Zipporah-Darvi Redding-Christian is a pharmacy technician instructor in Orlando

Faculty Spotlight: Zipporah-Darvi Redding-Christian

Pharmacy Technician instructor in Orlando is passionate about the profession.

When Zipporah-Darvi Redding-Christian was a teenager, one of her fist jobs was working at a CVS Pharmacy. It was there that the Orlando native cultivated a love for customer service and, while working alongside pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, that she became interested in pursuing a pharmacy career.

“I’m a people person. I love helping others – serving others,” Zipporah-Darvi said. “I can remember a conversation with one of the pharmacists about how she got into the field, and she suggested that I look into pharmacy technician programs.”

That’s exactly what Zipporah-Darvi did. Turns out that strong customer service is a core skill that one needs to be a good pharmacy technician, and she thrived as a pharmacy technician student.

“Medication is not the heart of a pharmacy – people are. And when people get sick, they need our help,” she said, recounting a lesson from a college instructor who was her mentor.

These days, Zipporah-Darvi is the instructor who teaches students enrolled in the Pharmacy Technician Program and countless other lessons at Florida Career College in Orlando. Following an honored and successful career in the pharmacy field, Zipporah-Darvi enjoys the opportunity to shape the future of the profession by helping create confident, knowledgeable and skilled pharmacy technicians in the FCC classroom.

A Notable Career

After graduating college with honors and earning an Associate of Science Degree as a Pharmacy Technician, she became a state registered and a nationally Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), and embarked on a career journey that would eventually allow her to gain a variety experience.

“Most people are familiar with the retail pharmacy environment, but there are so many other career options for CPhT’s,” Zipporah-Darvi said.

In her 15 years of CPhT experience, Zipporah-Darvi worked at retail pharmacies, long-term care, an independent community pharmacy at a patient-centered medical clinic, and in managed care via call center for medication therapy management (MTM).

“I was hired by the University of Florida College of Pharmacy Medication Care Center-Orlando location when they set up an MTM call center for medication adherence and medication therapy management to serve patients. At the time, it was new approach to operate a call center in this way,” Zipporah-Darvi said.

While at UF, she helped supervise more than 100 clinical associates who worked the call center, many of whom were pharmacy technicians and student pharmacists attending the college of pharmacy program.

Throughout her growing pharmacy career, Zipporah-Darvi was an active and contributing member of professional associations, something that her college instructor and mentor encouraged while she was a student. For several years, she travelled throughout Florida speaking to pharmacy organizations and presenting continuing education seminars and workshops at various conferences.

Zipporah-Darvi’s dedication to the advancement of the pharmacy profession has garnered well-deserved peer recognition. Zipporah-Darvi was named the 2012 Pharmacy Technician of the Year by the Florida Pharmacy Association, an award presented to a certified pharmacy technician who “demonstrates the highest professional standards of patient care, and performs consistently and reliably as a valued member of the pharmacy team.”

In 2015, she was selected as the Pharmacy Technician of the Year by the Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and in 2016 she was one of 11 pharmacy leaders nationally to receive the 2016 Next-Generation Pharmacist Award presented by Parata Systems and Pharmacy Times that “honors pharmacists, technicians, students, and industry advocates who are defining the future of pharmacy.”

Her Career Comes Full-Circle at FCC

“I had been encouraged to consider teaching because of the training that I developed and conducted for the call center, which sparked my interest in academia,” Zipporah-Darvi said.

That, combined with her years of professional development with the various associations, seemed like the ideal background to pursue teaching. So, when Zipporah-Darvi saw an opportunity to become an evening instructor at Florida Career College in Orlando, she applied and was hired part-time.

The sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from teaching and working with students led her to accept a full-time position at FCC, where she has thrived for the past four years.

“I consider it a great privilege to be training the next generation of pharmacy technicians,” she said. “I love that I am able to be part of the history of the advancement of the profession – that really resonates with me.”

“Darvi exemplifies the idea of what an instructor should be and students love her,” said Deb Ferrari, Executive Director at FCC Orlando “She teaches with enthusiasm, she makes her labs fun and exciting, she mentors her students, and she will tutor and always goes the extra mile to assure that they will be successful. She believes in each of them and makes them strive to be more! As an employee, she is giving, always willing to help and is here for anyone that needs her.”

The breadth of Zipporah-Darvi’s professional background allows her to share those experiences with students, which is valuable to their education. Through her professional involvement in associations, she has garnered a personal network that is also valuable to FCC students – from guest speakers who visit her class to recruiters looking to hire new pharmacy technician graduates.

And, just like her mentor did when she was in college, Zipporah-Darvi pays it forward by encouraging her students to become involved with professional associations, as well. 

Zipporah-Darvi is certainly an example for students when it comes to professional development. In addition to her awards and other accomplishments, she is now a Certified Allied Health Instructor (AHI) through American Medical Technologies.

According to the AHI website, the designation is “an educator who brings a critical combination of healthcare subject matter expertise and significant teaching experience to the classroom. Members of this discipline have established mastery of their subjects through structured academic courses of study or professional certification in the areas of pedagogy, for which they are responsible.

In addition, AHI certificants must have demonstrated the successful application of subject matter mastery in an educational setting. “Individuals certified as AHI take on the most important role of serving as mentors to future practitioners and, therefore, set examples as experts in their fields.”

“I tell my students that pharmacy allows me to be me. I love to read, critically think, research information, learn of resources to assist others, and I am a nerd who loves pharmacy and math,” she joked. “When you graduate, your learning is not by any means over. This is not a stagnant career. There are new medications coming out all of the time. You have to stay current on the newest developments in the market, and regulations change frequently. That means a lot of reading, and being involved with professional associations is a great way to help grow your career.”

When she’s not in the classroom or working with students, Zipporah-Darvi is most likely spending time with her husband and daughter. “Family is everything to me,” she said. In her spare time she also enjoys reading memoirs, watching medical shows like The Resident, and continuing her education by completing professional development courses.