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Honor Roll /Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

Matthew Wattles, a senior in the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, and his planning team were the winners of the 13th session of the International Winter University competition, held from Feb. 11 to March 4 at Baikal International Winter University of Urban Planning Design in Irkutsk, Russia.

Students from around the world were asked to offer Irkutsk's city planners and politicians ideas to address the city's uncontrolled urban development.

The subject of the competition was "Suburbanization: The City and Ecology." Architects, urban economists, ecologists and students in several disciplines from 30 countries worked in a planning studio where they addressed the suburbanization problems faced by Irkutsk's population of nearly 600,000 on the shores of Lake Baikal.

Wattles, a senior environmental design major in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, is a Buffalo native. Because he was the only American attending the Winter University, he says, "I felt like an American ambassador."

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The D'Youville College School of Pharmacy's Academy of Student Pharmacists chapter was honored with the first-place award at the annual meeting of the American Pharmacists Association last month in New Orleans for its participation in the Generation Rx Initiative, an educational program designed to increase public awareness of prescription medication abuse.

Christine Rotella is the chapter president. Joshua Cahill is the coordinator for the Generation Rx project and Drs. Stephanie Brian and Michelle Lewis serve as chapter advisers.

D'Youville student pharmacists visited area middle and high schools and made presentations to more than 3,000 teens and 1,000 adults. Members of the chapter participated in prescription drug take-back days across Western New York, produced a YouTube video to highlight the problem of prescription drug abuse and met with the staff from New York's Kid Escaping Drugs program.

Fifty-five chapters submitted reports summarizing their chapters' efforts. The chapter will receive a plaque honoring its achievement, a $1,000 cash award and reimbursement for travel expenses to attend the University of Utah School on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies, June 17-22.

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Four University at Buffalo students presented original research in diverse fields to elected officials and State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher as part of "Discovery -- An Undergraduate Showcase," a symposium on undergraduate research and creative activities presented by the SUNY Faculty Senate, which was held Feb. 29 in the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

They are: Maxwell Bileschi, a junior mathematics and computer science major; Sourobh Ghosh, a junior mechanical and aerospace engineering major; Gary Iacobucci, a biological sciences and psychology major; and Jason Ma, a junior pharmacology and toxicology major. The alternative entrant was Caitlin McLeod, a theater design and fine arts major.

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Jeremy Cassidy, Daniel Ecker and Joseph Pace, all seniors at Clarence High School, recently were recognized by the Greater Niagara Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.

The boys joined Troop 664 together in 2005, and since that time have participated in numerous service projects, honed survival skills, studied first aid, foraged for edible plants, demonstrated proficiency with knots and lashings, and served in the various leadership positions in the their troop.

Cassidy's Eagle Project entailed replacing the ceiling affected by water damage at Trinity Lutheran Church, leading a team of volunteers who raised funds, purchased and replaced nearly 300 tiles.

Ecker led the restoration and installation of historic railroad equipment and hardware at the Clarence Historical Society, all of which are now on display at the museum.

Pace's Eagle project involved leading the design, construction and installation of bat houses and informational signs at Beaver Meadow Audubon Center in Java to raise awareness of bats' critical niche in the ecosystem and help the bat population remain healthy.

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Several local service personnel have completed their military training:

Army National Guard Pvt. Shawn P. Brazell has graduated from One Station Unit Training (OSUT) at Fort Leonard Wood, Waynesville, Mo., which included basic military training and advanced individual training. Brazell is the son of George Brazell of North Tonawanda and a 2008 graduate of John F. Kennedy Senior High School.

Air Force Airman Justin C. Cornell graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. Cornell, the son of Nancy Cornell of Cherry Creek, is a 2006 graduate of Cassadaga Valley Central School.

Air National Guard Airman 1st Class Stephanie C. Rosten graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. Rosten is the daughter of Lori and Michael Rosten of Ransomville and is a 2009 graduate of Niagara Wheatfield High School.

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The Phi Omega Scholarship Foundation of Buffalo's Phi Omega Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. held its annual Talent Hunt competition March 3 at Buffalo State College.

The winners were:

First, Johnny Linton, classical instrumental (violin);

Second, Gibrilla Bwenge, dramatic interpretation;

Third, Deja Stevens, dance.

Cash prizes were awarded to the top three finishers. The first-place winner will move on to the second district Talent Hunt contest in National Harbor, Maryland on April 28.

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The Community Music School recently named the winners of the 21st annual Ruth W. Marcy Scholarship Competition. The competition recognizes the talent of voice and instrumental students. Each winner will receive a scholarship to the school.

Mezzo soprano vocalist Lesta Ammons of Tonawanda won in the adult category. Bass vocalist Martin Gartz and jazz pianist Keturah Stevens, both of Buffalo, tied in the 15- to 18-year-old category. Sopranos Jenna Artist of Williamsville and Emily Salerno of Buffalo tied in the 12- to 14-year-old category. Violinist Noemi Bekteshi of Tonawanda won in the 8- to 11-year-old category. Pianist Joshua Jung of Getzville won in the 7-year-old and under category.

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The board of trustees of Niagara Catholic Junior/Senior High School recently honored George D. Edwards, owner of George Edwards Jewelers, for his years of dedication, commitment and service in behalf of the school.

Edwards, a 1971 graduate of Bishop Duffy High School, has has served on the board since 2001. He is also a volunteer at Lakefest, which benefits Mercy Flight.

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Charlotte W. Baumgart, chair of the D'Youville dietetics department, received the 2012 Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award from the New York State Dietetic Association.

A graduate of Cornell University, she joined the D'Youville faculty in 1991. She received her master's degree in nutrition from Pennsylvania State University and her doctorate in education from the University at Buffalo.

The award will be presented to at the associations annual meeting May 4-5 in Albany.