College of Pharmacy establishes alumni group for new graduates

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Date: Thursday, April 7, 2011
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Students who are graduating next month from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Pharmacy’s inaugural class will also be the inaugural members of an alumni chapter with the UH Alumni Association.

The UH Alumni Association approved on March 30 a request to officially recognize the new chapter for the College of Pharmacy (CoP) Alumni Association. The request included confirmation of officers-elect, names of 15 volunteers to serve on the board of directors, the promise of membership by 46 individuals, and approval of the Chapter Bylaws.

Dean John Pezzuto said an alumni chapter seemed like a natural bridge for this class.

“For a group that has been so open to new ideas, so enthusiastic about the pharmacy program both in and out of the classroom, an alumni chapter is a logical next step,” he said.

Elwin Goo, former chief of pharmacy service at U.S. Army Health Clinic for Schofield Barracks and chief of inpatient pharmacy for Tripler Army Medical Center, will serve as founding president of the new chapter.

“Alumni are carriers of the identity of the pharmacy school just as much as students or faculty,” Goo said. “Alumni can serve as mentors and identify employment opportunities for fellow alumni as well as students. The chapter is designed to promote pharmacy education and our profession.”

Membership fees support the College of Pharmacy and its students, strengthen the reputation of the College of Pharmacy, and enhance the value of the UH Hilo Pharm.D. degree and ultimately the entire profession, he added.

The CoP Alumni Association steering committee includes CoP student class presidents Jessica Toyama, Victor Lin, and Marisa Kaluhiokalani, Dean’s Advisory Council members Elwin Goo, Kathy Hirano, Valerie Matsunaga, Ron Okamura, and Roy Yamauchi, and CoP Director of Community Partnerships Ron Taniguchi.

CoP Alumni Association officers-elect are: Elwin Goo, Pharm.D., president; Roy Goo, Pharm.D., vice-president; Jessica Toyama, Class of 2011 Pharm.D. candidate, secretary; and Keegan Sugimoto, Class of 2011 PharmD. candidate, treasurer.

Toyama said her classmates have a responsibility to their college.

“As part of the inaugural class of the first College of Pharmacy in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Basin, we have embraced the importance of giving back to the community. I hope to continue our legacy of community involvement,” she said.

CoP Alumni Association membership applications are available online at: Questions regarding membership may be directed to Roxanne Kam, associate director of membership and chapter relations, UH Foundation Office of Alumni Relations, at (808) 956-0469 or

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