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Academic success celebrated with graduation

Friday, 11 December 2015

Families and friends travelled from near and far to join the School of Pharmacy’s graduands at the Hunter Centre on Friday 4 December. 144 graduating students who attended were in high spirts as they enjoyed refreshments and snacks with their most devoted supporters and mentors.

The joy and liberation of this monumental occasion was reflected in Dean, Professor Steve Duffull’s humorous manner as he addressed the students one last time with words of wisdom and insight for the future.
Chief Advisor of Pharmacy for the Ministry of Health, Andi Shirtcliffe, engaged the students and guests as she emphasised the importance of their decision to become a pharmacist at such a poignant time. “This is the time to be a pharmacist – you made the right decision at the right time” quotes Liane Topham-Kindley, in Pharmacy Today.

The School of Pharmacy is privileged to educate such a bright group of students, with a select few standing at the annual prizegiving. Rebecca Lovelock took honours four times, receiving the Thomson Reuters Prize in Pharmacy, the Pharmacy Defence Association Prize, the Pharmacy Prize in Pharmacy Practice fourth year and a top paper certificate for PHCY472 Professional Pharmacy Practice C.

NM with Rebecca Lovelock
Rebecca Lovelock receiving one of her four awards presented by Associate Professor Natalie Medlicott.

Liang Kooi Kok was awarded the NZHPA Pharmacy Prize in Clinical Pharmacy presented by NZHPA President, Kim Brackley and the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand Prize presented by PSNZ President Graeme Smith.

Liang Kooi Kok being presented his award from NZHPA President, Kim Brackley.

Our best overall achievement in the BPharm degree course is recognised with the Christina White Prize, given to Malaysian student, Kit Yue (Jamie) Chan. Jamie will now begin her internship in Malaysia after receiving a JPA scholarship from the Malaysian Government.  She received her award from PSNZ President Graeme Smith.

Kit Yue (Jamie) Chan being presented her award from PSNZ President Graeme Smith.

Our top certificate winners for final year papers were awarded to:

  • Laurelle Lock (PHCY470 Research Elective)
  • Keryn Ramsay (PHCY471 Quality Use of Medicines B)
  • Rebecca Lovelock(PHCY472 Professional Pharmacy Practice C)
  • Nevin Zhong (PHCY473 Quality Use of Medicines C)
  • Nalini Ganaeswaren(PHCY480 Honours Project)
  • Liang Kooi Kok (PHCY481 Quality Use of Medicines B for Honours, and PHCY483 Quality Use of Medicines C for Honours)
  • Isabelle Kuan(PHCY482 Professional Pharmacy Practice C for Honours)

Prizewinners 2015
Prize winners - Left to right: Isabelle Kuan (PHCY482), Nevan Zhong (PHCY473), Liang Kooi Kok (PHCY481 and PHCY483), Kit Yue Chang (Christina White Prize), Keryn Ramsay (PHCY471) Rebecca Lovelock (PHCY472), Laurelle Lock (PHCY470), Nalini Ganaeswaren (PHCY480).

2015 has been an exciting year as the School sees its first cohort of BPharm Honours students graduates, after the School re-instigated the programme. Having the privilege of being the first group to graduate is a time of celebration for our 11 students, with Nalini Ganaeswaren being awarded the prize for top student in the PHCY480 Honours Research Project.

Honours grads 2015
2015 cohort of graduating Honours students.

It is with great pride and excitement that we say goodbye to four PhD students as they return to the outside world and employment opportunities. Sharan Bobbala was able to make it the award ceremony to receive his PhD plaque. However also graduating in absentia were Vittal Shivva (now completing a postdoc in Washington DC, USA), Pei Ting (May) Mah (currently in Malaysia) and Paulina Guzman Fuhrer, who returned to her homeland of Chile.

Sharan Bobbala and SD
Sharan Bobbala receives his gift of a plaque from School Dean, Prof. Steve Duffull.

Sharan Bobbala and supervisors
Sharan Bobbala with his supervisors Prof. Sarah Hook, and Dr Arlene McDowell.

The University of Otago’s School of Pharmacy wishes all 2015 graduates, the best of luck as they embark on the next phase of their lives.