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Honor Roll for March 13

Cathaleen Curtiss, director of experiential and creative learning at Daemen College and an award-winning photojournalist, has received this year’s Morris Berman Citation from the National Press Photographers Association.

The Morris Berman Citation is given to individuals or organizations for special contributions that have advanced the interests of photojournalism. Curtiss is being recognized for her dedication and untiring work to revive and modernize the NPPA’s Monthly News Clip Contest, that she chairs.

An accomplished photojournalist and editor who joined Daemen in 2012, Curtiss’ photography career has included positions at The Washington Times, AOL Media and VP Global Photography. Her professional work has garnered several honors, including Photographer of the Year presented by the White House News Photographers Association, AOL Time Warner Hero’s Award, induction into the Central Michigan University Journalism Hall of Fame, and an NPPA Special Citation.

Curtiss, a frequent speaker at photography programs and workshops, serves on the National Press Photographers Foundation Board of Directors, and is a member of the NPPA and the WHNPA.

She earned a master’s degree in executive leadership and change from Daemen, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Central Michigan.


University at Buffalo graduate Geoffrey Fatin scored a maximum 990 points on the physics subject test of the Graduate Record Examination, something that his UB faculty mentors say they’ve never seen before.

Fatin, 23, a Buffalo native who attended Canisius High School, was equally surprised by his test results.

“I’m typically pessimistic with respect to how well I do on tests. I have never been too confident about my abilities. But out of all things that I’ve done, I felt pretty good after taking that exam,” said Fatin, who continues to conduct research in the lab of his faculty mentor, Igor Zutic.

“I have not seen a perfect physics GRE score during my 10 years at Buffalo,” said Zutic, professor of physics. “Nor have my senior colleagues seen it among any undergraduates from our department, even including those who are now distinguished faculty at major U.S. universities.”

A representative of the GRE contacted by the university agreed that a perfect score on the test is a rare occurrence among domestic students.

Fatin, who graduated in 2015, maintained a 4.0 GPA with a double major in physics and mathematics. A UB Ambassador for the Physics Department, he also volunteered as a freshman, teaching science and mathematics to public school students.

He currently is applying to graduate schools to pursue a Ph.D program, with interests in both condensed matter and high-energy physics.

Fatin has no magic secret for mastering the physics GRE. He said an affinity for math and science consistently prepared him for the exam, with the most relevant material beginning his senior year at Canisius. He does, though, suggest a strategy that could prove useful for someone intending to take the physics GRE.

“I have found that cramming for a test is probably the worst thing to do in physics. The most helpful thing is mental clarity,” he advised. “In a sense, I was preparing for it over the past four years at UB with general coursework and the way that I wrote my homework assignments.”


The Greater Niagara Frontier Council Boy Scouts of America board of directors elected Dr. Richard Vienne president. Vienne is vice president and chief medical officer for Univera Healthcare and has a clincial practice at Lifetime Health Medical Group. Other officers: Chairman and immediate past president, John Schmidt; council commissioner, Mona Lloyd; executive vice president, John Pustulka; and council treasurer, Jim Smyczynski. Council officers: Larry Skerker, Mitch Banas, Paul Kendzierski, Shawn Nickerson, Jim Smyczynski, Nan Ackerman, Gordon Gannon Jr., Darlene Sprague, Darlene Kilhberg, Pat Cunningham, Joe Lane, AJ Block and Michael Myers.


Rita Hubbard-Robinson, project director of Patient Activation Measure for Millennium Collaborative Care (MCC), was recently honored as one of six community Difference Makers during the Black Tie for Black History gala held in the Tralf, downtown Buffalo.

In addition to her (MCC) efforts to work with community-based organizations to connect individuals to healthcare and wellness services, Hubbard-Robinson also was recognized for her broadcasting efforts as host of “Millennium Health Matters,” a weekly radio program airing 8:25 to 8:55 a.m. every Wednesday on WUFO 1080 AM, focused on population health and MCC project-related topics affecting the lives of Western New Yorkers. The show also can be heard online at

In addition, the ninth annual gala honored five additional community leaders as Difference Makers, including:

• Maurice Brown – political coordinator for 1199 SEIU United Health Care Workers East. The union has 400,000 members across five states: New York, New Jersey, Maryland/D.C., Massachusetts and Florida.

• Sheila L. Brown – manager and principal owner of Visions Multi Media Group.

• Harold Cardwell Jr. – employed with the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency and serves as contractor compliance officer for Section 3 and MWBE, and fair housing officer.

• Cory Haqq – commercial real estate broker with Hastings Cohn and principal broker of Urban Equity Management Group

• Renata Toney – community engagement and public relations strategist at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

The “Black Tie for Black History” gala serves as a fundraising event for the Buffalo Peacemakers, a public safety initiative dedicated to strengthening community and faith-based organizations’ ability to further enhance safety and reduce crime in neighborhoods across Buffalo.