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MCW School of Pharmacy Celebrates Class of 2023 PharmD Recipients

MCW School of Pharmacy celebrates Class of 2023 PharmD recipients

On May 18, the MCW School of Pharmacy celebrated 37 students graduating with their Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Class of 2023. The Hooding Ceremony at the Marcus Performing Arts Center formally marked the transition from student pharmacist to Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) graduate. Faculty members placed elongated hoods over the shoulders of students, signifying the official start of their professional pharmacy career.

“This class of PharmD graduates completed all of their doctoral education during the pandemic. Their ability to adapt, persevere and serve others has prepared them well for roles as healthcare providers in the future,” said George E. MacKinnon III, PhD, MS, RPh, FASHP, FNAP, founding dean and professor.

Keynote speaker Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, ScD (Hon), FASHP, chief executive officer of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, commented on the bright future graduating students have ahead of them.

“You are our profession’s future. Your minds hold the seeds of innovation and promise to change, advance and sustain our profession,” said Dr. Abramowitz. “You are now about to become a professional that is a true medication specialist and a primary care provider with a responsibility for the health and well-being of your patients. You will be an essential part of every healthcare team – in the hospital, in the clinic, in the community health center, in the community pharmacy and other sites of care.”

Megan Ose, PharmD, MHSA, RPh, DPLA, director of pharmacy at Children’s Wisconsin and assistant dean for pediatric pharmacy services for the MCW School of Pharmacy was a special presenter at the event, leading graduating students in reciting the Oath of a Pharmacist. This promise states that pharmacists will devote themselves to a lifetime of service to others, including prioritizing relief of suffering and advocating for justice to advance health equity.

“Congratulations, Class of 2023. You should be proud! Not only did you make it through the competitive world of pharmacy school, but you also managed to excel through the long sleepless nights, the 10 hours a week of integrated sequence classes, the hectic schedule – and you did it all amidst the pandemic,” said Abir El-Alfy, PhD, assistant dean of student affairs and professor. “Despite the challenges, you managed to strive for excellence, and through hard work and perseverance, you did it! Keep it up and be open to learning new things, for learning is a lifelong path, and you have taken your first few steps.”

Following the Hooding Ceremony, students and their families joined staff and faculty at the Pilot House at Discovery World for the graduation dinner and awards program.

Twelve students received awards from the School of Pharmacy, Froedtert, the Medical College of Wisconsin, as well as other organizations, including the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, the U.S. Public Health Service, and Viatris.

MCW School of Pharmacy Class of 2023 award winners

Anas (Adam) Abuzoor
ASHP Student Society – Officer Recognition Award

Alberto Aranda
Viatris Excellence in Pharmacy Award

Rachael Koch
Friends of the Medical College of Wisconsin Service Award

Kaitlin Ledvina
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) Certificate of Merit

Payeng Lor
APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists – Senior Recognition Certificate
Diversity and Inclusion Pharmacy Student Award

Isabelle Mahaffy
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) Certificate of Merit
Friends of the Medical College of Wisconsin Service Award

Gabrielle Hope Marchese
Fostering Healthy Communities Award
Interprofessional Education Student Pharmacist Award
U.S. Public Health Service – Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award

Megan Mills
Student Pharmacist Research Dissemination Award

Ami Leigh Schmidt
Froedtert & MCW Advancing Pharmacy Practice Award

Rachel Schneider
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) Certificate of Merit
Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin – Student Achievement Award

Emily Wendland
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) Certificate of Merit

Andrew Yetka
Friends of the Medical College of Wisconsin Service Award

The School of Pharmacy also recognized the 2023 Faculty Preceptors of the Year:

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) Preceptor of the Year
Randy Dawes, RPh – Owner, Swan Serv-U Pharmacy

Faculty Preceptor of the Year
Kevin Bozymski, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP – Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences

MCW School of Pharmacy SOP Phase II 2023 Match RateA number of pharmacy students from the Class of 2023 are continuing their education through residency training. Following the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Match, 20 students obtained post-graduate year one (PGY1) positions, yielding an 87% PGY1 match rate, which surpasses the national match rate of 82%. Additionally, one graduating student, Kong Choua Thao, was selected into a fellowship, for an overall match rate of 88%. Overall, 70% of graduating students pursuing a PGY1 residency program are continuing their training in Wisconsin.

Some students have been selected into two-year (PGY1/2) training programs. All four of our alumni from the Classes of 2021 and 2022 seeking PGY2 placements matched as well.

Congratulations to the entire Class of 2023!

To see where MCW School of Pharmacy graduates have matched over the past four years, view our interactive map.