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Otago School of Pharmacy congratulates Graduates of 2016

Wednesday, 1 February 2017 2:45pm

Graduating group photo of 2017_418


“We are here to celebrate a very substantial moment in the lives of 124 BPharm candidates, 9 BPharm honours candidates and 4 PhD candidates,” says Dean of the School, Professor Carlo Marra at the Pre-graduation ceremony held in the ISB Link on Friday 9th December 2016.

“We are in a position where healthcare is rapidly changing to meet the needs of an older, heavier population within a resource strapped system,” Professor Marra said in his opening speech. “The challenge falls to you to find the care gaps and move the profession forward by pushing the boundaries to improve health outcomes and relieve the strained health care system.”

Guest speaker Ruth Ferguson address the students at graduation ceremony


Guest speaker, Dr Ruth Ferguson also challenged graduates after calling Pharmacy “An invisible profession (in the media)”, challenging the students to help “make Pharmacy valued and more visible.” Dr Ferguson invited graduates to join the “adventure” of meeting the very real health needs of our world today.

And an adventurer needs a good “tool-kit” she continues, “your degree is a good solid base” and “communication and empathy are skills that will also come in handy.”

Any Shirtcliffe with leadership award winner Sophie Oliff and dean Carlo Marra

Having a good “tool-kit” could be a way to describe this years Andi Shirtcliffe Leadership of the Year winner, Sophie Oliff. Ms Oliff received her first Leadership Award from the University of Otago earlier this year as well as Blackmores Future Pharmacist of the Year. Read more about Sophie in our news article.
Ms Oliff and Christina White Prize winner Abbey Evison recently returned to New Zealand from Rarotonga where they presented findings on effective topical treatments for a common fungal infection, a result of their research elective project. Supervisors, Dr Ruth Ferguson and Associate Professor Natalie Medlicott led the group to “put the project in context.” (PharmacyToday, 7th December).


Natalie Fleming remained onstage for a length of time, receiving three awards and four certificates. Ms Fleming received the Pharmacy Defence Association Prize for the highest standard in the Pharmacy Law and Ethics component, the Pharmacy Prize in Pharmacy Practice 4th Year (Douglas), the Pharmaceutical Society of NZ Prize for the highest standard of attainment in fourth year examination (presented by PSNZ President Graeme Smith), and Certificate in papers PHCY480, PHCY481, PHCY482, PHCY483.

Top student Natalie Fleming


“I hope the pharmacist’s scope of practice will continue to expand, allowing one to make the very most of their pharmacy education to improve health outcomes for our population,” says Ms Fleming in her graduate profile.
Olivia Coe received the Pharmacy Prize in Clinical Pharmacy this year for fourth year with best achievement in the 3 Quality Use of Medicines papers PHCY345, 471 and 473.

Congratulations to Certificate award winners Kathleen Tong (PHCY470), Michelle Quinn (PHCY473) and 2016 New Zealand’s Association of Pharmacy Students Otago (NZAPS-O) President Hannah Arnold (PHCY471).

The School of Pharmacy also celebrated the graduation of four PhD students again this year.

o Bhuvan KC (Supervising team: Dr Sue Heydon, Prof. Pauline Norris)
o Katrin Kramer (Supervising team: Dr Greg Walker, Dr Sarah Young)
o Henry Ndukwe (Supervising team: Dr Prasad Nishtala, Assoc. Prof. June Tordoff, Dr Ting Wang)
o Emma Salis (Supervising team: Assoc. Prof. Natalie Medlicott, Assoc. Prof. David Reith)