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Ukrainian Immigrant is Valedictorian at Long Island University's Arnold & Marie Schwartz College Of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

May 14 commencement ceremony to recognize the achievements of 371 Graduates

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Alka Gupta,Assistant Director of Public Relations
Brooklyn Campus,
Long Island University
718-780-4137

Rina Senderskaya spoke no English when she left her native Ukraine at the age of 11, immigrating to the United States with her family. But language has proved no barrier to her success in her adopted country.

On Friday, May 14, the 29-year-old Sheepshead Bay resident will receive a Pharm.D. degree and will deliver the valedictory address during the 1 p.m. commencement ceremony for Long Island University’s Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at the Brooklyn Campus’ athletic field.

Ms. Senderskaya, who achieved a 3.96 grade-point average in the highly competitive Pharm.D. Program, is one of 371 students who will graduate from the College of Pharmacy in downtown Brooklyn.

University President David J. Steinberg will confer 149 Master of Science degrees, 209 Pharm.D. degrees and 13 Ph.D. degrees. Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, the dean of the School of Pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco, and one of just a few pharmacists elected to the Institute of Medicine, will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree and will serve as the commencement speaker.

Ms. Senderskaya, whose family left the small town of Chernovtsy, Ukraine, in 1991 “seeking a better life, better opportunities,” had little problem adjusting to life in America. “I was young so English came naturally,” recalled Ms. Senderskaya, who also is fluent in Russian. She attended Stuyvesant High School and later earned a B.B.A. in computer information systems from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College.

Believing that she could better help people through a pharmacy career, Ms. Senderskaya left her business career and enrolled at the College of Pharmacy. “I like providing health care,” she said. “I like the fact that, unlike physicians, pharmacists are more accessible to people in need of medical advice. I enjoy helping and interacting with patients, and educating people on proper medication administration.”

“Rina is an extraordinary student in all areas of pharmacy,” declared Patrick J. Campbell, director of student and professional activities at the College. “She’s great in all the hard sciences, and she truly understands how medications are applied to patients.”

Ms. Senderskaya, who is a pharmacist at Walgreens Pharmacy, has won the College’s Gold Medal, Excellence in Pharmacotherapy Award and Merck Awards for outstanding performance in medical physiology, pathophysiology and biochemistry, and iatrogenic diseases.

A member of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society and the Rho Chi Academic Honor Society in Pharmacy, she has been on the Dean’s List and is the recipient of the Franc H. Largeman Scholarship, the Sheila Rosenberg Memorial Scholarship and the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women Scholarship.

Posted 05/05/2010

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