Congratulations, Class of 2024

Over the week of May 6-10, the Washington State University (WSU) Spokane campus and College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) celebrated the accomplishments of class of 2024 graduates. On Thursday, May 9 the college hosted a Graduate Hooding Ceremony to celebrate eight Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), one Master of Science, and 99 Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) graduates. Graduates also had the opportunity to take part in the WSU Spokane Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 10.

The Doctor of Pharmacy class of 2024 is marked by having started their pharmacy education during lockdown, where classes were taken online through their first year. Meanwhile graduating PhD students found themselves on a quiet campus, forging ahead to make breakthroughs in research even while others remained homebound. Yet these graduates made it through and even thrived.

John Michael O’Brien, president of the National Pharmaceutical Council, gave the keynote address at the college Graduate Hooding Ceremony and shared the importance of advocacy in a rapidly changing health care field.

“We’re in a golden age of biomedical innovation. The treatments and cures you’ve studied were unimaginable to me 25 years ago and those you will go on to develop and create are unimaginable to me now,” said O’Brien.

Prior to his role with the National Pharmaceutical Council, O’Brien was the senior advisor to the US Secretary of Health and Human Services and has held senior policy positions in the life sciences and managed care industries including CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, a career official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the Obama administration, and served as a health policy fellow in the US Senate.

Student speakers at the ceremony were PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Molecular Medicine graduate Peter Obi, and Doctor of Pharmacy graduates Zachary Mathew (Spokane) and Sergio Reyna (Yakima).

Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 2024 Celebration, Awards & Rehearsal

On Wednesday, May 8 Doctor of Pharmacy graduates gathered to celebrate graduating student awards.

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty Award

For a student from each campus who are voted by faculty who exhibit outstanding grades, membership and participation in professional organizations, and strong work characteristics in the classroom and community.

Yemi Akinbade

Fred Lienhard

Larry B. Bettesworth Health Systems Pharmacy Student Award

Presented by Director of Pharmacy at Providence Sacred Heart Michelle Sordoff, the award was established to honor Larry Bettesworth and his legacy as an outstanding pharmacist leader, teacher and mentor of many. The award recognizes students who are pursing continued professional training in a health-system pharmacy residency program and that have demonstrated significant contributions in health-system pharmacy, pharmacy professional associations and have actively engage in student leadership/volunteer opportunities.

Mason Melbuer

Andrew Staten

Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information: Facts and Comparisons Award of Excellence in Clinical Communication

For being in the top 25 percent of the class and demonstrating superior verbal and written clinical communication skills.

Andrew Staten

Merck Award for Academic Excellence

For the students with the highest academic achievement in the class.

Tiffany Ishibashi

Kamal Shah

VIATRIS™ Excellence in Pharmacy Award

For being in the top 25 percent of the class, demonstrating high personal motivation, possessing a unique ability to communicate drug information, and the intent to enter practice upon graduation.

Allison Grote

Graduating Veterans

Two graduating veterans were also recognized during the celebration.

Coleen Dean and Nathan Bower