Biology Alumna Empowers Others with Her Story

Mayya Buffington | 2004 Alumna | B.A. Biology 

Alumna improving patient lives with technology

When Mayya Buffington was singled out 14 years ago by her chemistry professor, Keith Anliker, she was both excited and surprised to hear that she had received the highest score out of more than 300 students on an exam. As a transfer student from Ukraine, Buffington remembers the long hours she put into not only studying for classes, but also working to improve her English skills. Small successes and the guidance of IUPUI professors Anliker and David Malik helped Buffington find the confidence she needed to pursue her goals.

Now a happily married mother of one, Buffington leads Diabetes Care IT in North America at Roche, where she helps develop technological innovations that improve the quality of care for diabetes patients. Previously working as a registered nurse, Buffington enjoys the new ways she is able to improve patients’ lives through technology.

“Helping patients is very close to my heart and my current role at Roche allows me to make a difference to patients with diabetes while not being at their bedside.”

Following a unique path

Initially drawn towards a career in medicine as a nurse or physician, Buffington’s aspirations evolved and shifted after experiences in clinical research, pharmaceuticals and the medical device industry. The ability to adapt and utilize new and innovative technology for helping patients keeps Buffington excited about her future in the medical IT industry.

“An important element in my career is being able to adapt to changes quickly,” Buffington explained. “I am still learning and still figuring things out but I would not trade it for anything.”

Sharing success

Mayya Buffington gives back by coaching young women for professional success.

Sarah Wesp, a recent marketing graduate, has benefited from Buffington’s mentorship as a marketing intern at Roche.

“You come across people in life who are really inspiring and I’m just grateful to have met someone like Mayya in my life,” Wesp said. “She’s going to have a huge impact on a lot of people.”

As a published author, Buffington writes motivational books for young adults and is currently in the process of publishing the third installation in her ten-book series, I Wish I Knew Then.

“Seeing the spark in [the girls’] eyes is very fulfilling,” says Buffington. “I feel fortunate where I am in my career and my personal life, and I would like for other young women to experience this as well.”