Posted by Philip Poole on 2012-06-01

Students, alumni and employees of Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy received special recognitions during the recent "2012 Night of Celebration" that was part of the university's commencement weekend activities. 

Three fourth-year students received the Merck Medicinal Chemistry Award, presented to the three students with the highest composite numerical average in medicinal chemistry: Jenny Baldone of Alabaster, Ala.; Andrew Mardis of Birmingham; and Maggee Oliver of Albertville, Ala. Mardis also received the Woodrow Bynum Pharmaceutical Sciences Award as the student with the greatest overall performance in the total composite of pharmaceutical science courses. Baldone also was recipient of the Lilly Achievement Award, which recognizes the student who has served as a model to other students and represents "the best in pharmacy for the future." 

Elliot Tidmore of Coker, Ala., received the H. Shirkey Pharmacology Award, which is presented to the student with the highest composite numerical average in pharmacology. Charlsie Young Williams received the Pharmacy Communications Award, given to the student with outstanding patient/pharmacist communication skills. 

Jennifer Sorah of Bristol, Tenn., received the Pharmaceutics Award as the student with the highest composite numerical average in pharmaceutics, and Carrie Smith Borden was honored with the Pharmacokinetics Award as the student with the highest composite numerical average in therapeutic drug management. 

The Therapeutics Award for the student with the highest composite numerical average throughout the three course therapeutics sequence was presented to Zachary Martin of Irondale, Ala. Martin also received the Nonprescription Medications Award, which recognizes the student with knowledge, performance, and communication skills regarding over the counter medications in course work and rotations.

Lauren Garrett Whitt received the Physiology Award as the student with the highest composite numerical average in physiology. Shrinali Amin of Fairhope, Ala., received the Alabama Society of Health-System Pharmacists Student Health-System Award, given to a member of the ASHP student organization who has plans to pursue health-system pharmacy practice. 

Bruce Harris of Birmingham received the Facts & Comparisons Award of Excellence in Clinical Communications. This award is presented to a student who is not only in the top 25% of the class academically, but who also demonstrates superior verbal and written clinical communication skills. Harris also received one of the Dean's Awards. 

Scott Keith of Trussville, Ala., received the Community Pharmacy Management Award, given to the student who demonstrates the qualities necessary to achieve success as a community pharmacy manager, including good interpersonal skills with workers and customers and demonstrated leadership ability.

Jessica Collins of Helena, Ala., was recognized as the outstanding student in community pharmacy practice with the Jefferson County Pharmaceutical Association Community Pharmacy Award. Ben Allen of Birmingham received the Hospital Pharmacy Award, which recognizes outstanding performance in hospital-based institutional and/or clinical rotations. 

Andrew Heckathorn of Vestavia Hills, Ala., received the Pharmacist'sLetter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Recognition Award as the student who has exhibited interest and expertise related to natural medicines, and who encourages an evidence-based approach to evaluating natural medicines. 

Olivia Dansby was presented the Mylan Pharmaceuticals Excellence in Pharmacy Award as a student who is not only in the top 25% of the class academically but who also demonstrates high professional motivation and a unique ability to communicate drug information. 

Ashley Bryant Holcomb was presented the Geriatric Pharmacy Award recognizes a student with a high degree of interest and performance in the field of long-term care or geriatric pharmacy. The Public Health Pharmacy Award, recognizing the student with a high degree of interest and performance in the field of public health pharmacy, was presented to Rachel Beaty of Vestavia Hills, Ala. 

Morgan Ward earned the Patient Care Award, which focuses on patient relations in both hospital and community practice.  The student receiving this award excels in areas of patient care such as: community or hospital practice, communication skills, patient counseling, utilization review, patient care presentation, therapeutic drug monitoring, drug regimen evaluation and recommendations, community education, health screening, drug information, and clinical literature. 

The Don Lane Martinez Research Award was presented to Andy Bryson of Cleveland, Tenn., who was identified the student produced a research project that was significant and deserved recognition.  The project must have resulted in a final paper or written end project. 

The Professionalism Award is given to the student who exhibits the ideals of professionalism and excellence in patient care in all aspects of their academic pharmacy career. Two were recognized: Jennifer Felts of London, Ky., and Meredith Spencer

The "Character Counts" Award was presented to Marc Andersen of Brigham City, Utah, and Sam Blakemore of Harrison. Tenn. The award is given to students who represent those qualities of character that are the best of professional ethics, the values of the pharmacy school, and those personal ethical standards which will lead to excellence in their personal and professional lives. 

In addition to Harris, two others received Dean's Awards, recognizing students who have provided outstanding service to the pharmacy school: Brittny Ballentine of Mableton, Ga., and Katie Stanford Dooley of Attalla, Ala. 

Three other students received academic achievement awards: Kay Shaw Dean of Centre, Ala., Sara Nelson of Nashville, Tenn., and Shane Redel of Hopkinsville, Ky. 

Christian Conley of Oviedo, Fla., was recipient of the TEVA Pharmaceuticals Outstanding Student Award is given to the student who has demonstrated excellence in the study of pharmacy. 

Thirteen students received recognition for senior research projects, and three received monetary awards: Sam Randolph of Homewood, Ala., first place; Blakemore, second place; and Brad Bowling of Russellville, Ala., third place. 

Eight students were recognized for their leadership in nine of the pharmacy school's student professional and service organizations: Amy Boyles, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy; Autumn Bagwell, Academy of Student Pharmacists; Lauren Fee, Christian Pharmacy Fellowship; Leigh Conner, Kappa Psi and Phi Lambda Sigma; Courtney Weber, National Community Pharmacists Association; Kimberly Magers, Rho Chi; Thomas Hughes, Student National Pharmaceutical Association; and Catherine Needham, Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 

Samford alumni Amberly and Clint Gentry received the Carl Wayne Shaddix Pharmacy Practitioner of Excellence Award. The 2007 graduates opened Gentry's Pharmacy in Birmingham in July 2011 and were recognized for "outstanding accomplishments in the pharmacy profession." 

Lea Wolsoncroft, a 1994 graduate, received the non-faculty Preceptor of the Year Award. The award is presented to a full-time practitioner who mentors students in their practice. Wolsoncroft is with KidsMeds in Vestavia Hills. 

Assistant Professors Maryam Iranikhah and Whitney White were recognized as Faculty Preceptors of the Year. Other faculty awards from the graduating class were: Jeff Kyle, assistant professor, Pharmacy Practice Faculty Member of the Year; David Luthin, associate professor, Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences Faculty Member of the Year; Gary Bumgarner, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, Commitment to Student Success Award; John Arnold, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, Excellence in Teaching Award; and Robert Riggs, professor of pharmaceutical sciences, Commitment to Teaching Award.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.