Alexander Meligakes ’20 was one of three nominees for the four-year-old award, which recognizes a future pharmacist who has demonstrated “exceptional service, activity and commitment in the area of policy development and related activity” and advocacy for improved health care, according to the award criteria. Last year, fourth-year student pharmacist Tanya Devine received the award.
“I attended last year’s VPhA annual meeting and was able to see a fellow Shenandoah student, now a pharmacist, Tanya Devine, Pharm.D., receive the 2017 award,” Meligakes said. “Shenandoah, through its curriculum, professors and students has been a bastion for advocacy of the pharmacy profession and advancement of health care as a whole. I am extremely grateful for all the skills and opportunities Shenandoah has provided me, and I look forward to having more opportunities to make an impact as a student pharmacist.”
“Over the past few years, in schools of pharmacy and pharmacy organizations, there has been an increasing emphasis on advocacy for the profession of pharmacy,” said Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice Sarah Parnapy Jawaid, Pharm.D., who nominated Meligakes for the award. “Shenandoah students have really taken advantage of the available opportunities around advocacy, such as legislative days and lobbying efforts, and this has likely contributed to their passion for advocating on behalf of the profession. As a result of their efforts, faculty members have identified ways to acknowledge their dedication to the profession of pharmacy.”
“Alexander has been very involved since he started pharmacy school and developed a passion for advocating for the profession of pharmacy and getting other students to join him,” Jawaid writes in her nominating letter. “Alexander serves as the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) vice president of policy for the Shenandoah University chapter. He wrote two proposed policy resolution drafts and then presented those resolution drafts to all other vice presidents of policy within APhA Region 2 for feedback during our regional webinar. After the webinar, he took the feedback to adjust the drafts and submitted one finalized resolution. Not only is Alexander involved within APhA and VPhA with policy activities, he is also involved with the Association of College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP). In 2017 and 2018, he helped to set up and attend meetings with four United States senators in Washington D.C. Due to his interest in policy, Alexander was able to attend and represent Shenandoah University at the Senate opioid round table discussion headed by Senator Claire McCaskill in October 2017.
“At Shenandoah University, Alexander serves at the Worthy Keeper of Finance for Phi Delta Chi and Vice President of the Class of 2020. Due to Alexander’s involvement at the School of Pharmacy, he is one of our student ambassadors,” she writes.
The award includes a $1,000 check, a plaque and a stipend for registration and accommodations for attending the 2018 VPhA Annual Meeting in September in Norfolk, where the official award presentation will occur.