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Graduates Earn Their Pharm.D. Degrees, Hoods

Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy graduated its fifth class of doctors of pharmacy during the school’s hooding ceremony on May 11. The event took place at 10 a.m. in Belk Auditorium on the main PC campus.

Sixty-nine students earned their degrees and doctoral hoods.

PC President Bob Staton noted during his address how PC’s motto, “While We Live, We Serve,” aligns with the first sentence of the Oath of a Pharmacist: “I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy.

“It is something these graduates have already demonstrated in the community service work they have done in our local community during their time at PC,” Staton said.

He went on to remind the graduates how important their work will be.

“Your patients will depend on your advice and counsel as they deal with their health issues. They will put their trust in you,” Staton said. “This is a big responsibility that you should never take lightly. Treat each patient like you would want to be treated.”

A Story about Covenant, Trust, and Integrity

Dr. Stuart T. Haines delivered this year’s keynote address. The professor and director at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy spoke to graduates about leading meaningful lives.

“Now the path to a meaningful life can be built in many ways,” Haines said, “but in your life as a pharmacist, your path will be supported by three pillars: covenant, trust, and integrity.

“A covenant is a promise to others to fulfill a high purpose,” Haines said. “Trust is the residue of promises kept. Integrity is the steadfast adherence to your ideals.”

To illustrate his point, Haines told the story of Vivien Thomas, an African-American who was never given his due credit as a surgeon until after his career had ended. Thomas always wanted to be a surgeon. He graduated from high school in the late 1920’s, the first in his family to do so. He set aside money to go to college to become a surgeon, but his family lost it during the bank failures of 1929.

Since he couldn’t go to college, Thomas became a lab technician at Vanderbilt Medical School and worked with noted Johns Hopkins surgeon Alfred Blalock. Blalock developed great respect for Thomas, and the two did groundbreaking research in the 1930’s. Their work saved thousands of lives during World War II, according to Haines.

In the 1940’s, Thomas committed himself to finding a solution to the deadly blue baby syndrome. He developed surgical instruments and techniques to correct the malformation. In 1944, the procedure was performed for the first time. Blalock requested that Thomas stand on a step stool to coach him through the procedure. “The Journal of the American Medical Association” published the first three cases of the procedure, but it didn’t mention Thomas.

Thomas went on to train hundreds of surgeons over the next 25 years, according to Haines. Many became chiefs of surgical departments across the country. In 1971, several of these surgeons commissioned a portrait of Thomas to hang beside Blalock’s at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Five years later, Thomas received an honorary doctorate degree from Johns Hopkins and was officially granted the title Instructor of Surgery.

“Similar to Mr. Thomas,” Haines said, “I hope today you make a lifelong commitment to deploying yourself in service to a high purpose. Similar to Mr. Thomas, you’re being entrusted with an important task, at a critical moment, and the lives of people depend on you.

“And similar to Mr. Thomas, you may not get the credit you deserve for your service, but I promise your steadfast integrity will seen.  More importantly, through covenant, trust, and integrity, you will create a meaningful life, a life that no amount of material abundance can ever give you.”

Time is More Important than Money

Donald Andrew Viets, the 2018 Distinguished Graduating Student, followed up Haines’ speech with an encouraging speech of his own.

Viets recalled a time when a passenger on a plane told him a story that has greatly impacted Viets’ life. The passenger spoke about how he worked often so that he could retire early and spend time with his daughter. He missed most of her childhood, but he looked forward to spending time with her when she was older. Unfortunately, she died of a brain tumor before she turned 30.

“He would go on to tell (me) that he would have given all of his retirement, his money, his property, and his titles if he could go back and be there for her first steps, her soccer games, and those weekends he missed for work,” Viets said. “In the end, he said, ‘money is everywhere. The world is lousy with it.  You can make extra money in any number of ways. The one thing you can’t make more of is time.’”

Viets said the story reminds us to analyze what we want in life and make sure that what we do lines up with what we want.

“What you’re going to remember are the moments in between.  You’ll remember getting married, when your child takes their first step, says their first word, scores their first touchdown, graduates from pharmacy school,” he said. “What you’ll remember is holding the hand of the one you love as their time in this world comes to an end.

“These will be the moments that define you. This title of Pharm.D. is important and meaningful, but it is only a tool to use in your life. It does not define you.”

Students Presented with Awards

Several students were recognized for their achievements during the 2017-2018 academic year.

“Pharmacy education has supporters on many fronts,” said Dr. Nancy Hope Goodbar, assistant dean for professional & student affairs, “and Presbyterian College is proud to partner with pharmaceutical companies and with leaders in drug information to recognize outstanding graduates from our program.”

Evan Bryson received the Mylan Excellence in Pharmacy Award. The award is presented to a graduate who displays academic achievement, professional motivation, and a unique ability to communicate drug information.

Brad Leonard and Victoria Paradiso received the Merck Manuals Award for Academic Excellence. The award recognizes Pharm.D. graduates who have demonstrated scholastic achievement and excellence in clinical interventions.

Morgan Enlow received the Lilly Achievement Award. A leader in diabetes care for more than 90 years, Eli Lilly and Company provides a Physician’s Desk Reference to a graduate who has a strong interest and demonstrated excellence in the management and treatment of patients with diabetes mellitus.

Sara Beth Herring received the United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award. The award recognizes pharmacy students’ contributions to the pharmacy profession and public health.

Josh Stamps received the Wolters Kluwer Health Award of Excellence in Clinical Communications. The award recognizes one student at each pharmacy school in the United States who has demonstrated superior verbal and written communication skills as well as high academic achievement overall.

Jessica Keels received the Presbyterian College Mortar & Pestle Award. The award recognizes the graduate who has best exemplified the mission and vision of the School of Pharmacy during his/her tenure by demonstrating an unwavering ethical foundation, positively impacting the delivery of equitable pharmacy care, providing enlightened leadership, addressing the healthcare needs of a diverse patient population, showing compassion for patients, and serving the community.

Students Earn Entrepreneurial Certificate

Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program provides students with educational and networking fundamentals to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. PC pharmacy students may elect to participate in the wide array of educational and networking opportunities provided by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program. Completion of 10 workshops during their four years in pharmacy school results in a certificate for their achievement. The eight members of the Class of 2018 who earned their Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship include:

  • Chase Board
  • Garth DeShong
  • Allie Hinson
  • Victoria Paradiso
  • Zachary Simpson
  • Jessica Wine
  • Kara Wuenscher
  • Jenny Yang

The Granting of Degrees

PC Provost Dr. Donald Raber authorized the granting of the Pharm.D. degrees.

“Your collective achievements are most impressive, and I appreciate how much each of you has contributed to the PC family over your four years here on campus and out in different communities,” Raber said. “My sincere wish for each of you is that your investment in us will pay dividends for you, as you embark on the next step in your career and achieve the lifetime of personal and vocational fulfillment and responsible contribution to democratic society and the world community Presbyterian College seeks for each graduate.”

After donning their pharmacy hoods and receiving their diplomas, the graduates officially entered the profession by reciting the “Oath of a Pharmacist.” They all promised to devote themselves “to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy.”

The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy Class of 2018 includes:

  • Ashley Lynn Abee
  • Denise Shanikqua Allen
  • Anyela Alvarez, cum laude
  • Kofi Oluwale Amanquah Arlin
  • William Ashemore
  • Andrea Grace Bailey, cum laude
  • Morgan Candler Bailey
  • Chase Austin Board
  • Evan Blake Bryson, magna cum laude
  • Sarah Jean Buff, magna cum laude
  • Darien Lamont Campbell, cum laude
  • Tynesha Ann Chandler
  • Jenny Amber Crook
  • Trevis Lamar Cureton
  • Wesley Holland Daniels
  • Lakin LeeAnn Davis
  • Robert Steven Davis
  • Garth Byron DeShong
  • Amelia Brooke Douglass
  • John Francis Eckert
  • Morgan Brianna Enlow, magna cum laude
  • Rose-Karyl Alobwede Fiah
  • Edward Ameyaw Frimpong
  • LeeAnn Elisabeth Gahagan
  • Lisa Michelle Gibbs, magna cum laude
  • Blake Lanier Hawkins, cum laude
  • Sara Elizabeth Herring, cum laude
  • Jordan King Hicks
  • Allie Kathryn Hinson
  • Brian Dang Ho, cum laude
  • Nieka Shanay Jackson, cum laude
  • Chrisshawnda Rashay Johnson
  • Jessica Elaine Keels, cum laude
  • Theodora B. Lartey-Hampton, cum laude
  • Bradley Taylor Leonard, magna cum laude
  • William Stephen Leonard, cum laude
  • Myia Denee’ Lindsey
  • Kelly Davis Loignon
  • Mena Magdy Melek
  • Jigneshkumar Rajendrakumar Mistry
  • Jacqueline Montoya
  • Jessica Moreno, magna cum laude
  • Timothy James Mozurak, cum laude
  • Bao Vu Nguyen, magna cum laude
  • Heather Hien Nguyen
  • Victoria Cottle Paradiso, magna cum laude
  • Jennie Robinson Parker
  • Jessica Anne Prestia, cum laude
  • Kristine Michele Rabold
  • Rima Narendra Ray
  • James Nicholas Riddle
  • Alexandria Shawntelle Robinson, cum laude
  • Melanie Hope Routhieaux
  • Caitlin Breanne Sanders, magna cum laude
  • Brandi Nicole Sharpe, magna cum laude
  • Stacey Scaggs Shaw, magna cum laude
  • Lloyd Alexander Sifford, IV
  • Zachary Tyson Simpson
  • Adia’ Bianca Singleton
  • Joshua Lee Stamps, magna cum laude
  • Megan Elizabeth Todd
  • Jonathan Lam Tran, cum laude
  • Donald Andrew Viets, magna cum laude
  • Randall Steve Watson
  • Jessica D’Ana Wine
  • Kara Rebecca Wuenscher, magna cum laude
  • Jenny Vang Yang
  • Alyssa Genavive Zarzecki, cum laude
  • Haochen Zuo, cum laude

Final Words from the Dean

“You took advantage of your opportunities to assist those in need while here at PC,” Dr. Cliff Fuhrman, dean of the PC School of Pharmacy, said to the graduates to close the ceremony. “There will be many more opportunities over the course of your career to provide the quality health care so many people need each day. Also, remember to provide service to others in your communities. Continue to persevere, continue to be dedicated, be involved and do not let those opportunities pass you, our profession, and most importantly, the patients, by.”

View the School of Pharmacy Hooding Ceremony Photo Gallery »