Wegmans School of Pharmacy Celebrates Class of 2021
The Wegmans School of Pharmacy honored more than 90 baccalaureate and doctoral graduates during a Commencement ceremony held on Friday, May 7. In addition to receiving their diploma, the graduates of the Pharm.D. degree received their doctoral hoods.
In congratulatory remarks to the graduates, Dr. Christine Birnie, dean of the School, offered well wishes and encouragement.
“Throughout the last four years, we have witnessed your development into professional, empathetic, service-minded clinicians, prepared to serve our communities. As many of you now begin your careers in community pharmacies, hospital settings, residencies and many other pharmacy practice settings, we wish you the best,” said Birnie. “As we stand here this afternoon, you have joined the ranks of others that have gone before you. You have worked hard for this degree and you should be proud of yourselves. We certainly are proud of you.”
During the ceremony, Dr. Kobi Nathan, an associate professor in the School, was given the Award for Teaching Excellence at the graduate level. The recipients of the Award for Teaching Excellence are chosen by students, and are given annually to full-time faculty members for outstanding work in the classroom. Award recipients must demonstrate thorough knowledge of their subject matter, solid preparation for class, clear and effective communication, and genuine enthusiasm for their job.
In a letter nominating Nathan for the teaching award, one student wrote: “It is my belief that the role of a teacher is to embody the mission of St. John Fisher College, by leading as an example, and instilling these values in his or her students. I have been fortunate enough to spend time with a teacher who has proven to be an exemplary embodiment of intellectual, professional, and civic integrity. This teacher is Dr. Kobi Nathan.”
After the bachelor’s and doctoral degrees were conferred, Brittni Thomas and Albania Mitchell, co-presidents of the Class of 2021, offered remarks to their classmates.
“No one could have anticipated or prepared for the events that have taken place over the past year or so. But, I think we can all agree that it has aligned us with what is most important in life, which is everyone gathered here and on Zoom today,” Mitchell said. “We’d like to thank you all here in person and at home for all the support that you have given us throughout the years. Although this chapter is coming to an end, we are so excited for what’s to come! Congratulations Class of 2021, we did it!”
Thomas and Mitchell also presented the Class of 2021 gift, a contribution to a fund that provides scholarships and a safety net to pharmacy students that find themselves in financial hardship.
“As we leave here today, graduates of the School of Pharmacy, we will strive to improve the welfare of the communities we serve,” Thomas said. “And, with this gift we hope to support the welfare of the future pharmacists to come.”
As part of the ceremony, the School also honored recipients of its annual academic awards, recognizing the following students for their accomplishments in and out of the classroom:
- Wegmans School of Pharmacy Dean's Circle Award: Chelsea Kay Barvian, James Allen Cutaia Jr., Devin M. Donnelly, Allison Marie Hitchcock,Jenna Lynn Houk, Steven Luc, Samantha Morgan Schermerhorn, Jessica Diane Tousant, Elizabeth Rose Uttaro
- Wegmans Academic Excellence Award in Pharmacy: James Allen Cutaia Jr.
- USPHS Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award: Lawrence Joseph Bean III
- APhA-ASP Senior Recognition Certificate: Abigail Morgan Bornstein
- Viatris Excellence in Pharmacy Award: Natalie Lugo
- Pharmacists Society of the State of New York Award: Elizabeth Ann Ellison
- Merck Academic Excellence in Pharmacy Award: Ashley Marie Hannigan and Morgan Claire Marriott
- Excellence in Pharmacy Experiential Education Award: Anna Arefyev, Shanaya Carina Bulmer, Hanna Mary Case, Amy Elizabeth Gerula, Justin Varghese Kuriyilel, Cassidy Nau-Hix, Jessica Parmelee, Samantha Morgan Schermerhorn, Elizabeth Rose Uttaro
- Meritorious Award for Distinguished Experiential Performance: Gillian Eppinger