PharmDawg Students Gain UGA, State, National Recognition

The following highlights student accolades at UGA’s College of Pharmacy since May 1, 2021.  


PharmDawgs Elected to National SNPhA Positions

Congratulations to the following students who were elected to serve in national positions for the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA). 

Tierra Jackson — 2021-2022 National President-Elect

A P3 from Statesboro, GA, Jackson will transition into her role as National President in her 4th year of pharmacy school. Currently, Tierra presides over the House of Delegates as Madam Chairwoman, and she is responsible for overseeing proposed resolutions. Resolutions that support the professional development of future pharmacists and advocate for underserved communities are incorporated in the SNPhA by-laws. In addition, she works closely with host chapters to coordinate the two regional conferences and the national conference. Jackson is committed to creating safe spaces for minority patients and professionals in healthcare and strengthens resources that allow everyone to reach their full potential.

Busola Fowowe — SNPhA National Recording Secretary.  

A P4 from San Antonio, TX, Fowowe will maintain the minutes of all executive meetings and business sessions. At the business sessions (Regional and National), Busola will serves as Madame Secretary in the House of Delegates and maintain a record of all resolutions passed and failed in the House. She is tasked with updating all SNPhA chapters with opportunities in the field of pharmacy and helping members fulfill SNPhA’s mission to serve the underserved.

Amanda Sweat — National Mental Health Initiative Chair

A P4 from Palm City, FL, Sweat promotes the importance of mental health to SNPhA members and the communities served. One in five adults struggles with a mental health issue. Through this initiative, SNPhA breaks down barriers and changes the way people everywhere embrace mental health. Every group of individuals is impacted in some capacity, from minority communities and veterans to the elderly and youth. Therefore, it is important for everyone to feel equipped to talk to patients about their mental health and strengthen our own mental health, in order to bring out the best in ourselves and others.


UGA Amazing Students

This past year, two pharmacy students were recognized as a UGA Amazing Student: Aliya Abdulla and Ransom Jones. 

Aliya Abdulla always knew she wanted to help others and work in health care. As a P4 student from Tucker, she’s completing an externship at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany. “Have you ever spent a day at work and look up at the time to see the day has flown by? That is how I feel every day I get to work in pharmacy,” she said.

“Building leaders of tomorrow is my passion. I am a firm believer of mentorship as the foundation of a strong leader. I have been blessed with extraordinary mentors in the world of pharmacy, and I am committed to serving as one for future learners as my career progresses,” explained Aliya. “These roles have shown me how to navigate working with different ages, learn from a diverse team of peers, and how to selflessly work towards a common goal. I am committed to bettering myself however I can so that my experience and knowledge can be shared with others.”

Read her full story here.

Senior pharmaceutical sciences undergraduate student from Suwanee, GA, Ransom Jones always knew he wanted to work in medicine and be a medical inventor. His brother was born with severe cerebral palsy, which has been instrumental in Jones’ commitment to eradicate diseases and improve the overall quality of life through new medicines.

“I aspire to work in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically drug development. I want to play a major role in designing drugs and compounds to address some of the biggest diseases and health issues in the world, from cancers to viruses to mental health,” said Ransom. “Often, drug discovery is aimed at profit, and consequently, only high-earning countries’ health concerns are addressed. I hope to benefit the world from a humanitarian standpoint, addressing pressing issues no matter where they are without money being my motivator.” 

Read his full story here


BFSO Awards Two PharmDawgs

Two of the College’s students were honored at the Black Faculty and Staff Organization’s (BFSO) 2021 Founders’ Award Scholarship Ceremony: Tierra Jackson and Persia Tillman. The scholarships  honor full-time UGA students who demonstrate impactful service and leadership in the African American community. Scholarships are presented in honor of the BFSO founders, who worked to advance the efforts of the organization and improve the Black experience on campus.

Tierra Jackson, a P3 from Statesboro, received the Professional Founders Award. 

“It was an honor to receive this award,” said Jackson. “I am passionate about supporting the African American community by strengthening health literacy and promoting equitable health care. Receiving this award encouraged me to continue to do my best to make a difference.”  

A recognized student leader, she is the incoming national President-Elect for the Student National Pharmaceutical Association. After graduation, Jackson plans to pursue a PGY-1 and PGY-2 residency. Long term, she hopes to become a board-certified critical care pharmacist.

Persia Tillman, a P2 from Columbus, received the Melanie Burden Community Arts Award. “I am grateful to the Burden family as well as the BFSO committee for choosing me to receive this award,” said Tillman. “I hope that I continue to make contributions in my life as well as within my community that will serve as blessings to others. After graduation, I plan to complete a PGY-1 within the United States Army pharmacy branch. I hope to one day become a VA pharmacist as well as work in academia.”

As a member of the United States Army, Tillman serves as a Platoon Leader in the 231 Inland Cargo Transportation Company in Athens. After graduation, she hopes to attain a PGY-1 with the United States Army pharmacy division, working towards the goal of becoming a VA pharmacist.


Tierra Jackson wins Inaugural UGA First Award

The inaugural UGA First Awards were given out in November honoring first-generation students, a faculty member, and a staff member for their contributions and achievements. Tierra Jackson (P3) was honored as the professional student recipient.

“Being an inaugural recipient of this award is truly humbling. It motivates me to continue exploring ways to make a difference,” said Jackson.


Two PharmDawgs Chosen for Blue Key Honor Society

Two of the College’s students were inducted into the UGA chapter of the Blue Key Honor Society during a reception held at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. Jessie Vo, a P1 from Lawrenceville, and Kristine Nguyen, a P4 from Warner Robin, received the honors. UGA Blue Key recognizes second, third and fourth-year undergraduate students, as well as graduate and professional students of outstanding character and ability, who have achieved distinction in three key areas: scholarship, leadership, and service. In addition, Nguyen was a recipient of AT&T Student Leadership Award. Given each year, this award is presented to two Blue Key student members who have demonstrated outstanding leadership ability and potential. The award is a scholarship made possible by generous support from AT&T, Inc., in honor of the late Jasper Dorsey. 

Nguyen also won an ACCP Adult Medicine PRN Student/Resident/Fellow Top Research in Progress Poster (1 of only 6 recipients) at the Annual ACCP Meeting for the “Evaluation of Tocilizumab of Critically Ill Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19” (co-authors: Rebecca Bruning UGA COP ’21; Christy Forehand ’10, and Andrea Sikora ’13).


Aaron Chase Receives ACCP Foundation Futures Grants

Dr. Aaron Chase, PGY2 Critical Care Resident in Augusta, received an ACCP Foundation Futures Grant for “Characterization of Circulating Extracellular Vesicle-Containing miR-223/142 in Human Samples from Two ARDS Network (FACTT and ALTA) Trials.”. The ACCP Foundation Frontiers Fund supports pharmacy researcher development and pharmacy research advancement. He was also awarded an ACCP Resident Travel Award.


Logan Smith Receives Member of the Year, Grant

Logan Smith, a P3 from Milledgeville, recently received numerous accolades. Among them, he was awarded the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Central Nervous System (CNS) Practice & Research Network (PRN) 2020-21 Student Member of the Year Award.

I am very humbled and grateful to have been selected as the ACCP CNS PRN Student Member of the Year,” said Smith. “I consider it a reflection of all that my mentors and professors have invested in me – I couldn’t have achieved this alone.”

Smith also received the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) Foundation 2021 Defining the Future Research Grant. A requirement of the Defining the Future grant program is that the research project must mirror the mission and vision of the CPNP Foundation. Logan’s research “Prevalence of Impostor Phenomenon Among Graduate Students in Pharmacy and Counseling Psychology” was one of four projects chosen.  You can view the press release of the grant winners here. ​​

Receiving the CPNP Defining the Future Grant is a highlight of my pharmacy journey,” continued Smith. “I am so thankful to the CPNP Foundation, but also to my mentor, Dr. Linda Logan, without whose input and support I would not have been able to pursue this grant.” After graduation, Smith plans to pursue residency training. He has an interest in mental health pharmacy and hopes to practice in that area during his career.