14 UB Students Receive SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: May 30, 2007 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Fourteen students at the University at Buffalo have received 2007 SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Student Excellence from SUNY Chancellor John R. Ryan.

The awards are given out annually to students who earn a grade-point average of 3.78 or higher and record a significant contribution to their campus or local community.

"Recipients of this year's awards have excelled academically and, in many cases, far exceeded even their own expectations in their pursuit of higher education and community service," Ryan said. "The Chancellor's Award for Excellence is given to the best and the brightest students across the SUNY system. I am pleased to see so many recipients this year from nearly all of our campuses. I commend the campus presidents and their faculty and staff for discovering and enhancing student excellence throughout the year."

Receiving Chancellor's Awards are:

• Rahul Chopra of Buffalo, who graduated with a triple major of mathematics, economics and computer science. An advanced honors student, Chopra served as a teaching assistant in the Department of Economics. He is a member of Mortar Board International national senior honor society and the National Residence Hall Honorary, which includes the top 1 percent of students residing on a college campus.

• Michael Colby of Tonawanda, who graduated with a 4.0 in business administration. Colby was a teaching assistant in the Department of Accounting and Law in the School of Management and last spring received the New York State Society of CPA's Award for having the highest GPA of all juniors in his major.

• Karen H. Corey of Kingston, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in cognitive sciences and psychology. Corey, a member of the UB crew team for four years before joining the cross-country squad in her fifth year, also is the recipient of a SUNY Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete Award and a scholar in the Student Fulbright Program.

• Fara E. Ditkowsky of Plainview, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in speech and hearing services. An advanced honors student and president of the Student Association of Speech and Hearing, Ditkowsky organized service projects such as Operation Helmet, holiday parties at the Women's and Children's Hospital of Buffalo and writing letters to soldiers overseas. She co-taught an introductory freshman course.

• Josh Hancock of Fairport, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering. Hancock is an independent consultant on a grant on biodiesel production using trap grease as a feedstock and helped design the $30,000 testing apparatus.

• Mohammad Hussain of Olean, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in biomedical sciences. President of the undergraduate Student Association, Hussain also was past president of the Muslim Association and past senate chair of the Student Association. He is a member of several honor societies and built cultural bridges as a host and producer on the first American Muslim TV network.

• Craig E. Keller of West Seneca, who graduated with a 4.0 in biological sciences. An honors student and Eagle Scout, Keller volunteers his time as an assistant scoutmaster for a Boy Scout troop. He received the Merck Award for Excellence in Chemistry and is a volunteer liaison and patient representative in a local emergency room. He has been accepted into six medical schools.

• Zachary Lochner of Williamsville, who graduated with a 3.9 GPA in electrical engineering. An award-winning photographer and member of several engineering honor societies, Lochner has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study and research electron beam nanolithography.

• Sarah Meunier of Liverpool, who graduated with a double major in sociology and health and human services, A member of several academic honor societies, Meunier has received awards for being a safe-sex peer educator and will volunteer in an AIDS clinics in Africa this summer. She was active in the Wilkeson Hall Council in the Ellicott Complex residence hall complex, where she served as general board member, executive board secretary and program/event coordinator.

• Ola Mscichowski of Rochester, who received a bachelor's degree in biomedical sciences. An honors student and recipient of the Merck Award for Excellence in Organic Chemistry, Mscichowski served as president of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honor Society. She volunteers in the intensive care unit of a local hospital and has been honored for her work there.

• Robert Richards of Islip, who received bachelor's degrees in psychology and exercise science. Richards is a certified personal trainer and has served UB public safety in that capacity. He also has served as a tour guide for the Office of Admissions and a UB 101 peer mentor. He was a research and teaching assistant for human anatomy and psychology classes.

• Peter Rizzo of Tonawanda, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in English. An advanced honors student, Rizzo was the first SUNY student to receive the prestigious Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship for his leadership and service. He is the youngest appointed official to both the Town of Tonawanda Commission for Conservation of the Environment and the board of directors of the New York State Association of Conservation Commissions.

• Balbir K. Singh of Grand Island, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in a special major she created: comparative Literature and English. An honors student who has traveled to South Africa, Singh was recognized for her honors thesis on self-identity in postcolonial Algeria. She was a student representative on the planning committee for the visit to UB last September of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. She also was a student supervisor for a program that places UB undergraduates as mentors for inner city Advanced Placement high school students.

• Ann Zykina of East Amherst, who received a bachelor's degree in international studies and German. Recipient of the Outstanding Student Award from the Department of Political Science, Zykina was vice president of the UB chapter of the Mortar Board International national senior honor society. She served as a peer educator for the leadership and study abroad offices.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 27,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.