Chemistry Degree Opens Doors for Jenkins

Angela JenkinsAngela Jenkins, chemistry ’94, always packs an Auburn shirt when she travels.

“I just love ‘War Eagle moments,’” she said. “There are so many things I remember fondly about my time at Auburn, like the movies in Langdon Hall, going to The Flush, and the friends I made are like my family now. We are one big Auburn Family.”

Although she harbors many fond memories from her days in school at Auburn, the road to graduation was rough for Jenkins. During her first week of college, she lost her mother to breast cancer. A few months later, her father was deployed with Operation
Desert Storm.

“I was in chemical engineering at the time, and I stuck out the semester. It was a very difficult time. I had also gone to a predominantly black high school, and it was a big adjustment coming to Auburn where suddenly I was a minority,” Jenkins said. “Family, friends, and prayer are what got me through that first year.”

During her sophomore year, she changed majors and became a chemistry student in COSAM.

“I realized one day I did not want to be an engineer, but I didn’t want to lose all of the credits I had accumulated, so I began studying biochemistry,” she said.

Jenkins’ degree in chemistry has served her well in her career, and she is currently a primary care professional with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. As such, she provides primary care physicians from Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi with medications used to treat patients suffering from cardiac or respiratory illness.

“I have sold drugs for every part of the body at some point, and I learned plenty about anatomy and physiology at Auburn, which helps,” said Jenkins. “A lot of people in my field have degrees in business or marketing. When we are in training, it can get very scientific, which comes more easily for me since I have a background in chemistry.”

Jenkins says the background in science is only part of why she appreciates her Auburn education.

“I use my degree in name a lot because it is a door opener,” she said. “One doctor found out he and I have the same undergraduate degree in chemistry from Auburn, and he let me in to see him; and this is a doctor who refuses to see drug representatives.”

Because of this appreciation for the friends she made and the solid foundation she received during her education at Auburn, Jenkins seeks opportunities to give back to the university. For the last three years, she has been a member of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Leadership Council, and she also works with COSAM’s Department of Outreach through the Society of Women in Sciences and Mathematics.

Jenkins and her husband, Lee, have also decided to support Auburn through a planned gift through their estate. The gift will go “toward scholarships and other things that are dear to me,” Jenkins said. “I was the recipient of a scholarship at Auburn, and if no one had given money, I would not have had it. It was good to be rewarded for my hard work.”

For more information on ways to make a donation like Angela and Lee, please contact Sherri Rowton in the COSAM Office of Development at or 334.844.1235.