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Pharmacy students win presidential scholarships

By Sydney Slotkin DuPriest

University of Mississippi

Two University of Mississippi pharmacy students have won presidential scholarships from the National Community Pharmacists Association. Ashley Culbertson and Lily Van, both third-professional year students, are among only 25 students nationally who received the $2,000 awards.

The NCPA represents the employees of more than 22,000 independent community pharmacies across the country, which dispense nearly half of the nation’s retail prescription medicines. The organization selects presidential scholarship recipients based on academic achievement, leadership qualities and an interest in independent pharmacy.

Culbertson, a native of Leland, said it was an honor to win the scholarship since so many qualified students apply.

“It was very rewarding to see that my hard work is paying off,” she said.

Culbertson’s career goals include working in a community pharmacy to one day manage or own an independent store.

“I enjoy the front lines of assisting patients with a new prescription or even finding the correct over-the-counter product,” Culbertson said.

Van, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, said she was “ecstatic,” when she learned she won the scholarship.

“To be recognized for your achievements is something that is very touching and rewarding from a student perspective, and it helps to push me further in my career,” Van said.

Van serves on NCPA’s national Student Leadership Council. She hopes to work as a clinical pharmacist in a community setting and eventually become a director of clinical services in a community for underserved populations.