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University Relations

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April 18, 2006
Contact: Kenneth Audus, School of Pharmacy,(785) 864-5265.

KU pharmacy student wins leadership award from national organization

LAWRENCE — Jariat Oyetunji, a University of Kansas pharmacy student, is one of 12 winners of a $2,500 Student Leadership Award from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Oyetunji (pronounced OY-et-TUN-ji) is a third-year student in KU’s doctor of pharmacy program, a six-year professional degree program similar to degree programs for the practice of law or medicine.

Her role as the first president of KU’s chapter of the Student Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy, the student branch of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, made Oyetunji a prime candidate for the award. Under Oyetunji’s leadership, the group has nearly doubled in size from about 30 to about 60 members.

Michael A. Oszko, associate professor of pharmacy at KU Medical Center, and Jeff Pierce, clinical pharmacy coordinator of the department of pharmacy at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, helped nominate Oyetunji.

Oszko, who serves as faculty adviser for the pharmacy student group, said Oyetunji showed great leadership in getting the organization started. “She was a pioneer,” he said. “They basically started from ground zero.”

Oszko says Oyetunji played a major part in getting other pharmacy students involved in the organization, which focuses primarily on careers in hospital pharmacy, and did everything she could to get the group functioning.

Oyetunji plans to do a pharmacy practice residency following her graduation from KU in 2007. Her goal is to enter a specialty residency program. Oyetunji is married to Numukunda Darboe, a first-year medical student at the KU Medical Center. He is from Gambia. She is the daughter of Sim and Bola Oyetunji of Lagos, Nigeria.

The award package includes a plaque, a drug information reference library and a $2,500 cash award from the society’s Research and Education Foundation.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists represents pharmacists practicing in clinical or hospital settings throughout the United States. The 12 award winners were selected from among 73 applicants. Applicants were evaluated on evidence of interest, achievement and leadership in health-system pharmacy practice; and evidence of involvement and personal leadership attributes demonstrated by testaments from student peers and professionals.

Since its beginning in 1890, KU’s School of Pharmacy has been a leader in pharmaceutical education and has offered the doctor of pharmacy degree as the entry-level practice degree since 1996.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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