Present and future pharmacy leaders celebrated at annual event

The University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences gathered this week at its annual Dean’s Reception event to celebrate the graduating class of 2015 and honour the important contributions of teaching faculty

The speaking program commenced at 11 a.m. with welcome remarks from Dr. Michael Coughtrie, professor and dean, UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences, who emphasized the significant role our graduates will go on to play in the changing health care landscape. “Many of you will go on to influence the evolution of policy and practice in British Columbia and beyond,” he noted.

Guest speakers included Suzanne Solven, deputy registrar, College of Pharmacists of BC, David Pavan, president, BC Pharmacy Association, and Dr. Wayne Riggs, professor and associate dean, Academic, UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Daniel Rainkie, BSc(Pharm)’12, PharmD’15, and Andrea Silver, BSc(Pharm)’15, presented on behalf of their respective graduating classes. Jose Carlos De La Vega, president, Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Society (PharGS), spoke to the achievements of the graduating MSc and PhD students.

Graduating BSc(Pharm) student Andrea Silver spoke candidly of the many opportunities and challenges that await the class of 2015 as they move into pharmacy practice.

“Health culture itself is changing,” she said. “I urge my peers to continue to support each other, to stay optimistic, and to discourage (each other) from becoming satisfied with doing what is easy instead of what is right.”

Numerous awards were presented to graduating students at the reception. The Merck Canada Pharmacy Doctoral Prize was awarded to the head of the Doctor of Pharmacy graduating class, Dr. Daniel Rainkie. The FPS Medal was presented to the head of the BSc(Pharm) graduating class, Huy Duc Vu. The Dean E.L. Woods Memorial Prize and the Servier Canada Inc. Award in Evidence-Based Practice in Pharmaceutical Sciences were both awarded to Renée Dagenais, and the Pfizer Canada Prize for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Sciences was presented to Kimberly Hilchie.

Also at the Dean’s Reception, UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences instructors and professors were honoured for their important role in educating the next generation of pharmacists. Dr. Arun Verma, instructor, was presented with the Graduating Class Master Teacher Award, and Dr. Wayne Riggs was awarded the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Award for Excellence in Translational Graduate Teaching. Other award recipients included Janice Moshenko and Drs. Brian Rodrigues, Kathy Seto, and Peter Loewen, to name just a few. Research faculty and graduate students were honoured at a separate event held earlier this month. Award recipients included Mehrdad Bokhareai (Kai King Chow and Cheng Yok Chow Graduate Scholarship in Pharmaceutics), Christian Buchwalder (UBC Four Year Doctoral Fellowship) and Jonathan Campbell (John H. McNeill Scholarship), among others.

But, as Dr. Coughtrie emphasized at the conclusion of his speech, graduation doesn’t mean goodbye.

“It also marks the beginning of a new relationship with us as partners in one of the most respected professions in the world,” he explained. “Regardless of where your career takes you professionally or geographically, remember that our doors will always be open for you. We hope you will continue learning and connecting with us throughout your career.”

Complete lists of graduates and award winners from both the Dean’s Reception and the Research and Graduate Awards Day are available for download below.

Image: Ivan Yastrebov.