Oxford, Ms. Harchin Sanganwala and Matthew Foster, both students of the University of Mississippi College of Pharmacy, have been named honors from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy to the Walmart Scholars Program.
The honors and an accompanying $1,000 scholarship are awarded to recipients who are committed to careers in academic pharmacy.
Sanganwala, a Madison resident and fourth-year pharmacy student, said he first discussed the program with mentor John Remoldy, a professor of medicinal chemistry and environmental toxicology, during his first year at pharmacy school.
“This has been something Dr. Rimoldi and I have been discussing since year one,” Sanganwala said. “I expressed concern about not really knowing what I wanted out of my career, and he told me about AACP Walmart Scholars after hearing about my teaching experiences.
“It was a really rewarding experience to finally be able to apply after three years and achieve this status with a professor I was really in love with.”
Rimoldi said Sanganwala is the ideal candidate for the programme, praising his passion for learning.
“The AACP Walmart Scholars Program was a perfect fit for Harshin and will undoubtedly reinforce his commitment to an academic career,” said Remoldy. Harshin is the exemplary student learner; he has a holistic view of pharmacy and education, a research-focused mindset, and a team spirit and immerses himself in new experiences with confidence and optimism.
Sanganwala attended the annual meeting of the AACP in July, which was held almost due to COVID-19. As an aspiring teacher, he said the lessons learned would help him make him a better teacher.
“It was a nice look at teaching strategies that I didn’t really think of,” Sanganwala said. “I have also enjoyed meeting other like-minded students in this field.”
Foster, a native of Biloxi and a fourth-year pharmacy student, established himself as a budding researcher during his time at the College of Pharmacy. This year he received the Distinguished Citation Medal for his outstanding contribution to the mission of research in the biomolecular sciences as well as pharmacy management.
Being awarded the Walmart Scholar title is a “huge honor,” Foster said, adding that he appreciates the AACP’s recognition for his research contributions.
“I think a lot of the time the research is probably overlooked or not understood,” he said. “Anytime there is public recognition, particularly by an organization made up of some of the Academy of Pharmacy’s most accomplished members, it feels great.”
Nicole Ashboll, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Foster Educator, praised his work ethic and passion for pharmacy.
“Matthew is a curious researcher in the lab and in the classroom, so I was thrilled to hear his choice of program,” Ashbol said. “He has been actively participating in conferences, webinars, and networking events to learn more about careers in academia and pharmaceutical research, while continuing to advance his research in the laboratory and completing pharmacy courses.”
Foster also attended the AACP’s annual meeting and said he received a valuable education on how to create an inclusive environment for his peers and patients.
“I attended several sessions, mostly focused on the inclusivity and cultural sensitivity of professors, students, and patients,” Foster said.
“It was very engaging, and it was incredibly interesting to hear different perspectives and approaches on how to appropriately integrate these practices into an educational setting to make not only patients feel more welcome, but students and other professionals as well.”
The scholarships mark the thirteenth consecutive year that the School of Pharmacy has received honors from at least one Walmart scholar. Ole Miss recipients have been awarded the scholarship in 15 of the 17 years awarded.