Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers - The Buffalo News
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Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

Dane Marco DiCesare and Sandra Gothard were named student fellows at the State University of New York’s third annual “Critical Issues in Higher Education” conference in New York City. They will work with SUNY leadership over the next year to shape the system’s use of big data.

“The ability to manage and accurately analyze data is a skill that is increasingly important in today’s marketplace,” said Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Learning from experts from across the globe at this week’s conference, the SUNY student fellows will play a critical role in helping SUNY to educate and prepare future generations of students for this challenge.”

DiCesare is a third-year doctoral scholar pursuing a degree in special education. He is the recipient of the Leadership Grant – Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow to Work in a Digital Age. DiCesare’s research interests involve developing digital tools to increase writing achievement for students with learning disabilities.

Gothard is a second-year doctoral student in the UB School of Nursing. Her professional career began in perioperative nursing at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University in Chicago. She currently is regional administrative director of perioperative services at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. Her research interests include exploring the extent to which sociodemographic and psychosocial factors could influence the state of obesity in the rural, female, adult population.


St. Bonaventure University journalism professor Chris Mackowski served as editor of a new Civil War book, “Bloody Autumn: The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864,” by Daniel T. Davis and Phillip S. Greenwalt, part of the Emerging Civil War Series, which was recently released.

The book traces the misfortunes of the Confederate Seconds Corps, commanded by Lt. Gen. Jubal Early, during the early fall of 1864, as they tried to secure the Shenandoah Valley, known then as “the breadbasket of the Confederacy.”

Mackowski also contributed an appendix, “The Valley Campaign for Memory,” which examines the long-term legacy of the campaign and why history remembers – and misremembers – it the way it does. Mackowski, a professor of journalism and mass communication, has taught at St. Bonaventure University since the fall of 2000.


Jordan Vokes, D’Youville Class of 2012, and current second year medical student at SUNY Upstate Medical University, is among the authors of an important cancer research study, published in the medical journal “Oral Oncology.” The study, “Vascular priming enhances chemotherapeutic efficacy against head and neck cancer,” is a collaborative effort among several Roswell Park Cancer Institute departments, and was led by Dr. Mukund Seshadri, associate professor of oncology in the department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Roswell.

Vokes, biology major, was initiated in cancer research at D’Youville by former Roswell Park scientist Dr. Silviu L. Faitar, now an associate professor in the college’s department of Math & Natural Sciences, and he developed his skills as part of Faitar’s research lab.

As a member of this lab, Vokes had his first cancer publication during his senior year. Based on his research aptitudes and academic record, Faitar recommended him for a Roswell Park National Cancer Institute Summer fellowship for undergraduate students in 2011.


Norman Orlowski Jr. was recognized by the Western & Central New York Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for his outstanding leadership and dedication to advance the curing of leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and Hodgkin’s disease, and improving the quality of life of patients and their families. He will be presented with the 2014 Service to Mankind Award at the 22nd Annual Diamond Ball on Feb. 22 in Samuel’s Grande Manor, Clarence.

Active in the community, Orlowski has provided personal leadership and financial support for the local LLS chapter. Since joining the board of trustees in 2004, he has received numerous awards from the chapter including “Rookie of the Year,” “Supporting Trustees,” “Top Fundraising Trustee” and “Volunteer of the Year.”

Orlowski is president of Erie and Niagara Insurance Association, and has over 25 years of insurance, finance and accounting experience. Prior to joining Erie and Niagara Insurance Association, he was a senior manager in Audit Services at KPMG LLP.


Paras Prasad, executive director of the University at Buffalo’s Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics, will receive an honorary doctorate from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden for his pioneering work in areas including the use of light-based technologies to address important, global health problems. Prasad traveled to Stockholm to accept the degree at a ceremony on Nov. 15, 2013.

In a career that has spanned more than three decades, he has used biophotonics to advance the field of nanomedicine, which employs tiny particles as tools for diagnosing and treating disease. Prasad is a SUNY Distinguished Professor in chemistry, physics, medicine and electrical engineering.

Worldwide, Prasad has received recognition for his groundbreaking ideas and experiments. In 2005, he was named to Scientific American magazine’s annual list of 50 outstanding leaders in science and technology. His research has contributed to the creation of several spin-off companies, including Nanobiotix, a French firm that recently completed a successful IPO.

Currently, Prasad’s research group is developing nanodevices that contain imaging and sensing probes capable of conducting cellular, tissue-level and whole-body imaging.


Dr. Drucy S. Borowitz, clinical professor in the department of Pediatrics in the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has received the Richard C. Talamo Distinguished Clinical Achievement Award for her groundbreaking research from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation during the 2013 North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference in Salt Lake City.

Borowitz, chief of the pulmonology division at the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and director of its cystic fibrosis (CF) center, she played a key role in developing a breakthrough drug approved for treatment of a less common CF gene mutation. She also is leading a study aimed at understanding factors that interfere with the growth of infants with CF, funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

The Family Advisory Council of Women and Children’s Hospital recently honored Borowitz with the Children’s Champion Award, for her patient and family-centered care, her dedication to honoring families’ choices and perspectives and the communication and support she provides.


email: citydesk@buffnews.com

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