Published on March 20, 2017 by Sarah Waller  

by Olivia Odom 

Fourth-year McWhorter School of Pharmacy student Michelle Leatherwood received the Charles C. Thomas Scholarship, one of the 13 named student scholarships awarded annually by the American Pharmacists Association Foundation.

The scholarship recognizes Leatherwood’s exceptional leadership skills, academic achievement and involvement in the student chapter of this national organization.

“Michelle has been an exemplary leader during her time at McWhorter School of Pharmacy,” said Whitney White, associate professor of pharmacy practice and clinical pharmacy specialist. “It is rare to find a student who is so passionate about learning, and one who actively seeks out opportunities for personal and professional development. She is committed to excellence in all she does, and has a bright future as a practitioner and pharmacy leader.”

Leatherwood has been a member of Samford’s Phi Lambda Sigma Beta chapter for two years, and a member of the American Pharmacists Association for four years, serving as Samford University American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacy chapter's president during her third year in pharmacy school. The chapter is just one of the school’s 11 active student organizations.

Phi Lambda Sigma honors leadership. After peer nominations, Leatherwood was inducted into the pharmacy leadership society. Leatherwood hopes her motivation of seeking opportunities for community and professional development will ultimately translate into providing the best care for her patients. 

This scholarship has special meaning to her because she met the scholarship’s namesake at the 134th Alabama Pharmacy Association annual conference, shortly after her induction into the Beta chapter of Phi Lambda Sigma. Alabama pharmacist, Charles Thomas founded Phi Lambda Sigma at Auburn University in 1965.

Leatherwood is set to graduate in May. She will be completing a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Augusta University Medical Center with the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy. Leatherwood said she will miss the Samford pharmacy professors and their guidance the most.

As her professors have served as mentors throughout her pharmacy journey, Leatherwood hopes that she has been a mentor to student pharmacists.

“What I love about McWhorter School of Pharmacy is that it is an established institution that continually improves from the valued feedback of students,” Leatherwood said. “I have been able to contribute to the program instead of just going through it. McWhorter School of Pharmacy is home for me.”

Leatherwood will be recognized during the APhA Foundation Annual Contributor’s Breakfast March 27 in San Francisco during the American Pharmacists Association annual meeting and exposition.

Olivia Odom is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer for the College of Health Sciences.

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.