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UB Pharmacy Students Win National Competition

By Mary Cochrane

Release Date: October 19, 2007

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Pharmacy students, from left, Christina Ramsay, Alexandra Centeno, Kathryn Jones and Liliana Yohonn, with their faculty advisor Karl Fiebelkorn, center, have won a NCPA student business plan competition.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In its third attempt in four years, an all-woman student team from the University at Buffalo's School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has won the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition.

"The third time was the charm," said Karl Fiebelkorn, assistant dean for student affairs and professional relations for the school.

The UB team beat finalist teams from the University of Washington and Washington State University during the NCPA's annual convention in Anaheim, Calif., last weekend. The three finalists were chosen from 32 entries submitted by U.S. colleges and schools of pharmacy nationwide.

UB team members are Alexandra T. Centeno of Rome, team captain Kathryn Jones of Rochester, Christina Ramsay of Clarence and Liliana Yohonn of Fairport.

UB finished in second place two years ago in the four-year-old competition, which provides pharmacy students the opportunity for hands-on experience in creating effective business plans.

Fiebelkorn credits hours of practice by the team -- and a dress rehearsal with special guests -- for the win. The school invited David H. Panasci, former president and chief operating officer of Fay's Inc., the corporate parent of Fay's super drugstores, and other pharmacy executives to the event, which Fiebelkorn videotaped.

"The students took the tape home and practiced again and again," Fiebelkorn said. "As a result, their presentation was smooth and very dynamic."

The win is especially satisfying, given that the new president of the NCPA is Stephen L. Giroux of Middleport, who received a bachelor's degree from the school in 1981.

For winning, the pharmacy school will receive $3,000 for its NCPA chapter, $3,000 to support independent pharmacy study and a free trip for Dean Wayne K. Anderson, Fiebelkorn and the four team members to the NCPA Multi-Locations conference in Cancun, Mexico, in February.