Student Spotlights and Recognitions

PharmDawgs Chosen as Inaugural AACP Pharmacy Leaders
Three UGA College of Pharmacy students recently were placed on the inaugural list of Community Pharmacy Student Scholar Leaders by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.  These students were selected because they show “…their passion for serving as leaders and healthcare providers in their communities.” The three include:

  • Noah Gurr, P4, Gainesville
  • Jonathan “Will” Marquess, P3, Acworth
  • Jonathan Reynolds, P3, Stockbridge

UGA IPhO Recognized as Top Chapter for Professional Development
UGA’s chapter of the Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO) was recognized by the National IPhO as the “Top Chapter for Professional Development in 2023.” The chapter earned this award through copious professional development initiatives, including seven guest speaker events with professionals in the pharmaceutical industry, an internship panel with the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, and an Annual Round Table with AMCP, in which members were able to speak with industry and managed care professionals in small groups via Zoom. The award was announced at the IPhO Annual Meeting this past fall.


Daeundra Jordan Receives Walmart Health Equity Scholarship
Daeundra Jordan, a fourth-year PharmD student from Hephzibah, Ga., is one of seven students selected nationally by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) to receive the Walmart Health Equity Scholarship for Pharmacy Students. The award recognizes Jordan and her fellow recipients for their leadership, academic success, and commitment to serving rural and medically underserved patient populations upon graduation. In its second year, the scholarship program supports a diverse population of student pharmacists who will advance health equity. Each awardee will receive a $5,000 scholarship.

Active at the College of Pharmacy, Jordan is involved in Black Student Pharmacist Organization, the Rho Chi Mentorship Program, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the American Pharmacists Association, the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, and the Healthcare Exposure, Readiness, and Enrichment Mentorship Program. Jordan aspires to be a clinical pharmacist specializing in women’s health and pediatrics.

Said Jordan, “Receiving the Walmart Health Equity Scholarship Award is such a great honor. It is very humbling and gratifying to know that I was chosen as one of the seven recipients over many highly qualified candidates. I would like to thank my peers, professors, preceptors, family, friends, and most importantly Walmart and AACP for believing in me and my goals to become a pharmacist who will make a difference. This scholarship allows me to pursue my passion to ensure that I give all patients every opportunity to receive the best care. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.’ “

“AACP and Walmart share a commitment to supporting diverse learner and patient populations,” commented AACP Executive Vice President and CEO Lee Vermeulen, BS Pharm, MS, FCCP, FFIP. “Thanks to Walmart’s generosity, these seven exceptional students will have an opportunity to advance health equity by working in medically underserved communities after graduation.”

In her application essay, Jordan described her personal attributes and life experiences and how she will contribute her efforts to promote health equity throughout her pharmacy career.


Gomez to Represent College at NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill
Bryan Gomez, a P2 from Hoschton, has been selected to represent the College of Pharmacy at the National Association of Chain Drug Store (NACDS) RxIMPACT, March 13-14 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Gomez and his fellow students will participate in the NACDS RxIMPACT U Academy and the RxIMPACT Day in training to become the next generation of pharmacy advocates. NACDS RxIMPACT “U” Academy teaches students about Congress, how to communicate to influence policy outcomes, and how to discuss key pharmacy issues. Students put it all into practice by joining other pharmacy advocates in visits with key legislators and policy makers during RxIMPACT Day.  


Eleven Graduate in Fall ‘23 Commencement Ceremony
The College of Pharmacy is proud to announce recent graduates from the Class of 2023:

PhD, Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics

Maduri Rudraraju, major professors: Drs. Somanath Shenoy, Priya Narayanan

PhD, Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences

Morgan Finnerty Anderson, major professors: Drs. Brian Cummings, Michael Bartlett

Guilherme Gui, major professor: Dr. Michael Bartlett

PhD, Toxicology

Gershon Akese-Mensah, major professors: Drs. Michael Bartlett, Arthur Roberts

MS, Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics

Nadia Nourin, major professor: Dr. Priya Narayanan

MS, International and Biomedical Regulatory Sciences

Maria Guzman, major professor: Dr. Sam Silva

Kimberly Ndombasi, major professor: Dr. John Brennan

Lomesh Patel, major professor: Dr. Robert Geiger

MS, Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences 

Jin Yan, major professor: Dr. Houjian Cai

MHM Mubassir, major professor: Dr. Eva Strauch

Junyi Zha, major professor: Dr. Houjian Cai

We look forward to watching the College’s newest alumni excel in their future endeavors.


PBS Research Day Winners

The Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences (PBS) Department hosted Research Day in December. “This event serves as a symbol of the collective dedication and achievements in research throughout 2023 amongst the department,” said Dr. Yaguang Xi, PBS Head. 

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the College’s Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences program, alumnus Dr. James Michael Sutton delivered the keynote address for Research Day.  Dr. Sutton graduated from UGA with two undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2016 and later, in 2020 with a PhD in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences. In addition, he received a Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Sciences in 2018 and another in Clinical Trials Design in 2020. Dr. Michael Bartlett was his major professor. Currently, Dr. Sutton is working as a Senior Scientist at Tome Bioscience in Massachusetts. Award winners at Research Day included: 

Graduate Students

  • PBS Junior Student of the Year Award: (honors an exceptional PBS junior student) Chen Tiancheng
  • PBS MSc Student of the Year Award: (honors an outstanding PBS Master’s student) Matthew Gatto
  • Dr. James T. Stewart Award: (honors the late Dr. Jim Stewart, a former faculty member) Matthew Whittaker
  • Dr. Joseph P. LaRocca Award (honors the late Dr. Joe LaRocca, a former faculty member): Dr. Morgan Finnerty Anderson,  Finalists: Krista Barbour, Mengtong Cai

Graduate Student Best Poster Awards:  Jeremy Burton, Lindsey Davenport, Elizabeth Hughes (recognizes excellence in research poster presentations)

Undergraduate Students

  • Howard C. Ansel Scholarship: (Created to award excellence by an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in pharmaceutical sciences and honors Ansel’s contributions as a former Dean to the College) Catherine Lee, Hayden McCord
  • David and Jane Chu Scholarship: (honors the legacy and outstanding accomplishments of Dr. David Chu, who has spent his stellar career researching new drugs for the treatment of viral infections and cancer.) Maya Cornish, Logan Griffin, Sarah Gruschow, Harshpreet Kaur, Tucker Lesperance
  • Undergraduate Student Best Poster Awards: (recognizes excellence in research poster presentations) Somayeh Ghasemi, Rachel Hugenberg, Tucker Lesperance, Hayden McCord

Recent Master’s and PhD graduates from the fall Class of 2023 stand with Dean Kelly Smith and faculty members.


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