Monday, May 17, 2021

The UI College of Pharmacy and UI Graduate College proudly hosted commencement ceremonies for 112 Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) graduates and seven Doctoral Degree (PhD) graduates with a concentration in Pharmacy. 

PharmD graduates were hooded in a private ceremony in the new College of Pharmacy building with Dean Letendre personally hooding every graduate. Three separate hooding ceremonies took place in one day to ensure ample distancing. Associate Dean Susan Vos provided remarks to the graduates regarding the significance of the hood:

“When you are serving your patients and you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, I hope that you remember today, that you remember this moment when you are receiving your Doctor of Pharmacy hood. The hood represents the education that you’ve received and that education gives you the strength to take on such challenges as the ones you will face in your careers. And I hope you remember to take ownership of the road ahead of you.”

The UI College of Pharmacy Genesis Board—young alumni who provide opportunities to facilitate student success—met with the Class of 2021 offering a virtual toast to them. In keeping with tradition an “Ode to the Class of 2021” was authored and recited by Emily Vyverberg, ’09 PharmD. Genesis Board members offered advice on avoiding burnout and shared tips and resources for self-care to the graduates.

A Class of 2021 Recognition Event took place the evening before commencement. The celebration included an explanation of graduation cords and dual degree recipients, ‘Welcome to the Profession’ remarks by Iowa Pharmacy Association Executive Vice President and CEO Kate Gainer, and the announcing of collegiate and class awards. It was noted by Associate Dean Vos during the event that the Class of 2021 participated in over 16,000 hours of activities in leadership, service and community engagement in the last four years.

The Doctor of Pharmacy Commencement was held in a virtual ceremony on Thursday, May 13, with messages from UI President J. Bruce Harreld, Executive Vice President & Provost Kevin C. Kregel, Sherry Bates of the Iowa Board of Regents and Dean Donald E. Letendre. Graduate Loc Nguyen, Class 2021 President, provided comments on behalf of the students, and Lucinda Maine, PhD, RPh, and Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy was the guest speaker. 

Doctor of Pharmacy Stats:

Number of graduates: 112
Number of students receiving combined Doctor of Pharmacy / Master of Public Health degree: 13
Number of students completing
Healthcare Business Leadership Program: 27
Number of students receiving a Certificate in Palliative Care: 13
Number of countries represented: 6
Number of states/territories represented: 11
Graduates from Iowa: 77 percent

Based on an exit poll, graduates will practice in at least 24 states, with at least 41 percent planning to practice in Iowa. 


Graduates Being Silly
Dean Letendre and Amber Williams
Group of Graduates
Graduates with diplomas
Hooding Photo
Dean Letendre Shaking Graduate Hand














Congratulations to our Class of 2021 graduates:



Mohamed Zain Abbas Michael Allenback Zachary Anderson Payton Alizabeth Augustine
Brian Joseph Autry Emily Barmore Whitney Camille Blasen Kori Jo Bohlken
Tyler Justin Brakke Julie Ann Breuer Austin Lee Calahan Megan Renae Castellano
Guadalupe Chavez Raemi Jo Chavez Katherine Cheng Reghan Olivia Coyle
Alec James Darrow Drake Dauber Ishaya Gajere David Noah Doll
Alaina Jo Feltes Taylor Ann Dawn Frey Shushanna Galstyan Amber Garthwaite
Lauren Ashley Goeser Alexander Thomas Goodwin Sarah Adrienne Greiner Melissa Kate Griggs
Brandi Hageman Stephanie Katherine Hay Brandon John Hefel Holly Lane Henschel
Lauren Elizabeth Hetzler Boi Lam Hong Lyvia Sue Hosch Nicole Ann Hulsebus
Colette Marie Hussey Andrew John Jatis Katlynn Rose Johnson Anna Mae Kane
Nathan Matthew Karlan Maksim Kazlouski Hyunjin Ko Helena Kobuzi
Claire Catherine Kosek Catherine Rosemarie Kruse Steven Landa Christine Lawson
Bowen Li Meredith Nancy Lumberg Kyle Richard Maere Jovana Majstorovic
Jaycee Mandernach Jacquelyn Lee Mareau Maureen Elizabeth Martin Melissa Rose Matcha
Rebecca Ann McCaughey Paul William McClimon Aaron Michael McDonough Crystal Tanaka McElhose
Patrick Michael McFadden Amanda Elaine Merck Tatum Meyer Holly Kaye Miller
Adrian Montero Haley Lynn Morrison Tyler Michael Morrison Logan Thomas Mougin
Han Diem Nguyen Julie Ha Nguyen Loc Thanh Nguyen Allison Michelle Norris
Shannon Clare O'Leary Ellen Bridget Overholtzer-Strait Michael J Parisi Mercado Ruju Patel
Rutu Patel Kaitlyn Nicole Pegump Kassi Duyen Pham Elijah Truitt Porter
Jaelyn Ranae Daggs Pulkrabek Jasmine Cecile Purpura George Larry Qi Sneha Ramprasad
Alyssa K Riniker Lucas Timothy Roach Mitchell David Robak Bibiana A Ruiz Granado
Andrew John Sabers Eihsan Salih Jessica Summer Satterfield Logan David Schmalfeldt
Matthew Joseph Schoenberger Abbey Kaye Schwery Karlie Marie Seiler Claire Elizabeth Slattery
Marissa Rosemary Snider Jiyun So Claire Monique Sons Shelby Stafford
Matthew James Stahl Colton Alexander Staudt Evan James Streck Cassandra Leigh Streeter
Sarah Elizabeth Tappe Louis Joseph Tiberi IV Courtney Allison Tigges Daniel Scott VanDuyne
Diana Wenke Rachel Catherine Whitesitt Amber LeAndra Williams Matthew R Yeates



The Graduate College Doctoral Commencement Ceremony was held virtually Friday, May 14. UI President Bruce Harreld; Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Kregel; Sherry A. Bates of the Iowa Board of Regents, and Dean John Keller delivered messages to students.

PhD Spring Graduates 2021

Congratulations to the following graduate students who completed the requirements to earn their Doctor of Philosophy this spring:

  • Tim Acri, Pharmaceutics
    Major Advisor: Aliasger Salem
    Post-Graduation Plans: Senior Scientist at SynbioTech in New Jersey

  • Ammar Al Khafaji, Pharmaceutics
    Major Advisor: Maureen Donovan
    Post-Graduation Plans: USC/AbbVie Fellowship in San Diego, California

  • Laxmi Shanthi Chede, Pharmaceutics
    Major Advisor: Maureen Donovan
    Post-Graduation Plans: Formulation Scientist at American Regent in New Albany, Ohio

  • Nathan Delvaux, Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry
    Major Advisor: Kevin Rice
    Post-Graduation Plans: Continue research at the UI while seeking a position in industry

  • Saikishore Meruva, Pharmaceutics
    Major Advisor: Maureen Donovan
    Post-Graduation Plans: Formulation Scientist at Biogen in Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Blake Monroe, Clinical Pharmaceutical Sciences
    Major Advisor: Ethan Anderson
    Post-Graduation Plans: Postdoc Fellowship at University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences

  • Joseph O’Brien, Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry
    Major Advisor: David Roman
    Post-Graduation Plans: Scientist at SAMDItech in Chicago, Illinois