VU Alumni Keyerrá Buckley: Blazing Her Trail to a Better Healthcare Industry
February 7, 2022
By University Relations Student Journalist Josie Kidder
As a student ambassador and president of the Student Government Association, Keyerrá Buckley made it her mission to turn Vincennes University students' mumbles into roars by giving them the courage to speak up about their opinions and give feedback about different aspects of the University.
Buckley, a 2021 graduate from Poinciana, Florida, began her VU journey as a Distance Education student in her home state with several years of experience employed as a pharmacy technician.
She moved to Hoosier state in her pursuit of turning her dreams into a reality.
"My work as a pharmacy technician involved evaluating medication prior authorizations and auditing and investigating potential fraud, waste, and abuse pharmacy claims," Buckley says. "I chose VU because the A.S. Pharmacy Technology degree program was the only program I could find online that would articulate my licensure and experience."
After traveling to Vincennes for a campus visit, she quickly realized that she wanted to make Indiana her new home. She enrolled as an in-seat student on the Vincennes Campus and earned an associate degree in Pharmacy Technology in May 2021.
"After visiting VU, I realized this was the perfect area to help me stay focused and on track with completing my educational goals," she says. "While at VU, I had a work-study assignment in the Pharmacy Technology department managing inventory, assembling lab kits, and helping the students with pharmacy calculations."
Since the age of five, Buckley said she always knew she wanted to be a lawyer. She originally wanted to be a juvenile defense lawyer but soon found her passion for practicing health law.
"I have been a pharmacy technician for six years. I want to practice health law. I believe this degree will help prepare me to broaden my healthcare knowledge. I want to change the way healthcare pharmacy benefits are administered in this country. By either working for the federal government or a commercial insurance plan, I will change the current or create new policies that will better benefit policyholders," Buckley says.
Buckley admits that her college experiences at VU have helped her build confidence in herself and her abilities.
"My VU journey taught me how to be self-sufficient and how to stand up for what I believe. Specifically, as President of the SGA, I learned how to be the voice of the people."
She describes Vincennes as different from her hometown near Orlando.
"I had a huge culture shock," she says. "I am used to having access to more culturally diverse places to eat, shop, etc. Encouraging my fellow classmates to stay enrolled in school is a significant part of my experience here at VU. Especially those that are very far away from home like me."
Buckley says VU’s academic resources were accommodating and crucial to her accomplishments. The University offered many appealing opportunities for her, allowing her to continue her thought-provoking journey into the world of health law.
"This program will give me the skills I need to be a successful healthcare leader," she says.
One admirable faculty member Buckley said she is fortunate enough to have by her side is the former Pharmacy Technology Department Chair Karen O’ Connor. According to Buckley, O’Connor encouraged Buckley into becoming the person she is today. O’Connor’s advice has helped Buckley prosper and thrive in the health care service field.
"Karen O'Connor was and still is my biggest support system. She accepted me into the Pharmacy Technology program and was my advisor. She is no longer with VU, but she continues to push me to my greatest potential."
Buckley’s achievements did not go unnoticed. She was a student speaker for the 2021 Spring Commencement. She read the opening statement at Mid-Year Commencement in December 2021 and made the Dean’s List.
Combining all of her accomplishments and her continuing education, Buckley has received the knowledge she needs to succeed in the professional ranks. She is excited about sharing the spectacular news that she has already accepted a job offer with Cigna in their Operations Leadership Development Program as an Operations Lead Analyst and will start in July of 2022.
Since graduating from VU, Buckley has been working remotely as a pharmacy technician instructor for Jewish Vocational Service (JVS). She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration and healthcare management, then law school is in her future.
"I am so happy and grateful for my A.S degree from VU. Without it, I would not have returned to the school that initiated my pharmacy technician career. Thanks to VU, I can give back to the profession that has given so much to me all while encouraging and advocating for current and future pharmacy technicians to continue fighting to reach their goals," she says.
Buckley is aiming for a unique goal of her own in addition to her career aspirations. She is on a quest to travel to every state. She has traveled to 14 states, starting with her home state Florida, all while pursuing her ambition in the law and health care industry.