Double the ambition

Few Florida A&M University students have the opportunity to attend college and major in the same subject with their siblings- allowing them to lean on each other for support during the trials of college life.

Two sets of twins in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have that opportunity and are excelling academically: Jermaine and Tramaine Smith from Miami and Erryn and Lauryn Dailey from Mobile, Ala.

Jermaine and Tramaine Smith are 20-year-old third-year students, whose interest in pharmacy stems from their family.

Their older brother Chris, whom they share an apartment with, is a fifth-year pharmacy student, and their father was a pharmacy technician for 15 years.

The Smith twins have done extremely well academically and in extracurricular activities during their matriculation at FAMU, earning the highest grade point averages of their freshman class and staying on the Dean’s List all three years. They attribute their academic success to the expectations of others for them to succeed.

“At the beginning of our freshman year, we received Cs on our first tests and our professor, Dr. Maurice Edington, told us we could do better and we should have the highest grades in the class,” Jermaine Smith said. “After that, we started to get 99s and 100s, and we received the highest GPAs of our class that year.”

The Smith twins enjoy attending college as a family because they are able to study together and get advice from their older brother.

They said they do not have trouble finding their individuality because they are different people who do not share the same personality and the only disadvantage they have is their competition for higher grades.

During their spare time, the twins, who hold cabinet positions in the junior class, participate in various activities, including volunteering, tutoring fellow pharmacy students, participating in the Academy of Students in Pharmacy and the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, and playing basketball.

Tramaine Smith, who is vice president of the junior class, also works 15 to 20 hours a week in retail pharmacy and has a 3.8 GPA.

“I always have a full schedule, but with time management, I know my hard work will be worth it in the end,” he said.

Tramaine Smith said he plans to have a wide degree of experience in pharmacy when he graduates and his goals are to graduate with a high GPA and have served as an effective leader on campus.

After graduation, Jermaine, who is secretary for the junior class, aspires to graduate summa cum laude and attend dental or medical school and establish his own company, while Tramaine plans to become a clinical or emergency room pharmacist.

In addition to the Smiths, there is a set of female twins.

The Dailey twins, who are 21-year-old third-year pharmacy students, transferred from the University of South Alabama this year and are adjusting to life at FAMU.

Lauryn and Erryn also have siblings who graduated from FAMU, which is what inspired them to transfer, along with the reputation of the pharmacy program: their sister, Natalie, a 2002 pharmacy graduate and a brother, Gregory, a 2001 journalism graduate.

“Coming to FAMU has been a good experience so far, aside from a battle with financial aid, because we have met a lot of new people,” Lauryn Dailey said.

“There is a great sense of unity among the students and faculty here. The professors are encouraging and they try to get you where you want to be.”

The Dailey twins said they enjoy attending college together.

“We lived at home while we attended the University of South Alabama, but now that we are living here, we don’t have roommate problems and having your sibling with you makes adjusting to a new place easier because you always have a piece of home with you,” Lauren Dailey explained.

The twins said they were involved in activities at the University of South Alabama, such as the Alpha Theta Chi Honor Society and the African-American Student Association, but during their short stay at FAMU, they have mostly focused on their studies.

The Daileys said they plan to work in retail pharmacy after they graduate.

“We probably won’t work together in retail, but we may work for ourselves together in the future,” Erryn Dailey said.

James L. Moran Jr., coordinator of advancement and alumni affairs in COPPS, said he knows both sets of twins and is intrigued by their accomplishments, academic competitiveness and aspirations.

Moran said the Dailey and Smith twins are unique because, “of how close they are to each other. They are very humble, and they enjoy what they’re doing.”

Both the Daileys and the Smiths are doing well in and out of the classroom and are expected to accomplish great things in the field of pharmacy after graduation.

“I think the twins are a breath of fresh air and I believe we will see them in the future representing FAMU and COPPS to the highest degree,” Moran said.

Contact Ebonie Ledbetter at