Engaged Young Alumni Award: a prescription for success

Devoting his academic and professional career to improving people's health and livelihood, Jaris Swidrovich (BSP'10) was the recipient of the USSU Engaged Young Alumni Award last year. The honour was not only an affirmation for the work he has done, but also inspiration for what he wanted to accomplish next.

"I wanted to ensure I give back to the U of S community to inspire others in the way I was inspired by the university," said Swidrovich. "Receiving a nomination for the USSU Engaged Young Alumni Award was deeply humbling. To be nominated and considered worthy of the award is an honour in itself."

The USSU Engaged Young Alumni Award is given to a young alumnus or alumna (younger than 35 years of age and within five years since his/her graduation) who has maintained a strong connection to the U of S since graduation, is actively engaged in his or her community, and has shown characteristics that indicate future success.

Swidrovich is currently a lecturer in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition. After earning his degree at the U of S, he completed his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program at the University of Toronto, where he became the first self-identified First Nations Doctor of Pharmacy in Canada.

In addition to attaining his Doctor of Pharmacy designation, Swidrovich has been active in helping those living with HIV/AIDS and addictions in his role as a clinical coordinator of pharmacy services. He is also on the board of directors for Sanctum–a transitional care home and hospice in Saskatoon for people living with HIV.

Additionally, Swidrovich has also served as a First Nations advisor for the Lung Association of Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Education.

David Stobbe / stobbephoto.ca
Jaris Swidrovich (BSP'10) was last year's recipient of the USSU Engaged Young Alumni Award. (Photo: Dave Stobbe).

Staying connected to the U of S after graduation was natural to Swidrovich. "My years as an undergraduate student were among the most important years of my life," he said.

Since receiving the USSU Engaged Young Alumni Award, Swidrovich has connected with students in rural, remote, and northern communities, and worked with educators on and off reserves. His roots with the U of S strengthened even more this year as he was a guest speaker at the 100th Annual General Meeting of the U of S Alumni Association in June 2016.

"Being recognized by the university where I completed by first degree, and where I now currently teach, means the world to me," said Swidrovich. "I am proud of the University of Saskatchewan and proud to be among the incredible students, staff, and faculty of the university."

While Swidrovich remains grateful for the award, he also recognizes the importance for fellow alumni to nominate a deserving candidate this year. "Nominating someone for the Engaged Young Alumni Award ensures the legacy of the University of Saskatchewan continues to establish roots that are grounded in communities where our alumni live, work, and play."

Do you know a recent graduate who is deserving of recognition for this year's award? Nominate them for the USSU Young Alumni Excellence Award by February 10, 2017. Visit the Awards page to learn more.
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