Leaders Creating Leaders for Tomorrow

2024 President's Award: Sarah Grace Cook

Sarah Grace Cook leans against a column

May 1, 2024

By Paige Benning

AUBURN, Alabama - Attending pharmacy school was not the original plan for Sarah Grace Cook, but after discovering her love for connecting ailments to specific treatments, moving on to the Harrison College of Pharmacy’s Mobile Campus was the next step.

Four years later, Cook is ready to take the graduation stage as the Harrison College of Pharmacy’s 2024 President’s Award winner.

“This award means the world to me, especially when you look at the amazing students who have received it before,” said Cook. “After all the ways HCOP has supported me, it was an honor to represent our school at the President’s Award Luncheon. It is very special to win this award as it recognizes my commitment to every aspect of my time as an HCOP student.”

The President’s Award recognizes one graduate in each college who has completed at least three semesters at Auburn with a minimum grade-point average of 3.40 and possesses outstanding qualities of leadership, citizenship, character and promise of professional ability.

"One of the tenets in pharmacy and within our college of pharmacy is professionalism," said Dean Leigh Ann Ross. "We believe professionalism to be essential to our success and Sarah Grace consistently embodies this core value. We are very proud of her leadership and service for our profession as a student and we are excited to see where this path takes her."

Group of three people standing together
Sarah Grace Cook (center) with Auburn President Chris Roberts (left) and Dean Leigh Ann Ross (right).

After graduating from the University of South Alabama in 2020 with a degree in biology, Cook decided to explore the pharmaceutical path.

“I did not grow up with family members in pharmacy, so I truly didn’t realize pharmacists worked anywhere but at chain retail pharmacies,” said Cook. “I was able to shadow the director of pharmacy at the time for the University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital. It was such a great experience that I met with the pre-health advisor at USA about pharmacy school the next day.”

Reflecting on her time at HCOP, Cook highlights her time spent with the Auburn University Student Chapter of American College of Clinical Pharmacy, or SCCP.

“I had the opportunity to be involved at a national level as the only student on ACCP’s 2023 Clinical Practice Affairs Committee,” said Cook. “Our committee was charged with preparing an ACCP White Paper that describes best practices in interprofessional team-based care in the community pharmacy setting and sets the stage for key considerations in expanding practices in the future.”

Cook’s last four years have been spent on HCOP’s Mobile campus, allowing her to pursue her degree while staying close to family and friends.

“Our Gulf Coast region, spanning from Pensacola to Biloxi, consists of many health systems, which provided me the opportunity to work at the University of South Alabama University Hospital, our region’s only academic medical center and level I trauma center for all 4 years of pharmacy school,” said Cook.

The next step in her pharmacy career will begin at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont as a PGY-1 pharmacy resident.

“I love the emphasis on multidisciplinary learning and the opportunity to take care of the highest acuity patients that this setting offers,” said Cook.

Eventually, she hopes to pursue a PGY-2 in hematology or infectious diseases with the goal of working as a clinic pharmacist.

“Although I am going far away for further training, I look forward to returning home to Alabama to care for our community.”


About the Harrison College of Pharmacy

Auburn University's Harrison College of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 20 percent of all colleges of pharmacy in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the College offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master's in pharmaceutical sciences and a bachelor’s in drug and biopharmaceutical sciences. The College’s commitment to world-class scholarship and interdisciplinary research speaks to Auburn’s overarching Carnegie R1 designation that places Auburn among the top 100 doctoral research universities in the nation. For more information about the College, please call 334.844.8348 or visit http://pharmacy.auburn.edu.

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Last Updated: May 02, 2024