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The Lyman T. Johnson African American Group, in partnership with the University of Kentucky Office for Institutional Diversity, hosted the 30th Annual Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer and Torch of Excellence Awards on Feb. 1 virtually.

Each college was asked to nominate alumni who embody the characteristics of determination and hard work and have affected the lives of people on campus, the community, the state, or our nation.

The UK College of Pharmacy (UKCOP) selected alum William Ifeachor as the recipient of the 2021 Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award.

Ifeachor graduated from UKCOP in 2012 with a PharmD and an MBA from UK’s Gatton College of Business and Economics. As the son of a pharmacist, he knew early on that a career in pharmacy would be his goal. Ifeachor started as a student pharmacist intern at the Indianapolis VA Medical Center during the summers. After his first year of pharmacy school, he worked in an outpatient pharmacy where he filled prescriptions, compounded medications and learned more about the profession and patient care.

Currently, Ifeachor is the Associate Chief of Clinical Pharmacy at Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center. He supervises nearly 40 pharmacists in ambulatory care, acute care, and surgery. He jokes that the only pharmacist that does not report to him is his wife.

Ifeachor mentors both pharmacy residents and students, and enjoys helping young pharmacists reach their potential.

“I learn from each one and I’m always proud to see what they go on to do,” Ifeachor said. Knowing Ifeachor he played a small part in the preparation of the next generation is a reward in itself.

Ifeachor says pharmacists should be life-long learners.

“I think it's important to have a career objective and aim for it,” Ifeachor said. “Always be working toward your goal. Don’t hold out for the ‘perfect’ thing. Shake things up and take jobs that move you in the direction you want to go--even if they aren't the end goal.”

We wish to remember and honor those who inhabited this Commonwealth before the arrival of the Europeans. Briefly occupying these lands were the Osage, Wyndott tribe, and Miami peoples. The Adena and Hopewell peoples, who are recognized by the naming of the time period in which they resided here, were here more permanently. Some of their mounds remain in the Lexington area, including at UK’s Adena Park.

In more recent years, the Cherokee occupied southeast Kentucky, the Yuchi southwest Kentucky, the Chickasaw extreme western Kentucky and the Shawnee central Kentucky including what is now the city of Lexington. The Shawnee left when colonization pushed through the Appalachian Mountains. Lower Shawnee Town ceremonial grounds are still visible in Greenup County.

We honor the first inhabitants who were here, respect their culture, and acknowledge the presence of their descendants who are here today in all walks of life including fellow pharmacists and healthcare professionals.