Interim Dean Dhiren Thakker, Ph.D., with 2018 Burrus award winner Ashley McKnight
Interim Dean Dhiren Thakker, Ph.D., with 2018 Burrus award winner Ashley McKnight

Ashley McKnight is the 2018 recipient of the Samuel B. Burrus Family Award for Community Service, presented to a student who exhibits outstanding and unselfish civic, community or church volunteer service outside the scope of regular pharmacy practice.

McKnight studied at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Asheville satellite campus and will graduate from the School in May with highest distinction. She is a Rural Health Scholar, a founding member of the Christian Pharmacists Fellowship at the Asheville campus and has worked as a teaching assistant and Rho Chi tutor at the School.

Interim Dean Dhiren Thakker, Ph.D., presented the award Saturday and highlighted McKnight’s commitment to serving her community.

McKnight served as the director of Student Programs of the Beyond Clinic Walls program, which provides support for underserved patients with complex medical needs. She volunteered at a local community garden that provides vegetables to local food pantries in Buncombe County and at the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministries free medical clinic.

During her PY4 year, McKnight traveled to Haiti and Honduras for four months. In Haiti, McKnight served on a team dedicated to women’s health issues. In Honduras, Ashley worked with Shoulder to Shoulder, a medical nonprofit, to provide medical services to patients in rural communities.

“Ashley represents herself, her profession and her University extremely well and has a heart for her fellow man and for service,” Thakker said.

After graduating in May, McKnight will begin a postgraduate residency at the Durham VA Medical Center.

The Burrus Family Award is presented annually to a graduating student of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. McKnight receives a monetary award as well as a donation to the charity of her choice. The award is given by the Burrus family, five of whom are UNC pharmacy graduates in the memory of Samuel B. Burrus.

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