College of Pharmacy Celebrates 35 Students in Match Day Ceremony

By Karmen Robinson

Twenty-four students will head to first-year residency programs (PGY1), 10 will continue their residencies in second-year programs (PGY2) and one will begin a Ph.D. program.

“This year, the College of Pharmacy had its highest number of students to participate in the match process for residencies,” said Megan Smith, Pharm.D., assistant professor and chair of the postgraduate training and opportunities committee, during the April 27 virtual ceremony.

Students are matched based on a series of rankings amongst candidates and the programs, which are selected after application and interview processes. Smith said there were 7,321 applicants nationwide, and only 67% of them were matched with a postgraduate opportunity.

The 34 COP students were matched with competitive programs across 14 states, including Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Jason Engstrom shares his postgraduate match with faculty and fellow classmates.

Jason Engstrom shares his postgraduate match with faculty and fellow classmates.

“I’m excited that I don’t have to transplant my entire family. We love it here, so we’re pretty happy about it,” said Jason Engstrom, a graduating fourth-year student. Engstrom will start his PGY1 in Fayetteville at Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks.

In her address to the students, Amy Franks, Pharm.D., associate professor, noted the increase in postgraduate opportunities in Arkansas since she graduated from the college in 2001.

“To my knowledge, at that time there were two residency programs in Arkansas, and between those two programs, there were about seven slots for residents,” said Franks, also the chair of the college’s Department of Pharmacy Practice.

Department Chair of Pharmacy Practice and associate professor Amy Franks, Pharm.D., delivers the keynote address.

Department Chair of Pharmacy Practice and associate professor Amy Franks, Pharm.D., delivers the keynote address.

“Now, fast forward 20 years, there are about 28 different programs or sites with over 50 positions. We’ve grown incredibly in our postgraduate opportunities and that doesn’t even touch our graduate school opportunities,” she said.

This year, 13 students will begin programs throughout the state in Augusta, Batesville, Fayetteville, Little Rock, North Little Rock and Rogers. Five will remain at UAMS.

As educational and health care opportunities have expanded for pharmacy school graduates, Franks encouraged students to take more chances and step outside of their comfort zones to reach their fullest potential while pursuing their passions.

“You’re all high achievers, so I don’t think failure is really something that you fear, but what you might fear is not being ready or not being good enough. But what if we didn’t worry about that,” she said. “Don’t be safe. Look for the opportunities that challenge and stretch you.”

The graduating students and postgraduates will specialize in a variety of areas, including ambulatory care, emergency medicine, pediatrics, solid organ transplant, infectious diseases, critical care, and pharmaceutical evaluation and policy.


Name Program City State Program Type
Pranav Amin ARcare Augusta Ark. PGY2
Cheyenne Beene UW Health-Swedish American Rockford Ill. PGY2
Rima Bhakta Erlanger Health System Chattanooga Tenn. PGY1
Hannah Black Baptist Memorial Hospital North Mississippi Oxford Miss. PGY1
Katelynn Callaway Baptist Health Medical Center -North Little Rock North Little Rock Ark. PGY1
Caylin Carson Baylor S&W McLane Children’s Medical Center Temple Texas PGY1
Brent Curry Arkansas Children’s Little Rock Ark. PGY2
Jacqueline Dodwell Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Med./Rocky Mountain Hospital Denver Colo. PGY1
Jason Engstrom Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks Fayetteville Ark. PGY1
Halley Green Virginia Hospital Center Arlington Va. PGY1
Hayley Harrington UAMS Medical Center Little Rock Ark. PGY1
Catherine Jensen Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Healthcare System Tucson Ariz. PGY1
Marissa Johnston Wadley Regional Medical Center Texarkana Texas PGY1
Allison Jolley Johnson City Medical Center Johnson City Tenn. PGY1
Ruston Koonce UAMS Little Rock Ark. Ph.D.
Sarah Kuhn CHI St. Vincent Infirmary Little Rock Ark. PGY1
Joshua Lowery Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center Santa Fe N.M. PGY1
Ryan Marks VCU Health System Richmond Va. PGY1
Emma Matherne Cleveland Clinic Children’s Cleveland Ohio PGY2
Ian McVinney Baptist Memorial Hospital Memphis Memphis Tenn. PGY1
Emily Morgan Rush University Medical Center Chicago Ill. PGY2
Gabriella Nepomuceno Presbyterian Healthcare Services Albuquerque N.M. PGY1
Juliana Oguh White River Medical Center Batesville Ark. PGY1
Clinton Peter Valleywise Health Phoenix Ariz. PGY2
Haodi Ruan Atlanta VA Health Care System Decatur Ga. PGY1
Kayla Schapp Providence St. Patrick Hospital Missoula Mont. PGY1
Evan Stoll Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas Rogers Ark. PGY1
Aliyah Strong UAMS – College of Pharmacy Little Rock Ark. PGY1
Sarah Talley Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Winston-Salem N.C. PGY2
Mary Thannisch Inova Fairfax Medical Campus Falls Church Va. PGY2
Mary Tucker Children’s Medical Center Dallas Dallas Texas PGY2
John Wagner UAMS – College of Pharmacy Little Rock Ark. PGY2
Kaylee Wilcox UAMS – College of Pharmacy Little Rock Ark. PGY1
Tiffany Withrow CHI Health St. Elizabeth Lincoln Neb. PGY1
Mariya Yemets Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock Little Rock Ark. PGY1