Learning resilience in the Navy

Shane Murphy

Pharmacy student Shane Murphy hopes to work as a clinical pharmacist at a VA hospital in Alaska after finishing his studies and residency.

Shane Murphy attributes his resilience to his military service.

“In the military, you learn to handle whatever the world may throw at you and just roll with the punches,” said Murphy, a student in the College of Pharmacy. “You don’t let anything get you down.”

Murphy served in the U.S. Navy as a submarine sonar technician for nine years. His job was to operate submarine sonar and oceanographic equipment, coordinate sonar and underwater fire control, analyze acoustic data from submarines’ sonar system, and perform troubleshooting, network and mechanical maintenance.

His other duties involved performing weapon load-outs and maintenance on weapons systems for the submarine to include MK-48 ADCAP torpedoes, Tomahawk cruise missiles, submarine launched mines, and small arms weapons.

During his time in the service, Murphy achieved the rank of Petty Officer 1st Class (E-6). He was awarded two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, a Navy and Marine Corp Expeditionary Medal, two Good Conduct Medals, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Expert Rifle Medal, Expert Pistol Medal, four Overseas Service Ribbons, four Sea Service Awards and the Submarine Warfare Insignia. He is also a Shellback, a title he earned after participating in a crossing the line ceremony after he first crossed the Equator.

Murphy was forward deployed out of Guam on the USS City of Corpus Christi, where he completed missions in the Pacific Ocean. He also served at the Navy Ocean Processing Facility in Virginia Beach.

Shane Murphy and Navy members in front of a submarine

“In the military, you learn to handle whatever the world may throw at you and just roll with the punches,” says Shane Murphy, who served in the U.S. Navy as a submarine sonar technician for nine years. “You don’t let anything get you down.”

He left the military in 2012 to pursue higher education. He received an associate degree in 2013 from Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach, then transferred to UIC. He is in his first year of the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the College of Pharmacy.

“I chose the UIC College of Pharmacy because it is one of the best in the country and with an education from here, it will open up limitless possibilities in the field of pharmaceuticals,” Murphy said.

He is the photographer for the Student Veterans Association and a member of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists. He also volunteers with the Student Veterans Association at The Anti-Cruelty Society, helping train dogs to make them more adoptable.

After graduating from the College of Pharmacy, he plans to pursue a residency in clinical pharmacy, then work as a clinical pharmacist at a VA hospital in Alaska.

He’s learned a lot about leadership and teamwork by serving in the military.

“Leading by example is the best way to show leadership and gain the support and trust of the people working with you and for you,” Murphy said.