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UAlbany Alumni Association Announces 2007 Award Winners
Recognition ceremony June 1, 6 p.m. helps kick off annual Alumni Weekend

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 24, 2007) -- The University at Albany Alumni Association today announced its 2007 Award Winners, selected for excellence in service to their profession and community.

Awards will be presented in education, community, public service, arts and letters, entrepreneurship, and distinguished achievement in professional life. An award will also be presented to a Citizen of the University for outstanding contributions by a non-alumnus or alumna. The Outstanding Young Alumni Award will recognize early achievements in a chosen profession or field of service, or service to the community.

The winners will be honored at a Gala Awards Banquet on June 1, 2007 at 6 p.m. at the Desmond Hotel & Conference Center during the Association's annual Alumni Weekend, June 1-3.

The 2007 Honorees are:

Distinguished Alumni Award

Sharon S. Dawes B.A.'72, Ph.D. '91

In 1993, Sharon Dawes became the first director of the newly established Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at the University at Albany, an applied research center devoted to effective public sector information strategies. Under her leadership, the Center is now recognized as a world leader in digital government research and practice.

As center director, Dawes' main focus is building and nurturing CTG's research programs, applied projects, and public-private-academic partnerships that encourage innovation, reduce costs, and enhance the quality and coordination of government operations and public services. In addition to research, her work includes program development; strategic management; and maintaining state, national and international relationships with the research and practice communities. 

"Over the last 13 years, Sharon has become a leader in fostering change in New York state's information technology environment, as CTG has explored important public problems, developed well-regarded methodologies and shared practical results worldwide," said Theresa Pardo, deputy director of the center. "The practical value of CTG's products to government agencies at all levels has been far reaching, and CTG is now recognized as a world leader in digital government research and practice."

That leadership now includes a National Science Foundation initiative to create an international community of digital government scholars.

Citizen of the University

Bob Ford

Football coach Bob Ford is renowned for teaching his student-athletes more than just plays and techniques. As expressed by former player Steve Shoen '81, at Ford's induction ceremony into the university's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006: "You didn't just teach me how to play, but you taught me why to play. You taught me to compete, to never give up. To play every down like it was my last. To never give my buddy the world to cover. You taught me how to appreciate the game, to respect it and to play it like it was meant to be played. To enjoy success and to learn from failure. Next to my family, you've had the single the greatest influence on my life."

Ford, who has been the University at Albany's only head coach since the program was reinstated after a 46-year absence, was appointed in April 1970. Since then, he has compiled a 34-year varsity record of 208-136 as the Great Danes mentor, while his 217 career victories rank second among active NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) head coaches.  His University at Albany teams own a 78-41 mark, for a .655 winning percentage over the last 11 years. He was honored in November 2005 at the 69th Maxwell Awards for recording his 200th career win at the University at Albany.

During his career, Ford has earned numerous honors: Northeast Conference Coach of the Year, the Gordon White-Herschel Nissenson Division II Coach of the Year Award by the Metropolitan New York Football Writers Association and Eastern Football Conference Coach of the Year.

"Bob represents the essence of intercollegiate athletics," said University at Albany Athletic Director Lee McElroy. "He is a teacher, leader and educator who has achieved national recognition. Bob's intelligence, vision and integrity are qualities that provided hundreds of student athletes with a pathway for success."

Bertha Brimmer Medal

Valarie Ann Scott M.S.'97

For the past 25 years, Valarie Scott has committed her time and energy to creating learning environments where children can flourish, as well as preparing the next generation of educators.  Scott earned her bachelor's in elementary education from the State University College at Geneseo and two master's degrees in education - the first from the College of Saint Rose and the second from the University at Albany in educational administration.  She has served the education field in many ways: elementary-level teaching, school and district leadership, professional service and University at Albany service and leadership.

Scott has served as the principal of the Yates Arts in Education Magnet School in Schenectady for the past four years. Scott works closely with her faculty, students and their parents to achieve the highest possible learning outcomes in a school district that has been identified by the State of New York as one reflecting "high needs."

"Valarie works continuously to bring about improvements to the curriculum and general experience for the students in her schools," said Virginia Goatley, associate dean at the University at Albany's School of Education. "She is an advocate for the school, parents, teachers and students. She is a leader for education excellence at many levels and for many groups of people."

Young Alumni Award

Joshua A. Shaw B.S.'97

Joshua Shaw's passion for developing young, upstart companies stared while an undergrad at the University at Albany, where he received his bachelor's degree in marketing and finance in 1997. While in school, Shaw and a fellow student launched the multi-media marketing services company, Student Advantage, Inc. Over a nine-year period, Shaw built and managed various aspects of the company, including marketing, sales, operations, and business development, driving the growth of the company from 12 people, generating $400,000 in annual revenue, to nearly 500 people generating over $85 million in revenue. At one point, the company was valued at over a billion dollars on NASDAQ. By age 24, Shaw was a millionaire.

Shaw's most recent venture involves the beauty industry, where he and co-founder Jonathan Levine DVD started GoSMILET in 2002, an upscale line of tooth-whitening products. Shaw, the company's chief operating officer, became the leader in the prestige retail category and helped to pioneer the now $1 billion tooth whitening category.

Shaw's business acumen caught the eye of billionaire Donald Trump, who hand-picked Shaw for season 4 of The Apprentice.  Though "fired" by The Donald in episode six, Shaw impressed Trump enough to be invited back to participate in the show's final task working with the non-profit organization Autism Speaks. To benefit the charity, Shaw co-created a lemonade toothpaste at GoSMILE and co-authored a book Who Invented Lemonade?: The Power of Positive Perspective, an inspirational story that Shaw hopes will help readers understand that success "involves taking risks, keeping an open mind, and realizing the power of intention and perspective."

Excellence in Public Service

Sharon E. Carpinello R.N., Ph.D.'89

Former commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) Sharon Carpinello spent more than 15 years with the agency helping transform the face of mental health in New York. Carpinello, who left the post in January 2007, began as acting commissioner in July 2003 and was appointed commissioner in 2004. During her tenure overseeing the $5.2 billion agency, she succeeded in changing the mental-health landscape in numerous areas, including strategic planning, the science-to-practice agenda, quality improvement and mental health promotion.

Under her leadership, OMH undertook a renewed commitment to providing quality healthcare access to all New Yorkers. Carpinello spearheaded the development of OMH's "Winds of Change," a strategic quality-improvement initiative now in its fifth year. She oversaw the development and helped secure funding for the historic New York/New York III agreement between the state and New York City to provide 9,000 units of housing to chronically homeless individuals over a period of 10 years. She also authored "New York State's Campaign to Implement Evidence-Based Practice for People with Serious Mental Disorders," published in the February 2002 Psychiatric Services.

Excellence in Arts & Letters

Randy Cohen B.A.'71

As writer of "The Ethicist," a weekly syndicated column for the New York Times Magazine author Randy Cohen answers readers questions on ethics. He's also written a book, The Good, the Bad & the Difference: How to Tell Right From Wrong in Everyday Situations, which is based on his newspaper column and author of Diary of a Flying Man, a collection of stories and humor pieces.

Cohen's first professional work was writing humor pieces, essays and stories for newspapers and magazine such as the New Yorker, Harper's, the Atlantic and Young Love Comics. For several years, he wrote "The News Quiz," a regular column of topical comedy, for Slate, an online magazine.

Before becoming a journalist, Cohen worked extensively in television. His first television work was writing for "Late Night With David Letterman," for which he shared in three Emmy awards during the mid-1980s. He won a fourth Emmy for his work on "TV Nation" and also wrote for "Ed." He was the original head writer on the "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," for which he also co-wrote the theme music.

Excellence in Business

Carl Florio B.S.'71

Florio was appointed counsel to the president/chief executive officer of First Niagara Financial Group Inc. in August 2006.  He previously served as the Eastern New York regional president of First Niagara Financial Group from 2005 until August 2006. Florio was selected president and chief executive officer of Hudson River Bank & Trust Co. in 1996 and served in that capacity until the merger of Hudson River Bank & Trust Co. into First Niagara Financial Group in 2005.

While president and chief executive officer of Hudson River Bank & Trust Co., Florio was responsible for negotiating and closing three bank acquisitions, growing the bank from just over $600 million in total assets to over $2.6 billion in four years. He also delivered 24 consecutive quarters of increased earnings for the bank. "Carl worked through a number of acquisitions while president of Hudson River Bank & Trust Co. and is primarily responsible for the bank's growth in the Capital Region," said Robert Lazar, retired president and chief executive officer of the New York Business Development Corporation.

Excellence in Public Service

Nam Soon Huh Ph.D.'97

Over the past three decades, Nam Soon Huh has left her mark on the fight against poverty in her native country of South Korea. Since earning her first academic degree in Korea in 1971, her entire career has focused on issues related to vulnerable communities, with resounding impact.

After graduating from the University at Albany in 1997 with her fourth degree - a doctorate in social welfare - Huh returned to South Korea and developed the Social Welfare Department at Hallym University, where she now serves as dean of the Graduate School of Social Work. Huh has led systematic and structural changes to the college that have brought national exposure to the University and has built international partnerships with other schools, including the University at Albany, to give students an opportunity to gain invaluable experience in the field of social work.

Huh has worked tirelessly to develop the profession of social work not only in academia, but in the social services sectors of South Korea. She has served in leadership positions in the Korean Academy of Social Welfare, the Korean Social Worker's Association, the Korean Society of Child Welfare and the Korean Society of School Social Work. "In each, she has provided intellectual leadership in the development of these national associations and brought ideas and policy recommendations from these groups to leading government officials and policy makers," said Katharine Briar-Lawson, dean of UAlbany's School of Social Welfare. "Dr. Huh continues to work diligently to enact child-welfare laws in South Korea. She is considered a leader in her country who is transforming the way that Koreans treat and advocate on behalf of vulnerable children and families."

Excellence in Public Service

Bert Jablon B.S.'52, M.A.'55

Jablon began his career as a teacher in New York and also was employed as a newspaper writer in the Capital District. While teaching on Long Island, he decided to change direction, took a state civil service test, and became an employee of the Nassau County Medical Center in 1968. He served as one of the hospital's assistant administrators and coordinator of professional education until his retirement in 1992. Jablon was the administrative director of the teaching hospital's department of education. He was responsible for grants management and supervised approximately 30 clinical educational affiliates. He also was instrumental in training more than 1,000 emergency medical technicians for the Nassau-Suffolk Regional. Jablon also served as the staff researcher to the Nassau County Community Medical Services Committee, where he worked with the principal commissioners concerned with total health care in the county.

Complementing his role with the Nassau County Medical Center, Jablon became involved with New York State Public Health Association, Nassau-Suffolk Region, where he served as president from 1969 to 2007. The association is devoted to improving community health through education and prevention, working to influence policies at the regional, state and national levels and to educate the public on a variety of health-related issues.

Jablon also has been an active member of the Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island, an organization devoted to reducing smoking at all age levels, and has served on its steering committee for the last 15 years. In this role, Jablon researches tobacco control issues, produces publications and meets with local politicians and Board of Health members. Jablon has testified numerous times before both the Nassau and Suffolk County Legislatures on public health and hospital-related issues, such as clean indoor air, access to healthcare for immigrant populations and smoking in the workplace, and was instrumental in securing landmark tobacco legislation.

Excellence in Education

Nicholas Ladany Ph.D.'92

Ladany is a full professor and chair of the Department of Education and Human Services at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. After earning his bachelor's degree in psychology in 1985, Ladany earned his doctorate in counseling psychology at the University at Albany.

Ladany is known for his inclusive teaching style and ability to engage students.  Sally White, dean of Lehigh's College of Education, said, "Dr. Ladany has a wonderful presence that is highly effective with students. The Counseling Psychology students rate his teaching as exceptional and his mentoring on dissertations and qualifying projects is superb."

Ladany also has been actively involved in service to his department and campus. "Academic service is the work that must be done to keep departments and campuses going on a daily basis as well as maintaining high standards and excellence in the academic programs," said Susan Palmer, director for Outreach and Extended Learning at the University at Albany. "This is the work that often serves the students most. This is the work that those, like Nick Ladany, do because of their commitment to the students and the excellence of their campus."

Excellence in Alumni Service

John F. Malitzis B.A.'89 and Gerard S. Citera B.A.'77

Citera and Malitzis have each achieved notable accomplishments in their respective careers in the area of financial market regulation. Citera is currently counsel with the International Law Firm of Chadbourne & Parke. Previously, he was executive director and manager of the Regulatory Control Group for United States Equities at UBS Securities in New York. Malitzis is senior vice president in the Market Surveillance Division of the New York Stock Exchange. In his current role, Malitzis is responsible for the surveillance and regulation of brokers and specialists, rule interpretations, and the Exchange's member qualifications and examination program.

Over the past two years, they have worked with University faculty to create the Program in Financial Market Regulation. This program introduces undergraduate and graduate students to the field of financial market regulation and supervision through interdisciplinary coursework, mentoring and internships and prepares them to move directly into careers or into more specialized legal or graduate studies. The program, which launched in the 2006 fall semester, initially focuses on the securities markets but in the future may expand to cover other areas of financial market regulation and regulation more generally.

This program is a cooperative project that includes the financial services industry, regulatory organizations, major law firms, the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, the School of Business, the College of Computing and Information and Albany Law School. Participants work together closely to educate students broadly while enabling them to understand the realities of effective professional practice.

"No other institution in the country offers a program with the scope and comprehensive reach found in the new program," said Lewis Wiener, co-chair of the Rockefeller College Advisory Board. "For students looking to a future career in the financial markets, UAlbany is now the place to go. John and Jerry have tirelessly promoted the concept that this program must be interdisciplinary, thus shaping its basic premise and providing it with a competitive advantage not found in any other university. They have shared generously of their time and professional contacts and secured the support of the leading professionals and key organizations in the industry."

The Program in Financial Market Regulation is only the latest contribution made by Citera and Malitzis to their alma mater. Both continue to serve on the executive committee of the Rockefeller College Advisory Board. Citera also serves as chair of the board's Program Committee and Malitzis contributes to the Careers Committee.

Excellence in Education Award

Stephen North D.A.'79

North has been a member of the University at Albany's English Department since 1978. Since that time, he has been at the forefront of the department both in teaching and administrative roles, while continuing his scholarly endeavors.

North's teaching has covered a wide span of work, from tutoring students in the Writing Center to teaching close to 30 separate courses during his University tenure. Shari Stenberg, a former student and now a professor of English at Creighton University  said, "His effectiveness as a professor goes far beyond his expertise in the field. . In the same way that scholars build on Steve's work, creating new projects from the solid and foundational groundwork he has provided, Steve's students flourish under his careful, steady guidance - building projects of their own."

North is highly respected for his research on the teaching of writing, notes Stenberg. Known as a scholar in the fields of rhetoric, composition and literacy studies, North has published two books, seven book chapters and 15 articles in refereed journals. His first book, The Making of Knowledge in Composition: Portrait of an Emerging Field, is required reading in virtually every graduate writing program in the country. He has a wide range of experience teaching internationally, having taught at the university level in China, Finland and Germany.

Excellence in Education

Custer Quick B.S.'55, M.S.'56, Ed.D.'72 & Doris Quick B.A.'55, M.A.'64, D.A.'83

Doris (Dottie) and Custer Quick retired in 1989 and 1991 respectively, but that didn't stop them from taking on one of their greatest challenges during their "retirement" -- as consultants for the International Center for Leadership in Education. As consultants and researchers, they travel together to various schools around the country seeking out best practices in hopes of educating other schools and teachers on what works best in today's classroom.

The Quicks have been members of the leadership team at the International Center for Leadership in Education since its inception in 1992. Initially, they helped identify successful K-12 education practices and programs in Europe and Asia. They then took the lead to showcase these successful practices as part of the center's Model Schools Conference, attended by educators throughout the country.

After identifying the international models, the Quicks then took the lead to identify promising models in the United States. "They not only identified, but also worked with, nurtured and guided these schools to provide an academically rigorous and relevant curriculum for all students," said Willard R. Daggett, chief executive officer for the International Center for Leadership in Education. "The successful practices of those schools are now shared at our national Model Schools Conference, which last year was attended by over 8,000 people. This year, the Quick's have drilled deeper to look at the exceptional teachers in the nation's most successful schools. They are writing a publication that describes the attributes of these exceptional teachers and will present their findings at this year's Model Schools Conference."

Between them, the Quicks have more than 100 years of experience in the education field. Dottie taught English in several school districts, served as department chair, was the internship supervisor for Union College's Master of Arts in Teaching program and was the co-director of the Capital District Writing Project. Custer influenced the capital region education community in many ways: as a science teacher, guidance counselor, principal, superintendent and district superintendent for the Capital Region Board of Cooperative and Educational Services (BOCES).

Excellence in Science & Technology

Sandeep Kumar Shukla M.S.'95, Ph.D.'97 

Despite having earned his Ph.D. only 10 years ago, Sandeep Shukla is already an internationally recognized researcher in several areas of computer science and engineering.

Since earning his doctorate in computer science from the University at Albany in 1997, Shukla has held positions at GTE Laboratories, Intel and the University of California at Irvine. He has held visiting positions at MIT, INRIA (France), the Naval Research Laboratory and the University of Birmingham (UK). He is currently an assistant professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He also serves as the deputy director of Virginia Tech's Center for Embedded Systems for Critical Applications, and as the director of the Formal Engineering Research Using Methods, Abstractions and Transformations (FERMAT) Laboratory.

Shukla's research contributions are primarily in the areas of analysis, design and verification of computer systems. "He has made major contributions to the design automation of computer systems and to the technology of embedded systems," said Daniel Rosenkrantz, leading professor emeritus at the University at Albany. "He developed innovative techniques for power management in embedded systems, based on probabilistic modeling and model checking. He also developed innovative techniques for reliability evaluation for defect-tolerant nanoscale computing systems." Rosenkrantz notes that Shukla's techniques and tools for reliable computing in the presence of defect are particularly important for nanotechnology and that his research has led to new techniques for managing system-design tradeoffs among reliability, power consumption and performance.

Excellence in Entrepreneurship

Emad A. Zikry B.S.'72

Zikry began his academic career at the University at Albany, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration. He followed that with a master's and doctorate in economics from the University of Kansas. With extensive history in top positions at firms such as Chase Manhattan Bank and Mitchell Hutchins, Zikry founded Vanderbilt Capital Advisors in 1994. Since the inception of the firm, Vanderbilt Capital Advisors' investment team has focused exclusively on managing fixed-income portfolios for institutional clients, now with $24 billion under management.

In April 2006, Vanderbilt was acquired by Pioneer Investments but continues to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Pioneer Investment, a global investment-management group with approximately $300 billion under management for a broad array of clients worldwide.

Zikry has had numerous articles published in professional and academic journals such as The Journal of Forecasting, The American Economist and The Journal of Fixed Income. He is an associate of The Foreign Policy Association and a member of the board of advisors of the Pacific Institute. He also served on the board of directors of Quality Systems Inc., The Park Avenue Bank and The New Providence Fund and Associates LP. He maintains his affiliation with the University at Albany, serving on the University at Albany Foundation board.

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