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Two KGI Pharmacy Students Selected as 2016 AACP Walmart Scholar Program Recipients

Two KGI School of Pharmacy students have recently been selected to receive the 2016 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACPWalmart Scholars Program award. P2 student Ariana Ayon Verduzco and her faculty mentor, Dr. Katerina Venderova, and P2 student Kim Nguyen and her faculty mentor, Dr. Samit Shah, are among 85 student-faculty pairs throughout the country who have been named recipients. Nguyen and Verduzco, along with their faculty mentors, will receive $1,000 travel scholarships to attend the AACP Annual Meeting and the AACP Teachers Seminar in Anaheim, California, from July 23-27, 2016. 

“AACP and Walmart have provided a major stepping stone for those of us interested in academia and pharmacy,” Verduzco said. “I am honored to be a recipient and look forward to attending the meeting this coming July, which will undoubtedly add to my professional formation.”

The highly competitive program, which is supported by Walmart, is awarded to 85 student-faculty pairs from AACP member institutions throughout the country and requires that both faculty mentor and student show a strong interest in enhancing their preparation for a career in academic pharmacy. Students are required to submit an additional essay on academic pharmacy.

Dr. Shah, who serves as Nguyen’s faculty mentor, said: “We are extremely proud that we have two KGI students named as 2016 AACP Walmart Scholar Program recipients. There is no doubt that Kim and Ariana will go on to develop successful careers in pharmacy, and this opportunity will help them on that path.” The award is especially significant since some preference is typically given to residents, fellows, and final-year students. Dr. Shah said: “A small number of outstanding first- and second-year students are selected each year. It is fantastic that two of our excellent students got this award in their P2 year!”

Nguyen, who is looking forward to the opportunity to attend the career-building annual AACP meeting, said: “This national award would not have been possible without the constant support and mentorship from Dr.Shah and Dr.Venderova. This opportunity will give us the support we need to venture into academic pharmacy, and we plan to learn as much as we can from the program.”

Speaking of the students’ accomplishments, Dr. Venderova said: “I am very proud of Ariana and Kim. They are both outstanding students who, in addition to their academic excellence, are actively involved in biopharmaceutical research here at KGI. This award will allow them to further develop and broaden their skills, which will be beneficial in any pharmacy career, especially in academic pharmacy.”

The overall goal of the program is to strengthen the recipients’ skills and commitment to a career in academic pharmacy through participation at the AACP Annual Meeting. Graduate students, professional (doctoral) students, residents and fellows, along with their faculty mentors, are eligible to apply for the scholarships. 

Read more about the AACP Walmart Scholars Program.