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First UACP Class Graduates 67

05.17.2008

Reprinted with the permission of the Virginia Mountaineer

The University of Appalachia College of Pharmacy celebrated its first annual commencement on Saturday with the graduating Class of 2008. A total of 67 students made up the first graduating class of UACP where they all received their Doctor of Pharmacy degrees and ceremonial robes at Riverview Elementary/Middle School. The ceremony began with the marching of the students and the singing of the National Anthem by Audra Chafin.

"This is truly a day that belongs to the members of our charter class, their family, friends and loved ones," Founding Chairman Frank Kilgore said to the students. "There are so many people and organizations to thank for making this school and this graduation possible." On behalf of UACP, Kilgore thanked the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors for having a vision and the resources to help bring the educational institution to life. "They had a similar vision when they supported the Appalachian School of Law," Kilgore said. In addition, Kilgore also thanked Buchanan County Attorney Mickey McGlothin, along with the McGlothin Foundation and the United Foundation for their support. Without McGlothin, Kilgore said the school and Buchanan County would not be celebrating the success of higher education and for working around the clock to make higher education the best it can be. Also, Kilgore thanked the staff and faculty of UACP, and recognized Dr. Sue Cantrell, Dean of UACP. "This day belongs to you as much as it does anyone else," Kilgore said to Cantrell. "You may not have helped start our school, but you made it grow and mature and you put us on the right path for success."

Cantrell, who opened up the ceremony, introduced the commencement speaker, Dr. Lucinda Maine, to address the graduating class. Maine is the Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Maine previously served as Senior Vice President for Policy, Planning and Communications with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and served on the faculty at the University of Minnesota where she practiced in the field of geriatrics and was an associate dean at the Samford University College of Pharmacy.Maine is a graduate of Auburn University and received her doctorate at the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the APhA staff, she served as Speaker of the APhA House of Delegates and as an APhA Trustee. In 2004, Maine was recognized by the APhA Academy of Students of Pharmacy with the Linwood F. Tice Friend of APhA-ASP Award. Maine addressed the students and reminded them of the chances that will be available to them as they pursue their careers in pharmacy.

"I envy today's graduates because of the opportunities that will lay before them," Maine said. One of the most important goals for the graduating students, Maine said, was to open doors to continue the development of pharmacy, which is still advancing with the help of modern technology. "To paraphrase Frank Kilgore, 'You are pioneers, not guinea pigs,'" Maine told the students. "Despite all of the changes made in health care, there is still a great need for change." Also, Maine encouraged the graduating class to pursue their careers in rural, underdeveloped areas as well as practicing pharmacy in the Appalachian region due to the need for better health care, especially the need for well-trained pharmacists. "This profession requires more than just the right drug and the right patient," Maine said. She stressed the importance of community service and helping others in need rather than just distributing pharmaceutical needs to patients. She said community service is also beneficial to better health care. Working with community members, health care professionals and other pharmacists was also encouraged by Maine to provide the best health care possible to individuals who need it. "You leave here with the vision and the tools," Maine said. "The other part of the equation is hard work."

Cantrell also introduced Class President Eural Viers, who served as the student speaker at the commencement ceremony. During his tenure at UACP, Viers served as president of the Student Government Association for three years, served one year as vice president of political affairs and served as a member of the Honors, Ethics and Professionalism Committee. Viers has also been on the dean's list at UACP and is the recipient of the Lamar Cox Scholarship, UACP Leadership Awards, the NCPA Scholarship and was inducted into Rho Chi, the pharmacy professional honor society which he serves as president.

"Today, we close our student chapters here at UACP," Viers said. "It's been a great experience." Viers reflected on small, but cheerful memories serving as a student at the pharmacy school and said he would miss the times he spent at UACP as well as his classmates. In his address, Viers also stressed the importance of community service which will benefit many areas in health care, especially in rural areas and the Appalachian region. He said the students have plenty of experience by conducting over 3,000 hours of community service. "I believe these students will be great pharmacists," Viers said. "They will be great representatives of UACP." Assistant Dean of Student and Alumni Affairs Whitney Caudill assisted in awarding the Doctor of Pharmacy degrees to the graduating students of UACP.

Members of the first graduating class during Saturday's commencement ceremony include: Robin M. Absher, R. Shannon Adkins, Krishna Attoti, Lindsay Avancini, Jason B. Bell, Emily J. Blackwell, Amanda L. Blankenship, Shawna R. Blankenship, Courtney C. Blanton, Matthew H. Bledsoe, Steven A. Boskat, Kassi A. Brooks, Paul Michael Burchett, Kara Bush, Justin P. Carter, Kathryn Chase, Lauren Clevinger, Kristin D. Colyer, Brandi E. Cooper, Kerri Deel, Jessany P. Dunn, David Elefterion, Bryan T. Fields, Amanda K. Fields, Jamie C. Fletcher, Aimee L. Gibbs, Harold Glover, Jacqueline F. Hackney, Amanda L. Hall, Delena M. Hamilton, Jason R. Hannah, James E. Hicks, Vivian T. Ho, Carissa L. Isbell, Laura B. Jenks, Timothy B. Lasley II, Clint A. Lawson, Hong-Hhu Le, Kirsten D. Lytton, Colton N. Marcum, LeAnn Matney, Beth A. McConnell, Michael McIntosh, Sheel Mehta, Andrea Cowan Miracle, Lindsay S. Monroe, Lance H. Moore, Michael Mullins, Jada B. Newsome, Anh T. Nguyen, Deidra N. Nuckles, Mary C. O'Dell, Steven D. Perry, Jennifer Reed, Danny E. Rife II, Richard K. Slone Jr., Jeremy Matthew Smith, Larissa G. Taylor, Brittany Thomas, Dana B. Thompson, Bridgett Vencill, Eural Viers, Rebecca K. Webb, Derek H. Webb, Jada Webb, and Elisha E. Wentz.