Matthew "Sugi" Sugidono: Award-winning Lion to attend leading doctorate program in pharmacy

Recent alumnus Matthew "Sugi" Sugidono, who majored in biochemistry, is headed to the University of California San Francisco this fall to pursue a doctorate in pharmacy. The program is the ranked No. 2 in the world.

Sugi, a native of Maui, Hawaii, is the honored recipient of the Father Graham Alumni Award for service and leadership, the Office of Career and Professional Development's Student Employee of the Year, and winner of the Riordan Award, a $1,000 scholarship for devotion to community service.

"I never envisioned myself falling in love with LMU as much as I have," Sugi said. "But it's inspired and helped me grow in so many ways."

Once a Lion, Sugi committed himself wholeheartedly, becoming active with Crimson Circle service organization, Campus Ministry, Chemistry Society and LMU Rotaract, just to name a few.

"The experiences I've had at LMU and through its various service organizations have been eye-opening," Sugi said, pointing to his spiritual growth through campus ministry and how he has become more conscious of people on the margins.

In addition to Sugi's commitment to service, he has also been interning for the past two years at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in its hematology department, working as a research analyst on a clinical trial.

Likewise, he has worked extensively with LMU's Blood and Bone Marrow drives (through the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center) lending his hand, and a pint or two, to no less than six drives.

This summer, Sugi plans to coach tennis at LMU, while working in Student Employment Services - a quick breather before making the move to the Bay Area and diving headfirst into his four-year-long pharmacy program.

"I'm very excited to have new experiences and become a part of San Francisco's vibrant culture," Sugi said. "Hopefully the experiences will be as fulfilling as the ones I've had at LMU."

Upon completion of his pharmacy degree, Sugi hopes to return to Los Angeles and work in a hospital setting focusing on patient care.

So what advice does the multiple award-winner have for future LMU all-stars?

"Come in with the mindset of saying 'yes,'" Sugi said. "Be open to everything and when you find what you're really passionate about, focus on that."