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Pharmacy Distinguished Alumni Awards


Ohio Northern University’s Raabe College of Pharmacy honored three alumni with Distinguished Alumni Awards on Feb. 12. This was the ninth year that Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented by the College of Pharmacy. 

Timothy Tracy, a 1983 graduate, Leonard L. “Bud” Lance, a 1970 graduate, and John A. Armitstead, a 1979 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 the Ohio Northern Raabe College of Pharmacy.”


Tracy is provost at the University of Kentucky. Prior to entering academia, he practiced in community and hospital settings throughout Ohio. Tracy launched his academic career at West Virginia University, where he won six college-wide teaching awards and one university-wide teaching award. Tracy then joined the University of Minnesota, where he served as head of the Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, director of the Center for Forecasting Drug Response, and director of Clinical and Translational Research Services. In August 2010, he joined the University of Kentucky as dean of the college of pharmacy; from May 2012 until August 2013, he served as interim provost, until taking the position full-time in 2015.

Tracy’s research and teaching interests deal with pharmacogenetics and their effect on drug metabolism. Tracy has published over 100 scientific manuscripts and more than 15 book chapters, edited two books, and served as a principal and co-investigator on numerous NIH-funded grants.

He received his Ph.D. in clinical pharmacy from Purdue University in 1988. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical pharmacology at Indiana University. 


Lance was the founding pharmacist at Lexi-Comp and helped develop their first drug database in 1989. He retired from Lexi-Comp in 2011 after some almost 23 years, was the pharmacy editor, technical advisor and pharmacy information database coordinator for Lexi-Comp Inc. Along with authoring Lippincott Williams & Wilkins’ “Quick Look Drug Book,” he provided technical support to Lexi-Comp's reference publications. Lance also assisted more than 300 major hospitals in producing their own formulary pharmacy publications through Lexi-Comp’s custom publishing service. Lance also was manager of the Dosage Forms Database in Lexi-Comp’s Medical Sciences Division.

Lance is past president of the Summit Pharmaceutical Association (SPA). He is a member of the Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA), the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA), and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

After graduation and passing the pharmacy state board he was an assistant manager of a Revco drug store in Cuyahoga Falls. Later in the year of 1970, the Vietnam War was a major conflict in America. Lance entered the military as Navy hospital corpsman, and spent four years as a navy pharmacist in various military assignments and was instrumental in the development and operation of the first full hospital I.V. admixture program in the military at Portsmouth Naval Base in Virginia. His last 15 months of his naval career were spent on USS Independence CV-62 aircraft carrier. One of his assignments was to teach first aid to the entire personnel aboard that craft, almost 5,000 men. During his Navy career, Lance received two letters of commendation, one for the I.V admixture and the second for training servicemen to perform first aid.

After completing his military service, he re-entered the retail pharmacy field, first with Revco again and then with Klein’s Pharmacy in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Klein’s pharmacy was one of the first retail pharmacies in the State of Ohio to computerize in 1976.


Armitstead is president of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) as well as system director of pharmacy services at Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, Fla. and Cape Coral, Fla.

He started his practice in pharmacy as a volunteer. Since that time, he has been a pharmacy technician, pharmacy intern, staff pharmacist, pharmacy resident, cardiology clinical specialist, critical care pharmacy supervisor, assistant director, associate director, director, associate professor and assistant dean.

Armitstead has served on the ASHP Board of Directors and on several councils and committees. He is active in the Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists and is a founding member of the Florida Residency Conference. He is a past president of the Kentucky Society of Health-System Pharmacists and Ohio Society of Health-System Pharmacists and is a recipient of the Clifton J. Latiolais Award from the Ohio State University School of Pharmacy. Armitstead earned a Master of Science in hospital and clinical pharmacy from Ohio State University in 1982.



From left to right: Tom Gossel, BSPh ’63; Peggy Piascik, BSPh ’74; Kathy Karas, BA ’75, BSPh ’75

Ohio Northern University’s Raabe College of Pharmacy honored three alumni with Distinguished Alumni Awards on Feb. 13, 2015. This was the eighth year that Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented by the Raabe College of Pharmacy. Tom Gossel, BSPh ’63, Kathy Karas, BA ’75, BSPh ’75, and Peggy Piascik, BSPh ’74, 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 full-time 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 served 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 international spaces, in Switzerland and off the coast of Italy. He maintained a monthly column on over-the-counter drugs in US Pharmacist for 18 years. He has authored or co-authored 723 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 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 have two daughters, a son, and seven grandchildren.


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 steering and professional relations committee for the National Community Pharmacists Association. She was honored with an ONU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010. Since graduating 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, including owning an independent store. Active in the Ohio Pharmacists Association, Karas has held several offices, including president from 1997-98. She is a member of the OPA disease state management committee and the OPA legal and regulating committee, and she has served on the OPA public and professional relations committee. In her career, she has received the OPA's Keys Award and Good Government Award and the Summit Pharmacists Association (SPA) Pharmacist of the Year Award. Karas currently serves on the OPA Foundations 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 that recognizes and further funds 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’s Catholic Church in Akron, where she is a member of the parish council and is involved in the hunger program.


Piascik 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, the 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 her Ph.D. in pharmacology from Ohio State University's College of Pharmacy.


2012 Distinguished Pharmacy Alumni

From left to right: former Dean Jon Sprague; Hanley Wheeler, BSPh ’82; Suzanne Eastman Wuest, BSPh ’74; Sen. David Burke, BSPh ’90

2011 Distinguished Pharmacy Alumni

From left to right: Mark Gregory, BSPh ’82; Susan Meyer, BSPh ’83; former Dean Jon Sprague; Renee Coffman, BSPh ’87

2010 Distinguished Pharmacy Alumni

From left to right: Theresa "Tip" Parker, BSPh ’74; Val Watts, BSPh ’90; Llyn Lloyd, BSPh ’60

2009 Distinguished Pharmacy Alumni

From left to right: Albert Sebok, BSPh ’53; former Dean Jon Sprague; Robert McCurdy, BSPh ’65

2008 Distinguished Pharmacy Alumni

From left to right: James Turner, BSPh ’63; Vern Hakes, PHC ’33; Charles Brading, BSPh ’57

2007 Distinguished Pharmacy Alumni

From left to right: Robert Parsons, BSPh ’71; Tammy (McIntire) Stefanovic, BSPh ’88; Frank Wickham, BSPh ’60; former Dean Jon Sprague