Pharmacy Alumni Named AACP Walmart Scholars

Ole Miss represented on list for 12th consecutive year

Elizabeth Hearn

OXFORD, Miss. – Elizabeth Hearn and Wesley Sparkmon, both alumni of the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, have been named 2020 Walmart Scholars by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Walmart Scholars Program.

The honor and accompanying $1,000 scholarship are given to recipients who are committed to a career in academic pharmacy.

Hearn, a native of Senatobia and 2019 Doctor of Pharmacy graduate, is a resident at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She said being selected as a Walmart Scholar is the “highest honor.”

“Over the course of this year as a resident, I’ve had the opportunity to work as a co-preceptor for multiple student pharmacists,” Hearn said. “While I may know plenty of drug information, sharing that knowledge in easy-to-understand, highly-effective teaching pieces to students can be difficult.

“To be accepted into a program that wants to strengthen those skills really means the world to me, and I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to become a stronger teacher.”

Hearn, who is a member of the pharmacy school’s Hall of Fame, earned multiple leadership and academic honors as a student pharmacist. She also served as president of her pharmacy class for three years.

Walmart Scholars are named in conjunction with a faculty member who has encouraged the student throughout his or her pharmacy school career. Hearn’s faculty mentor was Meagan Brown, clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice.

“Dr. Hearn has always been interested in academia, something she expressed to me as a student,” Brown said. “She has a compassionate, persistent approach in teaching, which will take her very far. I’m excited about her opportunity to learn more about teaching and learning as an AACP Walmart Scholar.”

Wesley Sparkmon

Sparkmon is a native of West Virginia and grew up in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. A Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Pharmacy Administration and 2012 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences, Sparkmon said it is a “tremendous honor” to be named a Walmart Scholar.

“I have both heard about and seen firsthand how competitive this program is, and it is a privilege to be named as one of only 85 Walmart Scholars nationwide,” Sparkmon said. “To be one of two representing the university this year is even more special as an Ole Miss alum.”

Sparkmon is a member of Rho Chi, Phi Kappa Phi and Delta Omega, the public health honor society. While receiving his Master in Public Health from the University of Louisville, he was awarded the Graduate Dean’s citation, as well as the Dean’s Award for graduate students from the School of Public Health and Information Sciences.

Erin Holmes, associate professor of pharmacy administration, served as Sparkmon’s faculty mentor. Sparkmon noted that she was instrumental in his academic and professional success.

“Since I first met Wes, his career goal has always been to be a pharmacy professor,” Holmes said. “I know this experience will further help support his career goals and that the networking opportunities will be invaluable to him.

“I look forward to seeing the great contributions that Wes will make to academia and the pharmacy profession in the years ahead.”

The scholarships mark the 12th consecutive year that the School of Pharmacy had at least one Walmart Scholars honoree. Ole Miss recipients have earned the scholarship 14 of the 16 years it has been given.