Hillary Schiff, graduating summa cum laude with honors with a Bachelor of Arts in French and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, is a recipient of the university’s Robert Logan Nugent Award.
The award will be presented Friday during the University of Arizona’s 159th Commencement.
The Nugent Award was established by the Alumni Association and named in memory of Robert Logan Nugent who was the University of Arizona Executive Vice President when he died in June 1963. Candidates should have a record of accomplishments that exemplify the high ideals of Dr. Nugent, such as active and enthusiastic participation and service in community and University endeavors.
Born in Australia, Hillary grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and began exploring a career in science by researching allergic asthma drug development in Dr. Scott Boitano’s lab in the spring of her freshman year. This work culminated in a first- author paper, and served as the basis of her honors thesis. In addition to science, Hillary has a passion for mentorship and communication. During her sophomore year, she became a General Chemistry preceptor as well as a Chemistry and Biochemistry (CBC) peer mentor. She also worked as a news reporter for the Daily Wildcat, publishing 24 articles.
Hillary’s decision to pursue medicine was shaped by her experiences volunteering in the local Tucson community. Initially inspired by witnessing her grandmother’s health struggles, she continues to see her grandmother in the patients she serves. Hillary spends her Sundays volunteering at the WORKship Project at the Z Mansion, an outreach program serving the local population experiencing homelessness. Through the Patient Experience (PX) program, she also had the opportunity to volunteer at Banner University Medical Center, ensuring patient comfort alongside healthcare professionals. Hillary is grateful for these experiences in service and patient-care that have impacted her view of healthcare disparities, and have shaped the kind of physician she aspires to be.
She is a recipient of the Galileo Circle Scholarship and the Dean's List with Distinction. Following graduation, Hillary is excited to attend University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine pursuing an M.D. as part of the class of 2027.