On Friday October 21, 118 pharmacy students convocated from the University of Waterloo. After four years of rigorous courses, three co-op work terms, and six months of clinical rotation in their final year, the class of 2016 finally earned their PharmD.
Valedictorian Sumaira Hasan summarized the spirit of the 2016 graduates’ best in her closing remarks to her classmates:
We’ve overcome setbacks and achieved successes. Now it’s our chance to make great things happen!
The class of 2016 is described as ‘astute’, ‘steadfast’, ‘energetic’, and ‘kind’ by their professors, and have experienced hardships along the way. Two of their peers passed away during their progression through the program, as did Lisa Mclean, a staff member and instructor. Despite these tragedies, the class of 2016 demonstrated perseverance and achieved success on many fronts, being the first pharmacy cohort to organize a national pharmacy student conference.
Convocation was followed by a reception at the School of Pharmacy where several students received awards for academic excellence and for contributions as student leaders and community members. Of particular note is the Meredith Ivall Spirit Award, dedicated by Meredith’s family in memory of their daughter who passed away in 2015. The award was received by three students who exemplify Meredith’s positive and can-do attitude: Leni Tan, Candice Smith and Mackenzie Heist.
Other award winners included:
- Mortar and Pestle Awards (top academic performance): Sayla Ward, Kenneth Tsang, Nathan Rickettes, Janice Chan, Silvija Mihajlovic, Jean-Luc Chouffot, Andrew Osinga, Lily Zhang, Sharon Liang, Alicia Koziello, Sukhmani Sethi, Christine Zaccaria
- Lisa Mclean Award (for success in the professional practice sequence): Jean-Luc Chouffot
- Pharmachoice Award (for topic-specific documentation): Alicia Oesch (first), Hannah Tse (second), and Marissa Belcamino (third)
- Charlie Bayliff Award (for an exemplary student pursuing a hospital residency): Ashlie McGuire
In addition to the PharmD graduates, three pharmacy graduate students received their degrees. Aula Al Muslim received her PhD and Mohamed Chan received his Masters; both were supervised by Dr. Shawn Wettig. Elliot Offman, supervised by Dr. Andrea Edginton, also received his PhD.
Lastly, nine students graduated from the Pharmacy Bridging Program, a program which enables students who’ve graduated from the School of Pharmacy’s previous program, a BScPharm program, to also earn their PharmD degree.
Congratulations to all fall 2016 graduates!