First Honor Graduates, those who maintain a 4.0 GPA throughout their academic career, are nothing short of a huge deal at the College of Pharmacy. Not only are they hooded first at their Commencement ceremony, but they also receive a distinguishing fourragere to wear on their graduation day. Madeline Ganter is one of two First Honor PharmD Graduates from the Class of 2023.
Ganter, from Alpharetta, is heading to the University of North Carolina Medical Center in Chapel Hill after graduation to complete an acute care-focused PGY-1 residency. Afterwards, she plans to pursue PGY-2 training in internal medicine or cardiology.
While pursuing her Doctor of Pharmacy, she served as the President of Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPFI), volunteered as a pharmacy coordinator for a local student-run clinic, and completed several quality improvement and research projects at AU Medical Center. She also tutored for the PharmD Class of 2024 and interned at Walgreens and Piedmont Augusta.
The College of Pharmacy Marketing and Communications Office had the opportunity to get her perspective on her time at the College of Pharmacy.
College of Pharmacy: Why did you want to become a pharmacist?
Madeline Ganter: I was inspired to pursue pharmacy by my uncle, who is an infectious disease physician. After spending a week shadowing pharmacists at his hospital, I realized clinical pharmacy was a great fit for my skills and interests. I am excited about the opportunities for lifelong learning, interdisciplinary teamwork, and making a positive difference in people’s lives.
CoP: You have obviously been quite successful in your academic endeavors. What does it mean to you to be a “First Honor” graduate?
Ganter: This recognition is reflective of the excellent learning opportunities that were provided to me at the College of Pharmacy and the support of many professors and preceptors who helped me achieve my academic goals.
CoP: Who has been a mentor to you and why?
Ganter: I have no shortage of wonderful things to say about the preceptors I worked with at AU Medical Center. They are all excellent clinicians and strongly dedicated to teaching and mentoring pharmacy students like me. I am especially thankful for the mentorship of Dr. Pam Ku, my internal medicine preceptor. Dr. Ku generously invested in my personal and professional growth throughout my P4 year and set me up to succeed in my next step as a pharmacy resident.
CoP: What has been your favorite memory about being a PharmDawg?
Ganter: My favorite memory was placing as a top ten finalist in the ASHP National Clinical Skills Competition with my amazing teammate, Logan Smith. It was fun because we both had zero expectations of winning the local or state competitions and were shocked with each round that we won. I am proud of our college for gaining recognition in a national competition and thankful for our teachers and mentors who made it possible.