Jennifer La selected as 2022 Bowl of Hygeia winner

Commencement for UCSF’s PharmD students returned to San Francisco’s Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall on May 27—and so did presentation of the coveted Bowl of Hygeia Award on the auditorium stage. Halfway through the ceremony, Interim Dean Thomas E. Kearney, PharmD, announced the 2022 winner, Jennifer La, PharmD. Rowdy cheers, hoots, and hollers from classmates accompanied La as she accepted the school’s highest honor from the president of the UCSF Pharmacy Alumni Association, Mahtab Jafari, PharmD ’94.

Known for her ability to brighten up a room, La earned the nomination from her peers due to her willingness to always help others succeed. Kearney described her as “the epitome of the pharmacy student … deserving of the Bowl of Hygeia because she exemplifies the critical qualities of the ideal pharmacist in thought, action, and attitude.”

During her time at the School of Pharmacy, La routinely demonstrated commitment to leadership in school activities and organizations. She is president of the UCSF chapter of Phi Lambda Sigma (the national pharmacy leadership society), vice president of the UCSF chapter of the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists, program director of Student-Taught Education in Pharmacy (STEP), and lead peer advisor at the Office of Professional Development.

The award means the world to the first-generation college student. “It’s a culmination of my experience, my family’s experience, and all my friends who have supported me throughout this process,” said La, who will remain at UCSF for a first-year pharmacy practice residency.

Tam, La, Drucker, and Nowak

From left to right: Mitchell Tam, PharmD; La; Darra Drucker, PharmD; and Christopher Nowak, PharmD.

Bright futures also await the other finalists:

  • Darra Drucker, PharmD, who co-led STEP with La and played a crucial role in selecting student teachers, will pursue a residency at Stanford University
  • Richard Ishimaru, PharmD, who oversaw standards and guidelines for the field as vice president of professional affairs for Phi Lambda Sigma, heads to UC Davis Medical Center for a residency
  • Christopher Nowak, PharmD, who earned a reputation as kind, empathetic, knowledgeable, and passionate about pharmacy, is exploring options in clinical pharmacy, administration, and research
  • Mitchell Tam, PharmD, who was the School of Pharmacy’s 2021 Student of the Year, landed a residency at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center


School of Pharmacy, PharmD Degree Program

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.