King of the Bluff: Q+A with Michael Hair

Courtesy of Michael Hair. Michael Hair (left) stands next to Madelyn Arndt (right) on Academic Walk after they were both crowned Homecoming King and Queen on Sept. 25.

Brentaro Yamane | staff writer

Oct. 7, 2021

Michael Hair is a Pharm.D. student at Duquesne University. Recently, Hair was named Duquesne’s Homecoming king. Besides studying for class, Hair keeps himself busy as he is currently an Inpatient Pharmacy Intern at Penn State Health. He has even been a part of Duquesne’s Orientation program as a team leader. 

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. 

When it was announced that you won Homecoming King, what was going through your mind?

Michael Hair: I was surprised when I heard my name called. It was even an honor to be selected by the faculty to be on this year’s homecoming court and being elected as king was beyond my expectations. Duquesne is my favorite place and anyone from back home would be able to tell you how much I love being at school. It was just such a joyful day.

You’ve been on the Bluff since 2018. Prior to graduating high school, what helped you make decision that Duquesne was home for you?

Hair: I visited Duquesne for the first time in February in my senior year of high school, and it was the only school that gave me that “Wow!” feeling. The campus was right next to Downtown but still it felt like its own separate space. I could tell that every student I talked to loved Duquesne. Just from that first visit, I would have committed Duquesne if I had decided what I wanted to major in by then.

How many people are in your family? And did any of them go to college. If so, where and what did they study?

Hair: I am the youngest of six kids, and all of my siblings are graduated from college. Two are engineers, one is a nurse, one is a history teacher, and one actually graduated from the Duquesne School of Pharmacy over 10 years ago.

So, what made you feel that going into the pharmaceutical world was right for you?

Hair: I have had a great interest in the health sciences, but I didn’t want to be involved in hands-on medical care. Pharmacy is a great profession in healthcare with many opportunities, many of which do not involve blood and intimate patient care.

You’re currently a Pharm.D. student in the School of Pharmacy. As you are in your 4th year of college, what is one of the biggest things that you have learned about pharmacy?

Hair: The biggest thing I have learned about pharmacy is the diverse number of options upon graduating. There are many different practice settings including retail pharmacies, consulting pharmacy, and hospitals. Within clinical settings themselves, there are many different specialties that can be pursued. Within the realm of pharmacy itself, there are many career possibilities.

As of now, tell me a professor that you have had in college that has enhanced your love and knowledge for pharmacy.

Hair: My cardiology professor Dr. Montepara has probably influenced my love of pharmacy the most. As she is lecturing, her love of pharmacy is evident throughout the class. Her part of the course involves the guidelines for when to order or prescribe heart medications for patients, but her energy and love of the profession makes it feel like so much more than just a lecture. She really shows that it is easy to fall in love with pharmacy, and once we each find our own niche in pharmacy we can feel the same way.

Are there any other clubs, programs, or activities that you are a part of at Duquesne? If so, what are they?

Hair: I am involved in many clubs in the pharmacy school: Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, Helping Educate and Rehabilitate Together, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and I am a sweetheart for Lambda Kappa Sigma (the pharmacy sorority). Outside of the pharmacy school, I am involved in the Duquesne University Health Professions Society, the American Cancer Society, and I sing in the Chapel Choir.

Tell me about some of your college friends that you have built relationships with and tell me the impact that they have had on you.

Hair: My friend Lia Ferraccio has had one of the biggest impacts on me throughout college. After simply being acquaintances in a Philosophy class freshman year, we randomly decided to take the same exact classes the following semester. Always having a partner to study with was a great decision, and we have continued to be in most of the same classes since that semester. Without having someone taking the same classes and experiencing the same stress as me, I’m not sure I would have made it this far as easily as I did. Someone else that has helped me survive college is my friend Erin Carbone. We became friends by chance after being cast together in a Red Masquers performance freshman year. Ever since, we have been able to share our love of music and songwriting which brings some relief and a break from always stressing about classes.

What is one of the funniest or crazy stories that you will always remember once you leave Duquesne?

Hair: For several years, there was a Duquesne ice skating night at PPG Place located downtown. After the event ended my sophomore year, there was a school bus that offered to take students back to Duquesne. What we did not realize when we got on the bus, however, was that the bus was not organized by Duquesne. The 40ish students on the bus didn’t realize this fact until we ended up on the top of Mount Washington, by which time a student had called the desk at Assumption only to find out that they had no idea about the bus. Eventually, we ended up Downtown again when DUPO pulled us over and we had to walk back to Duquesne from either further away than the ice-skating rink.