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Profiles in Giving: Katherine F. Karas

Katherine F. Karas Endowed Fund for Innovations in Teaching at the Raabe College of Pharmacy

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of The Ampul.

When Katherine Karas, BSPh ’75, was a student at the Raabe College of Pharmacy, she gave little consideration to the impact the college would make on her professionally. “I never connected the influence that the college’s professors and the environment would have on me until April 1997, when I was installed as president of the Ohio Pharmacists Association,” says Karas. “It was that night that really showed me what being an alumna of the College of Pharmacy at ONU was all about.”

All of the college’s academia who attended that night focused their attention on her – expressing excitement, confidence and enthusiasm. As years passed, Karas saw the same attitude shown to fellow alumni when they had their turn in the limelight.

It was this support outside the classroom that really caught her eye. “I know that I received the same attention as a student, but you are not able to see it or understand it as well,” she explains.

As Karas served her year as president, she met people from all across the country. Many fellow ONU pharmacists were extremely supportive of their friendships, alumni, students and the Raabe College of Pharmacy. Karas was able to meet alumni who were involved in all fields of pharmacy and making great contributions to the profession.

“When I met all these wonderful people, I saw a pharmacy college that provided an excellent pharmacy education with the support of great professors and dean. We were all united as a family,” says Karas. “As a preceptor, I see students who are talented, bright, knowledgeable, and I’m proud that they will be pharmacists in our profession. They are true assets.”

She also sees a college of pharmacy that provides a future for not only the students, but also the profession by providing more than 125 years of tradition, excellence and dedication. “Where better to help students and faculty than in an environment with a proven track record,” Karas says. “That’s the reason I established the endowment fund in innovation.”

The Katherine F. Karas Innovations in Teaching Award will be used to recognize a deserving faculty member annually. The recipient will then become the Raabe College of Pharmacy’s nomination/representative for AACP’s national award recognizing excellence in teaching. As the fund increases over time, earnings could potentially be used to send a representative to an AACP conference, to help a faculty member pursue teaching innovation and to create an award to recognize contributions. In addition, the fund could be used at the dean’s discretion to support other faculty deserving, creative ideas to enhance the college’s educational endeavors.