* Shannon Hodges, an associate professor of education at Niagara University, was selected to receive the 2006 Collegium fellowship. He will represent Niagara at the 2006 colloquy at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., this summer.
Hodges' selection was based on his service to Niagara University and his involvement, dedication and commitment to the mission and goals of the university. He has been at Niagara since 2000. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas and his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Oregon. He and his wife live in Youngstown.
* John Cooper, chairman of Cooper Signs and Glory Flags, and Merrell Lane, president of Lane Funeral Home, were recognized by the Town of Niagara Business and Professional Association for their outstanding work in keeping the Niagara Air Reserve Station open in 2005. Cooper and Lane were both named 2006 Citizen of the Year.
Also recognized were: Gary Strenkoski of Strenkoski Bros. Construction as Business Person of the Year; and Judy Sirianni and Jay Dixon, both of the Outlet at Niagara Falls USA, as Employer of the Year.
* Stephanie Burgess, a Newfane Central School teacher, has been awarded honorable mention for her photograph entered in the Buffalo Zoo Photo Contest. Much of Burgess' work can be seen at Shoppe On Main, Main Street, Newfane. Two of her photos are presently on display at the CEPA Gallery on Main Street, Buffalo, through mid-March.
* Stephanie Sadler, a North Tonawanda resident and a journalism major at Fredonia State College, has completed an internship with the North Tonawanda History Museum. Sadler participated in the museum's Oral History Program, under the direction of Jason Law, oral history program coordinator, who is a D'Youville College history major. Their completed joint project will be submitted to the Veterans History Project, as well as becoming a part of the museum's oral history files.
Sadler also created a new format and design for the museum's newsletter and annual report and a conceptual design for the organization's capital campaign brochure.
* Jessica Glover, a student in Niagara University's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, has been awarded a $3,000 scholarship from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation. Glover, a junior, is a native of Watkins Glen.
In January, Glover was also presented the college's Code of Professionalism pin, reflecting outstanding professionalism in representing the college in the workplace and in the presence of industry leaders on campus. The foundation is the charitable-giving, fund-raising, and endowed fund-management subsidiary of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
* M&T Bank announced a $100,000 commitment to Niagara Hospice's "Wings of Serenity" fund-raising campaign to build a hospice residence and inpatient unit in Niagara County. Niagara Hospice House will be Niagara County's only residential hospice, providing hospice services to patients and their families who are not able to receive home hospice care. The new facility will be 24,000 square feet and located on Sunset Drive in the Town of Lockport.
One wing of Niagara Hospice House will hold eight suites specifically designed for patients who need residential hospice care. The other wing will have 10 suites designed for patients needing short-term medical monitoring and symptom management. Each family will also have access to community gathering rooms, fireplaces, a chapel and the Hospice memorial gardens.
"Although Hospice will always be primarily a home-based program, Niagara Hospice House will provide new options for people who have compromised living arrangements or insufficient caregiver support," said John Lomeo, president and CEO of the Hospice and Palliative Care Group. "This gift will help immensely as we work toward our $3 million goal."
* Thomas M. McDermott, director of counseling services at Niagara University, has been licensed as a mental health counselor by the State of New York. He is among the first licensed mental health practitioners in the state. Mental health counseling was one of four new mental health professions established under state education law Jan. 1, 2005.
McDermott, who also serves as an adjunct professor of education, holds both bachelor's and master's degrees from Niagara, plus a post-master's certificate in counseling. He also is a nationally certified counselor. He has been employed by the university in counseling services since 1966. A resident of Lewiston, he and his wife, Joan, have six children.
* The board of trustees of the North Tonawanda History Museum honored a number of its volunteers, donors, and other supporters for their contributions in the museum's first two years of existence.
Recognized as volunteers of the year for 2003-2005 were: Stephen Ash, Betty Brandon, John Zellner Neal, Priscilla Zellner Neal, and Barbara Wickman, all of North Tonawanda; Cynthia Fredricks, formerly of North Tonawanda and now of Hutchinson, Kan.; Jane Garis, formerly of North Tonawanda and now of Niagara Falls; JamiLee Piatt, formerly of North Tonawanda and now of Holland.
Also volunteer families of the year for 2003-2005 were: The Mittiga Family (Joe, Judy, Ricky, Gabbie and Lydia), the Neal Family (Donna, John, Priscilla Neal; Kathy Delbert; Liz Hall; Lea Aquino; Bryan Blandford; Danielle Oney; Matthew DiNatale; Frank Zellner), and the Santiago Family (Lou, Joyce, Sara, Maria, Leah Santiago; Bryan and Jason Kastelan; Michael Giglia), all of North Tonawanda.