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* Four educators were scheduled to receive the 11th annual Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Erie County Council of Music Coordinators Awards for Excellence in Music Education Saturday evening during the BPO Classics Concert at Kleinhans Music Hall.

The recipients are Choral Director Norman Zogaib, Hamburg High School; instrumental music/strings, Pamela Christie, Herbert Hoover Middle School, Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda; instrumental music/band, Craig Incontro, Amherst High School, Amherst Central School District, and; a special award to Dr. Maria Runfola, department of learning and instruction, University at Buffalo.

The awards, given to music educators in public, private or parochial schools in kindergarten through 12th grades in Erie County, are based on teaching skills, professional and community involvement and years of service. An eight-member committee of music educators and musicians of the BPO select award recipients.

* Ho-Leung Fung of Getzville, professor and chairman emeritus in the department of pharmaceutical science in the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, has been named editor-in-chief of the association's publication, the AAPS Journal.

The journal features peer-level and invited articles on all aspects of pharmaceutical science, including drug discovery, development and therapy.

Fung said the Internet-only journal has "no space limitations, and there are no photographic and video limitations, so in principle, the papers it publishes could be interactive in nature."

Fung has published more than 200 professional articles and is funded on two research projects by the National Institutes of Health.

* Housing Opportunities Made Equal has awarded the Joanne Champion Granger Scholarship to two local high school seniors.

Anthony L. White of Williamsville North High School and Jessica Kroecker of Holland Central High School were recognized at HOME's 42nd annual meeting held Wednesday in the Buffalo Convention Center.

The scholarship, which was established by Dr. Carl Granger in the name of his late wife, is given to high school seniors who have demonstrated a commitment to academic achievement, pride of work and a concern for civil rights.

* The Erie County Sheriff's Department, in conjunction with the ACT Committee on Underage Drinking and Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign, has announced the winners of this year's poster/slogan contest.

Middle School winners are Andrew Crego and Autumn Fiscus of Clarence Middle School and Dylan Roche of Lake Shore Middle. High school winners are Briana Edwards of McKinley High School, Mike Bajer of John F. Kennedy High School and Anna Small and Naila Ansari of Buffalo Seminary.

The winners appeared on the recent Kids Escaping Drugs Telethon and received savings bonds from First Niagara. The top entries will be made into posters to be showcased in all NOCO Express Shops and area middle and high schools.

* Army Reserve Capt. Cynthia M. Zapotoczny, a 1985 graduate of Orchard Park High School, has been decorated with the Army Commendation Medal for her participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The medal is awarded to individuals who have distinguished themselves by acts of heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service while serving in any capacity in the Army.

Zapotoczny, a terminal officer with 15 years of military experience, is assigned to the 1189th Transportation Terminal Brigade at North Charleston, S.C. She received a bachelor's degree in 1989 from UB and a master's degree in 2001 from Webster University through the military extension program in Beaufort, S.C.

She is the daughter of George Zapotoczny of Buffalo and Arlene Kirchmeyer of Chaffee.

* John Cerne, of East Amherst, assistant professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences at UB, has received a National Science Foundation "CAREER" award to probe the fundamental behavior of "strange metals," including materials related to high-temperature superconductors, as well as magnetic conductors.

Cerne will receive $500,000 over five years. Under the grant, he will study metals that have strong correlations or interactions among electrons.

Cerne explained the correlations are responsible for extraordinary effects, such as high-temperature superconductivity, that have never been seen in conventional materials.

"It's been almost 20 years since high-temperature superconductors were discovered and there still is no consensus on what's carrying the current in them," he said, noting that a better understanding of such effects may allow physicists to take advantage of their properties, developing faster, more efficient and more versatile electronic materials.