WCU School of Pharmacy
Student Achievements, Engagement, and Leadership

The WCU School of Pharmacy encourages students to participate in professional events and activities that help develop skills and enable networking. This promotes the development of future healthcare leaders, while giving students the opportunity to earn recognition.

Check out some of the events our students have participated in over the years:

AACP Walmart Scholars Program

2020 Walmart Scholar Recipient: Tiffany L. Gurley (Class of 2020); Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jessica M. Louie

Over the past 18 years, AACP and Walmart have supported individuals who aspire to join the academic field through the AACP Walmart Scholars Program. Scholarship recipients participate in the AACP Annual Meeting and Seminars. Since 2005, more than 1,200 graduate students, professional (doctoral) students, residents, and fellows have been selected to participate in the program with their mentors.

APhA-ASP National Patient Counseling Competition

WCU School of Pharmacy students qualified for state and national patient counseling competitions (2020, 2021, 2023).

CVS Health and APhA-ASP sponsor the APhA-ASP National Patient Counseling Competition to support student-pharmacists in becoming better patient educators. Designed to reflect changes that are occurring in pharmacy practice, the competition promotes and encourages further professional development, reinforcing the role of the pharmacist as a healthcare provider and educator. Students first compete to be the national representative from their school and ultimately compete on the national level in preliminary and final rounds at the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition.

APhA Award Recognized WCU APhA-ASP Chapter (Region 8)

The WCU APhA-ASP chapter was recognized for their substance abuse initiative at the 2023 Mid-Year Regional Meeting.

The WCU APhA-ASP chapter submitted an innovative programming poster titled Radio Talk Shows with Pueblo y Salud. Out of the 20 schools of pharmacy in region eight, the WCU APhA-ASP chapter took first place in their category and advanced to the national level at the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2023.

CPhA-ASP Chapter of Excellence Recognition

CPhA Chapter of Excellence (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)

The Chapter of Excellence (COE) designation recognizes CPhA-ASP chapters that have achieved excellence in pursuing the CPhA mission and goals in promoting the health of the public through the practice of pharmacy. Criteria for the award is based on philanthropic and/or disease state related activities in which the local pharmacy association collaborates with the student chapter either as a sponsor or as volunteer participant. The WCU CPhA-ASP chapter has received this award five years in a row. 

ASHP Mid-Year Clinical Seminar Quiz Bowl Competition

Quiz Bowl winners (2021)

ASHP hosts meetings, conferences, and specialty courses each year to provide pharmacy practitioners with venues for expanding their knowledge, networking with colleagues, and learning about the latest health-system pharmacy issues, products, and technologies. The 2021 WCU School of Pharmacy ASHP/ CSHP-ASP Quiz Bowl team won the competition on the skills of Thy Pham, Emin Janaslani, and Anita Bazikyan (Class of 2022); and Maryam Ahmadi Nejad (alternate), Sepehr Afshari (alternate), Alison Rufo, Sabrine Yamauchi, and Veerpal Sandhu (Class of 2023).

ASHP Mid-Year Clinical Meeting California Clinical Skills Competition

Qualified as National Finalist, Maryam Ahmadi Nejad (Class of 2023)

Qualified as National Finalist, Sepehr Afshari (Class of 2023)

Our 2021 WCU ASHP-ASP Clinical Skills team competed against 12 teams from other schools/colleges of pharmacy in California and placed in the top six slots. Maryam and Sepehr went on to represent our school in national competition in December 2021 at ASHP mid-year meeting.

California Pharmacy Leadership Seminar

2018: Jacqueline Paz (Class of 2021), Emmanuel Olivarez (Class of 2020), and Ross Pineda (Class of 2019)

2019: Alejandro Del Rio Verduzco (Class of 2022), John-Eric Cabreza (Class of 2021), and Dorine   Akumawah (Class of 2020)

2020: Anna Boghosian (Class of 2021), Rafel Kalo (Class of 2022), and Briana Hillo (Class of 2023) (pre-empted)

2021: Emily Grigoryan and Briana Hillo (Class of 2023), and Cedric Nettey (Class of 2024)

2022: Anthony Chu and Chinazor Ezembaji (Class of 2024), and Tigran Khachatryan (Class of 2025)

2023: Jaevon Miranda, Michelle Williams, and Ani Gukasian (Class of 2025)

Each year, the School of Pharmacy nominates several students to represent us at the California Pharmacy Student Leadership Seminar, hosted at the USC School of Pharmacy. The seminar brings together pharmacy students from across the state of California, showcasing student projects and enabling students to learn from their peers who present on student-led initiatives at their respective programs.

CPhA-ASP Innovative Chapter of the Year

Most Innovative Chapter (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)

Among all the California pharmacy programs, and for four years in a row, the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) recognized our WCU CPhA-ASP chapter with the Innovative Chapter Award for embodying the CPhA core values of visionary leadership, innovation, diversity of thought and opportunity, and entrepreneurship. Congratulations WCU CPhA-ASP chapter!

CPhA Rx Boot Camp

Rx Boot Camp winners included WCU students in 2016: Jade Willa (Class of 2018), and in 2021: Emily Kieu (Class of 2021).

CPhA sponsors the annual Rx Boot Camp, a leadership-training seminar developed by student-pharmacists and for student-pharmacists from all California schools. Students explore how they can use entrepreneurship, technology, and leadership to elevate the quality of care delivered to patients. They work in teams to develop innovative solutions, pitch ideas to entrepreneurs, and compete in a Shark Tank-style competition!

CPhA Western Pharmacy Exchange Quiz Bowl Competition

CPhA Quiz Bowl Competition Championship Trophy (2018, 2021, 2022)

WCU’s School of Pharmacy CPhA-ASP Quiz Bowl team successfully defended its quiz bowl champion trophy at the 2022 Western Pharmacy Exchange in Las Vegas with the help of students Lucy Telliyan, Kevin Aprelian, and Chinazor Ezembaji (Class of 2024), and Alison Rufo and Andre Dzhambazian (Class of 2023). The 2021 WCU SOP Quiz Bowl team, represented by Rojan Ghorbannejad, Dena Homayounieh, Janet Petrosyan, and Veerpal Sandhu (Class of 2022), and Alison Rufo (Class of 2023) took first place at the Western Pharmacy Exchange in Palm Springs. WCU had previously also taken first place in 2018 with a talented team that included Zarouhi Abrahamian, Talin Baronian, Yevgenia Gabriyelova, Steven Kim, and Sylvie Kengne (Class of 2019).

CSHP Student Leadership Award 

CSHP’s 2018 Student Leadership Award Recipient: Loree Karkodorian (Class of 2019)

CSHP’s 2021 Student Leadership Award Recipient: Briana Hillo (Class of 2023)

CSHP’s 2022 Student Leadership Award Recipient: Kirsten Cruz (Class of 2024)

CSHP’s 2023 Student Leadership Award Recipient: Monica Kattoula (Class of 2025)

The CSHP Student Leadership Award recognizes pharmacy students’ involvement in and contribution to CSHP and to the profession of pharmacy, which includes, but isn’t limited to, leadership roles in the organization (i.e., student chapter officer).

United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award

2018 Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award recognition: Rayburn Mumbuna (Class of 2020)

2022 Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award recognition: Shelia Melone (Class of 2023)

2022 Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award recognition: Amal Abdelmalek (Class of 2023)

The pharmacists of the United States Public Health Service established the Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award in 2003 to encourage student-pharmacists to become active in public health. This annual award recognizes pharmacy students who demonstrate a commitment to public health and are active in developing innovative approaches to current public health challenges.


WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.