Honoring Exceptional Alumni from the UGA College of Pharmacy

During this year’s inaugural Dean’s Tailgate, held November 6th prior to the UGA vs. Missouri football game, the College of Pharmacy presented awards to five distinguished alumni and friends. 

The Outstanding New Alumnus Award recognizes a graduate of the College within the last decade who has accomplished significant achievement and individual excellence, as well as contributed to the overall pharmacy profession and community. This year, the College was proud to recognize two deserving alumni, Dr. Carlie Traylor and Dr. Lindsay McCoy for this award. 

After graduating in 2014, Dr. Traylor served as the Director of Clinical Services for Chancy Drugs in South Georgia from 2015 to 2018. During that time, she was a patient care advocate while also serving as a preceptor for the College, where she mentored multiple students enrolled in the Professional Certificate in Pharmacy Entrepreneurship program. She has developed a national reputation in the area of community pharmacy and now serves as Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives for the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) in Alexandria, Virginia. 

“Dr. Traylor is unique in achieving a national leadership position so early in her career,” commented Dr. Ashley Hanning ’14, Associate IPPE Director for Ambulatory Care for the College. “Even though she no longer resides in Georgia, she continues to make herself available to our students, both in-person and virtually. Her accomplishments in the field, passion for community pharmacy, and commitment to our students make her very deserving of this award.”

As a 2013 graduate, Dr. McCoy currently is the pharmacy manager at Village Drug Shop at Advantage, in Athens, where she also is an active preceptor for the College. Dr. McCoy frequently participates in events at the College, where she provides her expertise and guidance in raising awareness around mental health. 

“Lindsay is the most dedicated person I have ever met,” explained Dr. Beth Dyer ‘13, a fellow classmate.  “After opening Village Drug Shop at Advantage from the ground up, she has dedicated her life to caring for  an under-serviced sector of our community – those mentally ill and uninsured.”  

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes an alum who embodies excellence and generously serves the pharmacy profession and community. This year, the College was proud to present this award to Dr. Jennifer Shannon. 

Dr. Shannon owns and operates Lily’s Pharmacy in Johns Creek, GA, where she mentors entrepreneurship certificate students at her store. As a preceptor for the College, she frequents as a guest speaker in various classes and student organization meetings. In early 2020, when COVID-19 shut life down, Dr. Shannon and her APPE students developed a series of science experiment demonstration videos and posted them on social media for use in K-12 schools. When COVID vaccinations became available, Dr. Shannon led her team, and together, they vaccinated more than 5,000 members of the community. 

“Jen has a national reputation for creativity and passionate response to patient care needs at her independent pharmacy, Lily’s Pharmacy,” explained Dr. Lindsey Welch, Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences. “From working with local firefighters, organizing community drives, and utilizing community volunteers to allow her store to give over 5,000 COVID-19 vaccinations in just over a month, Dr. Shannon has created a model for community pharmacy practice and is a pillar in the Johns Creek community. Her service to the College is invaluable.”

The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes those who have shown exemplary commitment in their career while possessing the integrity, stature, and demonstrated ability to represent the entire College. This year, the College was proud to present this award to Dr. Deborah Elder and Dr. Susan Jackson.

As a 1991 and 2007 graduate, Dr. Elder has been a mainstay at the College. She joined the College in 2002 as a formulation scientist and registered pharmacist. As the first African American full professor in the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Department, she is making a key impac  in the field and is highly regarded by her peers and students alike. With more than 39 year years of research experience, she continuously contributes to both the professional and undergraduate programs. She has published a book titled “A Practical Guide to Contemporary Pharmacy Practice and Compounding,” which is in its fourth edition.

Dr. Elder takes it upon herself to provide exceptional support and service to all faculty, staff, and students,” commented  Dr. Wided Najahi-Missaoui, 2018 graduate of the College and a current instructor.  She has been my mentor for many years, and I cannot express my appreciation enough for her unconditional support and help. Through her mentorship, I reached a level of professional growth that I am very proud of, and I am committed to follow in her footsteps in serving and mentoring the younger generation of faculty, staff, and students.”

As a 2006 graduate, Dr. Jackson currently serves WellStar Health System as Vice President of Pharmacy Operations, where she is responsible for the standardization of pharmacy operations across the 11 inpatient pharmacies. She has been active in the Georgia Society of Health-System Pharmacists for many years, serving on the Board of Directors as a District Director from 2008-2010; Committee Co-Chairperson for the Professional Affairs Committee from 2016-2017; and as Treasurer on the Executive Board since 2017.  Most recently, Dr. Jackson was elected President of GSHP for the 2019-2022 term, which includes a year as President-elect, a year as President, and a year as Chairperson of the Board.

“Susan has raised the bar in demonstrating company pride, commitment, and work ethic,” said Dr. Snehal Doshi, Senior Vice President Ancillary and Support Services for WellStar Health Systems. “ She has touched numerous lives as patients in her care, a friend in need, a mentor for guidance, a leader to navigate the unknown. I have never had the pleasure of working with someone with so much agility, professionalism, and tenacity to handle such a broad range of responsibilities and changing priorities day-to-day. I will always take pride in saying that I have served with Susan. She will be coming to you to accept the Distinguished Alumna Award with the qualities of a pharmacist: warmth, compassion, and integrity.”

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