|Mary Ann Blessing, the daughter of the late Dr. Lloyd L. Gregory, presents a check for $10,000 to Andrew Masselink during the Gregory School of Pharmacy's hooding ceremony.|
Some of Andrew Masselink’s most vivid childhood memories involve visits from neighbors and family friends who came looking advice about their medications from Masselink’s father, a pharmacist.
“I remember thinking, wow, my dad is really awesome, using his knowledge to serve others,” said Masselink, who is following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather, aunt and other family members by becoming a pharmacist himself.
His father, Al Masselink, and more than a dozen family members were in attendance when he learned he had been chosen the 2014 recipient of the Gregory Outstanding Graduate Award during Palm Beach Atlantic University’s pharmacy hooding ceremony earlier this month.
The Gregory Award is the most prestigious honor presented by the Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy and includes a $10,000 prize.
The award recognizes the graduating senior in the top 10 percent of his or her class who has demonstrated a continual devotion to his or her faith and the desire to integrate faith into his or her practice. Gregory Award recipients also have shown excellence in both health-related and community volunteer projects.
Masselink, who grew up in Gilbert, Ariz., is set to begin a University of Tennessee Community Pharmacy Residency at Mac’s Pharmacy in Powell, Tenn., in July. There he will help the family-owned pharmacy, which specializes in diabetes management, launch a program to help patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) manage their therapy, among other duties.
Using medical knowledge to improve the quality of life of others has been a major objective for both Masselink and his wife, Autumn, a nurse.
As a pharmacy student, Masselink served at three community health fairs and participated in the school’s mission trip to Belle Glade last summer. In addition, he served as treasurer of the PBA chapter of Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International from 2011 to 2013; was a monthly volunteer in the pharmacy at Target; and has been active in his church as parking coordinator and as a leader with the church’s college ministry.
Masselink also has been on the dean’s list for multiple semesters, has received a pharmacy honors scholarship, has co-authored articles in notable journals and has been inducted into the Rho Chi honor society.
The Northern Arizona University graduate said he learned about PBA while searching online for Christian pharmacy schools. He credited the faculty for helping him to become a successful student. “I wasn’t just a number,” he said. “They knew my name and they wanted me to excel.”
For instance, he worked with Dr. Barbara Kelly, associate professor of pharmacy practice, to help her create health and wellness lesson plans for third- through fifth-graders in an after-school program for inner-city children at Urban Youth Impact. Dr. Kelly also encouraged him to pursue a residency after graduation, he said.
Since receiving the award, he also has received encouragement from the Gregory family, for whom the pharmacy school and the award are named, he said.
“I’ve never felt so blessed before,” said Masselink. “To not just graduate but to do it well, and in front of my family, was quite an honor.”