University Beat
6:00 am
Tue February 19, 2013

USF Cheerleader Surprised at Game with Acceptance to Pharmacy School

Anyone who's ever gone to college probably remembers the thrill of getting that letter of acceptance.

For student Ellen Bickel, how and where she received word she was accepted into the USF College of Pharmacy may be even more memorable than the fact she got into the school: College Dean Kevin Sneed hand-delivered Fickel's letter -- as she stood on the court as a cheerleader for the USF Bulls men's basketball team.

According to USF Health, during a timeout in the USF game versus Louisville Sunday afternoon, Dr. Sneed approached Bickel with her letter of acceptance, along with a scholarship.

After the initial surprise and amid tears of happiness and relief, Bickel was taken to center court and surrounded by her fellow cheerleaders and a host of photographers and videographers, including crews from ESPN, which was providing national coverage of the game.

Bickel, who will graduate in May with bachelor's degrees in both health professions (pre-pharmacy) and public health, received a "3, 2, 1, Launch" scholarship. USF Health reports the award helps cover the costs for a student's iPad, white coat and books.

“The College’s 3,2,1, Launch Scholarship program helps launch student careers, giving an emphasis on informatics, a key component of the program,” Dr. Sneed said. “Digital health care is the way of the future.”

The USF College of Pharmacy will welcome Bickel, its first USF student athlete, and the other members of its third freshman class, this fall.