Pharm. D. Candidates Celebrate at Banquet

Students Receive Awards from Drug Companies, Pharmacies and Associations

June 19, 2017

At the awards banquet for the graduating Touro College of Pharmacy (TCOP) students, Pharm. D. candidate Vered Zino took a moment to hug her father.

"Even though we're graduating the real people who deserve the awards are our parents who suffered with us as we went through four years of school," said Zino.

Zino herself had a sparkling academic career and at the end of the evening she held several plaques including a Certificate of Recognition in Public Health; Student Ambassador for Student Affairs; Social, Behavior and Administrative Sciences Departmental Award and a Pharmacist for Public Health Senior Recognition Award, in addition to graduating Cum Laude.

The banquet, held at the Alhambra Ballroom on May 24, the night before the graduation, was a boisterous and celebratory occasion, as TCOP students and family members relished in the last get-together while they were still, nominally, students. The 97-member TCOP graduating class heard from TCOP dean, Dr. Henry Cohen, before a ceremony where individuals received awards from drug companies Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Teva and Lily; pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreen; as well as industry groups like the Academy of Managed Care and the American Pharmacists Association.

“We are proud of you,” said Dean Cohen. “We look forward to your successes, accomplishments and accolades.”

The sixth graduating class at TCOP was an incredibly dedicated and diverse group with students like [HYPERLINK TO STORIES] Sybil Goday-Pena, Talin Mahranian, Sefa Kploanyi and Khloe Le.

Sybil Goday-Pena (soon-to-be Pharm. D.) managed pharmacy school, her second career, while her three children were in school. Her hard work was recognized when she was one of two students to receive the 2017 Industry Pharmacists Organization Certificate of Excellence for her dedication to the organization and its mission to educate students and advance the role of pharmacists in the industry. She was also one of three graduates to receive the 2017 TCOP Chapter Student Excellence Award given to students by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists for fostering the principles of good pharmacy practice in senior care pharmacy.

“It’s a dream,” said Pena who attended the event with husband Miguel.

As the evening drew on, the table belonging to Pharm. D. candidate Christopher Milan gradually ran out of room as he received several awards including awards from the Industry Pharmacist Organization; the Academy of Managed Care and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

“It’s thrilling to finally reach this milestone in such a rigorous program,” said Milan. Like other students, Milan will be in a residency program next year.

Pharm. D. candidate Justine Lambardo had an immediate plan post-graduation: “I’m going to St. Martin’s for a week to forget about studying,” laughed Lambardo. She already has a position lined up with a retail pharmacy in Queens for next year.

As the evening concluded, Pharm. D. candidate Angel Pena delivered the superlative awards to their classmates, noting the particular personalities of each of the graduates. Pena received the Will Ferrell Comedy Award, a fitting accolade; the next day he showed up to graduation sporting a WWF championship belt.

During the ceremony on the following day, Pharm. D. candidates Milan and Emily Messing delivered a speech on behalf of their fellow graduates to the audience.

“We have become a family,” said Messing.

While TCOP no doubt left a mark on the students, the class of 2017 also left their mark on Touro with a gift of a statue of the Bowl of Hygieia, symbolizing the pharmaceutical profession, and a plaque with the names of the 2017 class members.