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Katherine “Kathy” Karas

Katherine “Kathy” Karas, BA ’74, BSPh ’75, grew up on her family’s farm in Atwater, Ohio, about 30 minutes outside of Akron. She began her educational journey at ONU in biology with plans move on to medical school. But after selling the farm’s plow to a man who supplied pharmacies around the region, her father suggested that she look into becoming a pharmacist. After a quick trip to the dean’s office at Northern, she added pharmacy to her plans.

On campus, Karas was a very active contributor. She was a member of Kappa Epsilon and Alpha Omicron Delta sororities. She participated in state and national pharmaceutical organizations and served as a member of pharmacy council. As a student, she was inducted into Beta Beta Beta, Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Lambda Sigma honoraries. 

After graduating from ONU in 1975 (with degrees in both biology and pharmacy), Karas has truly distinguished herself in her 40-plus years of service to the profession of pharmacy. She began her long career in community pharmacy, spending many years in practice in northeast Ohio. Karas owned her own pharmacy in downtown Cleveland in the early 1980s; since closing that business, she has been employed by a number of pharmacies in the Akron area. Karas is currently a pharmacist at ACME Fresh Market Pharmacy.

Active for many years in the Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA), Karas has held several offices, including OPA president from 1997-98. She and ONU alumnus Suzanne Eastman-Wuest, BSPh ’74, were the first two women in OPA history to serve as that organization’s president. She is a member of the OPA Disease State Management Committee and a member of the OPA Legal and Regulating Committee; she also has served on the OPA Public and Professional Relations Committee. Karas’ service to the profession through state and local advocacy has been publicly recognized; she has received the OPA Keys Award for her outstanding service to the association and the Summit Pharmacists Association (SPA) Pharmacist of the Year Award. She also has been active nationally as a member of the Steering and Professional Relations Committee for the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

Anyone who knows Karas knows of her passion and boundless energy for the pharmacy profession and pharmacy education. If there is a need, Karas will be the first to step up to the plate and work with others to solve the problem by sharing her time, talent and treasure for the benefit of not only the profession, but also her alma mater, her students, and ONU’s faculty and staff. Her impact on the College of Pharmacy has been multi-faceted and truly amazing over the years.

For example, Karas is a long-time member of the pharmacy college’s Advisory Board. She established the Katherine F. Karas Endowed Fund for Innovations in Teaching Award at the College of Pharmacy in 2010. This award recognizes faculty for innovation in teaching and serves as a source of funding for those innovations. In 2014, when the college was looking into offering a comprehensive medication therapy management training program and certificate for its students, Karas stepped forward to provide the financial assistance to make it happen.

Karas is an annual member of the Henry Solomon Lehr Society and the Heritage Club. Most recently, she volunteered as a judge for the fifth-year pharmacy administration class poster presentations, and she has donated funds to cover registration for pharmacy students who attend the Student Societies of Health-System Pharmacy (SSHP) regional convention.

For all of these reasons and more, Karas received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Pharmacy in February 2015.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do. Your impact is lasting and very much appreciated!

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