Scholarship funding made medical school attainable

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Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Scholarship funding made medical school attainable

BECAUSE OF the James H. Cummings Scholarship Fund and Cummings' generosity, Albert Fiorello, M.D. '95, was able to attend the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

"I decided early on in college that I aspired to go to medical school," said Fiorello, who received his medical degree at May commencement ceremonies and is now doing a three-year residency at the University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., specializing in emergency medicine.

"I wanted to study medicine because I liked science, but didn't necessarily want to be a scientist, and I wanted to use my talents to serve others. But the expense was a great challenge."

The late James H. Cummings was owner and operator of American Ferment Co., a proprietary pharmaceutical company. Through a bequest, Cummings established an annual scholarship in the medical school in 1960 to provide a qualified student or students with financial assistance for tuition costs and other expenses.

"The medical school annually presents a variety of scholarships and awards to students," explained Thomas Guttuso, assistant dean for admissions. "There is a continuing need for additional gifts from alumni and friends of the medical school to assist students, given the increasing cost of medical education."

A Buffalo native, Fiorello received a bachelor's degree from UB in 1991. During his undergraduate years, he served as president of the Premedical Student Association. He formed the Students Teaching AIDS to Students (STATS) program for area high school and middle school students.

"I've been enjoying the experience," Fiorello said. "All the hard work was worth it. I'm grateful to James H. Cummings for making medical school a reality for me."