SJR STATE ALUMNI SPOTLIGHTS
Staci Damato – (2010)
Country Approval Specialist - Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD)
Each month, St. Johns River State College will honor one of its own in an alumni salute, celebrating the career milestones, community contributions and personal reflections of those who began their collegiate journey as SJR State Vikings.
Staci Damato loves her job as a country approval specialist at Pharmaceutical Product Development. “Hard work, dedication and persistence got me here,” she said. “My anatomy and physiology professor at St. Johns River State College (SJR State) told me that I needed to be in the medical field somehow… Now look at where I ended up!”
Read on to find out what Staci finds most rewarding about her job, why she selected SJR State for her Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree, the advice she would give to potential SJR State students, what she’d like to be doing 10 years from now, and more.
WHY DID YOU SELECT SJR STATE?
I selected SJR State to complete my A.A. degree before transferring to the University of North Florida. I was already a dual enrollment student at SJR State my senior year of high school, so finishing my A.A. degree with SJR State allowed for the easiest transition from high school to college.
WHAT DID YOU MAJOR IN AFTER COMPLETING YOUR STUDIES AT SJR STATE?
I majored in middle school education with a concentrated track in math and science.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE THIS DEGREE/CAREER?
I am a very analytical thinker and have always loved math and science. I also really enjoy working with children to help them pursue their career goals and aspirations. However, I did not pursue a long-term teaching career after graduating from UNF. I became interested in the Healthcare Administration field after working at Flagler Hospital for several years while going to school for education.
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
The most rewarding part of my job is playing a vital role in the clinical trial development process for research studies that could be potentially life-saving to patients throughout North America. I am currently very involved with the activation of clinical trials related to COVID-19.
DESCRIBE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES AT SJR STATE.
My most memorable experience at SJR State involved the one-on-one personalized instruction I received from professors. It is difficult to experience this same type of more personalized instruction at the university level.
WHICH COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN?
I have volunteered for Bike MS and The Donna Marathon in the past, and I really enjoyed it. This has become a passion of mine ever since I started working on neurology and cancer research studies. I also volunteer by playing in our local St. Augustine Concert Band.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE CONSIDERING SJR STATE?
Take advantage of the more personalized instruction you have at SJR State. I am convinced that it is one of the major reasons I was so successful in college.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?
I would like to either be a team manager for clinical trials or move into budgets and contracts for clinical trials, since I really enjoy math. We will see what the future holds, but I am excited to see what is in store.
ARE YOU AN SJR STATE ALUMNUS?
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Director of Public Relations and Publications