UAMS College of Pharmacy Class of 2027 Receives White Coats

By Benjamin Waldrum

Dean Cindy Stowe

Dean Stowe told the Class of 2027 that they had chosen wisely.Evan Lewis

The ceremony, held at Connor Performing Arts Center at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, is the first of three milestone events on the students’ path to becoming pharmacists, with a pinning ceremony during their third year and graduation in the fourth year. This year’s ceremony was sponsored by the Arkansas Pharmacists Association.

“I can assure you that you’ve chosen wisely to attend the UAMS College of Pharmacy, not only because of the excellent staff and faculty but also because of the tremendous pharmacy profession within Arkansas, which is truly second to none,” said Dean Cindy Stowe, Pharm.D. “We take our role of providing the best professional pharmacy education seriously, and we hope that each of you have a wonderful experience.”

The new class arrived in August to begin their didactic curriculum, which will continue through their third year. The final and fourth year of pharmacy school is the experiential curriculum, which includes advanced practice experiences also commonly referred to as rotations.

Jenae Powell, a 2025 Doctor of Pharmacy candidate and president of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists, served as master of ceremonies and led the new students in reciting the pledge of professionalism.

“The opportunities before you over the next four years and beyond are no better in any state in the country,” said John Vinson, Pharm.D., COP ’05, CEO and executive vice president of the Arkansas Pharmacists Association. “We hope that you will get involved not just in the classroom but also in student organizations to take advantage of those unique opportunities that only UAMS provides. I look forward to working with you, and teaching and learning from you in the future.”

Lenora Newsome, P.D., COP ’80, president of the National Association Boards of Pharmacy, gave the keynote address. She spoke of the closeness that classes often feel after having gone through pharmacy school together.

Lenora Newsome and Jenae Powell

Lenora Newsome, P.D., spoke of the long-lasting bonds that pharmacy classes forge through hardship.Evan Lewis

“Pharmacy school will not be easy, but it will be very rewarding — it has been for me,” Newsome said. “You will bond together. You will not break. You will hang in there together. You’re going to go through all kinds of things — good things, bad things — but all in all, you’re going to stick together. You’re going to laugh together, and you’re going to cry together, but you’re going to make it through, and you will be graduating in 2027.”

Newsome said she prays every day to help center herself. She told students that each day will be different, and that prayer and preparation would help keep them focused and ready.

“You’re not going to go through the same things every day, because you’re dealing with real live people, and the people that come to you are people in great need,” Newsome said. “You are respected by the public, and your patients will let you know that. Don’t ever forget that.”

Student ambassadors assisted with programs, organization and seating, student lineups and coating. This year’s ambassadors were Kendall Perkins, Rilie Vote, Nicholas Hollowell, Jessica Allred, Kerigan Bradshaw, Pilar Simmons, Dorian Gwinn, Jennifer Portillo, Hayden Hyman, T.J. Craig, Payden Webb, Monica Badillo, Kaitlyn Oliver, Kate Junkersfeld, Kylie Hendrix, Madison Everett, Madison Layes, Claire Mosely, Hayley Hedrick, Addison Black, Morgan Wadkins, Lora Davis, Aimsley Moran, Olgaaurora Rodriguez, Katie Stratton, and Maddie Butera.