UB Alumni Association To Present Annual Awards April 7

By Mary Beth Spina

Release Date: March 10, 2000

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The host of an award-winning National Public Radio program, a University at Buffalo neurologist internationally known for his research on childhood brain tumors and the founding dean of UB's School of Health Related Professions will be among 10 individuals honored at the UB Alumni Association's annual awards dinner on April 7.

The dinner will be held at 6 p.m. in the Center for Tomorrow on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. Tickets are $55 per person. Call 716-829-2608 for further information or to make reservations before April 3.

UB President William R. Greiner, alumni association president Donald Roberts and awards committee chairman David Saleh will present the awards.

Michael E. Cohen (M.D. '61), professor of pediatrics and neurology and former chair of the UB Department of Neurology, will receive the Samuel P. Capen Award, the alumni association's most prestigious prize. The award is presented for notable and meritorious contributions to the university and its family.

Director of pediatric neurology at Children's Hospital of Buffalo since 1978, Cohen and his UB colleague, Patricia Duffner, M.D., co-authored the highly regarded textbook "Brain Tumors in Children: Principles of Diagnosis and Treatment," now in its second edition.

A member of the UB medical-school faculty since 1968, he also serves on the dean's Advisory Council.

He lives in Amherst.

J. Warren Perry, professor and dean emeritus of the UB School of Health Related Professions, will receive the Walter P. Cooke Award, presented to a non-alumnus for notable and meritorious contributions to the university.

A pioneer in allied-health education, Perry developed and built the UB school into a national leader in the field. A founder of the national Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, he was the group's second president and founding editor of its Journal of Allied Health.

Perry has established an endowed scholarship at UB, where an annual lectureship bears his name.

He lives in Buffalo.

Ephrahim Garcia (B.S. '85, M.S. '88, Ph.D. '90) will receive the George W. Thorn Award, presented to UB graduates under the age of 40 who make outstanding national or international contributions to their career field or academic area.

An associate professor of engineering at Vanderbilt University, Garcia drew acclaim for the design of tiny mesoscale, insect-like robots with vision systems that minimize risk to human combatants by surveying and observing battlefields.

His research and recognized expertise in technologies critical to the nation's defense have led to his being designated a fellow with the Central Intelligence Agency and a program manager with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the U.S. Defense Sciences Office.

He is a principal in a small high-technology consulting corporation that has received funding from the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Department of Defense and the Small Business Administration.

Paul L. Valint, Jr. (B.A. '61) will receive the Clifford C. Furnas Award for significant contributions by graduates of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences or the disciplines of natural sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.

A leading scientist in surface analysis and contact lens surface chemistry, Valint is a senior research fellow at Bausch & Lomb.

He holds more than 60 patents, including one for a new contact-lens material, and has a global reputation in academic and industry circles. Valint, who established a world-renowned multimillion-dollar laboratory known for its instrumentation and expertise, has supported research collaboration between Bausch & Lomb and UB that has benefited faculty and students for more than a decade.

He lives in Pittsford.

Six alumni will receive Distinguished Alumni Awards for their exceptional career accomplishments, community or university service, research or scholarly activity.

Leslie A. Brun (B.S. '74) is a founding principal, chairman and chief executive officer of Hamilton Lane Advisors. The privately held investment-advisory and money-management firm oversees $32 billion in commitments to 340 partnerships worldwide.

The firm acts as a consultant on leveraged buyouts, venture capital, mezzanine funds, expansion capital, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and distressed debt.

Brun lives in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

Joseph A. Chazan (B.S. '56, M.D. '60) is founder of the Rhode Island Dialysis Program and medical director of the Rhode Island Artificial Kidney Centers.

He has made significant contributions to his community and is active in many civic, religious and arts organizations. He has served for nearly a decade on the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences alumni board and is a former chairman of UB's general alumni fund drive.

Chazan lives in Providence.

Lyn M. Dyster (M.S. '83, Ph.D. '90) is a founder and president of GenCyte, LLC, a promising microbiology company that patents genetic markers for breast cancer. The company will leverage its skill base in molecular biology, microbiology and cell culture to perform biologic laboratory services. It also plans to develop certain cell-culture products for sale to niche research and medical markets.

Dyster lives in Lewiston.

Ira S. Flatow (B.S. '71), host of National Public Radio's award-winning program, "Talk of the Nation: Science Friday," is a 30-year broadcast journalist.

He is president of ScienCentral, which produces the Science and Technology News Network, a science-news service for television and the Internet. Flatow's radio career began in 1971 at WBFO-FM 88.7, UB's NPR affiliate.

Flatow lives in Stamford, Conn.

Saravanan Gopinathan (Ph.D. '84), dean of the School of Education at Singapore's prestigious Nanyang Technological University, is internationally known and respected in the field of education.

He has promoted educational research and publishing, and is a founder and past president of the Educational Research Association.

Shep E. Gordon (B.A. '68) is founder and president of Alive Enterprises, a major entertainment agency specializing in management of music-industry clients.

He is also founder of Alive Culinary Resources, a management-consultant company that books renowned chefs for events around the world.

He lives in Kihei, Hawaii.