Alumni Awards Gala


Thanks to all who attended the 2024 Alumni Awards Gala, and congratulations to the honorees.

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2024 Alumni Awards Gala

2024 Alumni Award Recipients

Steven Dohi, PharmD '84


Steven Dohi, PharmD ’84, will be presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award. He has been director of pharmacy services for L.A. General Medical Center since 2018. Prior to that, he held the same title at San Gabriel Valley Medical Center and has also served as pharmacy director for City of Hope.

Michael Pazirandeh, PharmD ’11


Michael Pazirandeh, PharmD ’11, will receive the Young Alumni Award. He is principal medical scientist for managed care and government accounts at Gilead Sciences, where he conducts health economics and outcomes research. He has also held key roles in the field at Seagen, Bristol Myers Squibb and Blue Shield of California.

Raffi Svadjian, PharmD '03, MBA, will be honored with the Community Services Award at the 2024 USC Mann School's Alumni Awards Gala on February 25. (Photo by Isaac Mora/USC Mann)

Raffi Svadjian, PharmD '03, MBA


Raffi Svadjian, PharmD ’03, MBA will be honored with the Community Service Award. As executive director of community pharmacies, he heads operations for the existing USC Pharmacy locations as well as the forthcoming USC South Los Angeles Pharmacy. He is also an assistant professor of clinical pharmacy at the school and previously served as senior director of the Keck Medicine of USC Specialty Pharmacy.

Ramesh Upadhyayula, BPharm, RPh, APh


Ramesh Upadhyayula, BPharm, RPh, APh, will receive the Honorary Alumni Award. He is the founder, CEO and director of pharmacy for Desert Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy Ambulatory Health, where he led development of its first accredited PGY1 ambulatory care residency program. He is also a pain management practitioner at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Desert Regional Hospital in Palm Springs, Calif.

Robert Popovian, PharmD '93, MS '96

Dean's Medallion award

Robert Popovian, PharmD ’93, MS ’96, will be presented with the Dean’s Medallion Award. He founded the strategic consulting firm Conquest Advisors and serves as chief science policy officer for the Global Healthy Living Foundation. He is also senior health policy fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute and visiting health policy fellow at the Pioneer Institute. He previously served as vice president, U.S. government relations, at Pfizer.

Annie Ogostalick, PharmD '97, MS '00


Annie Ogostalick, PharmD ’97, MS ’00, will receive the Pharmaceutical Health Economics Award. She serves as field director of Medical Outcomes Science Liaisons at AbbVie. She is also a national clinical executive for Abbott Labs. Her previous experience includes being team leader of outcomes liaisons at Eli Lilly.

Eric Forssen, PharmD '77, PhD '81


Eric Forssen, PharmD ’77, PhD ’81 will receive the Research Achievement Award. His work has been vital to developing effective therapies and drug-delivery systems for conditions including cancer. He joined the startup that became NeXtar, which later merged with Gilead. He then worked in the drug-delivery group at Allergan. He has served as a volunteer faculty member at the Mann School for nearly 35 years. 

Mary Ellen Cosenza, PhD, MS '08


Mary Ellen Cosenza, PhD, MS ’08 will receive the Regulatory Science Award. She is president of MEC Regulatory & Toxicology Consulting LLC. During a 20-year tenure at Amgen, she led its U.S. Regulatory Department and International Emerging Markets Regulatory Department and was an executive director of Global Regulatory Affairs and Safety. She also served as Amgen’s senior director of toxicology.

Highlights from the 2024 Alumni Awards Gala

2024 Alumni Awards Gala

Past Honorees

Community Service Award

2023: Vaccination Volunteers
2022: Reda Alhoussayni, PharmD ’00, MBA
2019: Ken Thai, PharmD ’02
2018: Lisa Gunther Lum, PharmD ’86
2017: Roslyn Blake, PharmD ’92

Dean's Medallion Award

2023: Richard Dang, PharmD ’13
2022: Edward Martin Lieskovan, PharmD ’85, MBA ’90
2019: Leonard D. Schaeffer
2018: Dong Koo (D.K.) Kim
2017: Rita Shane, PharmD ’78

Distinguished Alumni Award

2023: David Truong, PharmD ’07, MS ’07
2022: Linh Lee, PharmD ’01
2019: Sohail Masood, PharmD ’88
2018: Irv Sitkoff, PharmD ’54
2017: Charles Leiter, PharmD ’83

Honorary Alumni Award

2023: Jimmie L. Overton, PharmD
2022: Hattie Rees Hanley, MPP
2019: Tony Kuo, MD, MSHS
2018: Shushma Patel, MBA, RPh
2017: Michael Hochman, MD, MPH

Innovation in Pharmacoeconomics Award

2023: Jeffrey S. McCombs, PhD
2022: Robert Popovian, PharmD ’93, MS ’97
2019: Parvez Mulani, MA Economics ’00, PhD ’03
2018: Craig Cheetham, PharmD ’78, MS ’97
2017: Yong Yuan, MA Economics ’96, PhD ’98

Innovation in Regulatory Science Award

2023: Duane Mauzey, DRSc ’12
2022: Weicheng Wu, MS ’03, PhD ’04
2019: Martin (Marty) Solberg, MS ’08, DRSc ’11
2018: Susan McCune, MD
2017: Peter Lassoff, PharmD ’86

Research Achievement Award

2023: Charles W. Stark, PharmD ’82,
2022: Hovik Gukasyan, PhD ’04
2019: Li-Jiuan (Rita) Shen
2018: Jason (Jiansheng) Wan, PhD ’91
2017: Eric Q. Wu, MA ’00, MSc ’02, PhD ’03

Young Alumni Award

2023: Lilia Xu, PharmD ’12
2022: Grace Cheng, PharmD ’13
2019: Debrina Johnson, PharmD ’13
2018: Gustavus A. Aranda Jr., PharmD ’04, MS ’06
2017: Danielle C. Colayco, PharmD ’08, MS ’10


2017: Mel Baron, PharmD, MPA