RPI President Jackson, Restaurateur Mazzone and Researcher-Entrepreneur Robb Named 2016 Citizen Laureates

Trio will receive awards for their outstanding leadership in Oct. 27 ceremonies at SEFCU Arena.

The University at Albany Foundation's Citizen Laureates for 2016, left to right: Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, Angelo Mazzone, and Dr. Walter L. Robb.

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 20, 2016) – The University at Albany Foundation will honor the President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson; restaurateur and owner of Mazzone Hospitality Angelo Mazzone; and the president of Vantage Management, Inc., Dr. Walter L. Robb, at its 37th Citizen Laureate Awards Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 27.

The Citizen Laureate Awards recognize outstanding leaders in business and industry, government, and academia, and are the most prestigious honors bestowed by the Foundation. Jackson will receive the Academic Laureate Award, and Mazzone and Robb will each be recognized as a Community Laureate at the ceremony. Proceeds from the dinner benefit the Foundation and student scholarships.

Shirley-Ann Jackson

Shirley Ann Jackson is the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she has led its transformation since coming to RPI in 1999, after serving four years as chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Described by Time magazine as “perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science,” she is a theoretical physicist who holds an S.B. in Physics and Ph.D. in theoretical elementary particle physics, both from MIT.

In 2014, President Barack Obama appointed Jackson as co-chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. She had served the previous four years on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In 2015, Obama awarded her the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest honor in science and engineering. She is an international fellow of the British Royal Academy of Engineering, and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering

The winner of the Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board, Jackson was inducted into the Tech Valley Business Hall of Fame in 2014.

Angelo Mazzone

Angelo Mazzone has nurtured his company Mazzone Hospitality into a local culinary empire, delivering expert and unique catering experiences, fine dining restaurants and a company founded on the philosophy of customer service.

Mazzone began his restaurant ownership career in 1980 in the small downtown Schenectady restaurant called Peggy's (now Aperitivo Bistro). Today, the Mazzone Hospitality Restaurant Division runs six restaurants from Albany to Saratoga, and has Catering and Event and PRIME Business Dining divisions, the latter offering cafeteria-style dining within Capital Region corporate offices, with meals designed by great chefs.

A Long Island native who worked from age 10 at this grandfather’s bakery and pizza restaurant, Mazzone credits strong Italian traditions for never losing sight of contributing to his community. His philanthropic efforts have benefited the culinary and hospitality program at Schenectady County Community College, American Heart Association, and American Cancer Association. He is also the executive chair of the Saratoga Springs Tour de Cure, which aids the American Diabetes Association.

Mazzone has also lent his support to the local arts scene, including SPAC, Proctors Theatre, and the Palace Theater, as well as the restoration of Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs.

Walter L. Robb

Walter L. Robb, president of Vantage Management Inc. and CEO of MeOH Power, is a noted Capital Region businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Prior to his current roles, Robb served as GE's senior vice president for corporate research and development and a member of the company's corporate executive council, directing the Schenectady-based GE Research and Development Center, one of the world’s largest and most diversified industrial laboratories.

Robb’s joined GE in 1951 as a chemical engineer at the Knolls Atomic Power Lab and, after decades of innovation and discovery, in 1983 was named senior vice president and group executive of GE’s Medical Systems Division in Milwaukee. He directed the organization into the world's leading producer of medical diagnostic imaging equipment, with a total of approximately 10,000 employees worldwide.

He holds 12 patents dealing with permeable membranes and separation processes, and his research won him six I-R 100 Awards, sponsored by Industrial Research magazine, for the most significant new technical innovations of the year. In 1993, he received the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton for his leadership in the CT and MR imaging industry and is the first recipient of the Medical Technology Leadership Award from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

Robb received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University and his M.S. and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois. He holds honorary doctorates from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Funds raised through the Citizen Laureate Awards event will support The University at Albany Foundation’s student programs and its ability to ensure access to the finest higher education experience possible. Established in 1967 to encourage philanthropic support, the Foundation continues to advance the University's strategic goals and sponsors efforts to build ties to the community.

To learn more about the event, visit the UAlbany Citizen Laureate website or contact the Office of University Events at (518) 442-5310.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.