Group photo of PharmD students at Undergraduate Awards Ceremony

On an evening in late September, students, faculty, and donors gathered at U of T’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy for the Undergraduate Awards Ceremony – the first in-person award ceremony since 2019. The ceremony included several awards being given for the first time this year.

Dozens of undergraduate students at the Faculty were recognized with awards and scholarships provided by generous donors. These awards not only recognize students’ academic, professional, and extracurricular achievements, but also provide important funds to support their studies.

“We simply could not provide these awards without the generosity of our donors.”

A dedicated and supportive group of alumni and donors have established many awards at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy for students of all levels, with the ultimate goal of helping develop the pharmacy leaders of tomorrow.

“We simply could not provide these awards without the generosity of our donors,” says Susan Drodge, Director, Advancement at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. “Donors often tell me that creating their student award was the best way to pay it forward for the support they received as a student.”

One new award was particularly meaningful for the community at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. The Artemis Diamantouros Memorial Award was established in tribute to Artemis Diamantouros, who had a long academic and professional career at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and was a respected pharmacist, educator, researcher, and mentor. The award, which recognizes a pharmacy student who demonstrates outstanding leadership qualities, was given to Kristina Miclat.

From left: Dean Lisa Dolovich, third year PharmD student Jordyn Bush, Rexall's Danielle Herceg and Suraj Prashad

Jordyn Bush, a third-year student in the PharmD program, received the inaugural Rexall ICARE Award for Black and Indigenous Students. Bush first became interested in the pharmacy profession as a teenager through her mother, who worked as a pharmacy technician, and has worked in a pharmacy continuously since high school. She decided to pursue a PharmD in part to help Indigenous patients access better health care.

“I always knew I wanted to work in health care to combine my passion for science as well as helping those in my community, and pharmacy is the perfect opportunity to do both,” she says. “Although there are challenges, pharmacy is a rewarding career, and I am grateful for the impact I can make to better the lives of my patients.”

The Rexall ICARE Award was established in 2021 through a generous gift from Rexall and is meant to help contribute to a more inclusive and equitable pharmacy education. The award recognizes a self-identified Black or Indigenous student who is passionate about making a difference in health care and who exemplifies the ICARE values of integrity, customer-first, accountability, respect, and excellence.

"My people are very underrepresented in medical professional positions, and this award helps to bring awareness to the unique aspects of health that Indigenous people can contribute.”   

 “Receiving the Rexall iCARE award means a lot to me, as it not only acknowledges my dedication and hard work to my job, but it also acknowledges the important role that Indigenous people play in the health care field,” Bush says. “My people are very underrepresented in medical professional positions, and this award helps to bring awareness to the unique aspects of health that Indigenous people can contribute.”   

Richard Moisan Pharmaceutical Chemistry Award

Two students in the Pharmaceutical Chemistry program were the first recipients of the Richard Moisan Pharmaceutical Chemistry Award, which recognizes academic excellence in the pharmaceutical chemistry program. The award was created by David Dubins, one of the program’s directors, in tribute to Richard Moisan, his former supervisor and director of biopharmaceutics at Allied Research International Inc. and Cetero Research Inc.

Hualin Wang graduated from the Pharmaceutical Chemistry program in June of 2022 and is currently pursuing graduate studies at the University of British Columbia. She says that she appreciated that the program combined multiple disciplines to give her a better understanding of drug synthesis, formulation, and manufacturing, which has been valuable as she starts her graduate studies and begins her research career.

“I would not have received this award without my professors and classmates' support in the pharmaceutical chemistry department,” she says. “Receiving the Richard Moisan Pharmaceutical Chemistry Award is a meaningful recognition of my efforts in this program, and it motivates me to continue to work hard and dig deeper in the pharmaceutical field.”

Lucia Huang is currently completing co-op internships for the program and will be starting her fourth year of studies next September. The opportunity to gain research and professional experience in the program was one reason she decided to pursue this degree, along with the multi-disciplinary studies.

“Pharmaceutical chemistry combines just about everything I am interested in learning - the interdisciplinary approach integrates knowledge from chemistry, pharmacology, and physiology to design and manufacture therapeutic drugs,” she says. “I poured a lot of passion and hard work into my studies last year, and I am very grateful that the department is so supportive of my academic endeavours. I view this award as motivation to continue striving forward in my education and to push myself to overcome future challenges.”

Congratulations to all of the award recipients!

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