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Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

Trocaire College Alumni Association honored the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards recipients at the awards dinner held March 10 at Ilio DiPaolo’s Restaurant in Blasdell. This year’s honorees are:

Timothy Kane, ’00, is a registered nurse in the Emergency Department at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and a certified legal nurse consultant for his own business, Legal Nurse Connections. He previously worked for the New York State Department of Corrections and was a traveling nurse for both American Mobile Health and Vita Medical Staffing.

Robbie Raugh, ’82, is a holistic health and nutrition practitioner. She is the president of The Raugh Truth LLC, a motivational speaker, health and fitness expert, radio host of The Raw Truth on WDCX, and a fitness instructor for the Buffalo Athletic Club.

Cynthia Samborski, ’91, is a clinical research educator at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and an adjunct professor at D’Youville College. She currently serves as the president-elect of the Oncology Nursing Society of Western New York, is on the board of advisers for the bachelor of science degree in nursing program at Trocaire, and has been published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.

Kristen West, ’12, is a registered nurse at the Buffalo VA Medical Center. She continued her education at Daemen College, earning a bachelor of science degree in nursing. West is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of Buffalo, where she earned a Gold Award for thirteen years of active membership.


Two staff members of Brooks Memorial Hospital, Lisa Maslak, director of infection control and Theresa Schrantz, employee health coordinator, have been selected to share their presentation at Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology 42nd annual conference, “Infection Prevention Live on Stage,” which will be held from June 27-29 in Nashville, Tenn.

Maslak and Schrantz plan to speak about their real-life experiences in hopes of educating others to move forward in their own practice.

“We have succeeded in some things and we have also failed miserably,” said Maslak. “We are going to explain how and why we’ve failed, hoping to give the right tools to others in the infection community. We want to teach people how to effectively change a process that’s broken.”


Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo President and CEO Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker has been named a 2015 Hispanic in Philanthropy Giver. The HIP Giver Award is given to those who celebrate giving and generosity, and strengthen Latino leadership. Dedecker was honored Feb. 27 at the Celebrate Giving, Strengthen Latino Leadership conference and gala in San Francisco.

HIP’s long and successful work to diversify the country’s philanthropic sector and increase funding for communities of color is recognized nationally. HIP’s mission is to strengthen Latino communities by increasing resources for the Latino and Latin American civil sector; increase Latino participation and leadership throughout the field of philanthropy; and foster policy change to enhance equity and inclusiveness.


Capt. Christopher W. Brunett, a native of Buffalo and USS New York commanding officer, hosted the visit for Vice Adm. James Foggo, U.S. 6th Fleet commander at the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New York, for a distinguished-visitor tour with the U.S. ambassador to Israel and members of the Israel Defense Force on Jan. 4. The visit consisted of a comprehensive tour of the ship, as well as some historical background information of the vessel, including the four ships that previously carried the name USS New York.

“It was an honor to have Ambassador Shapiro, Adm. Foggo and the Israel Defense Force delegation on board. It was a great opportunity to build trust, strengthen ties with our allies and demonstrate the outstanding capabilities of our blue/green team,” said Brunett.

USS New York, deployed as part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group/24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.


Mandela Namaste, a student at Williamsville East High School, was selected as a semifinalist in the 46th annual National Washington Crossing Foundation Scholarship competition. The awards are granted to high school seniors for the best presentations including an explanation of why they are planning a career in government service.

The scholarships, inaugurated in 1969, seek to find, identify and encourage young people with same sense of dedication and service demonstrated by George Washington and his soldiers, who under adverse conditions crossed Delaware in 1776 to win the Battle of Trenton and turned the tide of the American Revolution.


St. Bonaventure University’s Mock Trial team was presented with the American Mock Trial Association’s Spirit Award at AMTA Regionals held Feb. 20-21 at SUNY Buffalo State. The award, which is decided by the other competitors in the tournament, goes to the team that best exemplifies the ideals of civility, justice and fair play. The team’s adviser, Steven Nuttall, was impressed with the award.

“I was very pleased with the performance and very proud of the students’ performance in all of the tournaments they competed in but especially in the regional tournament; they represented St. Bonaventure very well,” said Nuttall, professor of philosophy. “I think this award is, in my eyes at least, an acknowledgement of our team’s living in accordance with the university’s values of individual worth and respect for the dignity of others, even your opponent.”

The members of the Mock Trial team are seniors Sebastian Bellm, Daniel Kerns, Steven Kibbe, Arin Liszka, Alexander Noguerola, and Jessica Ungaro; sophomores James W. Cook, Maria Dispigno, and Samantha Harrienger; and freshman Keegan Miller.

By participating in the Mock Trial club, students are taught the basics of litigation, the components of a trial and how to prepare by taking part in simulated trials. Students learn rules of procedure and the rules of evidence, and must think quickly to react to the moves of their opponents.


Neal Cox received the Wyoming County Pride of Agriculture Good Neighbor Award on March 7 at the Wyoming County Pride of Agriculture dinner hosted by the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce at the North Java Fire Hall. Cox was nominated by the Cornell Cooperative Extension and Farm Bureau in Wyoming County.

He exhibits the characteristics of community involvement, engagement with youth, advocacy for agriculture, visibility in public and good neighborliness the selection committee looks to honor with the Wyoming County Pride of Agriculture Good Neighbor Award. He volunteers with the 4-H dairy program and serves on the boards of Cornell Cooperative Extension, Farm Bureau and the Fair in Wyoming County.

Almost a decade ago when the new leadership was needed for the Wyoming Winners 4-H Club, Cox teamed with Pat Brennan and took over the reins of the club, allowing youth in Wyoming to continue a tradition of 4-H Club membership. His volunteerism stretches beyond agriculture and youth to the Oatka Snowmobile Club, for which he helps mark trails each year. At Wyoming County Agri-Palooza, he serves as a volunteer tour driver. Wyoming County Farm Bureau recognizes Cox for his membership recruitment efforts almost every year.

The selection committee learned that when Cox is out making sales calls for Alexander Equipment, he brings new ideas to farmers and uses the opportunity to converse about topics in agriculture, then brings theses issues to the table at the boards on which he serves.


Army Pvt. Rodney H. Scales III has graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Benning, Ga. During the nine-week training period, the trainee received instruction in drill and ceremony, weapons, rifle marksmanship and bayonet training, chemical warfare, field training and tactical exercises, armed and unarmed combat, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, and Army history, traditions, and core values. Scales is the son of Ronald Amos of Lackawanna and nephew of Anna M. Burse of Cheektowaga. He is a 2014 graduate of Maryvale High School, Cheektowaga.


Several local military personnel have graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio.

Air Force Reserve Airman 1st Class Benjamin R. Jobson is a 2005 graduate of Kenmore East High School, Tonawanda. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 2013 from SUNY Buffalo State.

Air Force Airman 1st Class Roberto A. Carrubba is the son of Terry L. Gominiak of Kenmore. He is a 2014 graduate of Kenmore West High School, Kenmore.

Air Force Reserve Airman 1st Class Mark P. Stucke is the son of Michelle Capitano of Tonawanda and Mark P. Stucke of Cheektowaga. He is a 2014 graduate of Kenmore West High School, Kenmore.

U.S. Air National Guard Airman 1st Class Daniel L. Brunner is the son of Lisa and William Brunner, grandson of Hellen Pendolino, and son-in-law of Nicole Brunner, all of Williamsville. He is a 2005 graduate of Williamsville South High School, Williamsville. He earned a master’s degree in 2013 from Canisius College.

Air Force Reserve Airman 1st Class Marcus D. Anderson is the son of Marshell Anderson and grandson of Brenda Anderson of Buffalo.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.