Outstanding Graduate of the Year

About the ACHS Outstanding Graduate Award

Each year ACHS chooses a graduate to represent ACHS in the DEAC Annual Outstanding Graduate program. This program is designed to showcase the significant accomplishments of our graduates and specifically recognize the achievements of distance education students.  

We encourage all graduates to consider applying to be the next ACHS Outstanding Graduate. Faculty and ACHS staff can also nominate graduates for this distinction.


Click here to apply for the Outstanding Graduate program. 

2019 Outstanding Graduate Spotlight: Laura Susan Johns


Laura Susan Johns of Lakeland, Florida will be honored as the Distance Education and Accrediting Commission (DEAC) 2019 Outstanding Graduate on June 21, 2019, at the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) graduation ceremony, to be held at the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon. The DEAC Outstanding Graduate of the Year award celebrates the achievements of distance education students who have demonstrated academic excellence and consistent commitment to society and their chosen profession.

Johns achieved honors as a graduate of the ACHS Master of Science in Complementary Alternative MedicineGraduate Certificate in  Complementary Alternative Medicine and Graduate Certificate in Herbal Medicine Programs. She also holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Florida. It was her interest in natural and herbal medicine that led her to enroll in the Master of Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine program at American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) in December 2013.  

Johns interest in understanding both allopathic and herbal medicines guided her to customize her Master of Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine program to fit her interest in learning as many modalities as possible. Her combined education resulted in acquiring a deeper holistic viewpoint.

“Completing this degree program and being able to learn about so many different natural modalities has made me a more knowledgeable pharmacist.  I can now better understand both allopathic and natural medicines and the consequences and rewards of blending them together,” says Laura Susan Johns.

Since completing her programs with ACHS, Johns is developing her own consulting and education business, in which she can meet with patients, provide education and become a patient advocate. Additionally, she is working with a local health food store to offer educational information to the public.  She believes that by publishing her Doctoral and Masters capstone papers the knowledge she has gained will provide valuable education to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.  Johns enjoys personal contact with her audience and is available to present her work in seminar settings.

Past Recipients