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Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

Army Pvt. James M. Toney has graduated from the Fire Support Specialist Advanced Individual Training Course at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla. Field artillery specialists serve in intelligence activities, including target processing in field artillery, cannon battalions, division artillery, artillery and maneuver brigade and headquarters and fire support elements. Toney is the son of Sheara-Lea J. Snyder of Grand Island and James M. Toney of Nolensville, Tenn. He is a 2010 graduate of Grand Island Senior High School.

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Paula Savage, Batavia native and 1976 Genesee Community College graduate of Class of 1976, was honored with the Torch-Bearers Award for her efforts to promote international friendship and understanding at ceremonies held at the United Nations in New York City.

She was recognized for her work in planting the seeds of what is now an international effort aimed at advancing global friendship and international understanding through the creation of peace gardens and cultural programs around the world.

Savage initiated the first Peace Garden in 1990 while representing the Canadian capital of Ottawa in the tourism and hospitality industry. She orchestrated the gift of 4,000 tulip bulbs from Canada to the United States, and worked with the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. to create the first International Peace Garden.

The International Peace Garden Foundation serves to foster world peace and friendship through the creation of Peace Gardens across the globe. Savage serves as international president of the IPGF which has gardens in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

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Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha was re-elected vice chair of the executive committee at the New York State Sheriffs' Association annual organizational meeting held in Syracuse.

As executive committee vice chairman, a position he has held since 2010, Maha will continue to work with sheriffs across the state to strengthen law enforcement through the Sheriffs' Association training programs, public education programs, and legislative advocacy efforts.

Maha is also currently vice chair of the National Sheriffs' Association's Criminal Justice Information Systems/Technology Committee. He is a member of the National Sheriffs' Association's Homeland Security Committee, the New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Council, the New York Interoperable Communications Board and the New York State Executive Committee on Counter Terrorism.

The New York State Sheriffs' Association is a not-for-profit corporation, formed in 1934, for the purpose of assisting sheriffs in the efficient and effective delivery of sheriffs' services to the public. It comprises all of the elected and appointed sheriffs of New York State.

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Rep. Kathy Hochul announced that Siena Pullinzi, a 10th grader at Batavia High School, has won the New York 26th Congressional District Art Competition with her work entitled "What's on the Inside." The work is a self-portrait consisting of pencil, watercolor, and ink.

"I want to congratulate Siena for a job well done, as well as all the students who took part in this competition," said Hochul. "The arts play an essential part of education and I am proud that so many Western New York students exercised their creativity. While I would have loved to have displayed all these pieces of art in the halls of the Capitol for the next year, we could only have one."

Over 800 residents of the 26th District voted in this year's art competition, choosing Pullinzi's artwork to be displayed in the halls of the Capitol for the next year. Pullinzi will also have the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. to participate in a ceremony for Congressional Art Competition winners.

The Congressional Art Competition, in its 30th year, was created to recognize and encourage artistic talent in each congressional district across the nation. High school students in each district are encouraged to submit original artwork -- photographs, oil, watercolor and mixed-media works are all permitted.

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Maryann Mikucki, a pre-doctoral trainee in the department of immunology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, has received a Research Scholar Award from the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation, which includes a $10,000 grant toward her research on melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

She is working toward a joint M.D./Ph.D. degree from the University at Buffalo and the Roswell Park Graduate Division of UB.

"The work I'll be performing with the Nicolay grant aims to understand the mechanism by which tumor cells interfere with delivery of toxic T cells to melanoma tumor tissues, allowing them to evade destruction," noted Mikucki. "These proof-of-concept studies are expected to uncover a novel mechanism of melanoma resistance to T cell-based immunotherapy and also lay the foundations for translational research."

One of nine graduate students to receive the awards this year, Mikucki works under the direction of Sharon S. Evans, Ph.D., whose internationally recognized laboratory investigates checkpoints controlling mobilization of blood-borne T cells to tissues during immune responses.

The Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation is a nonprofit public charity founded in 2004 to foster melanoma education, advocacy and research.

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Pauline Hoffmann, Ph.D., has been named dean of the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication at St. Bonaventure University. The appointment is effective immediately.

Hoffmann, an associate professor of journalism and mass communication, had been interim dean of the Jandoli School this academic year. She succeeds Lee Coppola, who retired at the end of the 2010-11 academic year after 15 years as dean.

"It is an exciting time to lead the School of Journalism and Mass Communication," said Hoffmann. "As an SBU alumna, I understand our unique challenges and our enormous strengths. I will continue to lead in the tradition of Dr. Jandoli with an emphasis on strong writing, reporting and communicating."

Prior to her faculty career at St. Bonaventure, she was the corporate communications manager for the CRS companies in Williamsville, creative services specialist for the Catholic Health System (now Catholic Health), and served as a free-lance consultant for organizations such as Catholic Health, Buffalo Women's Gifts, and the Health Care Access Coalition.

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Allison C. Eck, a senior majoring in comparative literature and physics at Hamilton College, was named the recipient of the Adam Gordon Campus Service Award, the Kirkland Alumnae Prize Scholarship, the Nelson Clark Dale Jr. Prize in Music and the Senior Prize in Comparative Literature at the college's annual Class and Charter Day, held on May 4.

The Adam Gordon Campus Service Awards, established in 1978 in memory of Adam Gordon, Class of 1980, provide cash prizes to those students who have made significant contributions in the area of campus service.

The Kirkland Alumnae Prize Scholarship, established by the Kirkland College Class of 1974 is awarded to an upper class woman who exemplifies the ideals of Kirkland women, specifically initiative, creativity and ingenuity.

The Nelson Clark Dale Jr. Prize in Music was established in memory of Captain Nelson Clark Dale Jr., USMC, Class of 1942, by his parents, and is awarded to a student who has shown exceptional ability in music as a composer, interpreter or leader.

The Senior Prize in Comparative Literature is awarded to the outstanding senior concentrator in comparative literature.

Eck, the daughter of Kendra and Robert Eck of Buffalo, is a graduate of Clarence Central High School.