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July 8, 2013
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Six from Upstate receive Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Six members of Upstate Medical University have received 2012-13 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor Awards of Excellence for outstanding service to SUNY, their campus and their community. SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher announced the recipients June 17.

Roberto E. Izquierdo, M.D., Wendy R. Kates, Ph.D., Margaret M. Maimone, Ph.D., Amy E. Moore, Iris O’Neill, and Joseph Zelenyak, R.N., were among 312 faculty and staff from SUNY’s 64 campuses and System Administration to receive the awards, comprised of a certificate and a Chancellor’s Excellence Medallion. Upstate’s recipients will receive their awards at the university’s 2013 Fall Faculty Convocation.

“SUNY employs an exemplary body of faculty and staff across the state and the annual presentation of these awards underscores our deep appreciation for those who serve SUNY campuses, students and communities with the highest levels of distinction,” said Chancellor Zimpher.

• Roberto E. Izquierdo, M.D., a 1987 alumnus of Upstate’s College of Medicine, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. He is professor of medicine and pediatrics, section chief of Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and associate medical director of the Upstate Joslin Diabetes Center. Izquierdo is internationally recognized for his expertise in pediatric diabetes and disorders of the thyroid gland. He established the Pediatric Diabetes Program at the Upstate Joslin Diabetes Center and the Upstate Thyroid Center of Excellence that serves adult and pediatric patients from more than 20 counties. He has conducted more than 25 community outreach and professional education programs. He is the recipient of the Upstate Gold Standard Award (2009), a Special Recognition award from the Hispanic community (2006), and Upstate’s President’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service (2012),

• Wendy R. Kates, Ph.D.,professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Since joining Upstate in 2002, Kates has received as principal investigator five National Institute of Mental Health grants and a grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation to study velocardiofacial syndrome. She currently is principal investigator on two National Institutes of Health grants that total $3.8 million. Her reputation as one of the best in the field of velocardiofacial syndrome research is based on her published works in top ranked journals and numerous presentations at national and international meetings. In 2009, she was selected as one of the first three Jacobsen Scholars at Upstate. She is the recipient of Upstate’s President’s Award for Excellence and Leadership in Research (2011).

• Margaret M. Maimone, Ph.D., associate professor of cell and developmental biology, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. For nearly two decades at Upstate, her keen interests in medical education, curriculum design and delivery, active learning and academic counseling and advising have gained for her a reputation as a gifted teacher and mentor, attested by the many accolades from students in Upstate’s College of Medicine. Maimone has contributed tirelessly to making Upstate’s Medical Scholars Program a success. The program, a joint effort of the colleges of Medicine and Health Professions, enrolls promising minority medical school applicants in a master’s program in Clinical Laboratory Science. The program has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of qualified minority students retained and graduated by Upstate’s College of Medicine.

Iris O’Neill and Joseph Zelenyak, R.N., have received Chancellor’s awards for Excellence in Classified Service.

• O’Neill is a member of the hospital’s Environmental Services Department cleaning team. Since 2003 she has worked in all areas of the hospital’s Downtown Campus, providing excellent service and support to patient care. Her pride, expertise and exceptional work record in maintaining her currently assigned 63,054 square foot area–which includes the hospital’s main lobby, the gift shop and coffee bar—has earned her praise from her supervisors and customers alike. She is known for her willingness to make concessions to her own schedule to meet the demands of the department and her suggestions have helped to enhance the quality of customer service at Upstate.

• Joseph Zelenyak, R.N., is patient service leader (PSL) for the Emergency Department at Upstate University Hospital’s Downtown Campus. He began his career at Upstate in 1991 on unit 6B as a graduate nurse and was promoted to the position of PSL for the Emergency Department in 1999. In 2000 he received certification in Domestic Preparedness, giving him the ability to effectively react and care for patients who are injured in a nuclear, biological or chemical attack. He is also FEMA-trained in areas of emergency preparedness, surge capacity, Avian Flu, decontamination and Hazmat. Zelenyak’s advanced training has allowed him to work within Upstate’s 17-county region as an expert resource and the “go to” person for mock disaster drills and tabletop exercises.

• Amy E. Moore, PC support specialist in the Information Management and Technology (IMT) Department, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Moore began her career at Upstate in 1982 in the Office of Personnel. During the course of three decades, she has advanced her career through Personnel, the Office of the President and currently with IMT. In all three roles, she has earned a reputation as someone who is responsive, professional, proactive and helpful. Since joining IMT in 1996, she has become an accomplished system professional supporting the vast array of computer technology at our institution. She maintains a calm and pleasant demeanor in a demanding, fast-paced environment. Her high standards of customer service go above and beyond the expectations of her clients.

Caption: From left, Wendy Kates, P.hD., Amy Moore and Joseph Zelenyak, R.N., are among six Upstate staff members to receive Chancellor Awards for Excellence. Recipients also include Roberto E. Izquierdo, M.D., Margaret M. Maimone, Ph.D., and Iris O’Neill.

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