Shen, Lichtenberger, Sekar among 18 distinguished alumni honored by UB

By Ann Brown

Release Date: October 13, 2023


BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo honored 18 alumni at the 2023 UB Alumni Achievement Awards ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Marriott Buffalo Niagara in Amherst, New York. This annual event honors alumni who have brought distinction to the university.

UB President Satish K. Tripathi presented these universitywide awards:

  • The Capen Award was presented to Roberta Stevens, MLS ’74, BA ’70, of Alexandria, Virginia. She is retired from the Library of Congress after a long career in libraries and information systems.
  • Kimberley Ennis, MS ’07, BS ’05, of Yonkers, New York, received the George W. Thorn Award. She is a leader for nursing and patient care services at New York University Langone Orthopedic Hospital. 
  • The Philip B. Wels Outstanding Service Award was awarded to Rita Andolina, MSW ’88, BA ’80, of West Seneca, New York. She spent more than 30 years with the Western New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office.
  • Roosevelt Thedford, PhD ’73, MA ’62, of Decatur, Georgia, is a retired professor of chemistry at Clark Atlanta University. He received the Clifford C. Furnas Memorial Award. 
  • The Walter P. Cooke Community Leadership Award was presented to Esther Annan, MSW ’06, BA ’04, of Buffalo, New York. She is a program officer with The John R. Oishei Foundation.
  • Laura Shen, MBA ’04, of Beijing, China, is an auto executive with Volkswagen Group China. She received the International Distinguished Alumni Award.

In addition, UB deans presented Distinguished Alumni Awards to these alumni on behalf of each school:

  • School of Architecture and Planning: Franklin Dickinson, MArch ’85, BPS ’83; of Garden City, New York. He is senior vice president of architecture, construction and property management at LVMH Inc., the world’s largest luxury goods company. 
  • College of Arts and Sciences: Bruce Applebaum, BS ’89; of Houston, Texas. He is an officer of Texaco Inc.
  • School of Dental Medicine: Sheldon Winkler, PMCRT ’71; of Carefree, Arizona. He is a professor emeritus at Temple University and author, researcher and international presenter on prosthodontics and implant dentistry.
  • Graduate School of Education: Francisco Vasquez, PhD ’03; of Buffalo, New York. He is former president and CEO of Child and Family Services in Western New York.
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences: Radha Sekar, MBA ’86, BA ’84; of Washington, D.C. She is CEO of the Universal Service Administrative Company, which delivers telecommunications programs to underserved and rural U.S. populations.
  • Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences: Nancy Nielsen, MD ’76; of Orchard Park, New York. She is senior associate dean for health policy and clinical professor of medicine in the Jacobs School, and past president of the American Medical Association.
  • School of Law: Kenneth Manning, MS ’09, JD ’77, BS ’74; of Niagara Falls, New York. He is a partner at Phillips Lytle LLP.
  • School of Management: H. William Lichtenberger, MBA ’66; of Palm City, Florida. He is former chair and CEO of Praxair Inc. (now Linde).
  • School of Nursing: Audrey Koertvelyessy, MS ’66, BS ’62; of Osprey, Florida. She is former director and chief of nursing for the Indian Health Service, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences: Mark Sinnett, PharmD ’87, BS ’83; of Peekskill, New York. He is director of clinical and educational pharmacy services at Montefiore Medical Center, and co-chair for Montefiore’s Center for Pharmacotherapy Research and Quality.
  • School of Public Health and Health Professions: Anthony Delitto, BS ’79; of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is dean of the School of Public Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • School of Social Work: Elizabeth Woike-Ganga, MSW ’04; of East Amherst, New York. She is president and CEO of BestSelf Behavioral Health Inc.

The UB Alumni Achievement Awards are sponsored by the UB Alumni Association. More information on awardees is available on the UB Alumni Association website.

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