Mary Elhayek’s journey to receiving her PharmD is as compelling as it is inspirational. Compelling because of the amazing strength and dedication she demonstrated to become the first person in her family to receive a high school degree and then follow that by completing a college degree – all while straddling two worlds. Elhayek grew up in the West Bank’s city of Bethlehem and is an U.S. citizen completing her doctorate. She has bridged her two worlds – that of defined expectations for daughters in a traditional “Middle Eastern/Arabic” family with the world of pursuing the American dream of education and opportunity.
Inspirational because she has reached this goal all while living a love story for the ages and maintaining her close family ties. Commencement will be a proud moment for Elhayek and her husband, Hanna, their children Juliette (age 5) and Joseph (age 1), Hanna’s parents, Bassam and Heyam and Elhayek’s father Saba, and her mom, Antoinette , who is visiting from Jordan, to celebrate this great achievement—watching Elhayek cross the stage to earn her diploma and the title of Dr. Elhayek.
“Even though my father will be unable to attend, I believe this is a proud moment for him, too,” said Elhayek. “He was always encouraging me to look years ahead and make education one of my priorities in life.”
2010 Highlighted Student
College: College of Pharmacy
Degree: Doctor of Pharmacy
High School/College: Beit Sahour High School, Beit Sahour, Palestine, 2001; Mott Community College, Flint, MI, 2001-03; Spokane Falls Community College, Spokane, WA, 2004; Whitworth University, Spokane, WA, 2005-06.
Career Goal: To be employed as a clinical pharmacist in an acute care setting in the Spokane region.
Parents: Saba Issa Khalil and Antoinette Moussa Shamma of Amman, Jordan.