Distinguished Alumni Awards
Each year, the College publicly recognizes alumni who embody the attitudes and values that provide the foundation for exceptional patient care. Award recipients receive special recognition during the annual Reunion Celebration.
Congratulations to our 2018 award recipients, who were honored during our Founders Day Convocation on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.
Meet the 2018 Award Recipients
Charles Banks, B.S. '58, M.S. '60, and Family
Black Heritage Award
Charles Banks, B.S. '58, M.S. '60, dedicated his life to serving patients and the community. Banks began his pharmacy career as chief pharmacist and public health officer for the United States Department of the Interior. In 1970, he opened his first pharmacy, Intra Rx Drugs, in Los Angeles with a second location opening a few years later.
In 1993, Banks established a third Intra RX site on the St. Francis Medical Center campus in Lynwood, California. The site was created to support the hospital’s mission to provide medical treatment to underserved communities and patients. He spent several years as a member of the board of trustees for the St. Francis Medical Center Foundation and also served on the advisory board for the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health’s Prescription Services Department.
Banks’ legacy is carried on by his wife, Fairveola, and his daughter, Bianca, who are ardent supporters of the College. Bianca continues to manage his businesses and serves on the St. Francis Medical Center Board of Trustees.
Alfreda Pulley, B.S. ’87, MBA
Black Heritage Award
Alfreda Pulley, B.S. ’87, MBA, is a pharmacist for CareSTL Health where she is responsible for ensuring that the organization adheres to federal regulations pertaining to the pharmacy and special 340B pricing. She also manages inventory control and performs medication therapy management and services for patients.
Pulley is a member of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and is the vice president of membership for the Grand Center 5,000 Club of Toastmasters International, a nonprofit educational organization that promotes communication, public speaking and leadership skills.
Pulley also serves with her church’s prison ministry and is a member of the congregation’s health and wellness and social justice committees. On a recent mission trip to El Salvador, she had the opportunity to work with other health professionals to provide care for more than 3,000 residents who did not have access to regular health care.
Eric Barker, B.S. ’88, Ph.D.
Outstanding Achievement Award
Eric Barker, B.S. ’88, Ph.D., is a noted neuropharmacologist, award-winning educator, skilled academic leader and pharmacist. He currently serves as dean and professor for the Purdue University College of Pharmacy.
Before joining the faculty at Purdue in 1998, Barker received a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University and completed postdoctoral research at Vanderbilt and Emory University. His research interests are in the area of molecular actions of drugs of abuse and other drugs that affect the brain. He is a member of several professional associations including the American Pharmacists Association, the Society for Neuroscience and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Barker has been recognized for his efforts in teaching, having received the Purdue College of Pharmacy Dr. Aziz Outstanding Teaching Award and the Purdue University Charles B. Murphy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award. He was selected to the Purdue Teaching Academy and highlighted in the Purdue Book of Great Teachers. He was also named a University Faculty Scholar and a 2011-2012 CIC-Academic Leadership Program Fellow.
Rebakkah Johnson, Pharm.D. '16
Young Alumnus Award
Rebakkah Johnson, Pharm.D. ’16, is currently an overnight pharmacy leader at CVS Pharmacy in Clayton, Missouri. Johnson also serves patients as a PRN psychiatric pharmacist at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri, where she offers medication recommendations and counseling through a private psychiatric practice.
Johnson serves as a pharmacy advocate within Missouri's State Congress and creates solutions to make the healthcare system work better for St. Louis residents.
Johnson is the host of the Sunday radio show “Health Connections” that airs on Mix 99.5 FM in St. Louis. Each week, the show features a panel of African-American doctors from various medical fields who discuss health issues affecting minority communities.
In her free time, Johnson volunteers as a health teacher at Riverview Central Middle School, where she educates students on issues that affect minority communities and how to prevent them. She is also pursuing a Master in Business Administration in Healthcare Management from the University of Texas at Tyler.
During her last year at the College, Johnson founded her nonprofit organization, BooksFromBekkah, which provides gifted, college-bound, African-American youth in St. Louis with scholarship aid for the out-of-pocket costs associated with attending college beyond tuition. To date, the organization has awarded $8,000 in scholarships and has raised an additional $10,000 for future recipients.
Johnson has received several awards including the 2018 National Pharmaceutical Association’s Terrence Burroughs Pharmacy Leadership Award, the 2018 Young Pharmacist of the Year by the National Pharmacy Association, the 2018 CVS Health Rising Star Award, the 2018 Phenomenal Woman Award from St. Louis radio stations Hot 104.1 and 95.5 The Lou, as well as recognition as one of DELUX Magazine’s 30 Under 30 honorees.
Tom Rousonelos, B.S. ’89
Dedicated Service to the Profession Award
Tom Rousonelos, B.S. ’89, is vice president of operations at Albertson’s Companies where he develops strategies to promote improved immunization delivery and medication therapy management with the goal of achieving greater medication adherence and better patient outcomes.
Rousonelos is a member of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and serves on the Pharmacy Operations Committee for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
He also works to influence legislation to enhance the scope of pharmacy practice and promote patient access to services. He is focused on mentoring young professionals and working to advance the profession of pharmacy by increasing the scope of practice for both pharmacists and technicians.
Scot Walker, B.S. ’82, M.S. ’93
Dedicated Service to the Profession
Scot Walker, B.S. ’82, M.S. ’93, is the chief executive officer of Prescribe Right, LLC and the creator of the Prescribe Right Pharmaceutical Pipeline Tracker. The online searchable database of medications in development was designed to help formulary committees stay updated on investigational pharmaceuticals and review the status of competing medications. Walker is the former head of Facts & Comparisons.
Walker is also the author of “Effective Pharmacotherapy,” a book that was published in 2004 by LLW. Walker has co-written three position papers for the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, published 19 articles in pharmacy journals and authored three chapters in the Mosby’s OTC Drugs reference guide. He is a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.