WNY Distinguished Scientists
Each year, the WNY Science Congress, Inc Board of Directors identify a renowned scientist from one of the 8 counties of Western New York. His or her accomplishments are of importance not only to our area, but possibly recognized nationally or globally. Past honorees include:
Architecture and advocacy were the hallmarks of Robert Coles’ career. He was one of 12 African American students in a class of over 300 at Buffalo’s Technical High School. Of his many accomplishments, Mr. Coles designed the John F. Kennedy Recreation Center which is recognized an as early gem, and his own home in Buffalo’s East Side which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The architect profession is beginning to follow Mr. Coles’ example making issues of diversity a priority, creating a “diversity pipeline” to introduce younger students to the profession.
2017 | Liesl Folks
Dr. Liesl Folks holds the post of Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University at Buffalo‐SUNY. Her professional research interests include materials design and innovation, technology transfer cycle optimization, magnetic materials and devices, data storage, and random access memories.
2015 | Herbert F. Darling, Jr.
“If it didn’t come out of the woods, it’s probably not American.” This is a quote often repeated by Herbert F. Darling, Jr. when he speaks about the American Chestnut tree, a tree whose numbers were decimated by a fungus-based blight in the early 1900s. Once numbering in the billions, only a few hundred remain today.
2013 | Robert Brady
Bob was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. After graduating in Buffalo, New York. After graduating from Canisius High graduating from Canisius High School he earned a Bachelor of High School he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Degree in Mechanical Engineering at M.I.T. in 1962, completed Engineering at M.I.T. in 1962, completed a tour of duty as a 1962, completed a tour of duty as a naval officer in 1964 and then attended the Harvard Business School. He joined Moog in 1966, immediately after graduating from Harvard.
2009 | Dr. Donna Fernandes
Dr. Donna Fernandes became President/CEO of the Buffalo Zoo in September 2000. Prior to joining the zoo, she received her M.B.A. from Simmons School of Management. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from Princeton University.
2007 | Herbert A. Hauptman, PhD
Nobel Laureate Herbert A. Hauptman, Ph.D., has been recognized by the highest levels of academia, the international science community, and the media because his work in the fields of mathematics and science saves lives. The Buffalo News said that because of his lifelong dedication to molecular level research “Hauptman…Undoubtedly saved more lives…than anyone else in recent history.” Through his work at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Dr. Hauptman continues to pave the way for pharmaceutical breakthroughs, advances in medical procedures, and the groundbreaking research done by his fellow crystallographers throughout the world.
Gale Burstein | 2018
Dr. Burstein was appointed the Erie County Commissioner of Health in 2012. Her current focus is on developing strategies to change health care providers’ narcotics prescribing practices to prevent opioid addiction in Erie County. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and an active member of New York State’s Ending the AIDS Epidemic Task Force.
2016 | Helen Domske
For nearly 40 years, Helen Domske has dedicated her career to studying the world’s oceans and the Great Lakes and then sharing that knowledge with students and others. Her life‐long fascination with aquatic life started at the age 8, when she decided to raise fish. With the support of tolerant parents, who had their living room take on the look of a mini‐aquarium store, Helen turned her attention to all things aquatic.
2014 | Don Paul
Don is the Chief Meteorologist of 4Warn Weather, for the highly viewed News 4 newscasts at 5, 6, 10 & 11 on weeknights. He has been chosen as Best Weather Anchor since 2005 in ARTVOICE’S Readers’ Choice poll and as Buffalo’s favorite television personality 3 times. He has come to cherish the warmth of the people as well as the choices of restaurants and entertainment, and truly calls Buffalo his home.
2010 | Dr. Charlotte Roehm
Dr. Charlotte Roehm holds a joint position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning and as a Research Scientist within the Great Lakes Center at Buffalo State College. Since moving to Buffalo State College in 2008, Dr. Roehm has continued her research focus on terrestrial-aquatic linkages for energy and nutrients and bacterial pollution. Her work, through the Great Lakes Center, has extended her attention to wetlands and involves examining natural processes and restoration accomplishments, with an aim to improve our understanding of the role these coastal wetlands play in water quality in the Great Lakes, and for better defining the need for protection and restoration initiatives for these ecosystems.
2006 | Wilson Greatbatch
Greatbatch was born in Buffalo, New York and attended public grade school at West Seneca High School West Seneca.He entered military service and served during World War II, becoming an aviation chief radioman before receiving an honorable discharge in 1945. He attended Cornell University as part of the GI Bill, graduating with a B.E.E. in electrical engineering in 1950; he received a master’s degree from the University of Buffalo in 1957. Wilson loved fiddling with objects and this would lead to other great things.