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Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

The National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York, a human relations organization working to combat racism and other discrimination in the area by education, advocacy and community involvement, will hold its 2011 Community Leader Awards Luncheon at noon Jan. 20 in the Buffalo Convention Center.

Among those slated to be honored by the organization are:

Arts, Ted Pietrzak; Business, Laurie A. Branch and Joan Yang, Ph.D.; Community Organization, Thomas Herrera-Mishler; Community Service/Volunteerism, Dr. Marilynn P. Fleckenstein, Twiggs Seymore Jr., Karen Lee Spaulding, Agnes F. Williams; Education, Edwin Clausen, Ph.D. and Kathy Jamil; Family, Danis J. Gehl, Ph.D. and Scott W. Gehl; Healthcare, David M. Dunkelman; Interfaith, Rev. Jacob C. Ledwon; Law Enforcement, Superintendent John R. Chella; Legal, Hon. Lisa Bloch Rodwin; Philanthropy, Clement R. and Karen A. Arrison; Public Relations, William M. Collins; Social Services, Michele Brown and Nester D. Hernandez; Youth Awards, Brittany Bhayana, Christine Bond, Emilyrose Conforti, Spencer Gates, Danielle Giangrinto, Margaret O'Neill, Christopher Chiles, Erin Lachaal, Ariel Manney and Emerald Wielbon; Elizabeth A. Hickey Award, Kayla VanCleave; Dr. Manch Scholarship Award, Yessica Amezquita.


Tops Friendly Markets, with stores in Western New York and northern Pennsylvania, has recognized 124 longtime associates for their years of service. The awards were presented at Top's Western Region Annual Years of Service dinner held Nov. 11 in Salvatore's Italian Gardens, Lancaster. This year, Tops is honoring 170 employees across its market area who have a combined 4,995 years of service to the chain.


William Gowen, a former graduate of Amherst Central High School and a senior at Hamilton College in Clinton, has been named a recipient of the Hamilton Class of 1979 Student Travel Award. The award offers financial assistance to outstanding students who wish to pursue extensive research projects in different parts of the world.

Gowen, an anthropology major, will use his grant to travel to Chiapas, Mexico, to visit the Zapatistas.


Nickolas Alexander Albarran, a City Honors senior was the second-place winner of the NAACP national ACT-SO competition held in July in Kansas City, Mo. Representing the Buffalo NAACP branch, he competed with his physics project, "Testing the Quality of Biodiesel Fuel Made from Algae."

Albarran has competed and won awards in ACT-SO in mathematics, engineering and earth science. He attended the University at Buffalo Prep program for four years and volunteered 350 hours as a teaching assistant for the Prep program.

A participant in numerous scientific competitions locally and national, he was the recipient from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.


The American Accounting Association has selected the doctoral research of James C. Goldstein, Ph.D., assistant professor of accounting at Canisius College, for the 2010 Information Systems Section Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Goldstein's dissertation entitled "Information Technology-Related Operational Risk: An Empirical Study," addresses the financial risks that arise from the use of operational information systems in the business environment.


Leadership Buffalo, a local not-for-profit organization, recently recognized the 2010 graduating classes of their Rising Leader and Class Experience programs.

Joseph Abdallah, executive director, and Francisco Vasquez, board chair, presented certificates to the 22 Rising Leaders and 53 Class Experience graduates at a reception held Nov. 17 in the Hyatt Hotel.

Graduates of the programs are exposed to a diversity of viewpoints, strategies for success and new concepts of leadership around a variety of issues affecting the community.


Air National Guard Airman First Class Robert J. Dunn graduated from the Utilities Systems apprentice Course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, Texas.

The course is designed to train students in water processing, analysis, operating principles of water treatment plants, and monitoring systems operation to ensure efficiency and compliance with safety and environmental regulations for hazardous materials. Dunn, a 1995 graduate of Niagara Falls High School, is assigned to the 107th Civil Engineer Squadron in Niagara Falls.