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

Philip Cortellucci received his commission to second lieutenant upon graduation from the Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Va., on March 14.

Cortellucci is a 2007 graduate of City Honors and earned an environmental engineering degree from University at Buffalo. He is the son of Arthur and Ellen Cortellucci of Buffalo, and the grandson of Leo and Florence Krengulec, also of Buffalo.


Kim N. Irvine was presented the Environmental Science Award by the New York Water Environment Association at its 86th annual meeting held in New York City in February.

Irvine was recognized by NYWEA for his expertise as professor in the geography and planning department at SUNY Buffalo State. He is an active member of NYWEA’s Western Chapter, and has been involved in the Greater Buffalo Environmental Conference for over 13 years.

Irvine holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in geography from McMaster University, and a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Toronto.

The New York Water Environment Association is a statewide nonprofit organization of leaders in water quality management.


Marianne Mariano, head of the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Buffalo, was awarded the Hon. Thurgood S. Marshall Award for Outstanding Criminal Practitioner by the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers at its annual dinner held in January in Manhattan. NYSACDL recognized Mariano’s tireless work to ensure the rights of the accused are upheld by indigent defense program.


Dr. Eric Waffner has been elected a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the society of internists. The distinction recognizes achievements in internal medicine, which is the practice of adult medical care. He was elected upon the recommendation of peers and the review of the ACP’s credentials subcommittee.

Waffner has been a member of the Buffalo Medical Group Primary Care Division since 2004, and is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and received his medical degree cum laude from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.


Daemen College has been designated a Gold Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association in recognition of making health and wellness a priority for faculty and staff. The college achieved gold-level status for promoting a culture of wellness on campus, embracing at least nine criteria in physical activity, nutrition and culture as outlined by the AHA, offering employees physical activity support, and increasing the number of healthy eating options. Designed as a catalyst for change in the American workplace, the Fit-Friendly Worksites program recognizes employers across the country that champion the health of their employees.

“At Daemen, we’re committed to providing the best workplace environment possible and have made great strides in improving the health and wellness of our employees,” said Daemen President Gary A. Olson. “We’re honored to be selected by the American Heart Association as a Gold Fit-Friendly Worksite.”


Wendy Samick was honored as recipient of the 2014 VanOstberg Humanitarian Award. She was nominated by her co-workers at the Gowanda Correctional Facility. Nominees for this annual award are submitted throughout the Western New York correctional facilities by members of the Chapter of American Corrections Association, Region 1. The award was presented on March 14 at Genesse Community College during the 2014 CAYSA Region 1 Training Symposium.


Raymond “Bud” Baker, volunteer mediator for Child & Family Services’ Center for Resolution and Justice, was recently honored as the first recipient of the National Association for Community Mediation’s (NAFCM) Outstanding Volunteer Award. The NAFCM’s Outstanding Volunteer Award Program allows community mediation centers from across the country to nominate outstanding volunteers.

A former researcher, Baker is a mediator in several of the New York State Dispute Resolution Association’s (NYSDRA) programs, including the New York State Agricultural Mediation Program, Special Education Program and Lemon Law Program.

NAFCM board member and ad-hoc committee chair, D.G. Mawn commented, “our committee was not only very impressed with the almost 500 cases Bud mediated, but with the extreme dedication and passion that he brings. Bud’s nomination noted several outstanding examples as to how Bud contributes to the Center for Resolution and Justice’s success.”

Julie Loesch, director of Child & Family Services’ Center for Resolution and Justice (CRJ), added, “We are so proud that NAFCM has honored Bud Baker with this award. That he is the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Volunteer Award makes the acknowledgement of Bud even more special for all of us at the Center for Resolution and Justice. Western New York is fortunate to have such a devoted and talented volunteer.”


The University of New England awarded $11,000 in scholarships on March 6 as part of its 50th anniversary celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. speaking on the campus of St. Francis College, now the University of New England. The scholarships were awarded to seven high school seniors, who were chosen as finalists for an essay contest as part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ event, “50 Years of Progress and the Challenges that Remain.” At the event, UNE President Danielle Ripich surprised the attendees by extending additional $1,000 scholarships to all finalists who attend UNE. Nichols School senior Emily Certo was a runner-up and won $1,000 UNE scholarship and an iPad mini. She is a resident of Grand Island and the daughter of Russell and Elizabeth Certo. She plans to study pre-med at University of New England.


The Rev. Robert M. Franklin Jr., director of Chautauqua Institution department of religion, was recently appointed the James T. and Berta R. Laney Chair in Moral Leadership within the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

As the inaugural holder of this endowed professorship, Franklin will shape a program in moral leadership at Candler, where James T. Laney was dean from 1969 to 1977 before serving as president of Emory from 1977 to 1993.

He will be installed at the school’s Aug. 28 fall convocation and begin teaching a course on moral leadership in the fall semester.

Franklin, who assumed his duties at Chautauqua on Jan. 1, will continue to serve Emory as senior adviser for community and diversity through 2016.

In 2013, he served an appointment as visiting scholar at the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. He is also president emeritus of Morehouse College, a former presidential distinguished professor of social ethics at Emory and former director of Candler’s Black Church Studies program.

“We are so pleased for Robert and excited to have a theologian at the forefront of his field so dedicated to shaping religious life and community at Chautauqua,” said Thomas M. Becker, president of Chautauqua Institution. “In this new capacity his mission is a tremendous complement to his work here and will only serve to increase Chautauqua’s prominence in theological circles.”

email: citydesk@buffnews.com

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