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Ohio Northern University honors Raabe College of Pharmacy distinguished alumni

Feb 18, 2015

Ohio Northern University’s Raabe College of Pharmacy honored three alumni with Distinguished Alumni Awards on Feb. 13. This is the eighth year that Distinguished Alumni Awards have been presented by the Raabe College of Pharmacy.

Tom Gossel, a 1963 graduate, Kathy Karas, a 1975 graduate, and Peggy Piascik, a 1974 graduate, were recognized for their outstanding career accomplishments and their contributions to ONU.

 “We are extremely honored to recognize these distinguished alumni for their significant contributions to the profession of pharmacy,” said Steven J. Martin, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “These individuals have helped build the proud tradition and excellence of Ohio Northern’s pharmacy college.”

Gossel, professor of pharmacology emeritus at Ohio Northern University’s College of Pharmacy, has served the pharmacy profession for more than 50 years as a community pharmacist and manager, educator, college administrator and consultant. He continues that service as an author of educational material.

After practicing community pharmacy fulltime for five years in Lancaster, Ohio, Gossel pursued graduate study at Purdue University, where he received his Master of Science in 1970 and Ph.D. in 1972; both degrees were in pharmacology/toxicology. He joined the Ohio Northern University faculty in 1972. Over the years, Gossel served the college as chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Biomedical Sciences, chair of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, and associate dean. He was appointed acting dean of the Raabe College of Pharmacy in 1993 and then as dean through 1999. Following his deanship, Gossel returned to the college faculty for three years before retiring in 2002.

Gossel has presented more than 1,300 seminars, lectures or workshops to pharmacists, nurses, physicians, dentists and other health professionals in 47 states and in several venues. He maintained a monthly column on over-the-counter drugs in US Pharmacist for 18 years. He has authored or co-authored 724 articles for pharmacists that have been published in a variety of professional journals. He also has written three book chapters and six books. His most recent volume, “Principles of Clinical Toxicology,” is a textbook for students of pharmacy and other biomedical sciences. Gossel is currently authoring a comprehensive history of the college of pharmacy at ONU.

Gossel has been the recipient of ONU’s Most Professional Professor Award, the Mortar Board Favorite Professor Award, the APhA-ASP Professional Service Award, the ONU Outstanding Alumnus Award, and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Distinguished Service Award, among others. He was appointed to the ONU Alumni Endowed Chair in Pharmacy. From the Ohio Pharmacist Association, he received Lifetime Membership for Outstanding Contributions to the Profession and to the Association. Gossel was honored by his high school alma mater with induction into the Lancaster High School’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.

Gossel and his wife, Phyllis, continue to call Ada their home. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in Ada and are now just months away from their 53rd year of marriage. They have two daughters, a son, and seven grandchildren.

Karas is a member of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Akron, where she is a member of the parish council and is involved in the hunger program.

Karas, currently employed at ACME Fresh Market Pharmacy in the Akron area, has been very active in her field as a member of the Raabe College of Pharmacy Advisory board, the American Pharmaceutical Association, and the steeringand professional relations committee for the National Community Pharmacists Association. She was honored as an ONU Distinguished Alumni in 2010.

Since graduation from ONU, Karas has distinguished herself in her 40-plus years of service to the profession of pharmacy. She has worked in all aspects of community pharmacy that included owning an independent store.  Active in the Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA), Karas has held several offices, including president from 1997-98. She is a member of the OPA Disease State Management committee and a member of the OPA legal and regulating committee and has served on the OPA public and professional relations committee. In her career, she has received the KeysAward and Good Government Award from OPA and the Summit Pharmacists Association Pharmacist of the Year Award.  Karas currently serves on the OPA Foundation Board. 

Karas recognized the positive influence her ONU professors had on her career by establishing the Katherine F. Karas Endowed Fund for Innovations in Teaching Award at the Raabe College of Pharmacy in 2010. The endowed fund provides for an annual award recognizing and further funding innovative teaching practices at the college. She is an annual member of the ONU Lehr Society and a member of ONU Heritage Club. She also provided the funding to support pharmacy students in the first comprehensive Medication Therapy Management (MTM) training in 2014.

Karas is a member of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Akron, where she is a member of the parish council and is involved in the hunger program.

Piascik, a 1974 ONU pharmacy graduate, currently serves as the immediate past president of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).  She is a two-time recipient of the AACP Innovations in Teaching Award, completed the AACP Academic Leadership Fellows program in 2006, and was named the AACP Donald Brodie Scholar-in-Residence for 2009-10.  Her sabbatical project was an investigation of “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the Promotion and Tenure Documents of Schools of Pharmacy.”

At the University of Kentucky, Piascik collaboratively developed the Nontraditional PharmD Option, one of the first distance-education PharmD programs offered to practitioners. Piascik has received the University of Kentucky Alumni Association Great Teacher Award, College of Pharmacy Senior Class Teaching Award four times, and the Michael J. Lach Innovations in Teaching Award.​

Piascik is a professor of pharmacy practice and science at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.  She received her Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. 

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