UTSLA Recipients

Five students at Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy receive U of T Student Leadership Award

Three Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students and two graduate students in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy have received U of T Student Leadership Awards, which recognize outstanding student leadership, volunteer service and commitment to the university.

The award-winning students have participated in and led a variety of initiatives, ranging from athletic and social groups to student government and professional committees, all of which have contributed to the learning and social environments at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.

Michelle Chaung

Michelle Chaung,
Doctor of Pharmacy student

Michelle Chaung, fourth-year PharmD student, has participated in and led several student groups, including Pharmacy Awareness of Geriatrics and the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns (CAPSI) U of T Chapter. She was a founding member of the National Community Oncology Dispensing Association (NCODA) U of T Chapter and has held various roles in the chapter, including president.

Since the start of her PharmD, Chaung has been committed to bringing new opportunities and events to students at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, and she hopes to continue generating new ideas to improve the profession as she beings her career.

“Each of these student leadership opportunities have provided me with invaluable experiences that have helped me grow to who I am today. I have met extraordinary individuals and explored clinical interests that I have fallen in love with. Receiving this award has motivated me to keep striving for future leadership roles and to continue giving back to my community. I am truly grateful for this recognition of my contributions and services.”

“What truly drives me to keep volunteering and dedicating my time to advocacy is being able to see the positive impacts I had towards my peers and pharmacy community.”

Eliza McColl

Eliza McColl,
PhD student, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Eliza McColl, PhD student in the Department of Pharmaceutical Science supervised by Micheline Piquette-Miller, has participated in groups and committees including the Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Association (PSGSA), the PRiME Trainee Advisory Board and the U of T Women in STEAM Book Club. In 2020, she co-founded with two other graduate students Pharmaceutical Sciences for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (PSEDI), a student-led initiative that advocates for equity, diversity and inclusion in the pharmaceutical sciences program. She has also participated in Faculty recruitment events, sharing experiences with prospective students.

"In PhD programs, there is often much more emphasis on recognizing research-related activities through grants and scholarships. Volunteering and participating in student groups have offered me opportunities to foster a sense of community during graduate school, which can be a very isolating experience. Through PSEDI and the Women in STEAM Book Club, I feel that I've had some part in leaving the department and Faculty better than I found it, and I'm hopeful that this will have a positive impact for the students who come after me," says McColl.

“It's rewarding to be recognized for the work that I've done outside of my research, which I feel has also been impactful.”

Cigdem Sahin

Cigdem Sahin,
PhD student, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Cigdem Sahin, PhD student in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences supervised by Carolyn Cummins, has held several roles the U of T Student Chapter of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), including serving as chair. She has also participated in the PSGSA and the planning committee for the 2018 Graduate Research in Progress (GRIP) symposium.

As chair of the AAPS U of T chapter, Sahin worked with team members to provide organize events and outreach activities at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. Under her leadership, the AAPS U of T chapter was awarded a Student Chapter Award by the AAPS committee for providing exceptional service and outreach.

“Most graduate students are very busy with experiments, assignments and deadlines, so getting involved beyond their studies can be quite challenging. This award highlights that what I’ve done has had a positive impact on the university and community. I am very thankful to people who have believed in me and supported my many endeavours.”

“For me, volunteering in student groups was a great way to make new friends, improve social and relationship skills and enrich my own experiences."

Jaspreet Ghataura

Jaspreet Ghataura,
Doctor of Pharmacy student

Jaspreet Ghataura, fourth-year PharmD student, has participated in and led many social and athletic groups at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, including serving as coach and trainer for the Pharmacy Dragonboat Club and participating in intramural sports, as well as hosting board game nights as a member of the Pharmacy Board Game Society. She also led mentorship and networking opportunities for students, including helping to coordinate the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy Career Fair in 2022 and assisting with the Faculty’s recruitment efforts.

"I am honoured to be recognized with this award as it recognizes my commitment to having a lasting impact on my peers and the university. I hope that my contribution to the career fair was impactful for all the pharmacy students and that my support in fitness to promote a good lifestyle, mental health and injury prevention helps many in the future,” says Ghataura.

“Volunteering and participating in student groups is an opportunity to connect, learn and support others. Throughout all these opportunities, my goal has been to make a positive impact, learn, support and grow with others.”

Arnold Ruste

Arnold Ruste,
Doctor of Pharmacy student

Arnold Ruste, fourth-year PharmD student, has held multiple roles in the Undergraduate Pharmacy Society, including 2T3 Class Council President and External Affairs Director. Ruste has also held roles in the PharmaPride and Embracing Ventures and Orienting Leader to Value Expanded Scope (EVOLVE) student club. He has also participated in social and athletic groups, including serving as captain of the pharmacy intramural dodgeball team and leading the team to the finals, and has enjoyed enhancing student life through promoting and advancing the pharmacy profession and providing social, academic and profession programming.

Ruste says the highlights of his time at the Faculty include working with the class council at the Phollies Talent Show, and adapting rapidly to the COVID-19 pandemic to plan and execute virtual events. “I am immensely grateful for everyone who has supported me along the way," say Ruste.

“Being recognized with this award demonstrates the value in enriching the student experience for me and my classmates."

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