College celebrates accomplished alumni at 2023 Alumni Awards Ceremony


October 25, 2023

dean deanna kroetz speaking at podium
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The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy held its annual Alumni Awards Ceremony on Oct. 20 at the Grand Event Center in Grandview Heights. The event invited Pharmacy Buckeyes and friends and family to reunite and celebrate the outstanding achievements of eight awardees.

Kristine Cline, PharmD, MS ’19, assistant professor - practice of education and innovation, emceed the ceremony, which was the first held during the tenure of Dean Deanna Kroetz, PhD, MS '85. 

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2023 Alumni Awards recipients

The Lifetime Achievement Award
Sara J. White, FASHP, MS '72

This award was established for outstanding lifelong accomplishments in pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences or public service. The impact of the candidate’s stellar contributions to the professional, scientific and/or educational communities is judged by biographical data, including published work and previous honors. 

Recipients must have completed a degree or post-graduate training at the College of Pharmacy. This award is not given in any regular, repeating time period, but only when truly outstanding candidates are identified. 

Sara J. White

Sara J. White has more than 30 years of experience in health-system pharmacy and pharmacy practice leadership. White received a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Oregon State University, a master’s degree from the Ohio State College of Pharmacy and an ASHP-accredited residency at the Ohio State Hospitals and Clinics.

White was unable to attend the ceremony in person. In her prerecorded acceptance speech, she applauded the efforts of other women in pharmacy and encouraged them to continue pursuing careers that they’re passionate about just as she has. 

“It’s good that other women didn’t listen to those saying that ‘there’s no place for women in management’ as I didn’t,” White said. “Don’t be afraid of things that you don’t know much about; you’ll figure them out and learn as you go.” 

Read more about Sarah J. White and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Josephine Sitterle Failer Alumni Award
Jacquelyn Risner Kissel, PharmD '13, AAHIVP, BS '08

Named in honor of Josephine Sitterle Failer, BS ’39, a longtime benefactor who contributed service to the college for nearly five decades. The award recognizes an alumnus who has received a professional degree or completed post-graduate training from the College of Pharmacy within the past 10 years and has made an outstanding contribution to community or professional service.

Dr. Kissel and family

Dr. Jacquelyn Kissel is the lead clinical pharmacist at Equitas Health. She received her Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from Ohio State. Dr. Kissel completed a PGY1 community pharmacy residency at the Ohio State College of Pharmacy and is a certified American Academy HIV Pharmacist.  

While in her role at Equitas Health, Dr. Kissel has been involved in leading a team of primary care pharmacists as well as pharmacy program implementation across the organization. She initiated a pharmacy residency program with the Ohio State College of Pharmacy; implemented collaborative agreements in 14 disease states, including specialties such as HIV, HepC and gender-affirming care; and led the organization through the pandemic with the implementation of telehealth across all four health centers. 

Dr. Kissel has a passion for teaching the next generation of pharmacists. In accepting this award, she thanked her own mentor, Jennifer Seifert, MS ’99. 

“You have power when you teach, when you mentor, when you precept people,” Dr. Kissel emphasized. 

Dr. Kissel serves as the Equitas site coordinator for the pharmacy residency program and is a preceptor for APPE students. She received the 2023 Equitas Health Care Innovation Award, the 2023 Ohio Pharmacists Association Upsher-Smith Excellence in Innovation Award and was chosen Preceptor of the Year by the Ohio State College of Pharmacy in 2018. 

The Jack L. Beal Post-Baccalaureate Award
Yow-Ming Chen Wang, PhD '92

Named in honor of Jack L. Beal, PhD ’52, professor emeritus of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at the College of Pharmacy. The recipient of the Beal Award must have a post-baccalaureate degree from the College of Pharmacy and have contributed significantly to research and scholarship in the pharmaceutical sciences and/or contributed outstanding service to the professional practice of pharmacy. 

Dr. Wang and family

Dr. Yow-Ming Wang is the associate director for biosimilars and therapeutic biologics in the Office of Clinical Pharmacology, Office of Translational Sciences, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She received her PhD training under the guidance of Dr. Richard Reuning and graduated from the Ohio State College of Pharmacy in 1992. Dr. Wang worked in the biopharmaceutical industry, specifically around the application of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics principles, for 18 years. 

“After leaving OSU, I quickly realized that my PhD degree was only a ticket to a ride of lifelong learning,” Dr. Wang said. “Not only for science, but for many, many other skills that are needed for my success in the team sport of drug development. Throughout my 18-year career in the pharmaceutical industry, I’ve cherished the partnership, friendship and learning from the experts creating the medications.” 

In 2011, Dr. Wang transitioned to the FDA, where she has been engaged in the review of regulatory submissions of biologics, regulatory science and research programs, and the development of best practice and regulatory policy in leadership roles. Dr. Wang has led many initiatives for developing evidence-based strategies to tackle challenging drug development issues through collaborations within the FDA and with industry colleagues. 

Dr. Wang has made substantial contributions to the field of clinical pharmacology, delivering 60 invited lectures, more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, two book chapters and multiple workshops. The scholarly topics of her work include therapeutic protein drug-drug interactions, dosing recommendations, specific populations, clinical relevance of immunogenicity, subcutaneous delivery of protein drugs, the utility of biomarkers, bioanalysis of drugs, biomarkers, and immunogenicity and model-informed drug development.  

Tahira Farooqui, PhD '92

Dr. Tahira Farooqui has published extensively on drug receptor interactions, biogenic amines in vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems, glycerphospholipid and sphingolipid metabolism, and their underlying molecular mechanisms in the brain. She received her PhD in pharmacology from the Ohio State College of Pharmacy in 1992 under the guidance of Dr. Norman J. Uretsky. After graduation, she stayed in Dr. Uretsky’s lab as a post-doctoral Fellow. 

Dr. Farooqui and family

In 1994, Dr. Farooqui accepted a post-doctoral fellowship in the neuroscience program at the Ohio State College of Medicine. In 2000, Dr. Farooqui joined Dr. Brian H. Smith’s laboratory in Ohio State’s biological sciences department as a research scientist and worked in collaboration with Dr. Harald Vaessin at the Center for Molecular Neurobiology.  

Dr. Farooqui has authored 97 peer-reviewed research articles and coauthored one monograph. Additionally, she has edited 13 Life Sciences books centering around biogenic amines (pharmacological, neurochemical and pharmacological aspects in the CNS), diet and exercise in cognitive function and neurological disease, and the effects of phytochemicals on human health and neurological diseases.  

“As I reflect on the years I spent at the OSU campus, I feel a deep sense of pride and honor for my teachers who gave me a superior quality of education, training and confidence,” Dr. Farooqui said. “I’m honored and proud to be here on the day of recognition.” 

The Distinguished Alumni Award
Anna Fondriest Gentry, PharmD, BS Pharm '80 

Recipients must have a degree from the College of Pharmacy or completed post-graduate training; have made distinguished contributions in the fields of public health and public service; have performed outstanding activities in the interest of the college and its students; and have an outstanding record in the profession of pharmacy.

Dr. Gentry and family

Dr. Anne Gentry has had a diverse career in pharmacy education, drug information, medical communications, public policy and entrepreneurship. She graduated from Ohio State in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and from Idaho State University with a PharmD degree in 1995.  

“My pharmacy career has had many highlights, most of which I credit to the jump start I received by graduating from The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy,” Dr. Gentry said. “My career was not defined by boxes or borders, but by an open slate with so many possibilities.”  

Dr. Gentry was an original pharmacy director for Aetna Health Plans, where she assisted in the development of their first national formulary and their first tiered co-pay system.  

While working as a medical consultant for the State of Ohio Medicaid program, Dr. Gentry expanded the Drug Utilization Review program and chaired the first ADHD committee that addressed stimulant treatment in children under six years old. After leaving Medicaid, she consulted for medical communications companies, assisting with the FDA approval and launching several psychotropic agents, including the first non-stimulant agent for the treatment of ADHD as well as the first medication to treat adult ADHD. Dr. Gentry started a highly successful consulting/medical communications company in 2005. Additionally, she has served as an expert witness in approximately 20 trials in Ohio and Pennsylvania.  

While serving part-time as assistant director of drug information at Ohio Northern University, Dr. Gentry developed the student-run publication, The Pharmacy and Wellness Review, for which she was awarded the 2013 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Innovations in Teaching Awards. She has served as a preceptor for students and has served on various committees for professional organizations. 

David A. Kvancz, RPh, FASHP, MS '81 

David Kvancz is an executive pharmacy leader and expert witness consultant. In 2015, he founded Valore Healthcare Consulting LLC, where, as principal consultant, he has provided pharmacy expert witness services in 22 legal cases at the county, state and national levels. Kvancz also currently serves as an ad hoc senior consultant for Visante, a health care consulting company focused on medication use and system optimization. 

Dr. Kvancz

Kvancz earned his master’s degree in clinical hospital pharmacy from the Ohio State College of Pharmacy and completed his residency at Mount Carmel Medical Center. Kvancz has held adjunct and associate faculty and dean’s advisory council positions at several colleges of pharmacy. He has served on numerous pharmaceutical industry and pharmacy technology advisory boards and in multiple committee leadership positions for local, state and national health-system pharmacy organizations, including chair of the Practice Managers Section of ASHP and president of the Arizona Society of Health-System Pharmacy (AzSHP). 

Kvancz was named a Fellow of ASHP in 1996 and has received numerous awards, including the 2008 Clifton J. Latiolais Award from Ohio State, the Jack L. Beal Post-Baccalaureate Alumni Award in 2005, the Northeastern University School of Pharmacy John W. Webb Visiting Professor for Excellence in Health-System Pharmacy Award in 2005 and many others. He was named the AzSHP Hospital Pharmacist of the Year in 1990 and received the AzSHP Leadership Award in 1987. 

“My heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all of my professional colleagues and coworkers, both past and present, who provided their support, guidance and counsel, leadership and friendship to me throughout my career,” Kvancz said. “Collectively, we advanced the practice of pharmacy, including medication-use systems, clinical pharmacy services, education and research for the betterment of patient care within our health care organizations and the profession of pharmacy at large.” 

Laura Lile, MD, RPh, BSPharm '87 

Dr. Laura Lile is the founder of Lile Wellness Partners. As a dual-credentialed medical doctor and compounding pharmacist, Dr. Lile has the unique ability to prescribe and oversee the creation of individualized compound formulations. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Ohio State in 1987 and graduated with an MD from the Medical College of Ohio in 2001.  

Dr. Lile and Family

“Reflecting on my time here at Ohio State, I am reminded of the wisdom that we gain only from experience,” Dr. Lile said. “I know now that the education that I received here at Ohio State was so much more than knowledge. It was really giving me a foundation that would allow me to go on and exceed all expectations or anything I could have dreamed of in my career.” 

Dr. Lile opened her first pharmacy at the age of 25, introducing one of the first drive-thru pharmacies in the Midwest. In 2006, Dr. Lile recognized the potential of telemedicine and played a pivotal role in establishing virtual care programs that expanded health care access to remote areas and underserved communities. In 2019, Dr. Lile was invited to join the Medical Advisory Committee for the Vatican, leading to a private audience with Pope Francis. Representing the pharmacy profession, she highlighted the significant impact pharmacists can have on global health. 

Collaborating with the Order of Malta, Dr. Lile spearheaded the establishment of a mobile clinic in Jordan, providing diabetes education and management to 200 patients daily in rural underserved areas. Leading clinical trials in Rwanda, she oversaw a team of 135 health care professionals and successfully completed a trial with over 14,000 in-person visits. Dr. Lile’s efforts included introducing innovative specialty lab tests and ensuring patient compliance with treatment through well-designed clinical trials in collaboration with the Minister of Health and the University of Rwanda. Dr. Lile’s most recent endeavor has been advocating for pharmacists to be credentialed to provide genomic consultations. This groundbreaking step allowed four PharmD students from Ohio State to participate alongside Dr. Lile, becoming the first in their profession in the country to be credentialed for counseling patients on IntellxxDNA genomics.  

“I'm deeply humbled and grateful for having the ability to be honored tonight for being a distinguished alumni,” Dr. Lile said. “This recognition symbolizes not only the incredible influence that Ohio State has had on my life but also the pivotal choices that I have shaped that have shaped my life.” 

The Outstanding Community Engagement Award 
Elizabeth H. Chang, PhD, PharmD '09, MS '08 

This award recognizes an alum from any training or academic program of the College of Pharmacy for outstanding accomplishments in the community. Recipients have been involved in outreach and engagement that includes collaboration with one or more community partners who may be public and/or private sector, local to global and external to the university. This work must have provided valuable learning experiences for students and/ or demonstrated impact that addresses an important need. 

Dr. Chang

Dr. Elizabeth Chang is chair of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and associate professor at Taiepi Medical University (TMU) College of Pharmacy in Taiwan. She also serves as deputy director for education in the pharmacy department at Wan Fang Hospital of TMU. Chang earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from National Taiwan University, a PharmD and Master's degree in pharmacy administration from Ohio State, and a PhD in pharmaceutical socioeconomics from the University of Iowa.  

“I still recall my first time walking into Parks Hall 18 years ago, where Dr. Hale welcomed me to the college,” Dr. Chang said. “Over the next four years, under the influence of so many faculty members, preceptors and peers, I was instilled with professional knowledge, skills and attitude that shaped my beliefs about how much we can achieve as pharmacists. These beliefs led me to continue to promote pharmacist training and advocate for expanded pharmacist roles and responsibilities.” 

Dr. Chang currently teaches social and administrative pharmacy topics and coordinates a clinical skills lab and advanced pharmacy practice experiences. She serves as a college liaison for international collaboration with US colleges of pharmacy and has coordinated an international clinical faculty training program in collaboration with partners in Singapore and the US, including Ohio State.

Since 2014, Dr. Chang has also served as the TMU coordinator for the joint OSU-TMU-CMU (China Medical University) videoconference course, where undergraduate and PharmD students from three universities present literature reviews and local practice insights on various pharmacy topics. Dr. Chang facilitated the development of a pharmacy residency program at Wan Fang Hospital and a specialist pharmacist career ladder system for TMU-affiliated hospitals.   

In 2021, Dr. Chang co-founded the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Taiwan Chapter, which afforded international networking and partnerships. Dr. Chang currently serves as secretary/treasurer for the chapter. With her specialization in qualitative and mixed methods research, Dr. Chang’s recent research projects focus on medication experience, pharmacy services and pharmacy education.  

“I am more than humbled to receive the outstanding Community Engagement Award and I really appreciate this opportunity for me to reflect back on all the people who have helped me along the way,” Dr. Chang said.