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Honor Roll /

Catherine Belin, a native of Youngstown, has been offered a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching grant to Botswana by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Belin is one of approximately 49 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad through the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program in 2015-2016. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential. She is a math teacher at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx and is a New York State Master Teacher and a Math for America Master Teacher. In 2011, she was awarded the Sloan Award for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics.


Rose Rustowicz, a member of the Maryvale High School Class of 2011 and Rochester Institute of Technology Class of 2015, has been offered a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to Iceland in physical sciences by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

In 2014, while part of RIT’s swim team, participating in extensive community service activities and spending four months studying abroad in New Zealand, Rustowicz was named a 2013-2014 Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar by Rochester Institute of Technology. Only 1 percent of RIT students receive this recognition in any given year.

While in Iceland, Rustowicz will be joining a research team from the University of Iceland’s Center for Remote Sensing to conduct remote sensing work at the Hekla volcanic site. The project team will create a multidisciplinary assessment of the landscape, which will allow them to quickly and reliably map and monitor hazardous and vulnerable areas. She plans on being in Iceland for the entire duration of the Fulbright grant until May 2016.


Cheryl Bird, executive director of Daemen College’s Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement, has received the 2015 Community Partnership Award from Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County.

A devoted community leader and volunteer, Bird has served as CSCCE executive director at Daemen since 2004. The CSCCE works with residents and neighborhood organizations in Buffalo’s Seneca Babcock, Broadway-Fillmore and West Side communities to address educational, economic and environmental needs. The center also engages Daemen faculty, staff and students with community projects in the partnership neighborhoods.


Catholic Health has been named a 2015 System for Change award winner from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading environmental health care organization. Practice Greenhealth promotes and enables efficiencies and environmental stewardship among its members while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge.

All four of Catholic Health’s hospital campuses – Sisters of Charity Hospital, Sisters Hospital St. Joseph Campus, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, and Kenmore Mercy Hospital – earned Practice Greenhealth’s Partner for Change award as well as the Making Medicine Mercury Free award. This award recognizes significant efforts to eliminate mercury and other chemicals from the facility and patient care.

Catholic Health has made environmental stewardship a key priority over the last several years, empowering associates to become involved in the process through “Go Green” committees in each of its ministries. Through these efforts, Catholic Health has been able to divert approximately one-third of all its waste from landfills through single-stream recycling.


St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute Alumni Association, in conjunction with the Visual and Fine Arts Department, placed five names onto the school’s Fine Arts Wall of Honor at a ceremony held in May. Established in 2005, the Fine Arts Wall of Honor induction ceremony is a celebration of the inductees and their illustrious professional and personal achievements. Nominees comprise alumni, as well as other contributing members of the St. Joe’s community.

The 2015 Fine Arts Wall of Honor inductees:

James R. Bilz ’74, a special-effects technician for Hollywood films who lives in New York City. He has been the special-effects director for many films, including the Marvel blockbuster “The Avengers” Bilz was active in the St. Joe’s music department as a student, participating in the spring musical all four years and the fall drama for two years.

Brian P. Castner ’95, an author living in Buffalo. He started high school as a visual artist, then became a singer, and played guitar and bass. He wrote, “The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows,” which was published by Doubleday in 2012. The book, which was based on his experiences leading an explosive ordnance disposal unit as an Air Force officer during combat tours in Iraq, received broad critical acclaim, was named an Amazon Best Book of 2012 and a Barnes & Noble Great New Writer selection, and in 2013, was chosen for the Chautauqua Institution’s prestigious Literary and Scientific Circle.

Kevin D. Eichner ’86 is a sculptor with a studio on Hilton Head Island, S.C., and is an artist-in-residence at the Moncure Museum of Art. He took four full years of visual arts courses while at St. Joe’s. Eichner’s sculptures have been exhibited internationally in places such as Estonia, Belize and New Zealand. In Buffalo, his sculpture “Divinus” was installed in front of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in 2014.

Patricia Haberman, a dentist living in Williamsville, is a graduate of Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, Daemen College and University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Haberman was member of the original “Fill My Cup” years of the SJCI Swing Choir. She is the director of the Dental Office at Good Neighbors Healthcare in Buffalo, which provides free dental care for those in need.

Peter Kopera ’86 is an educator, pianist and composer living in Trenton, Mich., where he is a music educator at Arthurs Middle School. He teaches Concert Band and Jazz Band, and has developed curriculum for World Music Drumming, Music Composition, and Jazz Improvisation classes at the school. While a student at St. Joe’s, he was heavily involved in the Music Department.


Gabriel Radoccia-Feuerstein, a Amherst native and sophomore mathematics and sport studies major in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College, was inducted into the New York Upsilon chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society.

Radoccia-Feuerstein was among 20 new members added to the chapter membership during the induction ceremony at Ithaca College.

Undergraduate students majoring in mathematical sciences who have completed at least two semesters of calculus and two additional courses in mathematics at or above the calculus level, are eligible to be elected to membership by their chapter. Additionally, students must maintain a grade point average of 3.0.


Western New York Federal Credit Union awarded two high school seniors with $500.00 college scholarships. Recipients are West Seneca West High School seniors, Stephanie Pfeiffer and Hannah Saunders. In addition, the Credit Union also awarded Laura Rose Krawczyk, another senior at West Seneca West High School with the Molly Berger “Act of Kindness” Scholarship.

Every year Western New York Federal Credit Union joins with other credit unions in the Erie-Niagara Chapter of the New York Credit Union Association to host a scholarship dinner recognizing local high school graduates who are pursuing a college education.