|Mary Ann Blessing, daughter of the late Lloyd L. Gregory, presents the Gregory Outstanding Graduate Award to Ashley Johnson.|
"As I was growing up I had the privilege of knowing two pharmacists who had a significant impact on my life, and they spurred my interest in the field," said Johnson, who graduated earlier this month from Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy.
The Columbus, Ohio, native is the 2011 recipient of the Gregory Outstanding Graduate Award. The award, which is the school of pharmacy’s most prestigious honor, 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. The Gregory Award recipient also has shown excellence in both health-related and community volunteer projects.
The award recipient was announced during the pharmacy school’s hooding ceremony. "I felt incredibly grateful and humbled at even having the opportunity to apply for the award," Johnson said. "I remember praying and thanking God for His divine love and guidance in my life as I walked up to the stage because all of the glory and honor is His."
Also during the hooding ceremony, Johnson received the Mylan Pharmaceuticals Excellence in Pharmacy Award, which recognizes the graduating senior in the top 25 percent of his or her class who has demonstrated superior proficiency in the provision of drug information.
Johnson completed her pre-pharmacy coursework at the University of Kentucky before attending PBA. During her time in the Gregory School of Pharmacy, she was involved in several pharmacy organizations, including Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International, American Pharmacists Association, Florida Pharmacists Association, Rho Chi Honor Society and Phi Delta Chi.
She now is preparing to begin a post-graduate pharmacy practice residency (PGY1) at the Gregory School of Pharmacy. The one-year program prepares students to become pharmacists and servant leaders within the profession. During her residency, Johnson will focus on areas of pharmacy, including ambulatory care and academia.
She said the residency program will give her the opportunity to gain more experience, which ultimately will enable her to better serve patients and potential future students.
Johnson said she became familiar with PBA during her years attending a Christian middle and high school. "When I started the application process for pharmacy school PBA came up again, and I had a peace that this is where God wanted me to be."