Class of 2022 Graduates from the Wegmans School of Pharmacy
The Wegmans School of Pharmacy honored its baccalaureate and doctoral graduates during a Commencement ceremony held on Saturday, May 7. In addition to receiving their diploma, the graduates of the Pharm.D. degree received their doctoral hoods.
In congratulatory remarks to the graduates, Dr. Christine Birnie, dean of the School, offered well wishes and encouragement.
“After four years of dedication, commitment, and adjusting to an unexpected pandemic, you have completed the requirements for your degree,” said Birnie. “Throughout the last four years, we have witnessed your development into professional, empathetic, service-minded clinicians, prepared to serve our communities. As many of you now begin your careers in community pharmacies, hospital settings, residencies, and many other pharmacy practice settings, we wish you the best.”
Dr. Michael Mendoza, the 9th Commissioner of Public Health for Monroe County, New York, received a President’s Medal in recognition of his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and delivered the keynote address at the ceremony. Mendoza joined the Health Department in 2016 with the vision to improve population health by strengthening the collaboration between clinical medicine and public health in Monroe County. Mendoza has also been a valued partner and supporter of the Wegmans School of Pharmacy. As an advocate for pharmacists in the community, he partnered with the School of Pharmacy in 2019 to create a unique public health pharmacy fellowship, the first of its kind nationally. Dr. Joy Snyder, a Wegmans School of Pharmacy graduate, successfully completed that inaugural fellowship and today serves as the county’s first chief pharmacist. The co-funded fellowship will continue this year with Mendoza’s support. He remains a friend of the School, serving as a research collaborator, and regular guest speaker at a variety of School events.
In his speech, Mendoza encouraged the Class of 2022 to take seriously their responsibility to uphold truth and value insight and inquiry throughout their careers.
“Education in today’s world cannot only be self-serving. Your degree communicates to others that you value knowledge, and that you honor its ability to shape how we think and feel, and indeed how we ultimately contribute to the greater good in our world,” he said. “Whether we file these symbols of achievement away in a safe place or hang them proudly for others to see, we must honor our past achievements and this institution by boldly and responsibly embracing the many challenges that lie ahead.”
After the bachelor’s and doctoral degrees were conferred, Brianne Comstock and William DePasquale, co-presidents of the Class of 2022, presented a donation to the School’s mission trip fund in memory of Joshua Sullivan, a fellow student who passed away.
“Even if you did not know him well you likely knew these two things about him: he loved to golf and he had such a passion for service, specifically mission trips,” they said. “We hope this passion continues to inspire student pharmacists to go out into the world and make a difference.”