Norma Nowak, executive director of the University at Buffalo's New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, was named the winner of the 2017 Athena Award.
The leadership award was presented by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. Nowak was recognized as an "acclaimed researcher and a recognized leader in the human genomics field." She was chosen from a field of five finalists.
Melodie Baker, director of education for the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, was presented with the Athena Young Professional Leadership Award. Baker is responsible for the design and implementation of education platform strategic plans, coalition building, product development, grants, budgets and investments, supporting 26 school districts in Erie County. She was also chosen from among five finalists.