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Otago School of Pharmacy congratulates graduates of 2017

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

16 graduating students celebrating 650
PhD student, Deji Agbowuro celebrates with family at the School of Pharmacy graduation ceremony.

4 PhD students, 1 Masters student, 9 BPharm Honours students and 110 undergraduate students crossed the stage at the University of Otago graduation ceremony on Saturday 9th December 2017. The School of Pharmacy celebrated these students at the annual pre-graduation function held in the Link of the Information Services Building (Dunedin) on Friday 8th December 2017.

School Dean, Professor Carlo Marra opened the function with words of advice for the graduating students, “As many of you know, technology is really moving at a rapid rate. And technology will alternately help you as a professional.” Professor Marra encouraged them to use their clinical and patient focused skills and to become skilled healthcare providers, managing people’s medicines and preventing medication related problems.

33 Thomas Radis 232Guest speaker, Professor Thomas Rades (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) marked this momentous occasion as a time to celebrate the past, present and future. A time to be grateful for the many people, whether it be staff, friends or family, who helped them get to where they are today.

“But there is something strange about Pharmacy,” continues Professor Rades, “in my view it is because Pharmacy is actually different to other disciplines at the University.” Most disciplinary are defined by their methodology. However, it is the object of our study that holds the discipline together.

“It is drugs we are dealing with, in very many ways. We are looking at drugs through the eyes of a chemist, through the eyes of a physicist, through the eyes of a healthcare provider, through the eyes of a sociologist, through the eyes of a psychologist.”

Professor Rades reminded New Zealand’s newest pharmacists that the “educational act of 1989 requires that the Universities in New Zealand accept the role as critic and conscious of society. Whatever you do with your life, whatever you do after graduation, you should try to be a voice of reason. We are living in a time of felt truth of half-baked ideas and ideological narrowness... It is your job also, on the basics of your education within your profession to be the voice of reason.”

NZAPS-O President, Alice Weil said, “I think one of the special things about Pharmacy is that it could mean something entirely different to everyone in this room. It is what you make of it provided you use your imagination and ignore the definition on Google.”

39 Alice Weil 418
NZAPS-O President, Alice Weil.

Professor Sarah Hook presented five postgraduate awards with a special mention to PhD candidate, Siddharth Matikonda for being placed on the Health Sciences Exceptional theses list for his thesis, titled ‘Development and applications of strategies in prodrug chemistry’.

Congratulations to our PhD graduates:

o Siddharth Matikonda (Supervising team: Dr Allan Gamble, Professor Sarah Hook)
o Sujita Narayan (Supervising team: Dr Prasad Nishtala, Professor Sarah Hilmer and Dr Hamish Jamieson)
o Deji Agbowuro (Supervising team: Associate Professor Joel Tyndall, Dr Allan Gamble)
o Bettina Zadehvakili (Supervising team: Dr Greg Giles (pharmacology) and Associate Professor Paul Fawcett)

Congratulations to our Master of Clinical Pharmacy (MClinPharm) graduate:

o Catherine Herd (Supervised by Professor Pauline Norris)

Congratulations to our Bachelor in Pharmacy (BPharm) award winners:

Paula Sutton, who was awarded the:
• Christina White Prize for the student with best overall achievement in the BPharm degree course overall
• New Zealand Hospital Pharmacist Association (NZHPA) Pharmacy Prize in Clinical Pharmacy for fourth year with best achievement in the 3 Quality Use of Medicines papers PHCY345, 471 and 473 (presented by Craig MacKenzie)
• Pharmacy Prize in Pharmacy Practice 4th Year (Douglas) for fourth year student with best achievement in the fourth year Professional Pharmacy Practice and
• Certificate in paper PHCY 472

60 Paula Sutton 418Paula Sutton receiving NZHPA Pharmacy Pize in Clinical Pharmacy award from Board of Studies Representative and Southern District Health Board member, Craig MacKenzie.

Nina Edwards received the Pharmaceutical Society of NZ Prize for the highest standard of attainment in fourth year examination (presented by PSNZ president Graeme Smith), Certificate for fourth year student with best overall GPA.

Pryanki Gandhi received the Thomson Reuters Prize in Pharmacy for the highest overall mark in Pharmacy Law and the Pharmacy Defence Association Prize for the highest standard in the Pharmacy Law and Ethics component.

Andi Shirtcliffe Leadership Award went to NZAPS-O secretary, Annelise Pfahlert. “Health will be experiencing such a huge amount of change in the foreseeable future. Resilience and demonstration of influencing and leadership behaviours are going to be crucial for pharmacy if pharmacists are to deliver on the entire extent of their potential and if the public of New Zealand are to experience the better health outcomes that pharmacists can help them achieve.” Said Andi Shirtcliffe when interviewed on the initiation of this award last year.

Congratulations to Certificate award winners, Ehsan Tehseen (PHCY470 and PHCY473) and Olivia Hayman (PHCY471).

Congratulations to all our graduating students of 2017 and to all of our staff, families and friends who assisted in their education.

75 Staff & PG group 418
School of Pharmacy staff with postgraduate students.

SOP Student and Staff GROUP PHOTO 17 full width

Photography by Alan Dove.