University at Albany Foundation Names Citizens Laureate
Contact: Vincent Reda, 518-437-4985
New York State Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno and David O.
Carpenter M.D., the founding dean of UAlbany's School of Public Health,
have been named recipients of the 2001 University at Albany Foundation
Citizen Laureate Awards.
The Citizen Laureate Awards recognize individuals for significant contributions
to the academic world and the community. Bruno will receive the Community
Laureate Award while Carpenter will receive the Academic Laureate Award.
They will be honored at a black-tie dinner on Wednesday, May 9, at
6 p.m. in the New Library Building on the University at Albany Uptown
Campus. The event is a fund-raiser for the University at Albany Foundation.
For ticket information, call (518) 442-5310.
Joseph L. Bruno was first elected to the State Senate in 1976. The
Republican from the 43rd District was elected Majority Leader in January
1995, and re-elected to that position in 1997, 1999, and 2001. As a
legislative priority, he has highlighted the state's economy and has
concentrated his efforts on programs to stimulate the creation of jobs,
aid the growth of business and commerce, and reduce personal taxes.
During Senator Bruno's six years as Majority Leader, New York has enacted
more cumulative tax savings than 49 other states combined, and created
almost 800,000 new private sector jobs. His efforts to aid his home
district along with the state have done much to revitalize the region's
His initiatives in the Senate led directly to funding for the new terminal
at Albany International Airport (which brought Southwest Airlines to
the region), a new Airport parking garage, and construction of a new
Rensselaer Rail Station. Senator Bruno's support for the cultural life
of the region led directly to the new Arts Center for the Capital Region
in Troy, and renovations for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and
the Albany Institute of History & Art.
A businessman himself, Senator Bruno has been especially prescient
about advancing the state and the region in an increasingly high-tech
economy. He obtained $2 million to renovate the Rice Building in Troy
as an incubator for high tech business; he provided critical support
for the construction of UAlbany's new library, opened in 1999; and,
with Governor George Pataki and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, he
forged the state's $45 million commitment to develop the Center for
Environmental Sciences and Technology Management (CESTM) at UAlbany.
Senator Bruno's Jobs 2000 (J2K) initiative, enacted in 1999, is focused
on building and strengthening relationships between research universities
and the private sector to foster high tech business development in New
York. In 1996, a $5 million state grant from Senator Bruno was critical
for the purchase and renovation of the former Sterling-Winthrop property
in East Greenbush - now the site of the UAlbany East Campus, with its
Center for Comparative Functional Genomics (CCFG), School of Public
Health and burgeoning incubator for emerging biotechnological companies.
Senator Bruno obtained an additional $5 million for UAlbany to start
up CCFG. All told, the East Campus has brought more than 600 jobs to
the Capital Region.
In 1999, along with Governor George Pataki and Assembly Speaker Sheldon
Silver, Bruno was instrumental in New York's commitment to fund the
Focus Center-NY (FC-NY), enabling the University at Albany and Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute to participate in a national university-centered
research initiative, discovering new generations of more powerful computer
chips. FC-NY, recently announced as the recipient of $45 million in
funding over the next three years, also represents an important step
in New York's bid to attract semiconductor industries.
David O. Carpenter, founding Dean of the School of Public Health, led
the School with distinction from its beginning in 1985 to his retirement
from that post in 1998. During that time, the School grew in both size
- more than 350 students -complexity, and stature, yet Dr. Carpenter
continued to maintain a national research profile in neurobiology and
neurotoxicology. Today, he is a professor in the School's departments
of Environmental Health & Toxicology and Biomedical Sciences.
In addition to his research on animal models of stroke and neurodegenerative
diseases and neurotoxic agents, Dr. Carpenter devotes time to national
and international activities in environmental health, serving presently
on the National Advisory Committee of the National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences (NIEHS) and on the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board
of the International Joint Commission. He coordinates many of the activities
of NIEHS in Eastern and Central Europe.
In 1990, under Dr. Carpenter's direction an NIEHS research program
was launched to determine the health and environmental impacts resulting
from high PCB concentrations. His research found that the breastmilk
of Akwesasne Mohawk women contained elevated concentrations of PCBs,
and these levels were linked directly to consumption of local fish and
wildlife. By 1994, breastmilk concentrations of PCBs declined to control
group levels mainly because Mohawk women reduced or eliminated locally
caught fish and wildlife from their diets.
Shortly after he arrived in Albany in 1980 to become director of the
New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Center for Laboratories
and Research, Dr. Carpenter recognized the pressing need for highly
trained, graduate-level public health professionals in New York State.
Realizing that bringing students into the Health Department's laboratories
would also stimulate and enhance research activities there, he began
a campaign to gain support for a graduate public health school that
would draw on the vast scientific and academic resources of the Capital
Region. He worked five years combining the practical, problem-oriented
approach of health professionals at the Health Department with the academic
perspective available at UAlbany.
The result was a school of public health comprising five departments
that has been called by the National Academy of Sciences a model of
what public health education ought to be.
Founded in 1967, the University at Albany Foundation
is responsible for the University's fund-raising activities and associated
fiscal management. It is dedicated to playing a significant role in
supporting programs and research that contribute to the economic development
of the Capital Region and New York State.
For more University at Albany information, visit our World Wide Web
site at http://www.albany.edu
April 11, 2001
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