Through engaging co-​​op expe­ri­ences and rewarding com­mu­nity ser­vice projects, North­eastern stu­dent Cheyanne Freeman has found her calling in com­mu­nity pharmacy.

Freeman, a fourth-​​year stu­dent in the Doctor of Phar­macy (PharmD) pro­gram, worked at a Wal-​​Mart phar­macy in Somer­sworth, N.H., in summer 2009. There, she dis­cov­ered the rewards of com­pounding —taking drug ingre­di­ents from scratch and putting them together to make med­i­cine. But she also found coun­seling patients about their med­ica­tions and addressing their ques­tions incred­ibly fulfilling.

While at North­eastern, Freeman also vol­un­teered at the Boston AIDS Walk last year and the Boston Dia­betes Expo in 2009. She said seeing the impact that com­mu­nity out­reach and patient edu­ca­tion can have at those events solid­i­fied her interest in the com­mu­nity phar­macy track.

I’m really inter­ested in being involved in the com­mu­nity, both now and when I become a phar­ma­cist,” Freeman said.

Ear­lier this month, Freeman received the Joseph H. Ben­jamin Schol­ar­ship Award at the annual Spring Schol­ar­ships and Awards Con­vo­ca­tion, spon­sored by the School of Phar­macy in the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences. Dr. David Ben­jamin pre­sented the award, founded in the name of his father, a 1931 North­eastern grad­uate and a com­mu­nity phar­ma­cist. The award is pre­sented to a stu­dent for aca­d­emic achieve­ment, and with an interest in compounding.

More than 40 stu­dents received awards at the con­vo­ca­tion, which cel­e­brates the school’s out­standing stu­dents and alumni. Stephen Zoloth, the college’s dean, hailed the stu­dents for their hard work, adding, “You shape us through your achieve­ments, and we cel­e­brate all of your accomplishments.”

Another stu­dent hon­ored at the event was Colleen McQuinn, who received the Con­stan­tine and Mary Meriano Schol­ar­ship Award.  The award was pre­sented by Dr. John Meri­anos, nephew of Con­stan­tine Meriano — the founder and first dean of what came to be the School of Pharmacy.

McQuinn said her co-​​op expe­ri­ences at var­ious hos­pi­tals have pre­pared her well for the rota­tions she’s now com­pleting in her sixth year of the PharmD pro­gram. She said seeing first-​​hand the impor­tance of being pre­cise and accu­rate with drugs and cor­re­sponding dosages has paid huge div­i­dends now that she’s inter­acting more with patients.

Of her award, McQuinn was hon­ored and grateful. “This has such deep roots in our school. I’m really touched to receive that award,” she said.

Doc­toral stu­dent Tao Wang received the John L. Neumeyer Research Achieve­ment Award, which is named for a former Matthews Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor in Chemistry.

This award means so much to me,” said Wang, who is studying the field of mol­e­c­ular recog­ni­tion. “The pur­pose of this award is to encourage people to pursue their sci­en­tific dreams. It’s given me more encour­age­ment to con­tinue working hard.”