Pinning Ceremony Represents Next Step in Education for College of Pharmacy Class of 2024

By Benjamin Waldrum

COP pin

Each student received a pin like this one for their white coats.

A total of 78 students, with 59 in Little Rock and 19 in Fayetteville, participated in the March 10 ceremony, held at both the UAMS Little Rock campus and UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. The annual tradition marks the end of in-class instruction for pharmacy students.

Dean Cindy Stowe, Pharm.D., welcomed and congratulated students, noting that this was the first pinning ceremony held without masks since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These are really important events to celebrate transitions and embrace the next phase of your education,” Stowe said. “I happen to believe that one of the best parts of this program is the time you get to spend out in practice, making a difference for your patients. Good luck, and we enjoy watching what you get to do.”

As upcoming fourth-year students, the Class of 2024 will begin their advanced pharmacy practice experiences, where they will pair their knowledge and skills with hands-on experience through various types of patient care.

“I can’t tell you how thrilled we are, the faculty, staff and the student ambassadors who worked hard to make this celebration for you, as you finish your didactic curriculum and progress to experiential and direct patient care,” said Ashok Philip, Ph.D., associate dean of student services.

COP Austin Richards, Stowe, Vinson

Third-year pharmacy student Austin Richards grins as he receives his pin from Dean Cindy Stowe, Pharm.D., and John Vinson, Pharm.D.

Fourth-year pharmacy student Lindsey Blagg served as emcee. Philip read the names of each student as they stepped on stage to receive small envelopes containing their commemorative pin.

The Arkansas Pharmacists Association sponsored this year’s ceremony. CEO John Vinson, Pharm.D., and president Dylan Jones, Pharm.D., welcomed students and presented pins in Little Rock and Fayetteville, respectively. Both are College of Pharmacy alumni.

Taylor McClanahan, Pharm.D., MPH, COP ’22, a PGY-1 pharmacy resident at UAMS Medical Center, served as the keynote speaker. She offered advice to students about effectively managing their time in their last year of pharmacy school, both personally and professionally.

“You’re transitioning into the real world of pharmacy practice, and you’ll be challenged to apply everything that you’ve learned over the past three years during this time,” McClanahan said.

McClanahan introduced a patient case as an example: herself, as a fourth-year pharmacy student on rotation. She spoke of the challenges of splitting time between studying, answering questions in clinic and keeping up with friends and family — not to mention sleeping and eating well.

Taylor McClanahan

Keynote speaker Taylor McClanahan, Pharm.D., COP ’22, advised students to focus on self-care and be open to opportunities in their fourth year.

So, she came up with a three-part diagnosis for her example patient: focus on self-care, take the initiative to learn and be open to the diversity of career opportunities in pharmacy.

“Self-care is not selfish,” McClanahan said, using the example of airlines telling passengers to put on their own oxygen mask in an emergency before helping others. “You must be able to put your well-being before anyone else, before you can successfully take care of others.”

McClanahan emphasized that students should take advantage of every resource, including research materials, faculty and preceptors before they graduate. That also includes new experiences, which might open doors to careers students hadn’t thought possible.

“This is the time to expose yourself to as many learning opportunities as possible,” McClanahan said. “Life really does have a funny way of placing you in the right situations at the right time, with the people that might change your life. I encourage you to be present at every step of the way and fully embrace the process. Trust that what’s for you is for you.”

College of Pharmacy Class of 2024

Lauren Abbott

Fatimah Al-Doori

Joel Araujo

Mason Archer

Daniel Armstrong

Whitney Austin

Emily Bain

Lauren Bellamy

Andrew Betts

Alanna Bramwell

Joseph Brill

Jared Bristow

Jocelyn Brown

Kara Burchfield

Kimberly Byrd-Dixon

Gracen Caraway

Emily Carter

Sarah Coffman

Jeffery Davis

Darshankumar Desai

Ravyn Faulkner

Morgan Gilley

Madeline Griffin

Alexandra Gusdorf

Ashton Hale

Victoria Hardin

Story Hart

Alan Herrera-Rueda

Victoria Hoggard

Lauren Jacobs

Alexis Jacobus

Hannah Johnson

Ginna Klimova

Allison Knott

Jenni Langley

Zoe Ledbetter

Alexis Ludwig

Alexis Magana

DeAnna Massey


Hannah McAllister

Kennede McLeroy-Charles

Kallie Mendenhall

Tiara Mickens

Rachael Murray

Maria Neal

Emery Parker

Kendall Perkins

Hannah Williams

Danielle Prince

Barry Powers

Mary Prosser

Olivia Pugh

Jazlyn Purnell

Lauren Romo

Benjamin Quattlebaum

Alexa Ramick

Mary Kate Record

Austin Richards

Wayne Roland

Amanda Russell

Lauren Saulsbery

Mary Rose Siebenmorgen

Katherine Snider

Austin Stanage

Jacob Stewart

Emily Stover

Mackenzie Suggs

Phi Tang

Victoria Tang

Payton Davis

Ngoc Tran

Anh Vu

Rachel Ward

Stephanie White

Connor White

Kaitlyn Williams

Jasmine Wilson

Dylan Yowell