count by 5.

Have you ever won a trophy? Our rugby team recently won the Alabama State Festival rugby Championship.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be? Good Times.

If you had a time machine and could only select one year to relive, what year would you travel to? I wouldn’t mind going back to the beginning of my senior year at UAB in 2002.

What’s the greatest invention in your lifetime and why? The internet has changed the world.

Who would you want to portray you in a movie about your life? I’m going to go with Robert Downey Jr. because someone told me we look similar.

Student Alumni Society Member

CAS_SAS_memberName:   Khawla Suhaila
Year:   Freshman (class standing: sophomore)
Major:  Biology  
Hometown:  Auburn, AL

Why are you proud to be a UAB Blazer? I like being a UAB student because of the diverse student body and ample opportunities available for hands-on experiences in the field I would like to pursue, as well as the many events and organizations.

Why did you choose UAB?  I chose UAB because it’s well-known for the field I wanted to enter as a student and for a career. It has several different opportunities for me to explore within the field that I enjoy. It was also fairly close to home, which was a comfort to both my parents and me. I also looked for a more diverse student body and new environment since it is a bigger city.

What are your hobbies/what do you like to do in your free time?  I don’t really have any regular hobbies that I partake in during my free time. However, I love doing community service and spend most of time doing so. If not, I’m usually in meetings for different organizations or attending some campus events. I do enjoy cooking up random, original items from time-to-time, as well as travelling. I also love to try new things, from languages to hands-on experiences.

What are your future goals?  My goal is to go medical school and become a surgeon. While I would like to work at a hospital in the states, I hope to frequently work with Doctors without Borders and be a part in helping to provide basic, quality medical care to less fortunate areas both domestically and internationally.

Who is the best professor that you have had so far and why?  The professor’s class who I enjoyed best was probably Dr. Patterson’s, for General Chemistry. I really appreciated the fact that he took the time to slowly go over the material and tried to make sure that all students grasped. He also seemed to genuinely enjoy the subject matter and teaching students. It’s really important for me to have teachers who love their subject and teaching it.

What’s your favorite event at UAB?  One of my favorite events at UAB would have to be Into the Streets for the day of service.

Have you ever won a trophy?  I won a small trophy while I was in elementary school, for a year-round competition that involved completing the most and scoring the highest on math worksheets. It was to help encourage students to do regular math and improve in their skills.

What’s the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?  Probably the greatest and most relevant invention in my lifetime would be smartphones. While most people associate phones with teens and young adults texting and on Facebook excessively, it has definitely revolutionized how we communicate. While there are arguments for and against smartphones, they have definitely made communicating with others quicker and more convenient for everyday scheduling and official business.

What’s your favorite study spot on campus?  I study best when I’m in my dorm room at my desk. Being at home makes it less stressful and being at my desk makes me more focused. But when studying with a group of people, I definitely prefer one of the study rooms at Sterne library.

What would be your dream job?  My dream career would be to be a surgeon in a hospital that is well known for its quality, compassionate care as well as regularly providing affordable, quality care around the world through Doctors without Borders and/or other non-profit organization(s).