FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – During last week’s Nova Southeastern Homecoming celebrations, former Sharks pitcher Nick Carris expanded his growing awards list; but for his work beyond the field. Now a highly-respected pharmacist, Carris was named for the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, where he earned his B.S. in Biology, graduating with distinction in 2008.
Carris wrapped up his athletic career for the Sharks in 2008 as well, finishing as a Daktronics/D2CCA Second Team All-South Region performer with the program’s third-best career Earned Run Average (2.93) in a school record 75 career relief appearances. Carris registered a 13-8 career record and an NSU third-best 13 saves, striking out 114 in 132 career innings.
“Nick was the epitome of a true student-athlete,” said NSU Athletic Director Michael Mominey, who was head baseball coach for the Sharks during Carris’ playing days. “From the time we began to recruit him out of Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, his focus was genuinely on playing baseball at a highly-respected academic institution. Well, needless to say, we were the perfect fit and provided the perfect platform for him to pursue both of his passions. I am very proud of all of his accomplishments on and off the field.”
Not only was his on-field work ethic evident, he drew well-deserved praise for his work in the classroom, earning a spot on the Sunshine State Commissioner’s List of Outstanding Achievement and was twice named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team. Even in his first year with the Sharks, he saw a vision of his future beyond the field despite his successes on it, listing his goal to become a pharmacist as an alternative to playing baseball professionally.
On the heels of his time on the diamond for NSU, Carris moved across the Sunshine State to Gainesville, where he graduated in 2012 summa cum laude with a Doctor Pharmacy degree from the University of Florida. He completed his pharmacy residency at Tri Star Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, followed by a two-year, postdoctoral fellowship in family medicine at UF – where he published numerous research papers and taught in the College of Pharmacy and College of Medicine’s physician assistant program.
Currently a pharmacist and an assistant professor of pharmacy and medicine at the University of South Florida, Carris teaches multiple classes and has established a research program focused on preventing diabetes. Carris has also garnered attention for his work with a Tampa Bay Accountable Care Organization – a group of health care providers who coordinate to provide quality care for MediCare Patients – where he is helping to limit the use of high-risk medications.
With a growing list of accolades in his young career, Carris was also a recipient of the 2017-18 Best Researcher Award at USF’s College of Pharmacy and was recognized as a Top Reviewer for the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in March 2018. He is an author of numerous articles, book chapters and publications, presenting frequently at national conferences.
“My experience at NSU has been an integral part of who I am today and it is quite an honor to be recognized as a Distinguished Alumni,” Carris said. “My Biology degree from NSU helped pave the way to me becoming an assistant professor of pharmacy. Even more special, NSU afforded me the ability to play college baseball simultaneously, equipping me with the skillset required to handle a demanding schedule with a consistent, focused effort.”