Graduate Students Acknowledged for Academic Excellence, Outstanding Research

April 20, 2023
Students and faculty posing during an Awards Event.

R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy graduate students were acknowledged for research excellence and academic achievements during the 12th Annual Graduate Research Awards Reception. 

The award reception celebrates excellence in the graduate programs, highlighting the dedication and hard work of Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science candidates. Nathan Cherrington, PhD, and Georg Wondrak, PhD, presided over the event and shared words of congratulations and admiration for all the participants in the program.  

Graduate Research Awards

The following graduate research awards are handed out each year to deserving graduate students in the College of Pharmacy. 

  • The Caldwell Health Sciences Research Fellowship is dedicated in memory of Mary Caldwell, who worked at the University of Arizona for 55 years as a biology and bacteriology professor and then as a researcher. It is awarded to reward and encourage graduate students who are conducting original research.
  • The Joseph B. Ryan Memorial Award was established by Joey Nell Leonard in memory of her father, Joseph B. Ryan, a prominent Phoenix pharmacist who operated a number of drug stores in Arizona. This fund is awarded to UA College of Pharmacy alumni who are interested in the MS/PhD program.
  • The Hugh E. Laird II Award was provided by generous contributions from colleagues, past students, and friends will provide a bi-annual award of $2,000 to be used for two years to a full-time Pharmacy graduate student enrolled in the College of Pharmacy at The University of Arizona. Preference will be given to graduate students in the PharmD-Ph.D. graduate program and graduate students who are in their second year or later of their graduate studies.
  • The Glenn Sipes Graduate Travel Award was started by Dr. Glenn Sipes, this award is intended to fund travel expenses for graduate students who are pursuing a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology and will enable and encourage them to advance their research by participating in scientific meetings. Travel to conferences and scientific meetings remains an important aspect of graduate education where students network with fellow scientists and researchers. This award will continue to encourage students to participate and reduce the burden of costs associated with travel.
  • The Abraham & MacDonald Student International Research Award was established by Drs. Abraham and Karen MacDonald and is intended for a graduate student who is pursuing a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences to conduct research or receive research training in a country for which English is not the primary language. 
 Graduate Student
 Graduate Research Awards

Lisa Tran 

Caldwell Health Sciences Research Fellowship

Austin Thompson 

Hugh E. Laird II Memorial Fellowship 

Ibrahim Alfayoumi

Joseph B. Ryan Graduate Student Award

Marissa Trujillo

I. Glenn Sipes Graduate Student Travel Award

The graduate awards were selected by the Research Affairs Committee, who was comprised of the following pharmacy faculty:

  • Nathan Cherrington, PhD, Chair
  • A. Jay Gandolfi, PhD
  • Bonnie LaFleur, PhD
  • Gregory Thatcher, PhD
  • Tyler Gallo, PharmD
  • Jason Karnes, PharmD, PhD, BCPS, FAHA
  • Catharine Smith, PhD

Graduate Track Awards

Graduate track awards recognize students from each of the four graduate program tracks who have showcased academic excellence and outstanding research throughout the past year. Recipients were selected for two categories based on either GPA or research nominations. The executive committee then made the selection, and the Track Directors announced the awardees to the Grad Student Council.

 Outstanding Research
 Academic Excellence
 Program Track
Marissa Trujillo Jeremy Snell  Drug Discovery & Development
Mavis Obeng-Kusi Briana Choi  Health & Pharmaceutical Outcomes
Kara Miller & Lisa Tran  Sarrah Hannon Pharmacology and Toxicology
Academic Excellence
 Program Track
Hanan Alameddin Pharmaceutics & Pharmacokinetics
Prince Antwi Pharmaceutical Sciences

Faculty Teaching & Mentor Awards

Graduate faculty members were also honored at this year's event. Students nominate faculty who contribute to the high-quality learning environment and help maintain high scholarly standards. In addition, they also nominated faculty members who provide advice and opportunities to enhance career development and actively publish work featuring graduate students. 

 Faculty Award
 Faculty Winner
Mentor of the Year  Haining Zhu, PhD 
Teacher of the Year David "Rhys" Axon, PhD, MPHARM, MS, MRPHARMS