Cranston native, 26-year-old Mazen Taman, will be delivering the student address at URI’s 2023 commencement on Saturday May 20 and graduating from URI with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree before …
Cranston native, 26-year-old Mazen Taman, will be delivering the student address at URI’s 2023 commencement on Saturday May 20 and graduating from URI with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree before moving on to his next step, entry to Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School.
“My parents are actually from Egypt, and they moved to the United States looking for the American Dream,” Taman said. “I’m one of three, the middle child, we were raised by our mom. Our childhood was difficult at times and she had to sacrifice a lot for us. She bounced between jobs and did the best she could to keep us in school and help us stay in sports, and I’m so very grateful for it. She’s the reason that I do what I do and am who I am.”
With his mother as a catalyst for his drive to figure out his life, Taman worked hard at everything he did. Graduating from Cranston West in 2015, Taman was a member of the school’s football team during his time there. In addition to football, he found a place in one of the school’s many vocational programs. Taman said that he joined the medical pathways program after it was recommended by one of his teachers.
“Initially I didn’t have the smoothest transition,” Taman said about his transition from Cranston West to his life at URI. “I’ve been in sports my whole life. I played football at Cranston West. I ended up playing it at URI. I performed well enough, but I didn’t really have a clear goal or know what direction I really wanted to go.”
It was at this moment that his time in the medial pathways program at Cranston became invaluable. His time in the vocational program helped to give him the background and interest in the medical field that led him to join URI’s pharmacy program. Linking back to the work he did in high school, Taman began to find his way towards his future as a Doctor of Pharmacy and beyond.
“I thought back to those times in high school, the effect I had on people and the work,” Taman explained. “My exposure to the world of medicine was through high school. I had so many great teachers and experiences. When I thought of where I was going it seemed like a natural path I could continue.”
Initially going to CCRI after his graduation from high school, Taman spent a semester at UMASS Dartmouth before he ended up connecting to one of his old coaches from Cranston West who now coaches at URI. It was then that he decided to make the transition to URI.
“I started at URI in the fall of 2018,” he recalled. “After that it was another year before I even entered the pharmacy program. I didn’t know I wanted to be in the program at first, but I applied and got in. It was at that point I got excited and just went with it.”
While Taman doesn’t have any definite plans for the future, he remembers his life in Cranston fondly as a big part of building who he is today.
“There’s a lot of pride I have being from Cranston, and Rhode Island,” said Taman. “Memories of high school football, friends and hanging out in Garden City. I think we’re a great state and have a lot of great things ahead of us. I have to sort out the details of the future, but for the time being I think I’ll be staying in Cranston.”