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Ghanaian Named Valedictorian of the Class of 2011 at Long Island University’s College of Pharmacy

May 13 commencement ceremony to recognize the achievements of 355 graduates

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Alka Gupta,Assistant Director of Public Relations
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Long Island University
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Nana N. DwumfourBrooklyn, N.Y. – Nana N. Dwumfour, a Brooklyn resident who was born and raised in Ghana, has been named valedictorian of the Class of 2011 at Long Island University’s Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

The College’s Gold Medal Winner, with a grade point average of 3.97, Dwumfour will deliver the valedictory address at the University’s Brooklyn Campus Athletic Field in downtown Brooklyn, on Friday, May 13, 2011. He will earn a Pharm.D., one of 177 students to do so. Also graduating are 167 students with M.S. degrees and 11 with Ph.Ds.

George S. Barrett, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cardinal Health, Inc. will receive an honorary degree and will be the commencement speaker for the College of Pharmacy, which throughout this year is celebrating its 125th anniversary.

“Being named valedictorian is a tremendous honor. It means the world to me,” noted Dwumfour, 27. “I always try to do my best, and I feel like it has paid off and I’ve been greatly rewarded.”

Dwumfour, who lives in Midwood, was born and raised in the capital city of Accra in Ghana. One of six siblings who all went abroad to study, he credits his parents for their emphasis on education. His father is a businessman who once owned a pharmacy.

“I was always there helping out during vacations, so I developed an interest in pharmacy early,” recalled Dwumfour, whose career choice was also influenced by an uncle and aunt, both pharmacists in the United States.

Dwumfour came to the United States after high school, but decided to go back to Ghana upon the insistence of his parents to attend the University of Ghana, where he earned first class honors in computer science and psychology. He returned to the United States after earning his bachelor’s degree and enrolled in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the College of Pharmacy.

“Everything here is easily available – books, resources,” Dwumfour said. “In Ghana, they are hard to come across. At Long Island University, every professor is there for you anytime, and I got to engage in a lot of activities.”

Last summer, Dwumfour accompanied two faculty members to Sierra Leone for 10 days for a chance to experience international pharmacy practice. He followed up by coordinating a book drive on campus to send textbooks to Sierra Leone. In 2010, he was president of the College’s chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) and is active in the African Student Association. He is also a member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

Dwumfour’s awards include the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Professionalism Award; Rho Chi – Pharmacy Academic Honor Society; Phi Lambda Sigma – National Honor Pharmacy Leadership Society; Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges; Dean’s Awards; Philip and Lillian Kamenkowitz Scholarships; Schuss Award Irving Rubin Scholarship Fund and the National Community Pharmacy Association Scholarship.

Throughout his college years, he has worked at a Walgreens pharmacy in Fort Greene and taught a pharmacy tech course at New York City College of Technology. He has been offered a job with Walgreens as a pharmacist, “but what I really want to do is pharmacy informatics,” a combination of computer and pharmacy used mostly in hospitals.

Dwumfour plans to continue his education and go for an M.B.A., with an eye toward a career in clinical pharmacy practice and hospital administration.

His mentors expect big things of him. “In spite of his smarts, Nana is very humble and low-key,” said Patrick Campbell, director of Student Professional Activities. “I know he will do very well.”

Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences...
Established in 1886, the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy became affiliated with Long Island University in 1929. In 1976, the College became a fully integrated unit of the University and was renamed the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. One of the oldest and largest schools of its kind in the country, the College is located on the Brooklyn Campus and boasts an illustrious roster of alumni, including pharmacy professionals who are at the top echelons of their fields, and at the forefront of groundbreaking developments in the pharmaceutical industry. The College educates nearly one quarter of the pharmacists in New York State and many who find careers elsewhere.

Posted 05/03/2011

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