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Brittany Jennings
June 2, 2021

Frank Tillman III (left) and Janet Edwards.

Ten individuals and two groups were named winners of the 2021 Diversity Awards, which are given annually in recognition of those who have given their time and effort to further diversity, equity and inclusion at Carolina and in our surrounding community.

Of those recognized include two UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy alumni: Frank Tillman III (’15, BA; ’19 PharmD), PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Resident, Department of Pharmacy, UNC Medical Center; and Janet Edwards (’95, BS, Pharmacy), Senior Account Specialist for Respiratory Biologics, GlaxoSmithKline.

This year’s winners were chosen from a record number of nominations, according to the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Provost Bob Blouin noted that award recipients have demonstrated a pivotal part of the University’s strategic plan, saying, “The Diversity Awards recognize the critical contributions of teams and individuals whose work embodies the first initiative in the strategic plan, Build our Community Together. Carolina is committed to creating and sustaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community of students, faculty and staff. Our differences are our strength, and our diversity enhances our University’s three-part mission of research, teaching and service. Again, congratulations and thank you to this year’s recipients.”

Tillman was born and raised in Fayetteville, N.C., and is currently a PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Resident at UNC Medical Center. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Interpersonal/Organizational Communication Studies with a minor in Chemistry.

During his undergraduate career, he developed a keen interest in serving racially minoritized and otherwise marginalized communities and worked extensively with initiatives such as Sleep out for the Homeless, Minority Student Recruitment Committee, and founded an organization titled Undergraduate Students for Diversity in Pharmacy.

Following undergrad, Tillman was able to maintain his commitment to serving the underserved through his work with the Student Health Action Coalition. As a PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Resident, his career interests include caring for patients with severe mental illness, med-psychiatry, and addressing the various factors contributing to health/workplace inequities. Currently, Tillman is implementing a diversity, equity, and inclusion educational series targeting pharmacy residents, which has been supported through generous grant funding awarded from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Edwards, a native of Siler City, N.C., and now a 25-year Washingtonian, has worked 23 years for GlaxoSmithKline in pharmaceutical sales, where she started with the company as an intern. She is currently a Senior Executive Account Specialist in the Respiratory Biologics Specialty Business Unit.

In 1995, Edwards graduated from The University of North Carolina with a B.S. in Pharmacy, and in 2021 she will graduate from The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy with an M.S. in Regulatory Science. She is a member of The Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society and The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. She recently served on the Board of Directors of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Alumni Association for six years and is a current member of its Foundation Board of Directors, and she is also a member of the UNC Alumni Committee on Racial & Ethnic Diversity.

While at UNC, Edwards was the President of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, a member of Order of the Bell Tower, and a member of the Theta Pi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (and is now a Silver Star member).

One of Edwards proudest moments was her election as Mentor of the Year in 2018 by Capital Partners for Education in Washington, D.C., helping students navigate their college and career paths. She says her morals rest on serving others in the same way that countless people have helped in her educational and career endeavors.

Hear from Tillman and Edwards as they reflect on receiving this year’s UNC Diversity Awards.

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