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Melissa Sahai is Gold Medal Winner and Class of 2012 Valedictorian at LIU Pharmacy

May 11 commencement ceremony to recognize the achievements of 358 graduates


Alka Gupta,Assistant Director, Public Relations
LIU Brooklyn,
Long Island University

SahaiBrooklyn, N.Y. – Melissa Sahai, from Oceanside, Long Island, has been named valedictorian of the Class of 2012 at LIU Pharmacy (Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.)

The college’s Gold Medal Winner, with a grade point average of 3.97, will deliver the valedictory address at LIU Pharmacy’s commencement exercises, to be held inside LIU Brooklyn’s Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center on Friday, May 11. Sahai is one of 200 students set to earn a Pharm.D. Also graduating are 154 students with M.S. degrees and four with Ph.Ds.

“It’s surreal, I still can’t believe it,” said Sahai, “I was always at the top of my class, but I was never recognized before. In high school, I was disappointed that I didn’t get a medal, although I graduated with a 99 G.P.A. This definitely means a lot to me. It’s nice to see how my hard work has paid off.”

The daughter of immigrants from Trinidad, Sahai, 24, was born and raised in Ozone Park, Queens. “From the time I was small, my family was all about going to school, getting a degree and making something of myself.”

“I am the first in my family to finish any kind of higher education,” said Sahai, one of three siblings. “I always had a passion for chemistry — I liked learning about little molecules and the drastic effects they can have on the body. That got me interested in pharmacy.”

Sahai came into the LIU Pharmacy degree program after graduating magna cum laude at New York University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

In addition to the College Gold Medal, Sahai has won the Lilly Achievement Award for superior scholastic, professional achievement, and qualities of leadership and the Merck Award in Medical Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Biochemical Foundations of Therapeutics.

“Melissa has proven to be a top student academically while also taking on a number of leadership roles in the College,” noted Patrick Campbell, director of Student Professional Activities.

She is a member of the Rho Chi pharmacy academic honor society, and served as its vice president. As part of her responsibilities in Rho Chi, Sahai tutored pharmacy students each week. She has also served as president of the Pharmacy Student Leadership Council and as vice president of the college’s chapter of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. As president of PSLC, she coordinated major student events, from the Student Leadership Dinner and Pharmacy Club Fair to the Residency Showcase and Career Fair. She oversaw a social event called “Pharmacy’s Got Talent!” and a spring Sports Night, both of which raised hundreds of dollars for charity.

Sahai was elected to membership in Phi Lambda Sigma, the pharmacy leadership honor society, and was selected for inclusion in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. She is also an active member of the American Pharmacists Association.

After graduation, Sahai will work as a pharmacist at CVS in Nassau County, where she has interned since 2008.

“I like interacting with patients because so many people are on chronic medication and don’t take their medications correctly,” said Sahai. “I want to counsel patients and to have an impact.”

The Brooklyn Campus is distinguished by...
dynamic curricula reflecting the great urban community it serves. Distinctive programs encompass the arts and media, the natural sciences, business, social policy, urban education, the health professions and pharmacy, and include the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics, the D.P.T. in Physical Therapy and the Pharm.D. in Pharmacy. A vibrant urban oasis in downtown Brooklyn, this diverse and thriving campus offers academic excellence, personalized attention, small class size and flexible course schedules. In 2006, a $45-million Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center was opened to serve the Campus and the surrounding community. In 2007, the Cyber Café was launched, providing a high-tech hot spot for students and faculty members to meet and eat.

Posted 04/24/2012

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