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The Catalyst

Pharmacy graduate leaves legacy of leadership

by Jenny Scarnecchia
S.C. College of Pharmcy


Saswat Kabisatpathy, who graduates from SCCP May 16, looks back on that decision as a major turning point in his life.  photo provided

Academia was in his blood.

His parents, armed with multiple advanced degrees, were both working full-time in higher education.

When he had successfully obtained two degrees, The Citadel came calling, offering him a full-time faculty position. A clear path lay before him, one that would allow him to trace his parents’ footsteps into academia, and with any luck achieve, as they had, a long and renowned career from the lectern.

It was then that Saswat “Swat” Kabisatpathy, decided to become a pharmacist.

Kabisatpathy, who graduates from the South Carolina College of Pharmacy May 16 with the Class of 2014 looks back on that decision as a major turning point in his life.  

“My parents have always steered me in the direction of health sciences because of all the career opportunities the field presents as well as the opportunities to give back to the community,” he said. “They view their academic careers as an opportunity to shape the lives of students  and I feel the same about pharmacy, as it relates to patients.” 

With a BS and M.S. in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina, Kabisatpathy had several years of education behind him. But it was his background in chemistry that piqued his interest in pharmacy and after being accepted to the SCCP’s MUSC campus, the decision to pursue that path was easy for him.

Kabisatpathy hit the ground running on August 23, 2010 when he began a four-year pursuit of his Doctorate of Pharmacy degree. He was voted class president within the first month of school and has remained in this role throughall four years of the program. His community service involvement began early and continued throughout the program.  His most memorable events include volunteering with the Annual MUSC Sugar-Free Fall Festival, MLK Bridges to Health Fair, and donating nearly 2,000 pounds of canned food to the Low Country Food Bank on behalf of the college’s Kappa Psi chapter, the oldest and largest professional pharmacy fraternity in the world.  During his third year of the program, he served as the president of the campus’ ‘Iota’ Kappa Psi Chapter and is currently serving as the vice satrap (vice president) for the Southeast Province. 

He was selected as a 2012-13 MUSC Presidential Scholar, a prestigious honor by the University that promotes campuswide interprofessional initiatives and explores complex social, political and human issues of broad interest to health care professionals. The interprofessional focus of MUSC is one of the many factors that drew Kabisatpathy to the campus. “We were delighted to land Swat as a student and he has excelled in the program - not just academically, but professionally as well,” said Philip Hall, PharmD, MUSC Campus dean.  

Perhaps Kabisatpathy’s greatest accomplishment while attending the SCCP was serving on the Executive Committee as the national Speaker of the House for Phi Lambda Sigma, a prestigious pharmacy leadership society that is nearly a half-century old and was founded to promote the development of leadership qualities in pharmacy students. “This was a major highlight of my time here at the SCCP and knowing that I will soon turn the reigns over to a fellow SCCP student makes me even more proud.”  

At the American Pharmacists Association annual meeting earlier this year, Krutika Medawala was elected to this same role. She is a member of SCCP’s USC Class of 2015. 

While Kabisatpathy’s road to his third degree is coming to an end, he hasn’t ruled out pursing a fourth, or a residency.  He plans to follow in his parents’ footsteps eventually, as he has a strong desire to merge his pharmacy career with that of one in academia.  Throughout all the opportunities Kabisatpathy has pursued, his parents have always supported his choices and provided this simple piece of advice: “Whatever you do, do it well.” Kabisatpathy has surpassed expectations.

After graduation, he will begin his pharmacy career with Walmart Pharmacy in North Augusta and he is looking forward to his opportunity to give back as a health care professional.  He and his wife,  Heather Laughridge,M.D., Class of 2011, plan to stay in South Carolina and hope to eventually return to the city where he grew to be the well-rounded leader – and pharmacist – that he has become. 


May 17, 2014



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