Students Receive Awards for Academic, Community Accomplishments

Published April 7, 2023

The School of Public Health and Health Professions recently held its Seventh Annual Student Awards Reception. The reception celebrates and recognizes the admirable accomplishments of hardworking students across all five departments.

“This year’s exceptional group of student award recipients have made astonishing triumphs in their education,” said Dean Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD. Donors have made significant contributions to allow the School of Public Health and Health Professions to provide these scholarships and awards to recipients.

Delta Omega, Honorary Society for Public Health

Gamma Lambda chapter inductees

Membership reflects the dedication of an individual to quality in the field of public health and to the protection and advancement of the health of all people.

Surui Hou, Haiyang Sheng

Community Health and Health Behavior
Jacob Bleasdale, Briana Gadley-Aaron

Epidemiology and Environmental Health
Maggie Fuzak, Kellen Higgins, Sarah Quinones

Individualized Program
Hannah Premo

Public Health
Lucas Abbatiello, Cali Andriette, William Cohen, Samantha Durfey, Jackie Flores, Julianna Morris, Pauline Kirsten Regalado, Madeline Schneider, Taylor Sniatecki, Grace Van Vessem, Perla Zolt

Dean's Office Awards

J. Warren Perry Scholarship

Established in 1990 by the late Dr. J. Warren Perry, first dean of the School of Health Related Professions, and his brother, the late Dr. Charles D. Perry, this scholarship is awarded to graduate students or upperclassmen pursuing a SPHHP degree who show potential for superior scholarship and will be prepared for the future. 
Exercise and Nutrition Sciences 
Isabella Chee, Purva Devendra Trivedi, Joshua Manning, Dania Gillins 
Rehabilitation Science 
Wenjie Ji, Alex Gross, Adham Zidan 

Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program

This program supports high achieving doctorate and master’s students who demonstrate that they would contribute to the diversity of the student body. 

Malaiikha McCormick-Cisse  

Diversity Award

This award provides support for students who enhance the diversity of their programs and are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion values in higher education. 

Kyerra Smith, Rosmery Landaverde Deras, Kayla Manney 

Julio Ramirez Memorial Award

To honor the late Julio Ramirez, MPH/MSW, friends, classmates, and faculty established the Julio Ramirez Memorial Fund. This award is presented to two UB combined MPH/MSW students who represent Mr. Ramirez’s dedication and passion for addressing the social issues affecting the health of individuals, families and communities. 

Rose Thomas, Andy Canizares 

Hamilton Wilson Award

SPHHP alumni Greer Hamilton, MSW, and Danise C. Wilson, MPH, launched this fund in 2018 with the goal of supporting a Black/African American master’s student to promote diversity and representation within health professions. 

Simone Whitlock, Ariana Bridges 

The UB Presidential Fellowship Program

This award is aimed at enhancing UB’s competitiveness in recruiting outstanding graduate students. 

Exercise and Nutrition Sciences 

Joshua Murphey 

Epidemiology and Environmental Health 

Premini Sabaratnum 

HRSA Public Health Scholarship Recipients

SPHHP was awarded funding to train the next generation of public health professionals by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). SPHHP is supporting the following students selected for a public health scholarship to complete a Graduate Public Health Certificate or a Master of Public Health (MPH) program at UB. 

Ejura Adebayo, Cierra Balfour, Farida Begum, Naike Belizaire, John Benicasco, Andy Canizares, Mariyam Ferdousi, Briana Gadley-Aaron, Kennedy George, Leanna Kalinowski, Roxanne Kouadio, Leslie Mendoza, Sarah Moreno, Crystal Ngo, Maya Owens, Taylor Romanyk-O'Brien, Alivia Smeltzer-Darling, Tasnim Tarannum, Rose Thomas, Khadija Wilson 

Undergraduate Public Health Program Awards

BSPH Outstanding Junior Award

This award assists a junior Bachelor of science in public health major who exemplifies the qualities of leadership, service, and academic excellence.

Puspa Sabu

BSPH Outstanding Senior Award

This award assists a senior Bachelor of science in public health major who exemplifies the qualities of leadership, service, and academic excellence.

Taylor Sniatecki

Department of Community Health and Health Behavior Awards

CHHB Outstanding Doctoral Achievement Award

This award is given to a PhD student who shows excellent potential for future research and/or practices contributions to the field of public health. 

Natasha Allard 

Francis V. Hanavan Memorial Award

This award is presented to an MPH student who shows excellent potential for future contributions in public health. This award was established in 1995 by Barbara Hanavan to honor the late Dr. Francis V. Hanavan, former chair of the Department of Health Behavioral Sciences.   

Hugh Dunn 

Drs. Sanjit and Jharna Basak Student Assistance Fund Awards

This fund was created by Dr. Jharna Basak in 2016 in honor of her late husband, Dr. Sanjit Basak. An outstanding physician and community member, all who knew Dr. Basak can remember his dedication to caring and listening to his patients. This award supports students taking the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. 

Andee Wik 

Paul T. Wietig Community Service Award

This award is presented to MPH or PhD students who exemplify accomplishment and commitment to the profession of public health and service to the community.

Lovina John

Department of Biostatistics Awards

Richard N. Schmidt Outstanding PhD Award

This award honors a PhD student who has demonstrated academic excellence as, reflected by their qualifying exam scores and classroom performance. This award, established by friends and family of Dr. Richard N. Schmidt, honors the vital role he played in ensuring the ongoing success of the Department of Biostatistics and its students. 

Shuyi Liang 

Sidney Addelman Master’s Award

This award honors a student who demonstrates academic excellence, as reflected by their master’s comprehensive exam scores and classroom performance.

Sam Brosius

Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health Awards

Chair’s Award of Special Recognition for Dissertation Excellence

The EEH Chair’s Award of Special Recognition for Dissertation Excellence highlights a particularly strong performance by a doctoral student. 

Seth Frndak 

The Robert O’Shea Student Travel Award

In honor of Dr. Robert O’Shea’s close ties to the students while acting as the director of graduate studies, this award helps support students’ travel to meetings to present their research findings. 

Nisha Nair, Yihua Yue, Kaelyn Burns, Muwu Xu, Samantha Smith, Kexin Zhu 

Saxon Graham Research Award

This award provides funds to support research activities that are being conducted as part of a doctoral dissertation. The late Saxon Graham, PhD, was chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health from 1981 to 1991 and was a leader in the field of nutritional epidemiology.   

John Lewis Etter, Ahmed Soliman 

Saxon Graham Dissertation Award

This award is for excellence as a doctoral student in epidemiology and the prevention of disease.  

Lindsey J. Mattick

Wactawski and Wende Family Endowment

This endowment fund helps support exemplary doctoral students. 

Premini Sabaratnum 

Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences Awards

Annette Rachman Award

In 1990, Annette Rachman graciously established an endowment fund that provides scholarships for students studying nutrition. Ms. Rachman, a dietician at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute in New York City, was a Buffalo native who began her training at the University at Buffalo.   

Perizat Adylbekova, Maymuna Akter, Neha Anil Kumar, Dillon Benedicto, James Carlow, Jakob Carney, Rian Casimir, Mary Catherine Cook, Isabella Chee, Emily Chin, Caroline Chudnick, Hannah Cline, Kayla Eugair, Jasmine Fleming, Kaitlyn French, Timothy Herter, Jun Huang, Natalie Hurlbut, Grace Jaskowiak, Jillian Jones, Caroline Kennedy, Grace Krizen, Madison Lee, Brandon Lu Shing, Jiayi Lu, Kirk Maldiner, Maria Maloney, Madison Matheis, Danielle Meyer, Julianna Morris, Jahnvi Nayankumar Shah, Seongmin Park, Sofia Perez Yudin, Autumn Phillips-Pease, Meredith Roberts, Thomas Romack, Sofia Ruffo, Taylor Sniatecki, Annika Tikofsky, Clemecia Tobias, Joy VanderMey, Amanda Vititow, Samantha Wikar, Maya Wright, Afraz Yousuf, Olivia Zachewicz 

Carlton R. Meyers Award

In 1993, Carlton R. Meyers established this award to recognize an outstanding graduate student in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. Dr. Meyers was professor emeritus at the University at Buffalo where he taught in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation for 28 years. 

Gabriella Giordano, Paul Rosbrook 

Alma C. Scully Award

This award assists a senior Exercise Science student who exemplifies the qualities of leadership, service, and academic excellence. The major benefactor of this award since its introduction in 2008, Alma C. Scully received a master's degree in physical education in 1964 from the School of Public Health and Health Professions and went on to work in physical education throughout her career. 

Amy Sternberg, Cassidy Burgner 

Glenda R. Reardon Student Assistance Fund

This student assistance fund, in honor of the life of Glenda R. Reardon, is given to deserving and hardworking UB dietetic interns. Ms. Reardon was a registered dietitian and preceptor for the University at Buffalo Dietetic Internship program. Her husband John and their family created a student assistance fund that generates awards to UB dietetic interns. 

Isabella Chee, Mary Catherine Cook 

Cathy Davius Memorial Award

The honoree models the late Cathy Davius’ desire for academic and professional excellence, and passion for expanding their knowledge of nutrition. After obtaining her Registered Dietician license from the University at Buffalo, Ms. Davius worked as a dietitian at Grand Prairie School District in Grand Prairie, Tx. 

Sofia Yudin Perez 

Matthew J. Morris Memorial Award

The Matthew J. Morris Memorial Award was established by his friends and family to honor the late Matthew J. Morris. This award is given in to a graduate student who possesses Mr. Morris’s academic persistence and determination, as well as a willingness to help others. 

Chirag Chaudhari 

Paul DeMartinis Student Support Fund

Future athletic trainers are funded to help complete their education where they will care for athletes in a variety of sports organizations, from grade-school teams to the pros. 

Jayden Metade, Alyssa Gardner 

Department of Rehabilitation Science Awards

Occupational Therapy Achievement Award

This award recognizes an OT student who has demonstrated consistent dedication and perseverance in the attainment of academic excellence. 

Heidi Keil

Alfred T. Caffiero Award

Friends and family of prominent physical therapist Alfred T. Caffiero established this scholarship in honor of his dedication to the profession. This award honors Doctor of Physical Therapy students during their second year of study. 

Joshua Gho, Gurjeena Jandu, Anastasia Nosova, Elliott Szabala 

Susan Bennett Scholarship

Dr. Susan E. Bennett was a celebrated member of the UB Physical Therapy program faculty for 22 years. Consistent with her passion for the profession of physical therapy and her commitment to training the next generation of therapists, an endowed scholarship was established in her name. 

Michael Loliger 

Kathleen M. Shaffer Award

A 1987 graduate of the UB Occupational Therapy Department baccalaureate program, the late Kathleen M. Shaffer is remembered as a skilled clinical educator, OT practitioner and mentor to students at Erie County Medical Center. This award to honor her memory is given to fifth-year academic students who have demonstrated high academic achievement and excellent clinical promise. 

Sara Gruniger, Alexis Matheney, Christine Ngo 

Linda Walters Award

This award recognizes a non-traditional OT student who successfully completes the OT program while managing many other roles and responsibilities. 

Monica McGuire

Nancie Greenman Founder’s Award

This award recognizes an OT student who has demonstrated outstanding performance and professional promise. 

Michaela McDaniels 

Stonegraber Scholarship

This scholarship, established in memory of the late Eleanor C. and David P. Stonegraber, supports advanced standing students in OT and PT. Mrs. Stonegraber was an occupational therapist in the Buffalo and Rochester areas, and director of occupational therapy at Rochester Psychiatric Center prior to her retirement in 1959. 

Occupational Therapy 

Tahrae Carpenter-Morris, Heidi Keil, XingHong Li, Christine Ngo, Nelisha Waas 

Physical Therapy 

Kimberly Crosier, Madeline Fournier, Shelby Hutton, Mengying Jiang, Alana Szewczyk 

Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE)

This society recognizes and encourages superior scholarship among students in professional entry-level programs. 

Morgan Arrowood, Isabel Atwood, Paula Colt, Maria Crane, Hannah Crittenden, Elena Daigneau, Cheyenne Felician, Taylor Giacopelli, Ciana Kaplan, Lanxin Lin, Grace Link, Madison Perrault, Trinity Ruckdaschel, Jenna Runge, Jessica Scheibel, Allie Stockwell, Josphine Villanueva, Samantha White 

Alpha Eta National Scholastic Honor Society for Allied Health

This society promotes and recognizes significant scholarship, leadership, and contributions to the allied health profession among students in the OT, PT, Dietetic Internship and Athletic Training programs. 

Occupational Therapy 

Brianna Egan, Alex Gross, Alyssa Lewis, Haley Loss, Michaela McDaniels, Christine Ngo, Nayh Seonarain, Emilee Walker, Meredith Wheelock 

Physical Therapy 

Brandon Birner, Jack Dixon, Kailey Duncan, Owen Green, Samantha Hjelmar, Sophia Manzi, Kathryn Missert, Nicholas VanDomelen   

Dietetic Internship 

Melanie Camp, Jessica Lewis, Hannah Strassburg 

Athletic Training 

Caleb Hancock, Erica Kachaylo