Valeant Dermatology ASPIRE HIGHER Scholarship Program Names Winners


Valeant Dermatology, a division of Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC,  announced the winners of its ASPIRE HIGHER Scholarship Program. Nine undergraduate and graduate students were selected from a pool of 970 applicants and awarded up to $10,000 each toward tuition expenses for the coming school year.

The winners were chosen based on a written essay describing the impact a dermatologic condition had on their life and the role their healthcare practitioner played in treating their condition. Three scholarships were awarded in each of three categories: Undergraduate Scholar Awards for those pursuing and an undergraduate degree, Graduate Scholar Awards for students pursuing a graduate degree and Today's Woman Scholar Awards for students who are mothers and pursuing any higher-education degree.   

"Valeant congratulates the winners of this year's scholarship program and thanks all of the applicants for sharing their personal stories of how their lives were affected by their skin condition and the clinician who helped with its treatment," said Eric Abramson, Valeant Dermatology's Senior Vice President and General Manager. "We are proud to support these outstanding and dedicated students in achieving their academic ambitions."

The nine winners will attend the following schools of higher education this year:

Undergraduate student winners:

  • Colin Axnér of Tracy, California will attend the University of California, Berkeley
  • Courtney Sayre of Marcellus, New York will attend the State University of New York, Oswego
  • Jordyn Schara of North Freedom, Wisconsin will attend the University of Wisconsin, Madison

Graduate student winners:

  • Neela Persad of Homestead, Florida will attend Columbia University
  • Stephanie Laning of Worth, Illinois will attend Utah State University
  • Joshua Haag of New York, New York will attend Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus
  • Today's Woman Scholar winners:
  • Siobhan Reagan of Front Royal, Virginia is currently attending Lord Fairfax Community College
  • Farah Sayyed-Unas of Bloomingdale, New Jersey will attend Rutgers University
  • Laura Lasseter of Flowery Branch, Georgia will attend the University of Georgia Graduate School

"There were so many compelling stories and deserving applicants that it was extremely difficult to choose the winners," said Linda Stein Gold, M.D., Director, Dermatology Clinical Research, Henry Ford Health System, one of three judges of the scholarship awards.  "It's truly inspiring to see how they dealt with their condition and turned challenging circumstances into something positive in their lives." 

Enrollment information for the 2017 scholarship program will be announced early next year. For more information, visit

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