8th Annual College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Gala
March 29, 2025
7-11:30 p.m.
Leonards Palazzo

Previous Gala Honorees

Diane Hardej ’95G, ’03Ph.D.

Diane Hardej headshot

Distinguished Faculty Award

Dr. Hardej is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She is a double alumna of St. John’s University, having earned a master’s degree in Biology from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (now St. John’s College) in 1995 and a doctoral degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences, with a specialty in Toxicology, from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2003.  

Upon graduating from the doctoral program, Dr. Hardej held an administrative position in the College as the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences’ first Director of Laboratories from 2003 to 2007. In 2007, she was granted a faculty position in the College and earned her tenure in 2013.  

Dr. Hardej has mentored several graduate students in toxicology and pharmacology, resulting in 14 M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from her laboratory. Graduate research with her students has resulted in greater than 50 peer-reviewed papers and abstracts, and her research has been presented yearly at the Society of Toxicology’s annual meetings. Dr. Hardej has served as a reviewer for many years for prestigious scientific journals in the area of toxicology.

Dr. Hardej has held several positions in the national Society of Toxicology, including Secretary of the In Vitro and Alternative Methods Specialty Section (2010–14), and Councilor of the Metals Specialty Section (2014–16). On the regional level, she has served as a Councilor for the Mid-Atlantic Society of Toxicology (MASOT) Regional Chapter (2010–13) and as President of MASOT in 2018–19. 

Dr. Hardej has served on MASOT’s Education and Outreach Committee continuously since 2010, which has resulted in meaningful collaborations with the St. John’s University community in student-centered programs such as Inspector Tox, ToxiCarnival, Graduate School Information Night, and the Dean’s Hour Careers in Toxicology. Dr. Hardej was the recipient of the St. John’s University Faculty Excellence in Student Engagement Award in 2019.

Dr. Hardej has also served on several University, College, and department committees, including the University Core Curriculum Committee, Graduate Council, Public Safety Committee, and Graduate Education and Policy Committee. She was the Graduate Program Director for the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences from 2017 to 2018. 

She has served on the advisory board for the Women in Science Association on campus for more than a decade and has enjoyed many educational events in support of young women scientists in the field. Dr. Hardej is a director of the Oblong Land Conservancy in Dutchess County, a conservancy group dedicated to preserving native lands for future generations.

Dr. Hardej is an enthusiastic supporter of graduate and undergraduates seeking education and careers in toxicology and other scientific fields. She has been the faculty adviser for Tau Omega Chi (the undergraduate toxicology club) for more than a decade, and has been influential in bringing undergraduate and graduate students to both regional and national toxicology meetings.

Salah U. Ahmed ’85GP, ’90Ph.D.

Salah Ahmed headshot

Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Salah U. Ahmed is a distinguished alumnus of St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences (now the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences). He earned his M.S. in Industrial Pharmacy in 1985 and his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1990, marking the beginning of his enduring association with the University.

Dr. Ahmed continues to make substantial contributions to alma mater. He actively participated in the establishment of the Dr. Jarowski Seminar and the Industrial Pharmacy Laboratory at St. John’s University. His involvement extended to presenting at seminars, serving on thesis committees, and engaging in the Doctoral Seminar Program. In recognition of his dedication, he was awarded the International Medal by Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., University President, in 2015.

Professionally, Dr. Ahmed is the Chief Scientific Officer, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Abon Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a company he founded in 2009. Under his leadership, Abon Pharmaceuticals has become a leading specialty drug delivery development company, contributing to nine US Abbreviated New Drug Application filings and boasting a diverse research and development (R&D) portfolio valued at $6.5 billion in the US market.

Prior to founding Abon, Dr. Ahmed served as the Executive Vice President of Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer at Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc., overseeing their R&D operations with more than 700 scientific and technical professionals in the US and Europe. During his 16-year tenure, he transformed Barr’s R&D into a leading drug development research lab recognized as a “generic Specialty Pharma” company. Under Dr. Ahmed’s leadership, Barr made advancements in their biotechnology lab, developed first- and second-generation biologics using recombinant DNA and monoclonal antibody techniques, and used modern reactors to resolve US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concerns about scale-up affecting molecular configuration of biologics. 

He implemented the concept of physicochemical attributes and pharmacokinetic principles of drug in dosage form development, applying his knowledge of statistical design and mathematical modeling, which was rooted in his St. John’s Ph.D. dissertation. This approach of merging theory and applied sciences shaped the best pharmaceutical product development program at that time, which nowadays is a part of the FDA’s Quality by Design requirements.

In his research career, Dr. Ahmed has authored more than 36 patents, and co-authored over 70 research papers, abstracts, and book chapters. He has been a distinguished speaker at pharmaceutical conferences and FDA seminars in the US and Europe.

Beyond his professional achievements, Dr. Ahmed has made noteworthy contributions to society. He played a key role in establishing nonprofit organizations like the Bangladeshi American Pharmacist Association and the American Association of Bangladeshi Scientists. His philanthropic efforts also extended to supporting education for women and orphanages in Bangladesh.

In his personal life, Dr. Ahmed shares a strong bond with his wife, Begum Naher, spanning 48 years. Together, they have nurtured a family rooted in values of compassion and dedication. They have two children, Redwan and Warda, as well as two grandchildren.

Dr. Ahmed’s story is one of academic accomplishment, innovative leadership, and significant philanthropy, leaving a lasting impact on both St. John’s University, as well as his professional and personal communities.

Roger Paganelli, R.Ph. ’87P

Roger Paganelli headshot

Distinguished Alumni Award

Mr. Paganelli and his wife Joanne graduated from St. John’s University in 1987 with Bachelor of Science degrees in Pharmacy. They and their five children reside in Rye, NY.

Dedication to the profession of pharmacy evidently resides deep inside the DNA of the Paganelli family. Mr. Paganelli’s grandfather Armand opened Paganelli’s Pharmacy on Morris Avenue in the Bronx, NY, almost a century ago! His father “Big Rog” established Mt. Carmel Pharmacy in 1964, and in the ensuing years had partnerships in four additional community pharmacies.

It was Mt. Carmel Pharmacy in which Mr. Paganelli, his brothers, sisters, and cousins grew up working and learning the pharmacy business. Mr. Paganelli and his brothers Armand and Michael purchased the pharmacy from Big Rog in 1991

Mt. Carmel Pharmacy and the Paganelli family were later named “Merchants of the Year” by the Arthur Avenue Merchants Association, and received citations from both the New York City Council and the mayor’s office acknowledging their contributions to Little Italy in the Bronx. Those contributions include hosting a community Thanksgiving dinner for thousands in their Belmont neighborhood for more than 25 years, along with various community-focused initiatives and events.

The brothers have also been on the Board of Managers of the Madison Square Boys and Girls Clubs in the Bronx for more than 20 years. They have always put an emphasis on giving back to the community that has supported their business for almost 60 years—a lesson they learned early in life from their father.

Mr. Paganelli is a leader, and has had a positive impact on pharmacy at the local, state, and national levels. He has been a spokesman for FixRx, an advocacy group comprised of community pharmacists throughout the state of New York. He has been featured in multiple published articles that focused on the overwhelming financial challenges imposed by Pharmacy Benefit Managers on independent community pharmacies.

He and his brothers continue to be active members of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York (PSSNY); the New York City Pharmacist Society (NYCPS); and the Italian-American Pharmacist Society (IPS). For decades, Mr. Paganelli served on the boards of all three organizations, as well has held the positions of President and Board Chairman of PSSNY and IPS. He is also an active member of the National Community Pharmacists Association and American Pharmacists Association, and serves on the St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences’ Dean’s Board of Advisors.

Mr. Paganelli takes special pride in his most recent endeavor and lead role as New York City Luminary for the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN), a network of more than 200 independent pharmacies in New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. He serves on the CPESN-USA board, compromised of more than 3,500 independent pharmacies throughout the nation. He serves in many roles in CPESN, which he believes is where the true future lies for the profession of pharmacy, especially for independent pharmacies. Every effort and action taken in this regard is not for the mere betterment of his own independent community pharmacy, but for the advancement of the profession and its next generation. With a focus on services and not retail transactions, Mr. Paganelli views CPESN as a strategy for survival in an industry that has become a race to the bottom.

Leigh A. Briscoe-Dwyer, BCPS, FASHP ’94Pharm.D.

Leigh Briscoe-Dwyer headshot

Distinguished Practitioner Award

Dr. Briscoe-Dwyer currently serves as System Director of Pharmacy for the United Health Services Health System in Johnson City, NY. During her career of more than 30 years, she has worked in many leadership roles, including Interim Pharmacy Leader for Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI; Vice President of Network Pharmacy for the Westchester County Medical Center Health System in Valhalla, NY; Vice President of Clinical Affairs at PharMEDium Services, a division of AmerisourceBergen; and Chief Pharmacy and Medication Safety Officer for the North Shore–LIJ (now Northwell) Health System. 

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from St. John’s University.   

She maintains an Adjunct Clinical Faculty position at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, St. John’s University, and Binghamton University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She was a member of the New York State Board of Pharmacy for 10 years and served in several capacities, including Chair of the Executive Committee.    

Dr. Briscoe-Dwyer is a Past President of both the Long Island Society and New York State Council of Health-system Pharmacists, and has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Health-system Pharmacists (ASHP). She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and currently serves as President-elect of ASHP. 

Andrew Bartilucci in front of the Dr. Andrew J. Bartilucci Center

Andrew J. Bartilucci, Ph.D. ’44P, ’98HON
Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Andrew J. Bartilucci ’44P earned his baccalaureate degree in pharmacy in 1944 from St. John’s University. He went on to earn his Master of Science degree from Rutgers University in 1949 and his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Maryland in 1953. 

After serving in the US Navy and working for a brief time in the pharmaceutical industry, he returned to St. John’s as a faculty member and Dean of the College of Pharmacy (now the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences). Dr. Bartilucci served as Dean of the College for an unprecedented 34 years, guiding it into national prominence; developing new academic programs in various health and science professions including clinical laboratory science, toxicology, physician assistant, and pathologist assistant; and inaugurating creative initiatives such as the Self-Pace program to expand educational opportunities for the disadvantaged. 

After leaving the Deanship in 1988, Dr. Bartilucci assumed new administrative roles at St. John’s, including Vice President for Health Professions, Clinical Services and Research; Acting Dean of St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Executive Vice President of the University. He has also served as Chairman of the New York State Board of Pharmacy and Chairman of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Committee on Education.

Dr. Bartilucci’s distinguished career has resulted in him being recognized in a variety of ways: with honorary degrees from Union and Niagara Universities; with the first American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education Distinguished Service Profile Award; and with the Pietas, President’s, and Outstanding Administrator Medals; the St. Vincent de Paul Medal; and the Medal of Honor from St. John’s University. In 1990, Dr. Bartilucci was honored by being named an Affiliate of the Congregation of the Mission community. 

Joseph Brocavich headshot

Joseph M. Brocavich, Pharm.D.
Distinguished Faculty Award
Senior Associate Dean for Pharmacy 
Associate Clinical Professor, Department of  Pharmacy Practice

Joseph M. Brocavich, Pharm.D., is currently an Associate Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice in the Department of  Pharmacy Practice and Senior Associate Dean for Pharmacy at St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Born in Scranton, PA, Dr. Brocavich earned his B.S. in Pharmacy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Additionally, he completed a Pharmacy Practice residency at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. 

First appointed as Assistant Clinical Professor in August, 1985, Dr. Brocavich’s areas of practice were initially in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease at Nassau County Medical Center (now Nassau University Medical Center), East Meadow, NY. During his tenure, his practice evolved into focusing on the pharmacoeconomics of anti-infectives and the therapeutic management of patients infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. In 1991, he was promoted to Associate Clinical Professor with tenure.

Dr. Brocavich’s administrative journey began in 1988 when he was appointed as the Coordinator of the postgraduate Doctor of Pharmacy program at St. John’s University. Subsequently, he served as Chair, Department of Clinical Pharmacy Practice (now the Department of  Pharmacy Practice), and Director of Clinical Programs from 1994 to 1999. In July of 1999, he was appointed as the Assistant Dean for Pharmacy Programs and subsequently promoted to Associate and Senior Associate Dean for Pharmacy.

On campus, Dr. Brocavich maintains a full-time teaching commitment both in the classroom and as an experiential education preceptor in Academic Administration. Currently, his scholarly pursuits focus on leadership and curriculum development. He also was instrumental in the establishment of the College’s Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship programs, the Pharm.D. global studies program, and the Pharm.D. program’s cocurriculum. He also cochaired the Curriculum Development Committee that designed the entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy program. 

He has been the recipient of several faculty awards, and was recognized by the University in 1996 with the Faculty Achievement Award. Through the support of the College, Dr. Brocavich was selected as a Fellow in the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Academic Leader Fellows Program in 2008–09. Additionally, he served as an external examiner for the University of the West Indies Pharmacy programme in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, from May 2001 to May 2005. 

He has served on the editorial board for the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and as reviewer for numerous medical and pharmacy publications. He currently is the faculty advisor for the College’s Phi Lambda Sigma leadership society chapter.

Dr. Brocavich is also actively involved in his community serving as Pack Chairman, Cub Scout Pack 84, St. Raymond’s Parish, East Rockaway, NY, and as a lector at St. Joseph’s Parish, Hewlett, NY.  

Anne Lin headshot

Anne Lin ’84P, ’86Pharm.D., FNAP
Distinguished Alumni Award
Dean and Professor 
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
St. John's University

Anne Lin ’84P, ’86Pharm.D., FNAP,  currently serves as Dean and Professor of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences of St. John’s University.  Prior to joining St. John’s University in September 2022, Dr. Lin served as the Founding Dean and Professor of the School of Pharmacy at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

She earned her B.S. in Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from St. John’s, and completed a clinical pharmacy residency at Medical College of Virginia Hospital. In 1987, Dr. Lin began her professional career as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Practice at St. John’s and was Director of Drug Information Services at Long Island Jewish Hospital. She was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure and was also appointed Director of the Pharm.D. Program. 

In 1996, she assumed the position of Chair of the department of pharmacy practice at Wilkes University’s new school of pharmacy. Subsequently, in 2004, she moved to Arizona to serve as Dean of Midwestern University College of Pharmacy-Glendale. During her time, she established the Pharmacy Services Clinic at the university’s new multidisciplinary medical clinic. 

At Notre Dame, in addition to building the program and its faculty, she broke ground for a new School of Pharmacy building and raised $9 million as part of the capital campaign to fund the school.  

Dr. Lin has presented at international, national, state, and local meetings, and published numerous journal articles and book chapters, as well as served on editorial boards. She is an active member of many professional organizations, and has served in numerous elected and appointed positions in organizations such as the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP), and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA)

Dr. Lin is the 2021–22 Immediate President of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. She is the first graduate of the College of Pharmacy to have been elected as President. 

Additionally, she currently serves or has served on many pharmacy association board of directors such as the Maryland Pharmacists Association, Arizona Pharmacy Alliance, and the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education. Currently, Dr. Lin is also an evaluator for the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Dr. Lin has also received professional- and community-based awards and recognition, including St. John’s University Alumni Achievement Award, the National Academy of Practice Interdisciplinary Group Recognition Award, and The Daily Record’s “Maryland’s Top 100 Women Circle of Excellence,” and was also named a Distinguished Practitioner and Fellow of the National Academies of Practice.

In addition to her engagement in professional organizations, she is also an active member of the communities in which she resides and works. Example of organizations in which she serves or has served are the boards of Maryland University of Integrative Health; Leadership Wilkes-Barre; The Leadership; Caroline Center; Young Women’s Christian Association Inc. of Maricopa County; Women’s Housing Coalition; People’s Community Health Centers; and the Northeast Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center. She was appointed by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano to the Asian-American Advisory Council and Task Force on Minority Recruitment and Retention in State Government.

Joe Moscola headshot

Joseph Moscola, P.A., M.B.A. ’00P
Distinguished Alumni Award
Executive Vice President 
Enterprise Management
Northwell Health

Joseph Moscola, PA, M.B.A. ’00P, is Executive Vice President, Enterprise Management, for Northwell Health. In this role, Mr. Moscola leads several critical functions that drive the organization and the care team members provide, including human resources, information technology, facilities and construction, real estate, management of $2.5 billion in capital every two years, and shared services administration. In addition, he will be responsible for leading strategic business initiatives that drive new revenue streams for the health system, including FlexStaff and Northwell Direct.

Previously, Mr. Moscola served as Chief People Officer; he drove the creation and successful launch of Northwell Health’s employee promise, refreshed values, and the Northwell Career Experience, which helps team members learn, grow, and thrive in the organization. He led the team responsible for Northwell Health being named, for the first time, on the list of Fortune magazine’s100 Best Companies to Work Forin 2020—placing Northwell at #19 in 2021—as well as numerous distinctions for equity, diversity, and inclusion.

During the pandemic, Mr. Moscola has led team members through four substantial areas of support: staffing, safety, team member health and testing, and team member support and recognition. He set plans in motion to meet increasing staffing demands by creating surge plans, engaging staffing agencies, and ramping up targeted recruitment. While understanding the importance of transparent communication combined with evidence-based protocols, his team custom built a real-time reporting model within days to track team members, including the number of team members exposed and positive test results. Tranquility tents, psychological/spiritual healing, and a 24/7 emotional support hotline were established to address the total well-being of all team members throughout this most difficult time.

Mr. Moscola also previously served as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Ambulatory Operations. In this role, he oversaw the $1.1 billion ambulatory operation, working with clinical and administrative service line leadership, Northwell Health Physician Partners, and clinical joint ventures. 

He began his career as a Physician Assistant in cardiothoracic surgery and later transitioned to an administrative career, serving as Administrative Director for Neuroscience at South Shore University Hospital, then Senior Administrative Director of Neurology and Neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Holding a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University, Mr. Moscola went on to receive a physician assistant certificate from Catholic Medical Centers-Bayley Seton Campus. He later earned an M.B.A. from Adelphi University, and is a Fellow of the Health Management Academy.

Aside from his executive role at Northwell, Mr. Moscola serves on the Board of Directors for Farmingdale State College and Nassau Community College, along with the National Center for Healthcare Leadership, and he is a Trustee of the 1199 Pension Fund serving employees for the New York region.

Katharine Cimmino headshot

Katharine Cimmino ’15Pharm.D.
Distinguished Young Alumni Award
Pharmacy Manager, NewYork-Presbyterian Queens

Katharine Cimmino ’15Pharm.D., M.B.A., BCSCP, earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from St. John’s University in 2015. Postgraduation, she worked as a staff pharmacist at Glen Cove Hospital while holding two additional per diem jobs completing specialized projects and bolstering compounding compliance. 

In 2018, she went on to become a supervisor at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens (NYPQ), where she was in charge of compounding and investigational drugs. In 2020, she was promoted to Pharmacy Manager, where she oversees the daily operations that include more than 90 staff members. NewYork-Presbyterian Queens is a 535-bed tertiary teaching hospital that provides comprehensive services in 14 clinical departments and numerous subspecialties.

While at NYPQ, Dr. Cimmino has implemented several system-wide pharmacy technology aimed to increase patient safety, increase regulatory compliance, optimize workflow, and reduce pharmacy cost. Her worked earned their department a Health Devices Achievement Award from ECRI, an affiliate of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, for their safety in transforming their compounding practices. 

Dr. Cimmino is board certified in sterile compounding and is an expert in US Pharmacopeial Convetnion compliance. She has given various talks, including two national Vizient Inc. conferences, on utilizing technology to increase compounding compliance. 

She is an active member of the St. John’s community, and has helped grow the preceptor program at her hospital. During the pandemic, she has assisted the University in developing a virtual program for the introductory students and was a preceptor to more than 80 students. She has also served as a mentor to St. John’s students. 

Robert O'Keefe headshot

Robert O’Keefe ’09Cert
Distinguished Young Alumni Award
Senior Manager, Imaging Services 
Northwell Health 

Robert O’Keefe ’09RSC earned his Certificate of Completion in Radiologic Sciences from St. John’s University in 2009, where he successfully completed both clinical and didactic education. At graduation, he was presented with the prestigious Edward Mallinckrodt Award of Excellence that honors students who demonstrate excellent academic achievement in the study of radiologic sciences. 

After graduation, Mr. O’Keefe began working for NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, as well as Main Street Radiology, where he soon earned a leadership role. He also completed his advanced certifications in Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Computed Tomography. Mr. O’Keefe gained valuable experience supervising, training, and evaluating technical staff at Main Street. He was also responsible for accreditation of multiple modalities while maintaining high image quality. 

In 2017, Mr. O’Keefe joined the Northwell Health imaging leadership team, where he has provided operational and financial oversight for multiple diagnostic imaging centers. Under his guidance, these centers have exceedingly overachieved volume and budget projections, as well as won several Press Ganey Associates LLC patient experience awards.  

Mr. O’Keefe also holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Gettysburg College, and is currently in pursuit of his M.B.A. in Health Care Management. He met his wife at St. John’s, where they attended the Radiologic Sciences program together; they currently reside in Huntington, NY, with their two daughters.

Amit Tiwari headshot

Amit K. Tiwari ’09GP, ’11Ph.D.
Distinguished Young Alumni Award
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
College of Pharmacy
University of Toledo

Amit Kumar Tiwari ’09GP, ’11Ph.D., is a double alumnus of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy in 2005 from the Ram-Eesh Institute of Technology, India. Subsequently, he worked as a nutrition officer at Nestlé India for almost two years. He then went on to complete his Master of Science degree in cancer pharmacology in 2008, and a Ph.D. in 2011 at St. John’s University. His postdoctoral fellowship, in pharmacokinetics, was completed at the Icahn School of Medicine. In 2013, he accepted a faculty position in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health. In early 2015, he moved to the University of Toledo. 

Dr. Tiwari is presently a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in the College of Pharmacy, with a joint position in the College of Medicine in the Department of Cancer Biology at the University of Toledo. He is also the Director of the Cancer and Systems Therapeutics (CAST) program. 

As a Director of International Engagement at the University of Toledo, he serves as a consultant and ambassador for several international programs. He is also an adjunct faculty at the Ajman University, UAE, and a visiting faculty member at Tuskegee University, AL. 

Dr. Tiwari has made substantial scientific contributions in the discovery, design, and development of targeted anticancer molecules for multidrug-resistant cancers. He has been a role model for many students and other faculty. 

Although Dr. Tiwari is still near the beginning stage of his career, he holds four patent applications, has authored 130 peer-reviewed articles, nine book chapters, and given more than 170 presentations at national and international conferences. His papers have been cited 4,000 times in otherpeer-reviewed publications, and he is a globally recognized expert in cancer pharmacology. 

Dr. Tiwari has served on several grant panels, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, US Department of Defense, Environmental Health Agency, UK-Malaysia Newton Funds, and several international and national funding mechanisms. He has been a reviewer for 175 scientific journals. 

He is not only engaged with learners and the local community, but is also actively engaged in promoting the scientific community. Dr. Tiwari is an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Pharmacology and Frontiers in Oncology, a Guest Editor for the journal Cancers, and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Clinical Medicine and Oncology Reports. His research is supported by grants from the US Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and several international agencies, private foundations, and pharmaceutical companies. 

Dr. Tiwari is most proud of his students. By creating a sense of accountability and responsibility, as well as setting realistic goals with his advisees, he motivates them to become more autonomous, highly skilled, and successful. His students have coauthored numerous, high-impact publications, presentations/abstracts, and provisional patents, and have won several awards and established career paths in academics and industry. 

For his role in engaging his students nationally and globally, he received the Learners Engagement Award in 2016. In 2017, he received the Global Research Engagement Award from the government of Andhra Pradesh, India, and was nominated for the Outstanding Advisor Award at UT in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. He received the Outstanding Advisor Award in 2021.

Dr. Tiwari’s operant CAST and Drug Discovery laboratory focuses on designing, characterizing, and developing targeted anticancer molecules for multidrug-resistant cancers. His team recently made major breakthroughs by discovering unique, structurally constrained, molecular probes (patent protected with UToledo) that induce a form of non-apoptotic cell death, characterized by the simultaneous induction of dysregulated macropinocytosis (i.e., self-drinking) and macroautophagy (i.e., self-eating) and other molecules that induce non-canonical, apoptotic programmed cell death. 

These highly innovative projects in his lab have the potential to open new areas of research in the fields of chemistry and life sciences by facilitating the invention of new methods, creating molecular probes, and yielding information about unconventional processes that induce cell death. The identified compounds could be beneficial for treating drug resistant and aggressive cancers. 

Outside of his professional career, Dr. Tiwari loves being a dedicated father to his daughter and is interested in traveling and learning about new cultures. When at home, he enjoys cooking and spending time with his family and friends.

CPHS Partner Award
Wealth Advisory Group LLC

Bina Patel headshot

Bina Patel
Financial Representative, Wealth Advisory Group LLC

Ms. Patel has been with Wealth Advisory Group LLC since 2008. Originally from India, she moved to San Diego, CA, in 1996, and to the New York City metropolitan area in 2005. She lives with her husband, Ankit, in Nanuet, NY, and they have a one-year-old Cavapoo named Vasco.


Joseph Sciabica headshot

Joe Sciabica, ChFC, CFP
Managing Director, Wealth Advisory Group LLC

Mr. Sciabica has been with Wealth Advisory Group LLC since 2002. He holds a Certified Financial Planner® designation. Mr. Sciabica is a lifelong New Yorker, currently living in Bellerose, Queens; he has one son, Nicholas, who is an all-star volleyball player.

Together, Ms. Patel and Mr. Sciabica serve more than 500 financial services clients in more than 20 states. Many of their clients are pharmacists; they give back to the pharmacy community by teaching financial literacy courses at St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and by partnering with organizations such as the New York State Council of Health-system Pharmacists and the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, Inc.

Wealth Advisory Group LLC - a member of the Guardian Network
Steve Devito Headshot

Stephen DeVito ’79P, ’84GP, ’89Ph.D. 
Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Stephen DeVito was born and raised in Patchogue, NY. Inspired to pursue a career in pharmacy by his high school chemistry teacher Richard Caliendo ’51P, he enrolled in St. John’s University after graduating from Suffolk County Community College.

As a pharmacy student, Dr. DeVito found the medicinal chemistry courses taught by Ralph A. Stephani, Ph.D., to be especially intriguing. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy in 1979 and returned to St. John’s University as a graduate student under a teaching assistantship to pursue his interests in medicinal chemistry. His responsibilities included serving as an instructor of community pharmacy practice.

Conducting his graduate research under Dr. Stephani, he designed, synthesized, and characterized a novel series of heterocyclic substances, which he evaluated in a battery of pharmacologic assays and determined to have analgesic properties. He received his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1984 and 1989, respectively.

Dr. DeVito was inducted into the Rho Chi Society in 1982 and received the College of Pharmacy and Health Science’s 1986–87 Graduate Fellow Scholarship Award. Throughout graduate school, Dr. DeVito worked part-time as a pharmacist, initially for Genovese Drugs and later as the weekend supervising pharmacist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan.

In 1989 he accepted a position as a chemist with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, DC. He is currently a branch chief in the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory program. Throughout his years of public service, Dr. DeVito has been directly involved with the development and implementation of many of the EPA’s regulations, science policies, green chemistry, and other pollution prevention initiatives. He is renowned for promoting the application of medicinal chemistry principles used in drug design to develop safer industrial chemicals and has published and lectured extensively on this topic.

Dr. DeVito is also well known for his international achievements. For many years and until very recently, he was the United States official on the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) Committee, and served as Vice-Chair and the United States representative on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s PRTR Task Force. He was pivotal in establishing the role of PRTRs in assessing progress toward global sustainability; Dr. DeVito and his staff currently track industrial emissions of pollutants worldwide to determine whether applicable United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are being met. He has received many EPA awards and honors for his leadership and accomplishments in environmental protection.      

Until 2018, he worked part-time as a pharmacist at the Reston Hospital Center in Reston, VA.

Joseph Etzel Headshot

Joseph V. Etzel ’88P, ’90Pharm.D.
Distinguished Faculty Award

Dr. Joseph V. Etzel is currently an Associate Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Associate Dean for Student Success in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at St. John’s University. Following his graduation from St. John’s, he completed a residency program focused on pharmacokinetics and infectious disease pharmacotherapeutics at Bassett Healthcare Network in Cooperstown, NY.

He subsequently joined the faculty of St. John’s University in 1991 as a faculty member in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, with his primary practice site at Nassau County Medical Center (now Nassau University Medical Center), where he served as Clinical Coordinator of Infectious Diseases and instructed pharmacy students as well as physicians in the Infectious Diseases Fellowship program.

At St. John’s University, he joined the Office of the Dean as an Assistant Dean for Pharmacy Student Affairs in 2001 and was named Associate Dean for Student Success in 2016. Dr. Etzel continues to teach both pharmacy and physician assistant students in courses such as Drugs and Infectious Diseases, Pharmacokinetics, Allergy and Immunology, and Clinical Medicine. Over the years he has received three Professor of the Year awards from the University. In 2003, he was honored as the recipient of the Rho Chi Society’s Excellence in Pharmacy Education Award. Dr. Etzel was recently named the recipient of the St. John’s University Partner Award for his work with student organizations. He currently serves as the faculty advisor to the St. John’s chapters of both the Phi Delta Chi pharmacy fraternity as well as the Rho Chi Society. 

Dr. Etzel has nearly 60 publications in pharmacy and medical journals, including papers in Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Pharmacotherapy, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, the Journal of Pharmaceutical Marketing & Management, and the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. In addition, he has contributed to clinical case scenarios and clinical relevance section contributions to several textbooks. He has made more than 250 professional presentations on the international, national, and local levels, including the keynote address on the global challenge of antibiotic resistance at the Fourth International Conference of the Egyptian Society of Hospital Pharmacists in Cairo, Egypt. 

Dr. Etzel has practiced in several independent pharmacies as well as tertiary care institutions, including NYU Winthrop Hospital, and has served as a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at the Northport VA Medical Center in Northport, NY. He is also a former President of the Long Island Society of Health-system Pharmacists.

He remains an active member of his community and is engaged in several volunteer and charitable organizations. He is a life member of Engine Company No. 2 of the Bellmore Fire Department, a Knight of 4th Degree with the Knights of Columbus, and a member of The McCallen Society at St. John’s University.

Howard Jacobson headshot against patterned wallpaper

Howard Jacobson ’79P
Distinguished Practitioner Award

Howard Jacobson graduated from St. John’s University in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Mr. Jacobson worked in various settings including the Odd Fellow–Rebekah Home, Booth Memorial Hospital, and several independent community pharmacies.

Mr. Jacobson purchased Rockville Centre Pharmacy in 1987, and opened West Hempstead Pharmacy in 2003 and Ryan Medical Pharmacy in 2014. He is a board member and Convention Committee Co-Chair of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, Inc., board member of the Long Island Pharmacist Society, and founder of the Jewish American Pharmacist Society. Mr. Jacobson also serves as a preceptor and mentor for St. John’s students.

Andrew Kaplan Headshot

Andrew Kaplan ’11Pharm.D., BCPS, BCGP
Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Dr. Andrew Kaplan received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from St. John’s University in 2011 and went on to complete his PGY1 Pharmacy residency at Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook, NY, and his PGY2 Health System Pharmacy Administration residency at William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, WI. After completing residency training, Dr. Kaplan was named Pharmacy Supervisor at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, NY. He then moved to New York City and became the Assistant Director of Clinical Services for Mount Sinai West, overseeing critical care, infectious disease, emergency medicine, transitions of care, and internal medicine.

He is currently the Associate Director of Pharmacy and oversees pharmacy operations in IV admixture, automation, and inventory management. He also serves as the Vice President of Public Policy for the New York State Council of Health-system Pharmacists, and previously served as President of the Long Island Society of Health-system Pharmacists.

New York-Presbyterian Queens
CPHS Partner Award

Lisa Anzisi
Lisa Anzisi, Pharm.D., BCPS ’82P, ’84GP, Distinguished Practitioner
Judith L. Beizer
Judith L. Beizer, Pharm.D., Distinguished Faculty
Robert Blenderman, P.A., M.B.A. ’01P, Distinguished Alumni
John Spain

Colonel John Spain, RET., Pharm.D. ’88P, Distinguished Alumni

Mary Ann Howland, Pharm.D., Distinguished Faculty
Janet Mastanduono
Janet Mastanduono, Ph.D.​, Distinguished Faculty
John Navarra, B.S., Distinguished Practitioner

Angela Tomei Robinson, M.S., Distinguished Practitioner

Abu Serajuddin



Abu Serajuddin, Ph.D., Distinguished Alumni

Bob Mangione
Robert A. Mangione, Ed.D., Distinguished Alumni
Louis Trombetta

Louis Trombetta, Ph.D., Distinguished Faculty
Rocco Stella Pharmacy Gala

Rocco Stella, B.S.. Distinguished Practitioner
Brian Malone

Brian Malone, M.S., Distinguished Practitioner
Mike Torre
Michael S. Torre. M.S., Distinguished Faculty Award
Carl Martorana
Carl Martorana, M.S., Distinguished Alumni