SPHHP Student Awards Ceremony Recognizes Exceptional Academic and Community Accomplishments

Published March 12, 2024

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

“This year’s outstanding group of student award recipients have made incredible strides 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.

SPHHP student award 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.


Hugh Dunn, Jordan Anthony, Leanna Kalinowski, Jeremy Nguyen, Jacob Leach, Yihua Yue, Xinyu Gao, Wanqing Tian, Anran Liu


Dax Alvarez, Amazhe Angbazo, Frank Chen, James Danvin, Sarah Goodenough, Alyssa Juliano, Lauren Keyes, Cameron Kiner, Will Upton, Tina Li, Carmel Matewos, Saffa Shaikh, Alexandra Wyman, Branden Simone

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 
Julianna Morris, Yukta Rohra, Akshada Manjarekar, Chirag Chaudhari

Rehabilitation Science 
Ignacio Novoa Cornejo, Elizabeth Saturnino, Kali Iacucci

The UB Presidential Fellowship Program

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

Exercise and Nutrition Sciences 

Martin Kretz


Han Liu

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. 

Fall 2023

Sundus Alchaar, Evodie Amina, Marissa Camacho, Lutfia Chowdhury, Zerlinda Diaz-Gerloven, Hugh Dunn, Trisha Etienne, Rubelisa Oliveira, Kevin Ingram, Ikhia Farkas, Amanda Fries, Anne Garno, Samari Hall, Dan Leon, Kelly Standage

Spring 2024

Shohely Anonna, Angelica Bustillos Vasquez, Julia Cosner, Jacqueline Flores, Mariangelis Gonzalez, Kaitlyn Ha, Taseen Imran, Roxanne Kouadio, Puspa Sabu, Kristina Smith, Marsha Spence Gayles

The Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program

The Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program is sponsored by the SUNY Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Schomburg fellowships support high-achieving doctoral and professional students who contribute to diversity.

Monisha Afrooz

Dr. Michael F. Noe Diversity Scholarship

This scholarship provides scholarships to students from historically underrepresented populations, including Native Americans, who demonstrate academic excellence and financial need. It is intended to promote educational diversity, equity, and inclusion consistent with the values of the School of Public Health and Health Professions. 

Lindsey Parker, Tara-Ann Perreault

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.

Fatima Makama

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.

Aria Grisham

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. 

Schuyler Lawson

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.   

Srikrithi Krishnan

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. 

Hannah Premo

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.

 Leanna Kalinowski

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. 

Mengyu Fang

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.

Jia Zhou

Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health Awards

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. 

Jeremy Nguyen, Minseon Chung, Ahmed Soliman

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.   

Samantha Smith, Kaelyn Burns

Saxon Graham Dissertation Award

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

Kexin Zhu

Wactawski and Wende Family Endowment

This endowment fund helps support exemplary doctoral students. 

Harshita Sharma

The Julie Baker Award

The Julie Baker Award honors the memory of an outstanding EEH MS and MD/PhD student.  It is awarded annually to a first-year MS or MPH student in epidemiology.

Monica Sarker

The Graduate School Fellowship Award

The Graduate School Fellowship Award helps fund outstanding graduate students at UB. Eligible students must be a new applicant to a PhD program and must be appointed as a full teaching, graduate or research assistant. 

Vivien Pei

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, Emmanuella (Ella) Agyeman Duah, Pleasure Amaechi, Neha Anil Kumar, Kuheli Bandyopadhyay, Dillon Benedicto, Jakob Carney, Brando Chacon, Samantha Chamberlain, Isabella Chee, Caroline Chudnick, Hannah Cline, Mary Catherine Cook, Jasmine Fleming, Jaqueline Frederick, Caroline Kennedy, Katherine Kraft, Marty Kretz, Grace Krizen, Thi Kim Truc Le (Kim Le), Madison Lee, Jiayi Lu, Kirk Maldiner, Maria Maloney, Madison Matheis, Julianna Morris, Desirae Ostrowski, Wendy Pearlman, Sofia Perez Yudin, Autumn Phillips Pease, Dominic Privitera, Annika Tikofsky, Samantha Wikar, Katy Worden, Afraz Yousuf

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. 

Nicole Presti

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. 

Eden Yarbrough, Carlene Swanson

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. 

Kim Le, Samantha Chamberlain

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. 

Isabella Chee

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. 

Perizat Adylbekova

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. 

Jenna Runge

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. 

Kali Iacucci, Moshen Moshen, Madison Schneeberger, Jenna Sonnenberg

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. 

Kathryn Witkowski

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. 

Morgan Arrowood, Hannah Crittenden, Lanxin Lin

Linda Walters Award

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

Paula Arcila Colt

Nancie Greenman Founder’s Award

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

Grace Link, Miranda Jobson

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 

Paula Colt, Cheyenne Felician, Emily Frey, Grace Link

Physical Therapy 

Matthew Alexander, Joshua Gho, Jocelyn Pond, Bradley Rybak, Andrew Syvertsen

Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE)

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

Hope Ciganek, Danielle Dibenedetto, Andrea Efthemis, Patricia Freitas, Sarah Fritschi, Justine Kurowski, Samantha Maloney, Abigail Obrist, Gretchen Pohle, Elizabeth Saturnino, Jessica Thoen

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 

Paula Colt , Hannah Crittenden, Emily Frey, Grace Link, Trinity Ruchdaschel, Jenna Runge, Josephine Villanueva, Samantha White

Physical Therapy 

Connor Black , Jordan Block, Brett Csont, Gray Hendershot, Gurjeena Jandu, Bradley Rybak, Anderw Syvertsen, Kelvin Yam

Athletic Training 

Jayden Metade, Nicholas Olszewski, Amy Sternberg, Dillon Benedicto, Isabella Chee, Madison Lee