A four-time Florida A&M graduate, Tiffany Wilson-Ardley has far and away surpassed what it means to be a hard-working Rattler.
Ardley’s father, Roosevelt Wilson, was hired in the 1970s to be a member in Florida A&M University’s athletic program, and her family moved to Tallahassee. It has been her home ever since.
Ardley attended FAMU High School, now known as FAMU Development Research School, from first grade on. As an exceptional student, Ardley was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to attend Florida A&M University.
Pleased by the culture and caring faculty at FAMU, Ardley earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and her master’s in pharmaceutical science with an emphasis in medicinal chemistry.
Continuing her education, in May 2003 Ardley made history as the first African American and first woman to earn a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry at FAMU.
“I was drawn to medicinal chemistry because the opportunity to design and develop compounds to target diseases,” Ardley said.
Hoping to better understand fatal diseases, Ardley leads a drug discovery research laboratory on FAMU’s campus which specifically studies inflammation, fibroids, breast and prostate cancer.
“I want to learn more about how to help at-risk populations,” Ardley said. With African American women being 28% more likely to die from triple-negative breast cancer than white women with the same diagnosis, research like Ardley’s is crucial in understanding how to better help at-risk populations.
Though the study of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences may be difficult to comprehend, with Ardley’s guidance and teaching style, her students are more likely to understand the challenging discipline.
“She teaches medicinal chemistry in a way that’s easy to digest,” said Garriona Lucas a second-year doctor of pharmacy candidate at FAMU.
“Dr. Ardley provides you different gems that allows the structure of drugs to have a connection in your brain.”
Wanting to break barriers and continue to improve the education of the pharmacy program, in 2017, Ardley led the implementation of the bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences where she is the director.
Te’yona Wilkerson, a Jacksonville native and a second-year doctor of pharmacy candidate at FAMU, said, “She’s always willing to answer questions and reinforce the common saying that no question is a dumb question.”
A community advocate, Ardley also takes pride in the work she does in the community. As a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority for over 33 years, Ardley has devoted herself to helping advance the economic growth of the Tallahassee area.
“I want Tallahassee to continue to grow and thrive,” Ardley said.
Additionally, Ardley served for 10 years as a member of the board of directors for PACE Center for Girl in Leon County. The program provides education, counseling, training and advocacy to young women and girls in the area.
Ardley is proud that she is an integral member of the top-ranked public HBCU in the United States.
As Ardley loves to say, “I’m a true Rattler.”