HSC College of Pharmacy takes the graduation awards ceremony virtual
By Arnessa Blanks
Although many would agree that this is the year of uncertainty, HSC College of Pharmacy was certain to find a way to celebrate our Class of 2020 award recipients. With the current trend of most things going virtual, it was our honor to invite all graduates, family and friends to an award celebration via Facebook Watch Party.
Viewers were able to tune in to the ceremony from any location and actively participate. Graduates interacted with each other in the comment section while many exchanged words of wisdom and encouragement while expressing their excitement for their peers.
Faculty and staff recorded personal videos congratulating graduates and encouraging them to become active alumni during their future endeavors. The Class of 2020 award recipients were recognized for their academic excellence, passion for the community, and class involvement.
Many students successfully juggled class work while moving to remote learning mid-semester.
“At times it can be overwhelming, but having everything I wanted and needed to do in one place provided the guaranteed workspace to ensure nothing was forgotten,” said Jacob Hall, recipient of the 2020 Student Ambassador of the Year award. Dr. Hall also received three other awards and presented the welcoming speech at the 2019 White Coat Ceremony.
As the Class of 2020 moves toward the future, some graduates are preparing for residencies that could land them a more niche role. “I have been matched with West Virginia University Medicine PGY1 in acute care,” said Caitlin Fellers, recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice. “I hope to be focusing on my interest areas including critical care, emergency medicine and academia.”
Based on faculty comments, the Class of 2020 worked consistently to inspire new students, create welcoming environments, and generate innovative ideas for the pharmacy program. Faculty, staff, peers and future pharmacists are looking forward to seeing this new generation of pharmacists in action.
Thank you to the Awards Committee and to everyone who contributed to the video. Watch the 32-minute awards video here.
Class of 2020 Award recipients:
Princess Ananti- IDIG Pharmacy Leadership Award
Andrew Beckman- Mylan Excellence in Pharmacy Award
Elizabeth Berihun- Merck Manual Award
Janine Castro- Texas Pharmacy Association Award
Anh Dong- National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Award
Caitlin Fellers- Dean’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice, Phi Delta Chi Gehrig Distinguished Brotherhood Award, Rho Chi Distinguished Scholar Award
Chastiney Gray- Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) Award
Jacob Hall- System College of Pharmacy Student Ambassador of the Year, SEAS Anchor Award, Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Award, PSGA Serve Others First Leadership Award
Joseph Johnston- Merck Manual Award
Ashton Klouda- Pediatric Pharmacy Outstanding P4 Award
Brandon Mai- Dean’s Award for Academic Achievement, Salutatorian
Roberto Montealegre- IDIG Pharmacy Leadership Award
Hoang Nguyen- Outstanding SCCP Student Member Award
Mivielis Rivera- APhA Outstanding Senior
Nicole Shaw- SEAS Compass Award, International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Award, AMCP Student Chapter Member of the Year Award
Stephanie Spurgers- Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists Student Leadership Award
Blake Wassom- Wolters Kluwer Award
Christy Xavier- Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, Valedictorian
Graduated with Honors:
Andrew Beckman, Jessie Bui, Katherine Huynh, Brandon Mai, Minh Nguyen, Vincent Q. Nguyen, Heily Pham, Kelli Sims, Blake Wassom, Christy Xavier