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Karen Nemeth

Published November 7, 2016

A remembrance will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Nov. 8 in the UB Newman Center, 495 Skinnerville Road, for Karen Lee Nemeth, a longtime counselor in the Office of Career Services who died Oct. 10 in her Buffalo home after a short illness. She was 59.

A native of Kenmore, Nemeth studied for a year in Sweden after finishing high school, then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work from UB.

She joined the UB professional staff in 1979 as a counselor in Career Services, working frequently with international students. She retired in August.

Nemeth’s colleagues remember her as a quiet, kind and extremely knowledgeable advocate for students and others in the community.

Arlene Kaukus, director of career services, called Nemeth the “go to” person in the office. “She was very much a behind-the-scenes contributor to not only the UB community, but also to community organizations and issues that she cared deeply about,” Kaukus says. “In every circumstance, she did so in a quiet, unassuming manner. Her kindness to others touched so many.” 

Robert Orrange, associate director of career services, says Nemeth loved to help students and staff alike. “She found enormous pleasure in having the answer to a question — and she always seemed to have that answer,” Orrange says. “Whether it was determining how to navigate a certain area of the UB landscape or finding the right contact in the Western New York community, Karen always knew the answer. She never really wanted the limelight; she just simply wanted to help.”

Ed Brodka, career counselor and group learning coordinator, notes Nemeth had “a gift for spotting potential problems and taking the initiative to solve them before they really caused a problem.”

“Her work with helping international students over the years, I am sure, has resulted in students going on to be successful here in the United States and all over the world,” Brodka says. “Day in and day out, online or in person, with “walk-ins” and counseling appointments, nobody touched the lives of more students than Karen.”

In addition to her work at UB, Nemeth served for many years as the stage manager at local theaters, including the Buffalo Ensemble Theater and at all 26 Artie Awards ceremonies.