May 22, 2023
precious and pearl craig standing together

Precious (left) and Pearl (right) are alumnas of the W.A. Franke Honors College, and are currently studying at the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy.

pearl and precious in white pharmacy coats poster background

Pearl and Precious Craig graduated from the W.A. Franke Honors College in 2021 and are both entering into their third year as Doctor of Pharmacy Candidates at the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy. The Craigs are twins and were born in Lagos, Nigeria before moving to the Phoenix area in their early childhood. Throughout their time in Honors, both Pearl and Precious were recipients of numerous accolades and awards from both in and outside of the University, including from the NAACP - Tucson Branch and Tucson’s 40 under 40. Pearl also received an award from the 1000 Dreams Fund during her undergrad, funding her pursuit of academic excellence, and Precious was awarded the Robie Gold Medal during her final year in honors in 2021.

Despite following a similar trajectory post-grad, the Craigs pursued different disciplines during their time in the W.A. Franke Honors College. Pearl graduated with a major in Nutritional Sciences and minors in Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Biochemistry, and Precious studied Public Health with a minor in Biochemistry.  

Both expressed how important it was for them to gain an interdisciplinary academic experience in Honors.  

“A [multidisciplinary] thought process is something that I still carry with me today and I believe it has been key in developing my skills as a lifelong learner,” Pearl explained. “There is always more that we can learn about ourselves and our systems if we embrace different perspectives and approaches.” 

Pearl knew at an early age that she wanted to be a pharmacist, in part because of her personal interactions with pharmacists combined with her interest in the sciences. As she progressed through high school and her undergrad, she sought experiences to affirm those interests. In her undergrad years she became actively involved with the Pre-Pharmacy club at the University of Arizona. 

“I am passionate about health care innovation and health equity, and I’ve enjoyed learning about advancements in care and identifying barriers to care.” Pearl said. Both sisters have expressed their desire to make healthcare more equitable and accessible within their communities. 

“As a future pharmacist, being a lifelong learner is essential to staying up to date with innovations in care. But, to be a lifelong learner, I had to learn how to learn.” continued Pearl.  

Together, Pearl and Precious have co-founded the College of Pharmacy’s first Student National Pharmaceutical Association. Nationally, SNPHA is a predominantly Black organization.  

“We created a chapter at the UArizona to create a safe space for underrepresented students on campus. It was very challenging to start the club and there were a lot of hoops to jump through, [but] I promised that once I got into pharmacy school, I would give back to the Black community in Tucson.” Precious remarked.  

Through the Craig’s hard work and determination, the University of Arizona chapter of SNPHA has been extremely successful. About a month ago, the club collaborated with the American Pharmacists Association and participated in the Friends and Family Health Fair at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Tucson.  

pearl and precious craig pictured with cheree meeks

Precious's interest in Pharmacy stemmed from her upbringing in Nigeria. “In Nigeria, access to healthcare is not always the best, typically Nigerians self-medicate a lot,” recalled Precious. When they moved to the U.S., the pastor of their church growing up was a significant mentor to Precious and Pearl, as well as a practicing pharmacist.  

Another prominent mentor for the Craigs has been Dr. Cheree Meeks, Assistant Dean of Programs, Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the founder of the Black Excellence Scholars program at the W.A. Franke Honors College. Both Pearl and Precious took Dr. Meeks’ course, Politics of Injustice: Policing and Mass Incarceration during their time in Honors, and found it to be extremely impactful. Dr. Meeks was an integral part of the Craigs’ undergraduate experience, filling roles as leader, teacher, and friend.  

When asked what advice they would give to current Franke Honors students, Precious offered a personal word of wisdom.  

“The best advice that I have received thus far was to get comfortable with failure,” said Precious. “Setbacks happen, but how you respond to failure is what will make you successful in the future. Everyone who has become successful has experienced one setback or another. My advice would be to not let failure define you. Even if affliction rises a second time, dust yourself off and try again. You were made for it.”  

It is evident that Pearl and Precious have embraced this persistent attitude while tackling the challenges of graduate school—but despite the hefty increase in exams and course work, both are still finding time to dedicate to things they are passionate about.

Last month, Precious completed the Greater Tucson Leadership - Lead Tucson Program. She was awarded the Brig Gen. Ronald L. Kurth Award for Outstanding Leadership. This award recognizes an individual who demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities and makes a positive impact in the community and signifies commitment to leadership, integrity, and community engagement. The award is in keeping with the philosophy of General Kurth who believed, “It’s not how far you go in life that counts, it’s what you leave behind.”

Both sisters enjoy photography and cooking, and Pearl is involved with creative outlets such as digital art and DJing. Precious owns a photography business and also has a YouTube channel, AllThingsPresh, where she covers what it’s like being a pharmacy student, among other lifestyle topics.  

Learn more about our incredible Franke Honors alumni and stay connected.