“After graduating from a private high school, I found that Ramapo College was an ideal fit for me due to its smaller class sizes, warm faculty, focused learning, and advanced course offerings in the School of Theoretical and Applied Science (TAS). When I started my studies at Ramapo, I chose to major in biology as I was initially focused on pursuing coursework that would be applicable to dental school. However, while working at my father’s dental practice throughout high school and college, I eventually found that this was not the direction that I wanted for my career. As a result, I decided to declare a chemistry minor while simultaneously enrolling into the Business Essentials Certificate program. The knowledge instilled as part of this program was perfect for helping scientific-minded students acclimate to the professional world, and was instrumental to my success in the future.
Words cannot express how appreciative I am for the TAS staff who helped me achieve my personal goals while at Ramapo, and for setting me up for success in the professional world. Every professor was passionate about the subject matter, looked out for their students’ best interests, and was available if additional one-on-one time was needed. I will never forget my conversation with Dr. Saiff, Dean of School of TAS, who helped adjust my coursework, and supported my aspirations to graduate in three years with a B.A. in Biology, Minor in Chemistry, and a Business Essentials Certificate. As I took Bioinformatics with Dr. Bagga, I found that I was very interested in big-data and information technology.
After I graduated in May 2010, Dr. Bagga contacted a few of his students in June for a job opportunity at a multinational pharmaceutical company. While we did not have many details, I decided to jump on the opportunity (I later learned the opportunity was at Pfizer). In August 2010, I was hired as a contractor at Pfizer through Kelly Scientific, and was assigned to the Vaccine R&D group performing Opsonophagocytic and Serum Bactericidal Assays. By 2012, I was converted into a full-time employee by Pfizer as a senior associate scientist, with an emphasis on assay data, information systems, and clinical scheduling coordination. By 2015, I was ready for the next phase of my career, and accepted a position within the Research Informatics team in Vaccine R&D to leverage my expertise in both science and information systems.
Five years later, I advanced to become the senior manager of Informatics Operations and Support, when our team was phased with one of the largest challenges to ever face Pfizer. The pandemic had just started to grip the world, and Pfizer had undertaken the task of coming out with a COVID-19 vaccine in record-breaking time. This effort was unprecedented, but all of our hard work and dedication bore fruit when Pfizer became the first company to receive Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for a COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020.
I cannot express my gratitude enough to the Ramapo College TAS faculty for giving me the tools and skillsets to get me to where I am today, and for always caring about their students’ success!” – Amanda Gryzmolowicz ’10 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a minor in Chemistry and a Business Essentials Certificate. While at Ramapo, Amanda was on the dean’s list, part of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and coordinator of the 2010 TAS Honors Research Symposium. She currently works for Pfizer as a Vaccine R&D: Senior Manager for Informatics Operations & Support.