ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy (UNM COP) students achieved historic firsts at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) 2009 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Third-year pharmacy student Adriane Irwin became the first UNM pharmacy student in the college’s 64-year history to be named President of the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), a 33,000 member organization representing all pharmacy students in the U.S.

As president, Irwin will serve on the Board of Trustees of the APhA, which represents 70,000 pharmacists and student pharmacists nationwide.

Irwin is an Albuquerque native and graduated from La Cueva High School.

Fourth-year pharmacy student Kimberly Neff also accomplished a first for the UNM COP by becoming the national champion of the APhA National Patient Counseling Competition.

Each of the 108 colleges of pharmacy in the U.S. had one student entered in the competition. The students were judged on how well they provided information to mock patients on appropriate use of a complicated medication regimen. Mock patients displayed various personality characteristics to challenge the students’ ability to communicate pertinent information.

Neff is the 25thwinner of the national competition that has been held at the annual meeting since 1985. She is an Albuquerque native and graduated from Sandia High School.

In addition to the student achievements, the UNM COP won the Most Improved Chapter award.

“I am so proud of what are students are accomplishing at the national level,” said John A. Pieper, Pharm.D., dean of the UNM COP. “They are setting the bar for all other pharmacy students in the U.S. to follow. The Most Improved Chapter award is also a great achievement. The award is a testimony to our chapter’s creativity and hard work in 2007-08.”


Contact: Lauren Cruse, 272-3322