Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

CPhA Centennial Leadership Award

In recognition of a student who has actively promoted the profession of pharmacy and his/her faculty and has achieved good academic standing.

Indraj Uppal, University of British Columbia

Indraj Kaur Uppal

Indraj Uppal grew up in Surrey, BC, and completed a BSc in biology before starting pharmacy school. She attributes much of her personal development and the opportunities she’s had to the fact that she was able to get an education. Indraj’s family comes from a small village in India where life is very different. There is no hot running water, and many do not finish high school. Her mom only had the opportunity to study up until Grade 9, and her grandpa never learned how to read or write. “Education has been a very empowering resource in my life,” she says. “That’s why I’d like to become a pharmacist.” Indraj is inspired by how pharmacists empower patients to take care of themselves by educating them, whether it be by providing medication counselling or answering patients' questions about their medications, all without the need for an appointment. She finds the work she does to be incredibly fulfilling, and can’t wait to serve her community as a pharmacist!

Alison Cheung, University of Alberta

Alison Cheung

Alison Cheung was born and raised in Nanaimo, BC, before moving to Alberta to pursue a post-secondary education and a PharmD at the University of Alberta. Alison is highly passionate about the profession and takes pride in sharing this enthusiasm with peers and the public. Since her first year, she has been highly involved in pharmacy-related activities, clinical research and extracurriculars. For the past 3 years, she was the editor of the University of Alberta’s Faculty magazine, the Pharmacy Quarterly. She is currently an executive with the Alberta Pharmacy Students’ Association and has served as a CSHP-AB Student Committee Chair for the past 2 years. Throughout her studies and work as a hospital pharmacy summer student, Alison has been exposed to incredible professors and preceptors who have been inspirational in their professionalism and contagious in their enthusiasm for their work. “I feel very fortunate to have chosen pharmacy as a career path at a time when the profession is undergoing an exciting transformation further into the clinical realm,” she says. “I am excited to pay it forward to the profession in my own way.”

Ryan Chan, University of Saskatchewan

Ryan Chan

Ryan Chan grew up in Saskatoon, SK, where he is pursuing his PharmD at the University of Saskatchewan. Ryan was drawn to the profession of pharmacy after learning about the critical role pharmacists play in guiding, advising and optimizing patient health outcomes. Ryan is an avid researcher, passionate advocate for health equity and a facilitator of community engagement through his dedicated involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters. With a shortage of family physicians within Canada, Ryan actively engages in conversations with community members and educates youth and adolescents about the role of a pharmacist. He has presented on pharmacists’ scope of practice, highlighting expanding services such as minor ailment prescribing, and the foundational role pharmacists play in navigating the complex health-care system. “I hope to pursue a career in academia, where I can mentor and educate future generations of pharmacists and hopefully instill values that have contributed to his successes,” he says. Meet Ryan and find out what he's most excited about as he looks forward to starting his career.

Madison Wong, University of Manitoba

Madison Wong

Madison Wong was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB, where she completed her BSc majoring in genetics prior to pursuing her PharmD at the University of Manitoba. Now in her final year of the program, she is excited to apply all that she has learned during her experiential rotations. Madison has always enjoyed being active in her community and challenges herself by taking on leadership roles. “I am thankful for the connections I have made along the way,” she says, “I am continually inspired by the collaborative work around me.” This year as President of CAPSI National Council and Past-President of the University of Manitoba Pharmacy Students’ Association, Madison will continue to advocate for pharmacy students across Canada and for the betterment of the profession. She is looking forward to joining this ever-changing profession upon graduation and hopes to see increased government support for pharmacists’ expanding scope.

Kristy Wong, University of Waterloo

Kristy Wong

Kristy Wong’s journey began in Hong Kong, where she was born, before moving with her family to Toronto, ON, at the age of 6. After completing high school in BC, Kristy returned to Ontario to attend the University of Waterloo with Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP) status. “I have always been drawn to the field of pharmacy,” she says. “It offers limitless, versatile opportunities for learning and development.” Kristy’s passion for creating student opportunities and promoting mental wellness have led her to take an active role in developing programs for pharmacy students, such as co-organizing a national CAPSI mentorship program and collaborating with local elementary schools to create motivational cards for students during the exam period. With a strong desire to foster a positive culture in pharmacy, Kristy aspires to continue creating opportunities for students from all background to develop professionally and personally, allowing them to thrive in the field of pharmacy. Meet Kristy and listen to her advice for someone just starting their pharmacy journey.

Theodora Solomon Udounwa, University of Toronto

Theodora Solomon Udounwa

Born and raised in Abuja, Nigeria, Theodora Solomon Udounwa moved to Ontario to begin her undergraduate degree in pharmacology and biomedical toxicology at the University of Toronto at the age of 15. With an interest in the interface between pharmacology and patient-centered care, and an appreciation for the diversity of practice settings to pharmacists after graduation, Theodora decided to pursue PharmD studies at Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. At the faculty, Theodora has held several leadership roles, including 2022-2023 Senior Representative for the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns (CAPSI) and 2022-2023 Finance Director for the Black Pharmacy Students’ Association. These opportunities have allowed her to support student councils in enriching the UofT pharmacy student experience and radiate her passion for teaching and advocating for a healthy learning environment, with academic and professional advancement opportunities. “I envision the role of Canadian pharmacists becoming more reflective of the depth of clinical knowledge acquired during the PharmD program,” she says, “especially in community settings.” From her perspective, adaptability will play a critical role in contributing to the success of pharmacists in the health-care system of the future. Meet Theodora and find out what pharmacy services she's most excited about providing to her patients.

Audrey Noël-Blanchette, Université Laval

Audrey Noël-Blanchette

Audrey Noël-Blanchette was born and raised in Quebec. She is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Université Laval, after having studied kinesiology and physiotherapy. Audrey has been involved in various committees during her time at the Faculty of Pharmacy, including the International and Intercultural Health Committee, the PHAre mental health support network, socio-cultural and sports activities and as president of the Association générale étudiante de pharmacie (AGEP). Audrey’s goal has always been to work as a pharmacist. She worked for 8 years as a pharmacy technical assistant while pursuing her studies, which gave her insight into the importance of the pharmacist's role in providing health care to Quebecers. “The profession of pharmacy is constantly evolving,” she says. “I believe that it is vital that we take our place in the health-care system by being agents of change.” Meet Audrey and find out why she thinks pharmacists are such an important part of the health-care team.

Mikhail-Paul Cardinal, Université de Montréal

Mikhail-Paul Cardinal

Mikhail-Paul Cardinal is originally from Chelsea, Quebec. He began his academic career in 2015 at Université de Sherbrooke, where he undertook a bachelor's degree in biochemistry with two specializations in medical genetics and genomics, proteomics and structural biochemistry. He is currently studying for a master's degree in epidemiology, which he will officially complete in summer 2023 at the same time as his PharmD at Université de Montréal. Mikhail-Paul was actively involved in student life during his PharmD program, becoming president of his student association in 2022, as well as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and president of the green committee. He is especially passionate about the well-being of students and the advancement of pharmacy practice. In particular, he has advocated for more financial assistance to be made available to students on internships and for educational reform in preparation for the pharmacist's shift to more clinical roles. “I believe that pharmacists, with their unique knowledge and skills, can meet a number of public health needs, including accessibility to primary care and relieving pressure on family physicians and hospitals in community settings,” he says.

Carter Vanlderstine, Dalhousie University

Carter Vanlderstine

Born and raised in Montague, PEI, Carter VanIderstine completed his BSc in biology at the University of Prince Edward Island and his MSc in pathology at Dalhousie University where he spent several years doing cancer research. It was there he discovered his passion for pharmacology and personalized medicine, leading him to enter the PharmD program at Dalhousie University. Since starting pharmacy school, Carter has held numerous leadership positions within the Dalhousie Student Pharmacy Society (DSPS), including first- and second-year class representative, VP Communications and Chair. He also had the opportunity to pursue his interest in research, specifically opioid stewardship in the post-operative setting and sedative-hypnotic deprescribing initiatives. In the future, Carter hopes to return to oncology practice by pursuing a career in oncology pharmacy. “My favorite thing about pharmacy is that we are uniquely situated to fill gaps in patients' health care,” he says, “and that we use our expertise to help them navigate the health-care system.” Meet Carter and find out why he thinks pharmacists are an important part of the health-care team.

Caitlyn Coles, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Caitlyn Coles

Caitlyn Coles grew up in Conception Bay South, NL. She was inspired to pursue pharmacy upon learning about the diverse career options within the profession along with the array of tasks that pharmacists complete day-to-day to provide patient-centred care. Throughout her degree, Caitlyn has been involved with various student associations, including representing her school as the junior and senior representative for the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns (CAPSI). Caitlyn believes pharmacy practice will continue to expand to meet patient needs and to coincide with pharmacists’ skills by shifting away from the primary role of dispensing and toward prescribing. “Pharmacists’ ability to assess for minor ailments and our profound knowledge of medications and treatment recommendations will be essential in this next phase of pharmacy,” she says. Caitlyn is excited to graduate and to be a part of the future of the profession. Meet Caitlyn and hear her advice for someone just starting their pharmacy journey.