Annual Crimson Gala Celebrates William Gaskins, College Mentor and Community Leader

Bill and Felicia Gaskins

Year-round, alumni, faculty and friends of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) work tirelessly to innovate and advance the student pharmacist experience. Through regular meetings, generous contributions, and thoughtful preparation and guidance, CPPS has managed to advance its program with many wins this year. The annual Crimson Gala is one of the ways the college thanks their up-front and behind-the-scenes supporters.

This year’s gala honored William (Bill) Gaskins (class of ’69) with the first-ever R. Keith Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award. Bill’s ongoing commitment to advising and mentoring student pharmacists has made a significant impact on the outcomes of many lives, as well as the pharmacy profession. In his 43-year tenure as director of pharmacy for the Pullman Regional Hospital, Gaskins served as a mentor and preceptor to over 300 WSU student pharmacists who gained invaluable knowledge through clinical experience and the hospital pharmacy. Proceeds from the Crimson Gala will fund the William and Felicia Gaskins Scholarship.

“I could never have imagined that this [award] would be given to me… All my life, I’ve always had people help me and guide me with everything I’ve done,” said Gaskins in his thank you speech upon receiving the award.

“I appreciate that there are people holding me up all the time. They are really the ones that are responsible for this recognition.”

The first student to ever receive the William and Felicia Gaskins Scholarship was third year, Monica Sines, an Army combat veteran and mother. To a crowd of CPPS alumni and supporters, Monica shared her aspirations of providing the best care for anyone, regardless of social class, through effective communication.

“As a pharmacist, I hope to work in urban areas with low-income populations to increase their understanding of medications, and empower them to improve their health,” Sines said in her acceptance speech at the Crimson Gala.

“Monica is one of the most amazing students I’ve ever had the good fortune to teach. [We] have been working together to ensure that Monica is aware of just how many career opportunities are open to her as she is far more talented than she gives herself credit for,” said Sue Marsh, director of graduate studies at CPPS.

The following individuals were also recognized for their exceptional service in moving forward the college’s vision and mission to advance the student experience:

2018 Alumnus of the Year

Manpreet Chahal, class of 2010

Chahal has been exemplary in practice and in influence. Helping students set up service organizations related to oncology, Chahal also serves on the WSU Inland Empire Chapter of the Alumni Association as well as chair of the CougaRx Nation.

2019 Mentor of the Year Award

Erin McCarthy, class of 2017
Skye McKennon, class of 2007

Five years ago, CPPS established a mentoring program with Fred Meyer, which pairs alumni mentors with students to navigate through their four-year pharmacy education. Alumni contribute their real-world experiences to inspire, illuminate and prepare students for careers in pharmacy.

2019 Preceptor of the Year Award

Michael Marr, class of 1980
Mike Tews, class of 2004

The Preceptor of the Year Award is given annually to WSU pharmacy preceptors who demonstrate high standards of professionalism, ethics and clinical practice. Student pharmacists nominate preceptors for the award based on their experiences during rotations at their practice sites.