2014 Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards: Student Leaders Shine

Pharmacy CareersPharmacy Careers Fall 2014

The Next-Generation PharmacistTM Awards is a national program created by Pharmacy Times and Parata that salutes pharmacy professionals who are defining the industry’s future. Now in its fifth year, the Next-Generation PharmacistTM Awards recognize pharmacy leaders across a wide range of practice settings who embody that future vision.

The 2014 Future Pharmacist Award is presented to a pharmacy student who demonstrates spirit and passion for the profession, primarily through academic achievement in conjunction with one or more of the following criteria: industry advocacy, patient advocacy, technology innovation, civic leadership, and environmentalism. The 2014 finalists and winner were honored at the NACDS Total Store Expo held in Boston, Massachusetts, on August 24, 2014. Here are their stories.

Laura Vollmer, PharmD Candidate 2015

Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesDes Moines, IA

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.

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.

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.

Serving as a recruitment chair and public relations chair on the Up Til’ Dawn Executive Council throughout her time at Drake, she helped to raise more than $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 currently serves as the president of her school’s American Society of Health-System Pharmacists student chapter.

“I believe the future for pharmacy is bright with new, exciting opportunities for many health care providers,” she said. “The direction of the pharmacy profession will be up to the next generation of pharmacists to inspire, change and provide a shared vision.”

South Carolina College of PharmacyCharleston, SC

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

Dr. Kabisatpathy distinguished himself as a leader since his time as a student at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy. Within the first month of his first year, he was voted class president— a position he has held throughout 4 years in the program.

Through his work with Phi Lambda Sigma, he implemented a pilot program that fosters leadership, which has resulted in nearly 240 relationships between students and mentors.

Dr. Kabisatpathy has 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.

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

University of Wyoming School of PharmacyLaramie, WY

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. 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.

Outside of school, 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.

Dr. Saunders graduated in May 2014 and is working on a PGY-1 pharmacy practice residency with the Billings Clinic in Montana.

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