ISU Headlines

Idaho State University-Meridian confers record number of degrees at May commencement; Elizabeth Thompson selected top Student Excellence honoree

Posted May 15, 2013

Doctor of Pharmacy graduate Elizabeth Sultania Thompson was named Idaho State University-Meridian's top Student Excellence honoree at commencement exercises May 13 at the Boise Centre in downtown Boise.

"I had an opportunity to meet all of the nominees and they were fantastic," she said, adding she was surprised when she heard her name announced.

ISU-Meridian Student Excellence honorees, from left, Ashleigh Conner, Andrea Bockenstette, Joshua Campbell, Elizabeth Thompson, Rick Boyes. (Photo by Chris Gabettas) Thompson began her college career studying piano performance, but switched to pharmacy after taking classes in organic and biochemistry.

She is a founder of ISU's Generation Rx, a program to prevent prescription drug abuse among teens and adults and is a past president of the ISU-Meridian Pharmacy Senate.

In July, she'll begin a yearlong pharmacy residency at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

Thompson was one of seven ISU-Meridian students nominated for the top award. Other finalists and their programs are:

  • Louie Beech, physician assistant studies
  • Andrea Bockenstette, graduate nursing 
  • Rick Boyes, counseling
  • Nicole Butler, audiology
  • Joshua Campbell, public health
  • Ashleigh Conner, undergraduate nursing

The university conferred more than 225 degrees in graduate, undergraduate and professional programs, including nine degrees awarded to students at Meridian’s Renaissance High School though a partnership with Joint School District No. 2.

The commencement address was delivered by emergency room doctor and real estate developer, Tommy Ahlquist.

 The ISU-Meridian Health Science Center offers more than 20 programs in the health professions, including pharmacy, audiology, physician assistant studies, nursing, speech-language pathology, counseling, medical laboratory sciences, athletic administration, public health, paramedic science, and communication sciences and disorders.   Visit www.isu.edu/meridian.