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The Canisius College Alumni Association presented its Distinguished Alumni Award to seven graduates of the college, during ceremonies Nov. 9 in the college’s Montante Cultural Center. Presented annually, the Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes Canisius graduates who have distinguished themselves as leaders in their chosen professions. The 2013 Distinguished Alumni recipients are:

Col. James L. Budny ’70, a neurosurgeon affiliated with Gates Vascular Institute and UB Neurosurgery and colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves; Hon. Mary Grace Diehl ’74, a U.S. bankruptcy judge for the Northern District of Georgia, in Atlanta, Ga.; Robert M. Glaser ’68, director and chair of the board for Freed Maxick & Battaglia CPAs; Dr. Kathleen T. Grimm ’77, a supportive medical partner for the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care; Dr. Richard M. Peer ’65, medical director of the Vascular Lab at Buffalo Medical Group and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital; George C. Robinson ’73, a former secret service agent who now serves as assistant federal security director of Homeland Security in Austin, Texas; and Rocco R. Termini ’72, chief executive officer of Signature Development.

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Susan K. Cahn, professor in the University at Buffalo Department of History, has been named the William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow at the Vanderbilt University Robert Penn Warren Center for the 2013-14 academic year. She is one of seven Warren Center fellows to participate in the center’s annual year-long interdisciplinary faculty seminar whose theme this year is “Diagnosis in Context: Culture, Politics and the Construction of Meaning.”

Cahn, a member of the UB history faculty since 1992, is known for her publications on the history of women and sports, and research in U.S. women’s history, history of sexuality, African-American history, southern history, feminist theory and LGBQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Queer) studies. Her current research is on the gendered history of mental illness with a focus on borderline personality disorder.

Cahn, who will receive a $50,000 stipend from Vanderbilt, will study the production of diagnoses, the various meanings ascribed to them across time and place, and what they do for individuals and communities trying to navigate the boundaries between health and disease.

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Marta L. Werner, professor of English at D’Youville was consulted and quoted for an Oct. 23 New York Times article on poet Emily Dickinson.

The article titled “Enigmatic Dickinson Revealed Online” by Jennifer Schuessler reported on the new online Emily Dickinson Archive (EDA) made public in October. It brings together “on a single open access Web site thousands of manuscripts held by Harvard University, Amherst College, the Boston Public Library and five other institutions.”

Werner commented on Harvard’s decision to limit the digital archive to manuscripts relating to the 1,789 poems in a 1998 publication by the Harvard University Press.

“She was continually challenging the boundaries of genre,” Werner said. “She was someone who wrote all the time, and by the end she was writing on everything.”

Harvard financed the two-year project that is designed to make scholarship easier. “It was an immensely complex task,” Werner said in the Harvard Gazette of the efforts to bring the collaborating institutions together.

Werner is a member of the EDA Board and the creator of “Radical Scatters,” a 1999 digital project based on Dickinson’s fragments from after 1875 called “scraps.”

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Every Person Influences Children (EPIC) recognized four individuals and organizations that exemplify EPIC’s mission to help families, schools, and communities raise children to become responsible and capable adults at its “Heroes For Children & Families Gala,” which was held Nov. 19 at Hotel @ The Lafayette in Downtown Buffalo. Honorees include:

Emerence Bykowicz, 30-year EPIC staff member and Buffalo Public Schools employee, William B. Hoyt Award for Service to Families; New York State Parent Teacher Association, Eugene T. Reville Award for Service to Education; William Fremgen, coordinator of Drug Abuse Services, Erie County Department of Mental Health, Robert M. Bennett Award for Service to Community; and H. Ward Wettlaufer, EPIC board member emeritus, Robert L. Wilson Award for Exceptional Service and Leadership.

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Orchard Park Girl Scout Troop 30456 earned their Bronze Award, the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can receive. The troop needs to complete a Girl Scout Journey book and put in 20 hours of community service in order to earn the award.

Lisa Gioia, troop leader and Lisa Breth, troop co-leader led the girls on the mission to help sick children at Children’s Hospital. The girl scouts created a project called “Kids Helping Kids”. They set up donation containers throughout the Orchard Park community, that responded with overwhelming support. The girl scouts made 22 blankets, 33 pillows, 165 toiletry bags. They created 160 coloring books on their own, 65 laminated bookmarks, and 60 craft bags. All donations were delivered to the hospital’s Family Centered Care Welcome Bag program for children receiving dialysis and cancer treatments.

The troop worked on the project all summer and donated the items on Oct. 25.

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Corey Pray has achieved Eagle Scout in Boy Scout Troop 104. He worked with Mark Tramont of the Town of Tonawanda to create a vegetable garden at the Tonawanda Senior Citizen Center for his Eagle Scout project. Pray and Troop 104 built four large garden beds for the seniors.

Pray is currently attending Boston University where he is majoring in chemistry and political science. He is working for a politcal campaign for Boston Council, participating in ROTC, mock trial and elected to a position on the executive board of the Boston University student union.

He attended St. Joseph Collegiate Institute where he graduated salutatorian in May 2013.

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Victory Media, the media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has named Trocaire College to the Military Friendly Schools list. The 2014 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

“Inclusion on the 2014 list of Military Friendly schools shows Trocaire College’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for our veteran population,” said Brad Baumgardner, Trocaire College veterans coordinator. “I am proud to be part of a great college community of student veterans and their families as we continue to find new and better ways to help them succeed.”

Trocaire College instituted an Office of Veterans Affairs in June 2011 to meet the needs of the growing veteran student population.

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Arun Vishwanath, associate professor in the department of communication at University at Buffalo, has received a three-year $320,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to launch a research project to learn just how people fall victim to cyber-phishing attacks and what tools can be used to protect them. His partner in the study is H. Raghav Rao, SUNY distinguished service professor in the department of management science and systems in the UB School of Management, where Vishwanath is an adjunct associate professor. The two will partner with other organizations, including the National Consumer League, in conducting the study.

Phishing is the scam in which internet fraudsters send spam or pop-up messages aimed at drawing personal and financial information from unsuspecting victims. Once they acquire personal information, phishers can get into the victim’s other online personal and business accounts as well.

Vishwanath says research like this is necessary and important because recent major cyber attack has involved a phishing scam. Phishing makes important private information available to hackers. He cites such examples as the April attack on the AP Twitter feed that resulted in it disseminating “news” of a White House bombing in which the president was injured. Another example, he says, was the August take-down of The New York Times website by the pro-Assad “Syrian Electronic Army.” He says, “a host of recent attacks on news outlets such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CBS, BBC and NPR have all been attributed to phishing attacks.”

email: citydesk@buffnews.com