Published April 16, 2018
Fifteen UB students have received 2018 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. The awards were presented by SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson at a ceremony April 10 in Albany.
“I am immensely proud of these students, who have demonstrated academic excellence and dedication to enriching their campuses and communities,” Johnson said. “From research publications in industry journals to volunteering in hospitals and local clinics to holding leadership roles at their institutions, I am inspired by each student we recognized. Congratulations to all of the students receiving this year’s award.”
The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and have been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement or career achievement.
Each year, SUNY campus presidents establish a selection committee that reviews the accomplishments of exemplary students. Nominees are forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office for a second round of review. Finalists are then recommended to the chancellor to become recipients of the award.
UB’s honorees are Devashish Agarwal, majoring in computer science; Marla Beyer, majoring in psychology; Harman Paul Brar, a dual major in political science and economics; Mary Canty, a biomedical engineering student; Rachael Cardinal, a pharmacy major; Mikayla Fayo, a dual major in biomedical sciences and psychology; Randy Fernando, an architecture student; Marco Gangarossa, majoring in accounting; Walker Gosrich, a mechanical engineering major; Seamus Lombardo, an aerospace engineering student; John McCarthy, majoring in biological sciences; Michael Paraszczak, an architecture major; Kayleigh Reed, a dual major in English and Asian studies; Philip Schneider, majoring in electrical engineering; and Katherine Ups, a biomedical sciences student.
Devashish Agarwal of Agra, India, graduates with a BS in computer science and a minor in management. Agarwal is a University Honors College Scholar and has been president of the Honors Student Council for three years. He is chair of the Student Senate and organized the first TEDx talk in UB’s history. He has been an international orientation leader, senator for the Residence Hall Association and a teaching assistant. He also serves on the Future Alumni Leadership Council for the UB Alumni Association.
Marla L. Beyer
Marla Beyer of Amherst, New York, graduates with a BA in psychology. Beyer is a research assistant at UB’s Research Institute on Addictions, John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital and Buffalo General Medical Center, where she has worked on projects pertaining to prenatal substance use and pediatric asthma. A University Advanced Honors Scholar, she has presented her research at multiple national and regional conferences. She also served as a volunteer domestic violence and sexual assault counselor.
Harman Paul Singh Brar
Harman Paul Singh Brar of Buffalo graduates with a BA in political science and economics with a minor in statistics. Selected as a U.S.-UK Fulbright Summer Institute Scholar, Brar also is a UB Presidential Scholar and University Honors College Scholar. He has been a tutor at the Valley Community Center, president of the Sikh Student Association and co-captain of the UB Bhangra team. He has taken an active interest in politics, interning in the office of Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand and with the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
Mary K. Canty
Mary Canty of Buffalo graduates with a PhD in biomedical engineering. A Western New York Prosperity Fellow, Canty received the Woman in Technology Award at InfoTech WNY’s 2017 Buffalo Emerging Technology Awards Showcase. She was a Presidential Fellow in the UB Department of Biomedical Engineering, where she conducted research on preventing orthopaedic implant infections as part of the Orthopaedics Research Laboratory.
Rachael Cardinal of Depew, New York, graduates with a PharmD. Cardinal was selected as the Robert H. Gumtow Scholar of her pharmacy class and was nationally recognized as an American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Walmart Scholar. She also served as president of the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists and Rho Chi Honor Society. Both organizations promote student professionalism, involvement and success throughout pharmacy school and following graduation.
Mikayla C. Fayo
Mikayla Fayo of Washingtonville, New York, graduates with a BS in biomedical sciences and a BA in psychology. Fayo is a community assistant and a mentor for the Leadership House living-learning community. In addition, she has been a Leadership House resident adviser, a research assistant for the Department of Psychology and a teaching assistant for the Department of Biological Sciences. Fayo has served as vice president of UB Amnesty International and is an active member of the UB Choir.
Randy Fernando of Buffalo graduates with a master of architecture. Fernando is the recipient of the Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship for maintaining high academic standards in the face of adversity. He also received the Fred Wallace Brunkow Fellowship, which designated him as the editor of Intersight, the international journal of the School of Architecture and Planning. Additionally, he founded B/a+p Chats to amplify the student voice in academic settings and also established pulseArt, an artist collaborative.
Marco Gangarossa of West Seneca, New York, graduates with a BS in accounting. President of the UB Accounting Association, Gangarossa has been a course assistant, committee leader and Becker Professional Education representative. Recipient of the Excellence in Accounting Scholarship, he won the highly competitive PricewaterhouseCoopers case competition and also the PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Responsibility Challenge. The latter is awarded to only 10 students across the country.
Walker T. Gosrich
Walker Gosrich of Plattsburgh, New York, graduates with a BS in mechanical engineering. A UB Presidential Scholar and University Honors College Scholar, Gosrich is an active member of the robotics research group led by Nils Napp, assistant professor of computer science and engineering. He is music director of The Enchords and a FAFSA completion intern serving the College Success Centers in the Buffalo Public Schools. He received the national Barry Goldwater Scholarship and the UB Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Humanitarian Award.
Seamus J. Lombardo
Seamus Lombardo of Nanuet, New York, graduates with a BS in aerospace engineering. Lombardo is program manager of the UB Nanosatellite Lab and also participated in research through the university’s NASA microgravity project and the UB biomechanics lab. He also has held internships at Millennium Space Systems, SpaceX, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and NASA Langley. He has consistently participated in STEM outreach and is vice president of UB College Democrats.
John C. McCarthy
John McCarthy of Painted Post, New York, graduates with a BS in biological sciences and a minor in theatre. A UB Presidential Scholar and a University Honors College Scholar, McCarthy works in an ecology research lab. He is captain of the UB cross-country and track-and-field teams, having competed on those teams for four years. In addition, McCarthy appeared in “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” and “The Laramie Project,” both productions of the UB Department of Theatre and Dance.
Michael Paraszczak of Syracuse, New York, graduates with a BS in architecture. A University Honors College Scholar, he won the UB Architecture Academic Excellence Award for three consecutive years and the UB Architecture Design Excellence Award during his junior year. He is a self-taught musician and an intern at Macknight Architects. Paraszczak volunteers as a teacher and assistant director for the Ukrainian American Youth Organization and performs with the ODESA Ukrainian Dance Ensemble.
Kayleigh Reed of East Amherst, New York, graduates with a BA in Asian studies and English. A David L. Boren Scholar, she studied Urdu intensively while traveling to India in 2016-17. A University Honors College Scholar, she volunteered at Journey’s End Refugee Services and mentored refugee students at Lafayette High School in Buffalo. Reed served as secretary of the Honors Student Council and as a teaching assistant for University Honors College.
Philip J. Schneider
Philip Schneider of Williamsville, New York, graduates with a PhD in electrical engineering. Schneider is co-founder, president and chief technology officer of La Salle Concepts. A Western New York Prosperity Fellow, he focuses on research with entrepreneurial goals. His research includes health care wearable technologies, biometrics and test phantoms. Schneider’s work has resulted in three patents, $200,000 in funding and numerous scientific papers. He currently sits on the Western New York Invention Convention Board.
Katherine R. Ups
Katherine Ups of Wollongong, Australia, graduates with a BS in biomedical sciences. A member of the UB women’s basketball team, Ups helped lead the Bulls to the Sweet 16 following upset victories in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. In addition, she helped her team win the 2016 Mid-American Conference Championship and made the MAC’s Distinguished Scholar List multiple years. Twice named to the All-MAC Academic Team, Ups was a 2016 nominee and 2017 winner of the Chrisy Dickerson Unsung Hero Award. She has consistently been involved in community service in the Buffalo area.