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Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

Several businesses and a neighborhood received awards from Orchard Park's annual July Fourth parade.

The "Harvard Cup" best neighborhood award was presented to the Lakeridge neighborhood. The best organization, the Village of Orchard Park, was presented an American flag by the Chamber of Commerce. A floral basket was presented by the Town of Orchard Park to the best business, B is for Books.

Total Landscape Services had the first place float, and has designated the $150 first place prize to go to the Boys & Girls Club of Orchard Park. Disney Vacation Club was second, and designated the Quaker Marching Band to receive its $100 prize. Third place went to the Orchard Park Historical Society, which designated the $50 prize to go to the Southtowns Family Justice Center.

Five University at Buffalo faculty members have been named a State University of New York Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank in the SUNY system. Appointed by the SUNY board of trustees are Guyora Binder, UB Law School; Tony Conrad, Department of Media Study; James A. Gardner, Joseph W. Belluck and Laura L. Aswad professor of civil justice, UB Law School; Cristanne Miller, Department of English; and Timothy F. Murphy, Department of Medicine.

The distinguished professorship honors individuals who have achieved national or international prominence in their fields.

Binder is an expert in criminal law and in the interdisciplinary field of law and literature. He earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton University and a JD from Yale Law School.

Conrad received a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity and joined UB in 1979.

Gardner has been voted the best teacher in the Law School. He also serves as vice dean for academic affairs and director of the Jaeckle Center for Law and Democracy in the UB Law School. He earned a BA from Yale and a JD from the University of Chicago.

Miller joined the UB faculty in 2006 as chairwoman of the Department of English and Butler Chair and earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago.

An expert in respiratory tract bacterial infections, Murphy is senior associate dean for clinical and translational research in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He received a bachelor's degree in biology from New York University and a medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine and completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at Tufts before joining the UB faculty in 1981.

Anthony McLaurin, a Canisius High School graduate, was named Virginia's Agency Star for 2011, a statewide honor from the Commonwealth of Virginia. McLaurin, a high school history instructor at two correctional education schools in the Richmond area, has worked for the Virginia Department of Correctional Education since 2004.

Recipients were selected by the Governor's Awards Committee, which includes members of the Governor's Cabinet and agency heads.

McLaurin, who teaches at both John H. Smyth and Joseph T. Mastin high schools, was also named as a finalist for The Community Foundation's R.E.B. Award, which honors teaching excellence among K-12 teachers in the Richmond area.

WNY United, an area provider of drug and alcohol abuse prevention services, received national recognition for Building Skills, a social skills development program for fifth-graders, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.

NREPP gave high scores to the program and its researcher, Systems Director Tim Smykowski, for the analysis of data collected on 3,000 students over a three-year period. The program also scored well in goal setting, stress management, anger management, assertiveness, decision making and in regard to ability to disseminate.

Founded in 1986 by Bob and Mindy Rich, WNY United is only the second facility of its type to achieve this recognition in New York state history.

The Diocese of Buffalo Ladies of Charity, awarded eight students $800 scholarships toward their high school education. Sylvia Akaec, a senior at Mount St. Mary Academy; Jenna Bettinger, a sophomore at St. Mary's High School; Andrew Bishop, a sophomore at Bishop Timon-St. Jude; Ariel Heininger, a junior at Immaculata Academy; David Kazmierczak, a senior at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute; William Ruof, a junior at Bishop Timon-St. Jude; Jennifer Dudzinski, who will attend St. Mary's High School and David Fielitz, who will attend Bishop Timon-St. Jude.

Recipients must have an economic need, volunteer at least 10 hours with the Ladies of Charity or the Lots of Clothes Store, maintain good academic standing and participate in church and school activities to retain their scholarship.

Nine Buffalo-area Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop college-age team members have received $1,000 Tim Hortons Scholarships, awarded for their commitment to giving back to the community. Each recipient was presented with a check at a special event earlier this month at the chain's outlet on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst.

The scholarship recipients and their schools are: Jamie LeRoy, Daemen College; Scott Laing, University at Buffalo; Erica Cowan, D'Youville College; Chelsea Lyons, University at Buffalo; Nathalie Tylinksi, University at Buffalo; Adam Randall, D'Youville College; Sean Smith, Niagara University; Brian Zylinksi, Canisius College; and Timothy Horbachewski, Grove City College.

The scholarship program is designed to recognize employees as well as their children or grandchildren who believe in giving back to their community through volunteer work and have plans to pursue post-secondary education.

Entering its seventh year, the program has already helped more than 1,000 students across North America with more than $1 million awarded so far in scholarships. This year another $220,000 will be distributed among 220 students in the United States and in Canada.

Catholic Charities of Buffalo has re-appointed five members to a three-year term on its board of trustees: Robert M. Bennett, Margaret Dadd, Esq., Monsignor David M. Gallivan, Richard Morrisroe and Tina Wagle, Ph.D.

All have served on the board since 2005 with the exception of Bennett, who served from 2004 to 2009. The three-year term continues through July 2014.

Bennett is former Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, representing the 8th Judicial District; Dadd is an attorney and a leader in the Catholic Charities' annual appeal; Gallivan is pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Buffalo; Morrisroe has received his juris doctor; and Wagle is an associate professor and chairwoman with Empire State College's School of Graduate Studies.

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