Recent UBC pharmacy graduate wins national award for giving student voice to issues

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AARON Sihota has made it his mission to provide a voice for pharmacy students when it comes to important healthcare issues. Throughout his four years at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, he has advocated tirelessly for the student perspective both within the university and in the community at large.

People are clearly listening, and his dedication to the cause has earned him this year’s Commitment to Care & Service Award (CCSA) for Student Leadership. This national awards program, hosted by Canada’s leading pharmacy publication Pharmacy Practice +, recognizes and rewards stellar pharmacy driven initiatives across the country.

As president of the Pharmacy Undergraduate Society, Sihota worked closely with the College of Pharmacists of BC to create a permanent student observer seat on the board of directors, which he is hoping will become a voting position within the next three years. “The college has a very important role when it comes to regulating our profession, and it is important that our students are engaged with its affairs early on,” he says.

On campus, he organized a “Professional Speed Networking” event where students went through eight rounds of structured networking with pharmacy leaders in hospital and community settings. He also created a professional development fund to encourage students to organize initiatives that benefit the pharmacy student body as it relates to the profession.

UBC’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Dean and Professor Michael Coughtrie says Sihota has “set an outstanding example to students and provided real leadership within this Faculty.”  The CCSA judges couldn’t agree more, citing Sihota as one of the profession’s up and coming pharmacy leaders with a very bright future indeed.

The CCSA for Student Leadership is sponsored by Loblaw Pharmacy and the Ontario Pharmacists Association.