Commencement 2020

Watch the Virtual Commencement Ceremony

Commencement Ceremony

2020 Commencement

Class of 2020 Zoom Celebration

Student Celebration

Class of 2020 Student Awards

A.B. Lemon Memorial Award 
Devon Coffey

ASP Senior Recognition Award 
Stephanie Lanza

Copel and Max Rubenstein Award in Pharmacy 
Devon Coffey

Daniel H. Murray Memorial Award 
Mary Hejna

Dr. David E. Guttman Award 
Yao Heng Huang

Eino Nelson Award 
Atul Dilawri

Excellence in Pharmacogenomics Award 
Nicole Wilcox

Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award
Anna Agostini

Facts and Comparisons Award of Excellence in Clinical Communication 
Ebne Rafi

Francis Taylor Award 
Allison Coughlin

Inpatient Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience Award 
Miranda Graham

Katherine Doyle Memorial Award for Excellence in Palliative Care 
Mary Hejna

Lilly Achievement Award 
Hannah Lu

Lori Esch Memorial Award 
Frencina Monteiro

Margaret C. Swisher Memorial Award
Melissa Dhanraj

Merck Manual Award for Academic Excellence
Omar Marzouk
Richard Rovelli
Atul Dilawri

McKesson Leadership Award
Johanna Sulesky

Michael E. Crawford Award 
Mary Hejna

Mylan Excellence in Pharmacy Award 
Anna Mak

NCPA Outstanding Student Award 
Henry Wilson

Outpatient Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience Award 
Allison Coughlin

Outstanding Graduating Senior Award in Pharmaceutical Sciences 
Yao Heng Huang

PAWNY Student Leadership Award 
Stephanie Krafft

PSSNY Award 
Alison Oddi

Renee A. Diederich Award 
Rachael Luconte
Marissa Guszkowski

Robert M. Cooper Memorial Award 
Jessica Micceri

Robert H. Gumtow Undergraduate Research Award in Pharmaceutical Sciences
Nicholas Cheung

Robert H. Ritz Award 
Richard Rovelli

Roger Mantsavinos Award 
Ben Do

Roy M. Barr Award 
Richard Rovelli
William Feng

Samuel J. Bauda Award 
Rachel Eye

UB SPPS Professionalism Award 
Jessica Mason

Western New York Society of Health System Pharmacists Award
Nicholas Palisano

Faculty Awards

PharmD Class of 2020 Faculty Member of the Year


Nicholas Fusco, Clinical Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice, and Assistant Director of Experiential Education

Each year, our graduating class recognizes a faculty member who had a significant impact on them.

Dr. Fusco was overwhelmingly admired for his approachability and for helping the Class of 2020 through these challenging times. 

SPPS Teacher of the Year


Erin Slazak, Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice

The Teacher of the Year Award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence and innovation in teaching and mentoring.

Dr. Slazak was chosen for her compassion and going above and beyond to help her students.

Alumni Congratulations

Welcome to Our Alumni Family, Class of 2020!

A Proud Tradition

Margaret Hempling McGlynn, BS '82 & MBA '83

Best Wishes from Margaret Hempling McGlynn

Renee Rizzo Fleming, BS '80, BS '83 & MBA '85

Renee Rizzo Fleming

Mark Stramaglia, BS '81 & MBA '86

Mark Stramaglia

Yang Chen, MS '05 & PhD '12

Yang Chen

Steven Giroux, BS '81

Steve Giroux

Information for Graduating Students

AACP Graduating PharmD Student Survey

We are asking for your insights and comments regarding your experiences in the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program.  Annually the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) asks all graduating pharmacy students to complete an anonymous survey which is designed to provide feedback to the school and AACP.  Candid feedback allows for enhancement and improvement of the student experience here at UB and across the nation.

You should have received an email with the Subject Line: AACP Graduating Student Survey. If you did not receive an email, please contact

To help increase survey participation, we are offering an incentive:

  • Entry into a drawing for a one-year (2020-2021) recent graduate membership to one of the following professional organization (winner’s choice): APhA ($86 each), ASHP ($79 each), or NYSCHP ($100). Three winners will be chosen.

There were a few new and/or enhanced programs during your tenure that we wanted to remind you of, including:

  • Job Search: Bullseye powered by Handshake
  • Alumni and Career Networking Events
  • Student Faculty Council
  • Increased opportunities for interprofessional education
  • Increased Leadership Development Fund (formerly known as Dean’s Travel Fund)
  • Enhanced faculty advisement
  • Dean’s Alumni Ambassador Mentor program
  • International experiential rotations
  • New student organizations: SPGO, PPAC, SCCP, and IPhO

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank you for allowing myself as well as the faculty and staff to share these past four years with you.  My sincere hope is you found your time here rewarding, engaging and memorable.  I know you are well prepared to serve our global community as a pharmacy leader.  I look forward to hearing about your future successes and to welcoming you back as proud alumni.

James M. O’Donnell, PhD
Professor and Dean

Caps and Tassels

We were able to secure a last minute order of caps and tassels from Jostens for all our graduates. These orders are being sent to your permanent address on file and you should receive by May 14. We hope you will be able to use these during the commencement ceremony. 

Bachelors and Masters Regalia Orders

Orders scheduled to ship to the University Bookstore:

These orders will instead be sent to the address associated with the credit card used for the purchase. The estimated delivery date is May 5-9, 2020.

NOTE: If you need to change that address, please contact Jostens at 1-800-854-7464 by April 13, 2020. 

Refund Requests:

Please follow these instructions:

  • Unopened Packages: Due to current health issues, ONLY UNOPENED PACKAGES will be accepted 
  • Please enclose your email confirmation, or a note in the box with your name, address and University at Buffalo that you can be credited accordingly.  Please return unopened package to the address below; allow 4+ weeks for credit adjustment:
    Jostens Returns
    501 Lynn Ave.
    Laurens, SC 29360

Doctoral Regalia Orders


Doctoral student rental orders, placed thru Jostens, will be cancelled.


Prepaid orders thru Jostens will be shipped to the purchaser’s home. 

Order shipped to UB Bookstore: These will be put on hold until the store re-opens, at which time you can contact the Bookstore directly to receive your regalia.


For general questions about this year's commencement, please contact Becky Brierley at