2014 Future Pharmacist of the Year Finalists


Future Pharmacist of the Year

For Saswat Kabisatpathy, PharmD, advancing the practice of pharmacy involves scholarship, service, and philanthropy.

Dr. Kabisatpathy distinguished himself as a leader since beginning his time as a student at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy. Within the first month of his first year at the school, he was voted class president— a position he has held throughout his 4 years in the program. He also served on the executive committee as the national speaker of the house for Phi Lambda Sigma, a pharmacy leadership society.

Through his work with Phi Lambda Sigma, he implemented a pilot program that fosters leadership. The program has resulted in nearly 240 relationships between students and mentors. The results of the program have been presented at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting, the Phi Lambda Sigma leadership conference, and at the South Carolina Society of Health- System Pharmacists conference.

During his time in pharmacy school, Dr. Kabisatpathy was also a leader for community service. As an active member of the university’s Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity chapter, he helped to donate nearly 5000 pounds of food to the Lowcountry Foodbank over the last 4 years. The chapter was awarded the Medical University of South Carolina Gives Back Award for these efforts.

Dr. Kabisatpathy has also dedicated much of his time to education. He has served as an adjunct professor and lab instructor of chemistry at the Citadel Military College of South Carolina as well as a teaching assistant and tutor of organic chemistry at the University of South Carolina.

“Saswat has been a tremendous asset to our college and his dedication to advancing the profession is unequivocal,” his nomination read.

In 2012, his various achievements were recognized as he was 1 of 8 pharmacy students selected for the Medical University of South Carolina’s Presidential Scholarship Program, an interprofessional education initiative.

Dr. Kabisatpathy graduated in May 2014 and will begin his career with Walmart in North Augusta, South Carolina.

Throughout her pharmacy school career, Megan E. Saunders, PharmD, has worked to share her passion for pharmacy, seizing every opportunity to advocate for the profession.

During her first year at the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy, Dr. Saunders was elected as the president of her class. Since then, she has continued to be involved in numerous student organizations and pharmacy association student chapters. She has served as the president of the school’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists chapter and as the vice president of the Phi Lambda Sigma pharmacy leadership society.

Dr. Saunders was also involved in the steering committee for the Collegiate Preparedness and Response Corps, a student-centered subgroup of the Medical Reserve Corps through the Red Cross. Through her work with the program, Dr. Saunders supported the proposed rule change to allow interns to immunize. She was able to represent student pharmacists and other health sciences students on a planning committee for the Cowboy Ready Drill, an emergency response drill that was testing the university as a potential point of dispensing for strategic national stockpile supplies in the event of a disaster.

Dr. Saunders advocated for the profession at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill during her first year in pharmacy school. She then served as a liaison between the student attendees and the NACDS contacts in the following 2 years.

Outside of the school of pharmacy, Dr. Saunders was selected to represent the College of Health Sciences at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in Baltimore. She also served a 3-year term on the Laramie Reproductive Health Clinic’s board of directors. In this role, Dr. Saunders coordinated a student project that evaluated the storage and dispensing functions within the clinic and made recommendations for improvements.

Her leadership and commitment to service have been recognized with various awards and recognitions, including the Eli Lilly Achievement Award and the McKesson Leadership Award.

Dr. Saunders graduated in May 2014 and will continue on to a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice residency with the Billings Clinic in Montana.

Laura Vollmer, a 2015 PharmD Candidate at Drake University, is passionate about learning and experiencing as many aspects of pharmacy she can before becoming a practitioner.

Vollmer demonstrated her advocacy for pharmacy through her internship with Iowa State Representative John Forbes. As a public policy and legislative intern at the Iowa State Capitol, she worked on legislation to regulate pharmacy benefit managers as well as a bill concerning medical cannabis for epilepsy patients. She also advocated for the profession as an executive association management intern with the Iowa Pharmacy Association. She wrote articles for the association’s website, discussed health care issues with pharmacists, technicians, and other professionals, and developed the Tech-Check-Tech manual for Iowa pilot pharmacies.

Vollmer has also gained experience in community pharmacy as an intern with Hy-Vee Pharmacy and Target Pharmacy and research experience as a graduate research assistant at her university.

“Laura is eager to learn and be involved in multiple aspects of pharmacy. Throughout her positions, she has demonstrated professionalism, a commitment to patient care, and compassion that sets her apart from her peers,” her nomination read.

Vollmer also distinguishes herself through her leadership and dedication to community outreach programs. Serving as a recruitment chair and public relations chair on the Up Til’ Dawn Executive Council throughout her time at Drake, she helped to promote the event and raise over $30,000 for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In addition, she was the cofounder of the Des Moines Iowa Poison Prevention Outreach group and coordinated an outreach program to educate children attending local public schools. Vollmer has also coordinated the Drake University Fall Leadership Conference for the past 2 years and currently served as the president of her school’s American Society of Health-System Pharmacists student chapter.

“I consider her a role model for all students at Drake University. She will continue to exemplify leadership in her achievements and by example,” her nomination read.

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