Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
Armon Crawford ’63
Distinguished Black Heritage Alumni Award
From consultant to medical service representative and community pharmacist to director of pharmacy services, Armon Crawford has come to be most passionate about the mental health field. Crawford served as a clinical pharmacist for the Missouri Department of Mental Health for 22 years. Crawford worked closely with his patients and their families, always treating them how he would want to be treated. He also served as a preceptor for STLCOP students, a role he considers his most important professional achievement.
Crawford currently serves on the board of Gitana Productions, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing a global vision of music, dance, and drama to the community. He takes his passion to the stage as a percussionist for Unity Art Ensemble, Inc., a group of musicians and performing artists who share an elevated sense of solidarity against injustice. The group is committed to the protection and empowerment of the community and strives to promote awareness, knowledge, and understanding among all people, while enhancing the pride, dignity, and appreciation for African-American cultural heritage. Crawford also is a percussionist for Free ‘N Concert with Shirley Leflore, performs with Bob Kozlowski ’88 and Tom Fuehne ’86 in a group known as Nurse Ratched & the 3rd Rail, and traveled as the company drummer for Katherine Dunham.
David Frye '68
Distinguished Black Heritage Alumni Award
Determined to do something where he could help others, David Frye ’68 enrolled in STLCOP already a husband and a father. He added the role of pharmacist when he graduated in 1968. He then earned a master’s degree in health management from Webster University. Frye rejected his acceptance into medical school to pursue his other passion, music.
By day, he was a pharmacist. By night, he was a singer in an R&B/soul group known as The Montclairs. Frye toured and sang with the group for 15 years. He says his passion for music began in the fifth grade and continued throughout college. He often would participate in the talent show held on campus. He said that pursuing his music career was, “just something that happened, but I never quit my day job.” Frye served as a pharmacy manager at Walmart for 18 years. During this time, he managed several stores, supervised the medication inventory management, and managed prescription filling training. He also has served on the STLCOP Alumni Association board of directors and is a member of the American Management Association.
Leah LaRue '10
Young Alumnus Award
Since earning her degree from St. Louis College of Pharmacy, LaRue wasted no time getting involved in pharmacy practice. She is currently employed by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, where she has held positions in medical information, patient and product safety, and recently led the development of the medical advocacy department.
LaRue is passionate about patient safety and has led several educational initiatives to address the safe use of opioid pain medications, including issues surrounding misuse, abuse and diversion. In 2013, she was named the Industry Pain Educator of the Year by the American Society of Pain Educators and PAINWeek. She is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree from Webster University.
"I am very honored to have received this award from such a respected association. To me, this award serves as recognition of hard work, an inspiration for other young professionals, and a reminder that STLCOP has a sincere interest in their alumni and their continued successes."
Christopher Herndon '97/'98
Outstanding Achievement Award
As an associate professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy and clinical assistant professor at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Herndon cares for chronic pain patients at a large family medicine residency clinic where he trains pharmacy and medical students. Herndon mainly focuses on pain and palliative care education. He is the Co-PI for the NIH Center of Excellence in Pain Education at SIUE.
Herndon is active in the practice and serves on the Board of Directors for the Midwest Pain Society, the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee for the American Pain Society, the Section Advisory Group on Pain and Palliative Care for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the Curriculum Task Force, Pharmacy for the International Association for the Study of Pain. He is the 2006 recipient of the “Pain Champion Award” from the Alliance of State Pain Initiatives and the 2012 recipient of the “Academic Pain Educator of the Year Award” from the American Society of Pain Educators.
"I am truly humbled by this award, and can think of so many other graduates that are much more deserving. Having had academic problems during one of the years while at STLCOP, I was forced to truly reflect on my future and career goals. I’m grateful for the guidance I received by several of the faculty and owe this award to them, to those who 'took a chance' to always work hard and do the right thing, even when it wasn’t the easiest path. In all honesty, I feel this award is the direct result of the characteristics I learned while at STLCOP: perseverance, hard work, and taking risks when others may benefit. I cannot thank the alumni association enough for this incredible honor."
Alicia Forinash '00/'01
Distinguished Service to the Community Award
As an associate professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Forinash practices at St. Mary’s Health Center in the Maternal-Fetal Care clinic. Her primary responsibilities include management of chronic medical conditions in high risk obstetrics. She is one of only a handful of pharmacists in North America who practice in obstetric pharmacy.
She also serves as residency director of an ASHP-accredited PGY-2 ambulatory care residency at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy and St. Mary’s Health Center. She has published several articles on women’s health and in pedagogical research. She is active in the Women’s Health PRN for ACCP, and she is also a member of the Ambulatory Care and Education and Training PRNs in ACCP. She is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy women’s faculty SIG, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Organization of Teratology Information Specialists, and was elected to fellow of American College of Clinical Pharmacy. In 2013, she received the Healthcare Professional Educator of the Year award from the Saint Louis University Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health Physician Residency program.
"I am truly honored to be recognized by my alma mater."
J. Gregory Boyer ’76
Distinguished Service to the Profession Award
Boyer is an active employee within the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). His current position is assistant executive director and director of professional degree program accreditation. Prior to his work within ACPE, Boyer held positions in pharmacoeconomic outcomes research within the pharmaceutical industry. He has also served as an independent pharmacist in Illinois and Texas. Boyer received his Masters of Business Administration from Eastern Illinois University and his Ph.D. in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"I certainly was surprised to get the notification I’d been nominated, and even more surprised to have been selected. It’s an honor to be recognized in this way, but still a surprise. Accreditation is something done behind the scenes, a necessary evil in the minds of many, so to be recognized for my role in this process is surprising."