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One of the state’s top judges, an educator working to improve Buffalo schools, a noted Buffalo businessman and a college administrator are among those who will be honored at the Minority Bar Association of Western New York’s 31st annual Scholarship and Awards Celebration beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

Justice Rose H. Sconiers of the state’s Fourth Department Appellate Division, who is a former Buffalo City Court and State Supreme Court trial judge in Buffalo as well as a former assistant Buffalo corporation counsel and former head of the Buffalo Legal Aid Bureau, will be presented the group’s Trailblazer Award.

Dr. Barbara A. Seals Nevergold, president of the Buffalo School Board and an adjunct professor at Empire State College as well as a former Buffalo public school teacher, will be presented the Education Award for her efforts to help minority students succeed scholastically.

Edward Watts Sr., founder of the city’s Watts Architecture and Engineering firm, will be presented the Business Person of the Year Award for his efforts to help minority workers succeed.

Dr. Mary Ellen Mulvey, director of Medaille College’s community partnership program and overseer of its TRiO Student Support Services Program, will be given the President’s Award in recognition of her leadership in the Western New York community and commitment to diversity of educational opportunity through the program.

Leah A. Bouguard, a Buffalo lawyer, will be presented the Legal Service Award in recognition of her leadership, dedication and work for the minority bar as well as her free legal work.

Elizabeth Fox Solomon, also a Buffalo lawyer, will receive the Community Service Award for her service and support of Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) and that organization’s efforts to give everyone equal access to housing no matter their background or race.

Edyne Paul, a third-year student at the Univeristy at Buffalo’s Law School, will be presented the John L. Hargrave Scholarship Award in recognition of her scholarship and support of the minority bar group and its mission.

Stephanie Calhoun, president of the Minority Bar Association, said the celebration serves as a way for lawyers and other professionals in the legal community of diverse ethnic backgrounds to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of local individuals in the areas of leadership and community service.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com