Congratulations Class of 2021!

Commencement banner 2021

Dean’s Welcome:

Philip Hritcko, Dean and Clinical Professor

UConn Pharmacy Alumni Association:

Peter Tyczkowski ’78, President

Tag #UConnPharmacy21 to show up here!

Another great shot of our B.S. class of 21 🎓 Thank you for sharing @alexa.karadenes !
#uconnpharmacy21 #uconn21 #graduation #commencement

Another great shot of our B.S. class of 21 🎓 Thank you for sharing @alexa.karadenes !
#uconnpharmacy21 #uconn21 #graduation #commencement
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Congratulations #UConnPharmacy21 #uconn21

Congratulations #UConnPharmacy21 #uconn21 ...

Congratulations #UConnPharmacy21 You did it! 🎓

🎓Faculty shout out (L-R starting at top) by: Drs Sobieraj, Adams, Salvo, Nigro, Holle, Doyno, Waters, and Coleman. #HuskiesforLife #UConn21

Congratulations #UConnPharmacy21 You did it! 🎓

🎓Faculty shout out (L-R starting at top) by: Drs Sobieraj, Adams, Salvo, Nigro, Holle, Doyno, Waters, and Coleman. #HuskiesforLife #UConn21
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2 more sleeps 💚#uconnpharmacy21
#Repost @uconn - There we are in the distance 💚. 
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Honoring #UConn21 🎓💙

2 more sleeps 💚#uconnpharmacy21
#Repost @uconn - There we are in the distance 💚.
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Honoring #UConn21 🎓💙
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The celebration has begun (between exams). 🎓 Keep your photos coming! #uconnpharmacy21 🎓 #uconn21 

New Commencement detail is now in our LinkTree. 
#Repost @jnd1999 
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Don’t let my cap fool you, I do in fact know how to spell UConn #itwasthewind #classof2021 #uconnpharmacy21 #uconn21

The celebration has begun (between exams). 🎓 Keep your photos coming! #uconnpharmacy21 🎓 #uconn21

New Commencement detail is now in our LinkTree.
#Repost @jnd1999
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Don’t let my cap fool you, I do in fact know how to spell UConn #itwasthewind #classof2021 #uconnpharmacy21 #uconn21
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Commencement 2021 is coming! Please share your big day with #UConnPharmacy21 and #UConn21. We are creating a group feed and would love to see you on it! 

Happy first Monday of May everyone. We are in the home stretch.

Commencement 2021 is coming! Please share your big day with #UConnPharmacy21 and #UConn21. We are creating a group feed and would love to see you on it!

Happy first Monday of May everyone. We are in the home stretch.
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Ph.D. Class of 2021 graphic

Yifan Bao, Ph.D.
Major Advisor: Dr. Xiaobo Zhong
Discipline: Pharmacology and Toxicology

Andre Beringhs, Ph.D.
Major Advisor: Dr. Xiuling Lu
Discipline: Pharmaceutics

Alexavier Estrada, Ph.D.
Major Advisor: Dr. Dennis Wright
Discipline: Medicinal Chemistry

Derek Hargrove, Ph.D.
Major Advisor: Dr. Xiuling Lu
Discipline: Pharmaceutics

Jia He, Ph.D.
Major Advisor: Dr. Diane J. Burgess
Discipline: Pharmaceutics

Tinting Li, Ph.D.
Major Advisor: Dr. Diane J. Burgess
Discipline: Pharmaceutics

Parimal Pande, Ph.D.
Major Advisor: Dr. Xiaobo Zhong
Discipline: Pharmacology and Toxicology

Sameera Sansarae, Ph.D.
Major Advisor: Dr. Bodhisattwa Chaudhuri
Discipline: Pharmaceutics

Rambon (Roman) Shamilov, Ph.D.
Major Advisor: Dr. Brian Aneskievich
Discipline: Pharmacology &
Toxicology

Yaliang Tang, Ph.D.
Major Advisor: Dr. Debra Kendall
Medicinal Chemistry

Angela Zaino, Ph.D.
Major Advisor: Dr. Kyle Hadden
Discipline: Medicinal Chemistry

Ph.D. Class of 2021 Photo Album

MS Winter 2020

MS Winter 2020 graphic

Sterling Glass, MS
Major Advisor: Dr. Xiuling Lu
Discipline: Pharmacology and Toxicology

Pharm.D. Class of 2021 graphic

Callie Blair Abramowitz, Pharm.D.

Julia Anne Adams, Pharm.D.

Annie Grace Alquist, Pharm.D.

Paul  Amenta, Pharm.D.

Peter Andrew Benko, Pharm.D.

Ruth Michelle Bernadel, Pharm.D.

Kenny Joseph Bisch, Pharm.D.

Kamilla  Borsai, Pharm.D.

Samantha Ann Breaz, Pharm.D.

Samuel George Breiner, Pharm.D.

Kimberly Snow Caroti, Pharm.D.

Mackenzie Lee Collins, Pharm.D.

Nicholas Angelo Defilippo, Pharm.D.

Alexis  Droesch, Pharm.D.

Jacob Raymond Duffus, Pharm.D.

Keith Andre Edwards, Pharm.D.

Rita Chinenye Ejiofor, Pharm.D.

Kristen  Fernandes, Pharm.D.

Sarah Anne Franklin, Pharm.D.

Sindorela  Frroku, Pharm.D.

Jacob  Greenwald, Pharm.D.

Sonya Belle Harrow, Pharm.D.

Ariana Kari Hawkins, Pharm.D.

Alexis Tiara Hicks, Pharm.D.

Heather  Honor, Pharm.D.

Canyon  Hopkins, Pharm.D.

John Joseph Ingemi III, Pharm.D.

Monica Ying Xian Ip, Pharm.D.

Nicole  Irish, Pharm.D.

Kevin Sang Kao, Pharm.D.

Lava Peris Kareem, Pharm.D.

Tina Tina Kettavong, Pharm.D.

Mujtaba Ali Khan, Pharm.D., MBA

Sarah Marie Kovalchik, Pharm.D.

Nicole Stephanie Kowalczyk, Pharm.D.

Derek  Lindia, Pharm.D.

Xiaoyu  Lu, Pharm.D.

Katherine Elinor Macdonald, Pharm.D.

Isaiah Charles Manoogian, Pharm.D.

Jade Daniella Marlowe, Pharm.D.

Raquel Sofia Mateus, Pharm.D.

Brylee Taylor McLaughlin, Pharm.D.

Matthew Minutolo, Pharm.D.

Joseph Peter Morman, Pharm.D.

Robert J Mownn, Pharm.D.

Ryan Michael Nolan, Pharm.D.

Arian  Novaj, Pharm.D.

Stephanie Lynn Nyzio, Pharm.D.

Bridget M O'Donnell, Pharm.D.

Becky Rose Palma, Pharm.D.

Krishna Umesh Patel, Pharm.D.

Helena  Pecani, Pharm.D.

Maria Alexandra Peraza, Pharm.D.

Kevin  Pham, Pharm.D.

Alex Blaine Pray, Pharm.D.

Keara Nancy Prince, Pharm.D.

Marrium Zaahid Qureshi, Pharm.D.

Joseph  Ranjit, Pharm.D.

Alexis Rae Redfield, Pharm.D.

Nicholas James Rioux, Pharm.D.

Jonathon  Rocco, Pharm.D.

Alyssa Elene Santos, Pharm.D.

Bashkim  Selmani, Pharm.D.

Sameer Moeen Sharaf, Pharm.D., MBA

Michael Selden Sherman, Pharm.D.

Justyna Suzan Sudyka, Pharm.D.

Kendall Leigh Szulimowski, Pharm.D.

Jasmine Simone Tankard, Pharm.D.

Amanda  Touch, Pharm.D.

ThuyDuong Thi Tran, Pharm.D.

Tiana Thach Tran, Pharm.D.

Samantha  Troy, Pharm.D.

Parisa  Vaziri, Pharm.D.

Jordan  Vidal, Pharm.D.

Andre Sheng Wang, Pharm.D.

Abigail  Wolff, Pharm.D.

Kyle M Wytas, Pharm.D.

December 2020

David Mumbo Jr., Pharm.D.

Rigon Gilani, Pharm.D.

Pharm.D. Class of 2021 Photo Album

Valedictorian Address: Callie Abramowitz, Pharm.D.

Good afternoon to the families, friends, honored guests, professors, administrators, mentors, and of course, my fellow graduates of the Class of 2021. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would be the person representing such an intelligent, distinguished, and all-around extraordinary group of individuals as the Valedictorian of the UConn School of Pharmacy Class of 2021. Anyone who knew me throughout these past four years of pharmacy school can attest to how accurate that statement is. The night before every single exam, there was at least one panicked phone call home, text in all caps lock to my friends and/or boyfriend, or cry session with classmates which went something like this, “Guys, I’m seriously going to fail tomorrow. Like, actually get an ‘F’. I don’t know anything.” As you can probably imagine, I never actually got that “F” (although I came awfully close on that brutal Neuro final during our P1 spring.)

In retrospect, I now realize a couple of things that I want to bring to light. First, this pre-exam ritual was probably the most annoying thing in the world for my parents, friends, and classmates to listen to through the entirety of pharmacy school, especially since we averaged one to two exams per week (not to mention those pesky assignments that would always creep up on you, Top 200 quizzes, labs, practicals, projects, co-curriculars, patient cases, etc.) Wow, PTSD. Here’s a formal apology to anyone who may have dealt with my pre-exam annoyances in any fashion. Secondly and more importantly though, I now realize that it was my own classmates, this group of remarkable human beings, who facilitated me to achieve my dreams. I vividly remember a tearful call home to my parents after the first week of P1 year where I insisted that everyone was smarter than me, more prepared than me, more well-rounded than me, and all-around better than me. I told my parents I’d never make it past P1 year, let alone to graduation day. After a lifetime of growing up the daughter of an independent pharmacist (shout out to the best role model and pharmacist ever,) I questioned my path at the deepest part of my core. I questioned my abilities. I felt utterly inadequate in comparison to this exceptional group of individuals.

However, I also now realize that it was this exact feeling of uncertainty, inadequacy, and intense self-doubt that fueled my fire and motivated me to thrive at the height of my potential. My fellow classmates set the bar so high that my only option was to reach for the stars. So, to my incredible classmates and graduates of the Class of 2021, I challenge each of you to continue setting the bar this high in everything you do. Not only does it make you shine, but it also makes others shine. It pushes us all to limits we never thought possible, allows us to challenge and eventually overpower our unrelenting self-doubt, and never settle for that feeling of inadequacy, or even complacency. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that at some point during our time in pharmacy school, we’ve all experienced that familiar and consuming feeling of inadequacy, uncertainty, or self-doubt. It will always be there. It will always test you. It will always tell you that you aren’t enough. However, I challenge you all to do as I did- use this as a motivating force to reach new heights, prove yourself and your inner demons wrong, and conquer your dreams. I have full faith in the world when I say that if you all keep setting the bar as high as you did throughout pharmacy school, you will legitimately change the world. I cannot wait to see all of the amazing things you do in your pharmacy careers and how many people’s lives you impact because I can surely say you’ve impacted mine for the better.

I also want to take a moment to sincerely thank my support system who continually and wholeheartedly believed in me more than I believed in myself. To my amazing parents who probably feel like they are graduating pharmacy school today too, I can’t thank you enough. You pulled me through the days I wanted to give up, were ironically the people who encouraged me to take a break from studying and live a little, and somehow never blocked my number even after the fourth phone call of the day to vent. Thank you to my friends who stuck with me through every “sorry I can’t, I have to study,” the faculty who pushed me to the height of my intellect day in and day out, and the UConn SOP administration who worked to set us up for success (and always let us know when we were non-compliant.) I owe not only this degree but this title of Valedictorian to you all. And to the graduates of the Class of 2021, thank you for trudging through the many sleepless nights, laughs, cries, tears, delirium, and everything in between with me. We have seen each other at our best, worst, and ugliest at those 8 am exams after an all-nighter. Through it all, we still stuck together. That says a lot.

As I reflect on my own pharmacy school journey as well as the journey our class has collectively embarked upon, I can’t help but think back to the very first day of pharmacy school. It was the daunting day of P1 orientation, where all eighty-some of us filled room 131 bright and bushy-eyed, filled with

excitement, motivation, angst, and a bit of fear. Oh, how cute and filled with energy we were before we knew what was coming for us. I remember we were told to look to our left and right, but instead of the typical “half of you won’t be here come graduation day” pitch, we heard something very different. This time, we were told that everyone sitting to our left and right will still be here come graduation day. This gave me hope, but I remember that at that moment, graduation day felt like a lifetime away. Would I ever make it?

If I were giving this speech in person, I would ask all of you to look to your left and your right as we finally sit here on graduation day- the day many of us probably felt was a lifetime away. Take a moment to appreciate each one of your classmates and the journey we’ve shared through the most challenging yet rewarding years of our life. While we may have lost a few along the way, almost every single one of you are, in fact, the same people who were sitting to my left and right during P1 orientation. Let it ruminate that we finally made it. We made it through the late nights spent cramming Dr. Vino’s drug structures into our brain, writing and re-writing notes until our pens ran out of ink, memorizing Justyna’s beautiful drug charts and Quizlets like it was our day job, conquering the tremendous challenge of “virtual” P3 spring and many “virtual” APPEs, juggling multiple competing priorities, making many difficult sacrifices (mostly involving whether or not to go to Nickel,) and putting in literal blood, sweat, and tears. My friends, we did it. We made it to the day that we have dreamed of for so long and the day that, at one moment in time, felt downright intangible and unattainable. It’s finally here. We are Doctors of Pharmacy. Just take in this moment.

In the times of COVID-19, let’s also be grateful for our health, the health of friends and family, the ability to finally reunite in person, and live streaming so our friends and family near and far can cheer us on from their computer screens in pajamas today. This past year of the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly impacted our learning experiences, both during our hardest semester of P3 year and on APPE rotations, but the uncertainty that we’ve persisted through will provide us the strength, flexibility, and versatility that we need to become the best health care providers and pharmacists we can be. And, if any of your rotations were anything like mine, we’ve all probably administered more vaccines in the last year than many pharmacists have in their entire lifetime. We are not only a class of intelligent, motivated, and beautiful human beings inside and out, we are a class of healthcare heroes working on the front lines to put an end to a global pandemic. Not many people can say that, especially before even graduating pharmacy school, and that is something we should be so proud of. Those who survive a global pandemic together stay together.

As I begin the concluding paragraph of this speech, all of this may feel like an ending. It may feel like a conclusion to some of the best, yet most trying years of our lives, a culmination of our tireless hard work, grit, persistence, and character coming to a summit, and a final bow as we add those six letters to the end of our name that we’ve been dreaming of for so long- PharmD. At this very moment, it feels like we are at the height of the mountain…because in fact, we are. Take in the view. Savor it. Bottle it up and remember what it feels like. However, this is by no means the end of our journey; this is only the beginning. There will always be more mountains to climb, more obstacles and self-doubts to overcome, and more times to enjoy the view at the top of the mountain in the future. I challenge each of you to continually find more mountains to climb, no matter how steep or how daunting, and know that I’ll be cheering you on every step of the way. I absolutely cannot wait to see how high each of you go. Always remember where you came from and never lose sight of where you are going towards. We, the Class of 2021, are going to do amazing things.

Thank you for everything, PharmD Class of 2021. Wishing each of you the absolute best in your career and once again, congratulations! Stay in touch, stay safe, and as always, stay humble.

-Callie

Salutatorian Address: Justyna Sudyka, Pharm.D.

I want to begin by congratulating all my fellow classmates. We should all be proud of our hard work and earning the Doctor of Pharmacy degree!

Our journey as a class and as individuals has been one of a kind. I think most of us would agree that Pharmacy School took them on a journey of self-discovery, growth, and friendship. Like all pharmacy students, we’ve had to pull all-nighters to get through exam-packed weeks to get here – overcoming challenge after challenge. At times, we’ve had to sit continuously and endlessly in the library, lobby, and every nook and cranny in the pharmacy building, studying away for hours. Some of us have even slept at the School of Pharmacy building before big exams – if that’s not dedication then I don’t know what is!

As if our lives weren’t hectic enough with exams, assignments, extracurricular activities, sports, and jobs, Mother Nature decided to throw us a curve ball: the one and only COVID-19 pandemic.

Here we are sitting in a classroom with our friends, making plans after lecture to go to the movies, the gym, or even the bar to grab a drink after a tough week. Then come the post-spring break rumors during our P3 spring semester. Some of us are excited that maybe we’ll get an extra 2 weeks of vacation. Others are worried that they won’t be able to set off on their much-needed adventures. Everything was a mystery - what’s next? Then we get the e-mail about classes being remote for the rest of the semester… Reality starts setting in. We’re not going to sit in that classroom with our friends, making plans and joking around. We’ll be spending the rest of our last didactic semester from our apartments or homes, sitting alone in front of a computer and webcam on classroom Zoom calls or listening to pre-recorded lectures…

I know I was in shock! There were friends I didn’t have the chance to hug good-bye before going on spring break – I figured it was silly and I had my doubts. I thought to myself, “This virus will just blow over in a few weeks and everything will be back to normal.” Boy was I wrong!

We eventually finished up our online classes and began our individual journeys on rotations – some in-person, some remote. Many of us stressed about having rotations cancelled and moved around.

But, through these tough times – the memories of the many, great, happy moments that so many of us share with each other far overcome all the challenges we faced, including much of this past year.

Some of my favorite moments include meeting amazing friends, going out to eat and attending UConn Late Night - who doesn’t like getting free UConn gear? Then there’s exploring campus, eating ice cream at the Dairy Bar and pieing some Kappa Psi members for a fundraiser. And let’s not forget the APhA Annual Auction. There was plenty of intense bidding and jokes to go around!

And while studying isn’t always fun, a lot of us were able to make the most of it! I tried my very first Monster Energy drink and bubble tea. I had plenty of late nights studying with friends and ordering DP Dough calzones, Blaze Pizza and Insomnia Cookies. I’m sure plenty students at one point or another also took some study breaks at the numerous Lunch and Learns provided by the school. Many would agree that nothing beats free pizza on a Wednesday afternoon and a break from diligently studying.

Aside from memories, I’d like to thank a number of individuals who made my Pharmacy School journey memorable and possible:

First and foremost, I would like to thank my parents and brother. They were there to rescue me during my most stressful and trying times as a student. When exams weighed me down and cooking food was too time-consuming, I’d get a “surprise” visit with a home-cooked meal and plenty of bear hugs. If I needed a shoulder to cry on, they were there for me through it all. I know so many of my friends are thanking their families today for the same support.

Next, I would like to thank my friends for the unforgettable memories and constant support. We made it through some pretty rough patches, but we did it together! We had some laughter-filled movie nights, two instances of burnt popcorn setting off the fire-alarm, and many late-night conversations where we tried to ease one another’s worries. Through thick and thin, we have formed bonds between us all that will never be forgotten – thank you.

Lastly, I want to voice my appreciation for our wonderful faculty. The school would be nothing without you keeping us all on our toes about deadlines and making sure we received what we needed to succeed. You help us set ourselves up for an irreplaceable and strong foundation for our pharmacy careers.

As our Pharmacy School journey comes to an end, a new journey begins. Some of us will be completing residencies and fellowships, others may be practicing as pharmacists in a hospital or a community pharmacy. Some of us may still be figuring that out – I challenge us to stay together with our next steps and long after. You never know what great opportunities you might come across and what we can create for each other.

To my fellow classmates, as we move forward in our careers, we will all probably face a few bumps along the way. Let us ride right over those bumps with more momentum at the end of that bump than when we started; although they may sometimes seem like impassible mountains, keep going and we will all find ourselves at the top. In the end, every single one of us will find a way and a purpose greater than ourselves. Be like Dory and just keep swimming. -Justyna

Awards and Tracks – Class of 2021

Callie Abramowitz - Class Valedictorian, RHO CHI
Rho Chi Honor Society -- Alpha Gamma Chapter Senior Award
In recognition of the highest academic achievement in the four years of the professional program

Paolo Amenta
Pharmacy Commission Award
Awarded in recognition for excellence in the community pharmacy experiential program

Samuel Breiner - RHO CHI
School of Pharmacy Faculty Recognition Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments
School of Pharmacy Alumni Memorial Award
In recognition of demonstrated commitment to the profession of pharmacy in memory of our deceased alumni

Nicholas DeFilippo – Urban Service Track
James T. Malaney '10 Community Service Award
In recognition of community service above and beyond the required pharmacy practice experiences

Alexis Droesch - PHI LAMBDA SIGMA
School of Pharmacy Communication Award
Awarded in recognition of communication skills and the application of knowledge to patients and health practitioners

Keith Edwards
Dean Gustavus Eliot Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments

Rita Ejiofor – Leaders Track
Outstanding Women Scholar
Awarded to student who has demonstrated a dedication to research and service to the University community as well as academic excellence
Associate Dean Philip Hritcko Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments

Kristen Fernandes - RHO CHI, Pediatric Track, PHI LAMBDA SIGMA
Dean Henry Johnson Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments

Sarah Franklin - RHO CHI, HONORS SCHOLAR
The Merck Award for Academic Performance
In recognition of excellence in academics

Sindorela Frroku-Dido – Leaders Track
Associate Dean Andrea Hubbard Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments

Jacob Greenwald
John Basile Memorial Award
Awarded to graduating Pharm.D. member of the Kappa Psi fraternity who has contributed outstanding services to the chapter

Ariana Hawkins
Associate Dean Donna Fournier Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments

Heather Honor - Pediatric Track, PHI LAMBDA SIGMA
The Connecticut Pharmacist Leadership Award
Presented to a student member of the Connecticut Pharmacists Association who was actively involved while attending pharmacy school demonstrating leadership while maintaining an outstanding academic performance

Canyon Hopkins
Louis Kazin Journalism Award
In recognition of outstanding work in the field of journalism

John Ingemi
James T. Malaney '10 Community Service Award
In recognition of community service above and beyond the required pharmacy practice experiences

Monica Ip - Leaders Track, PHI LAMBDA SIGMA

Nicole Irish
Alfred D. Ford Diversity Award
In recognition of service to diverse populations

Kevin Kao – RHO CHI, Leaders Track
John Basile Memorial Award
Awarded to graduating Pharm.D. member of the Kappa Psi fraternity who has contributed outstanding services to the chapter

Lava Kareem – Urban Service Track

Mujtaba Khan
Joseph A. Muccino Memorial Award
In recognition of the greatest overall scholastic improvement in the four year professional program

Sarah Kovalchik
The Charles A. Pergola Student Internship Award
To qualified students in the professional program who have participated in an internship at a pharmaceutical company

Nicole Kowalczyk - Leaders Track
Dean Harold G. Hewitt Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments

Xiaoyu James Lu
The School of Pharmacy Mortar & Pestle Professionalism Award
Presented in recognition of exhibiting the ideals of professionalism and excellence in patient care, and demonstrating exceptional service and commitment to pharmacy

Katherine MacDonald
School of Pharmacy Communication Award
Awarded in recognition of communication skills and the application of knowledge to patients and health practitioners

Jade Marlowe – RHO CHI

Raquel Mateus – PHI LAMBDA SIGMA

Brylee McLaughlin – RHO CHI
Robert C. Greib Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence Award
In recognition of excellence in pharmacy jurisprudence

Joseph Morman – Leaders Track

Robert Mownn – RHO CHI, Pharmaceutical Science Track
The Charles A. Pergola Student Internship Award
To qualified students in the professional program who have participated in an internship at a pharmaceutical company
Edmund E. Goodmaster, Sr. Pharmacy Award
Awarded to a member of the graduating class for high achievement in scholarship and extracurricular activities

Ryan Nolan – RHO CHI, Urban Service Track, HONORS SCHOLAR
United States Public health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice Award
Recognizing a pharmacy student who has demonstrated a commitment to public health and public health practice
School of Pharmacy Faculty Recognition Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments
Dean Arthur E. Schwarting Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments

Arian Novaj - Urban Service Track
Dean Karl A. Nieforth Award In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments

Stephanie Nyzio
Patrick Garvin Memorial Award
In recognition of the graduate who has achieved the greatest improvement over the four-year professional program, and who will be entering pharmacy community practice

Bridget O’Donnell – RHO CHI
The Merck Award for Academic Performance
In recognition of excellence in academics

Helena Pecani
Joseph W. Prokop Memorial Prize
In recognition of excellence in community pharmacy experiential rotations

Maria Peraza – Urban Service Track

Marrium Qureshi – RHO CHI, Urban Service Track
Connecticut Alumni Chapter of the Alpha Zeta Omega, Nu Chapter Pharmaceutical Fraternity Award
In recognition of the highest academic record for the first professional year in the pharmacy curriculum
Louis F. Villa Memorial Award
In recognition of the highest scholastic average in the first three years of the professional program

Joseph Ranjit
Associate Dean Kevin Sweeny Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments

Jonathon Rocco
Dean Robert L. McCarthy Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments

Alyssa Santos – Urban Service Track, PHI LAMBDA SIGMA, HONORS SCHOLAR
Dean James Halpert Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments

Kimberly Snow Caroti – Pediatric Track, Pharmaceutical Science Track
The School of Pharmacy Mortar & Pestle Professionalism Award
Presented in recognition of exhibiting the ideals of professionalism and excellence in patient care, and demonstrating exceptional service and commitment to pharmacy
Merck Research Award
Awarded for excellence in undergraduate research

Justyna Sudyka - Class Salutatorian, RHO CHI, PHI LAMBDA SIGMA
The Academy of Students of Pharmacy Certificate of Recognition
Awarded in recognition of outstanding service to the student chapter of the Academy of Students of Pharmacy
Edmund E. Goodmaster, Sr. Pharmacy Award
Awarded to a member of the graduating class for high achievement in scholarship and extracurricular activities

Kendall Szulimowski – RHO CHI
Viatris Excellence in Pharmacy Award
In recognition of outstanding academic achievement (top 25% of the class) and demonstrated professional motivation, with intent to enter pharmacy practice

ThuyDuong Tran – RHO CHI

Samantha Troy – Leaders Track, PHI LAMBDA SIGMA
American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists and Connecticut Society of Health Systems Pharmacists Awarded to a graduating Pharm.D. who’s overall academic performance and active interest demonstrates outstanding achievement in hospital pharmacy

The Lambda Kappa Sigma Ableman Chrysanthemum Achievement Award
Presented to an active sister in good academic standing who consistently promotes the advancement of women in pharmacy and serves as a positive influence to the collegiate chapter.  The sister exemplifies the five core values of the fraternity: integrity, sisterhood, service, leadership, and scholarship

Parisa Vaziri - RHO CHI

Jordan Vidal - Urban Service Track
Lawrence Karp Memorial Prize
Excellence in studies of the pharmacological basis for treatment of the diseased state

Andre Wang
Dean Michael C. Gerald Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments

Abigail Wolff
Associate Dean Kenneth Speranza Award
In recognition of scholastic excellence, professionalism, and/or experiential accomplishments

Kyle Wytas
Alex Cardoni Award in Psychiatric Pharmacy
For exceptional performance in P4 Psychiatric Clinical Clerkship in application of pharmacy knowledge to the care of patients with mental illness
School of Pharmacy Patient Care Award
Awarded in recognition of excellence in institutional clinical experiential rotations

Traditional Chinese Medicine Study Abroad Participants 2018:
Alexis Redfield
Becky Palma
Andre Wang

Jeannette Wick – 2021 Teacher of the Year

Oath of a Pharmacist
B.S. Class of 2021 graphic

Sumoda Achar, BS Pharmacy Studies

Feryal  Alhamadani, BS Pharmacy Studies

Suneri Jakal Amin, BS Pharmacy Studies

Makayla Amber Arriaga, BS Pharmacy Studies

Jessica May Askew, BS Pharmacy Studies

Hannah  Ayers, BS Pharmacy Studies

Saba  Azam, BS Pharmacy Studies

Sabrina Marie Balsamo, BS Pharmacy Studies

Daniela  Barisano, BS Pharmacy Studies

Juliet  Boamah, BS Pharmacy Studies

Adara  Bochanis, BS Pharmacy Studies

Luke Alan Brissette, BS Pharmacy Studies

Nathalie Ann Brown, BS Pharmacy Studies

Amber Laurel Buske, BS Pharmacy Studies

Cait Carol Callahan, BS Pharmacy Studies

Carina Danielle Cassano, BS Pharmacy Studies

Cherlaine  Chan, BS Pharmacy Studies

Connie  Chan, BS Pharmacy Studies

Samantha Amber Chow, BS Pharmacy Studies

Bailey  Conkey, BS Pharmacy Studies

Katelyn Leigh Cotter, BS Pharmacy Studies

Mackenzie Mary Cullen, BS Pharmacy Studies

Dylan  Decandia, BS Pharmacy Studies

Roshica A Dehaney, BS Pharmacy Studies

Jess Nicole Dillon, BS Pharmacy Studies

Sarah M Erlingheuser, BS Pharmacy Studies

Joseph Michael Filippone, BS Pharmacy Studies

Adlin V Garcia, BS Pharmacy Studies

Dana Lynn George, BS Pharmacy Studies

Kelley Y Greene, BS Pharmacy Studies

Melanie  Groff, BS Pharmacy Studies

Athena Belle Gutierrez, BS Pharmacy Studies

Egla  Hasimllari, BS Pharmacy Studies

Isabella Natalia Hernandez, BS Pharmacy Studies

Muzi  Hua, BS Pharmacy Studies

Melek  Hursid, BS Pharmacy Studies

Jennifer Yun Hwang, BS Pharmacy Studies

Amanda  Idusuyi, BS Pharmacy Studies

Kat  Irani, BS Pharmacy Studies

Emma  Jaworowski, BS Pharmacy Studies

Alexa Mary Karadenes, BS Pharmacy Studies

Ryan Joseph Kurschner, BS Pharmacy Studies

Hannah Rose Langlais, BS Pharmacy Studies

Diana  Levytska, BS Pharmacy Studies

Anxhela  Lito, BS Pharmacy Studies

Anna  Liu, BS Pharmacy Studies

Karisse T Lora, BS Pharmacy Studies

Elizabeth  Marino, BS Pharmacy Studies

Adam M Mastroianni, BS Pharmacy Studies

Hannah Katherine McCarthy, BS Pharmacy Studies

Sarah Ellen Meade, BS Pharmacy Studies

Katie Kimiko Meehan, BS Pharmacy Studies

Natalie Anne Melvin, BS Pharmacy Studies

Gerta  Memeti, BS Pharmacy Studies

Nina Mikhailovna Mirontchik, BS Pharmacy Studies

Roxanna  Monshi, BS Pharmacy Studies

Manuel Jorge Montouliu-Espinosa, BS Pharmacy Studies

Ryan Andrew Moreau, BS Pharmacy Studies

Jack  Mountain, BS Pharmacy Studies

Iram  Nasreen, BS Pharmacy Studies

Tyler  Oakes, BS Pharmacy Studies

Mi  Phan, BS Pharmacy Studies

Kylie Angelina Price, BS Pharmacy Studies

Shayne Thomas Sampognaro, BS Pharmacy Studies

Angela Lei Sang, BS Pharmacy Studies

Colin W Schleicher, BS Pharmacy Studies

Kyle Stephen Semmel, BS Pharmacy Studies

Jung Myung  Seo, BS Pharmacy Studies

Anna M Stowe, BS Pharmacy Studies

Kory Nicholas Stuessel, BS Pharmacy Studies

Erin  Supko, BS Pharmacy Studies

Bella Rose Tardy, BS Pharmacy Studies

Ethan A Taverna, BS Pharmacy Studies

Alex Roland Theriault, BS Pharmacy Studies

Jordan A Vaccaro, BS Pharmacy Studies

Rebecca E Vales, BS Pharmacy Studies

Kirsten Ashlee Werner, BS Pharmacy Studies

Sindy  Yang, BS Pharmacy Studies

Jackson John Yost, BS Pharmacy Studies

Will  Zhang, BS Pharmacy Studies

Lily  Zhu, BS Pharmacy Studies

BS Class of 2021 Photo Album

Valedictorian Address: Iram Nasreen, BS

Congratulations to my fellow graduates of the BS in Pharmacy Studies Class of 2021!

First and foremost, I would like to thank my amazing parents and siblings for all of their love and support. I would not have made it this far without their help. They helped me prioritize school when I needed to and humbled me when my head got big. I would also like to thank my friends, Egla, Jennifer, Melek, Hannah A., and Amber for helping me keep my sanity throughout this pandemic. I don’t know what I would have done without you guys.

To the Class of 2021, I hope you and your families have been able to stay safe and healthy throughout this pandemic. We have come a long way from poking each other with syringes full of saline and struggling with vancomycin dosing as P1s. Most of us have been able to work in the front lines as immunizers for COVID-19 vaccine clinics and work with other healthcare professionals to care for patients. I would like to thank our fellow classmates for taking on such a vital role and our professors for preparing us to step up and do so.

I miss being able to come on campus and see all of you in person. I know I had a hard time adjusting to virtual learning and I am glad we will be back to in person learning in the fall. My bed did not help me focus as much as the pharmacy library did, where I could see everyone suffering with me. I hope that all of you are proud to get your Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Studies, it was not an easy thing to accomplish. Please take the time to celebrate this milestone with your friends and families today.

We will have some new challenges to face when we go back to in person learning for our last year of didactic learning. We will need to get used to listening to our professors at 1x speed again. We will also have to wake up more than 2 minutes before class and struggle with the seats in room 129 again. However, no matter what challenges we face, we will establish a new normal, and we will finish off our last year of classes on a strong note.

Thank you for taking the time to read this speech and I wish you all a wonderful summer and success on your rotations.

Stay safe and I hope to see you all in the fall!

Iram Nasreen

Salutatorian Address: Kyle Semmel, BS

Hello to my classmates, friends, and soon to be UConn graduate students,

First of all, congratulations to all of you. I am humbled to be able to deliver a message to you all on such an important day. It feels good to know that through the stress, angst, and countless memorized flashcards of drug names, indications, pharmacologic mechanisms of action, side effects, and contraindications, that we have finally earned the ability to say… we have almost made it. It certainly has been a challenging 2 years in pharmacy school, and I believe we have all earned the seats we are in today.

I want to thank my family for supporting me through my time as an undergraduate student. Now, due to COVID I was able to live at home for the majority of this past year, so to my mom: thank you for always picking up the phone after I get out of work late at night and warming up some dinner for me at my request, just so that I wouldn’t feel pressed for time. To my Dad: thank you for those many talks about what my future may hold. To my brothers Jake and Matt: thank you guys for being the most dependable friends I could ask for. I know that my family felt the same stress as I did during exam weeks, the same exhaustion after a late-night study session, and the same pride that I do now. From helping me buy groceries, to helping me adjust to the effects that COVID has had on our education, they have always been by my side.

This past year has been difficult for many reasons. Many people are dealing with complications from COVID that perhaps none of us will know about. To those of you that I am describing, I am truly sorry for everything that has happened. Online classes have nearly eliminated the ability to find a sense of comradery and closeness when the only interaction with our peers is through a computer screen. But, thanks to our pharmaceutical professionals, we have been given the opportunity to become vaccinated and protect those we love. Maybe one of us, or more appropriately a team of us, will one day make an impact on the world like they have this year.

I am eager to return to classes this fall in person and gain a sense of normalcy. I know that many of you feel the same, as do our professors. Sure, it will be difficult not being able to roll directly out of bed and turn my laptop on within 2 minutes to make it on time to an 8am class, but losing that is worth seeing everyone in person again.

It goes without saying that pharmacy school is a tough mountain to climb. Being a part of a profession with newly emerging responsibilities in the world of healthcare is a daunting challenge to undertake. Fortunately, I believe that each one of us are well on our ways to reaching excellence in the pharmacy profession, however that may be. The dynamic nature of the pharmacy profession allows us to choose from an ever-growing list of possibilities. While those decisions seem like they are out on the horizon, they are quickly approaching. I do become relieved, however, once I think about the fact that I will find myself back in the pharmacy school lobby in a few months with my classmates and friends, where we can continue to learn, grow, and help each other through this next chapter of our lives.

We all should take just a moment to look forward to 2 years from today, where we will once again be sitting to receive our Doctor of Pharmacy degrees. It is this goal that will continue to drive us towards success. It brings me comfort to know that we will all continue to strive for this goal together over the coming years. It’s true that our paths will all be unique, but it is through these journeys where we will determine what we are truly capable of.

I am proud to be a member of this class of UConn pharmacy students. The teamwork and support that resides within this student body is unparalleled. Once again, congratulations everyone. You have earned every bit of success, and every bit of this coming summer break, however you may be spending it.

Thank you.

-Kyle