Alumni awards ceremony celebrates outstanding achievements

The Alumni Council meeting on April 26 culminated with a special event to recognize alumni who have extraordinary career accomplishments and who have been tireless supporters of Binghamton University. In front of an audience of nearly 200 alumni, friends and University leaders, the Alumni Association presented the 2014 Special Recognition awards. At the ceremony, all three signature awards were presented (Bartle, Weisband and DeFleur) as well as the Medals of Distinguished Service, introduced in 2013.



Sunny Hostin '90Sunny Hostin '90 was the featured speaker at the Alumni Association Special Recognition Awards reception and dinner. Attorney and multi-platform journalist, Hostin is a CNN legal analyst and anchor for ABC News. She joined CNN in September 2007 as the legal analyst for American Morning, where she became known for her in-depth analysis of headline-grabbing trials and legal issues.

Hostin shared anecdotes about her childhood in the South Bronx, an environment she escaped at age 16 when she enrolled at Binghamton University. She received a full scholarship through the Educational Opportunity Program, and said Binghamton provided a great education, guidance and support, and lifelong friendships.

"I was exposed to an entire environment that I don't think I would have been exposed to anywhere else," Hostin says. "And I met these fascinating people. I met a culture and a community that offered me a slice of life where people worked their way through school, where people expressed themselves openly and differently, and people really cared about each other."

See a video of Sunny's speech.



Geraldine Knoll MacDonald ’68, MS ’73
Glenn G. Bartle Distinguished Alumnus/a Award
The Bartle Award recognizes and honors graduates who have rendered outstanding voluntary service to the Binghamton University community, while also serving their communities, their careers and their country.

Geraldine MacDonald '68, MS '73Geraldine MacDonald (at left of photo with Michelle Gardner, senior director of development communication and stewardship) is an independent consultant, specializing in executive management, Internet start-ups and wireless applications, as well as litigation support for Internet-related tax cases and patent disputes. Previously, she was a senior vice president at America Online, Inc., overseeing the construction and expansion of AOL's access networks, connecting members worldwide to all brands of the service using narrowband and broadband technologies. To provide this connectivity, MacDonald operated the world's largest dial-up network, as well as an IP backbone for broadband traffic. At its peak, the network supported more than 3 million simultaneous member connections.

Before joining America Online, she was responsible for computing and networking at Binghamton University. MacDonald steered the transitions from mainframe computers to mini computers and to personal computers. She was instrumental in the initial construction of the computer "pods" on campus and the smart classrooms. She is a longtime supporter of the Watson School, having established the Jack Knoll Scholarship for Women, MacDonald Family Prize in Senior Design and provided support for student professional development by naming the Knoll-MacDonald Commons.

"I did what a lot of young unemployed people did; I read the New York Times want ads," MacDonald said in her acceptance speech. "There was a section that started 'college grads, we will train you.' And, many of those ads were about programming computers. I took a chance, went for a few interviews and the rest was history. I was in the right place at the right time, and knowing how to seize the moment made all the difference."

See a video of the award presentation and Geraldine's acceptance speech.


Keith A. LaScalea ’94
Edward Weisband Distinguished Alumnus/a Award for Public Service or Contribution to Public Affairs
The Weisband Award recognizes one alumnus or alumna each year whose life, work, career and contributions exemplify the highest standards of service and deepest dedication to the sustenance of the common good.

Keith LaScalea '94LaScalea (pictured with Harpur College Dean Anne McCall) is an associate professor of clinical medicine on the faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC). He completed his residency in internal medicine at New York - Presbyterian Hospital and medical school at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine. He has been on faculty at Weill Cornell Medical Associates - East Side since 2002. In addition to his busy clinical primary care internal medicine practice, LaScalea serves as director of the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Foundation Curriculum in Metabolic Diseases at WCMC, a position he has held since 2012. He directs the continuing medical education curriculum at Weill Cornell Medical Associates - East Side. He has also received teaching awards from WCMC. He has a long-standing interest in both cardiometabolic risk and medical student education. In particular, LaScalea has expertise in smoking cessation counseling and education.

LaScalea has participated in non-profit health outreach efforts in both Africa and New York. He served on the board of a non-governmental organization based in Zambia for four years. As the former medical director of the Heart to Heart Community Outreach Program, he brought prevention information and education to uninsured and disadvantaged New Yorkers. LaScalea was awarded the Barbara Zucker Traveling Fellowship in Clinical Infectious Diseases in 2001. This allowed him to live in Tanzania, treat patients and teach assistant medical officers there. He also worked briefly doing medical outreach in Ghana in 2006. In his spare time, he runs marathons to stay fit. 

"I think any student who truly harnesses the many opportunities here will be strapping on a jet pack that can thrust their careers to stratospheric heights," LaScalea says.  "The knowledge, skills and attitudes they gain here will grow their lives the way it did for me and many of my Binghamton University friends." 

See a video of the award presentation and Keith's acceptance speech.

Justin Joseph '05, MBA '06
Lois B. DeFleur Distinguished Young Alumnus/a Award
The DeFleur Award recognizes alumni who graduated within the last 10 years or are 35 years of age or under, who are established or demonstrate potential to become future leaders. Criteria includes demonstrated leadership capability, substantial commitment to service of others, demonstration of potential for leadership in the long term, and substantial commitment to the University and Alumni Association.

Justin Joseph '05, MBA '06Joseph (pictured with Laurie Norell, major gifts officer) is an entrepreneur and senior finance professional with a progressive record in business development and corporate finance. He is helping develop the financial practice at DayNine Consulting and successfully co-founded EJ Blooms (a New York-based floral design firm) in 2013. Previously, Joseph led Toyota North America's FP&A department and oversaw financials for Nickelodeon's consumer products. He is the co-chair of the Tau Alpha Upsilon Alumni Society, on the School of Management's Young Alumni Advisory Board and actively assists on various University initiatives with the Athletics Department and with the Alumni Association's Metro New York Chapter. He is also very committed to higher education and is presently teaching finance courses at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

"My plans for this next decade are to create a scholarship, to continue working with the School of Management to reach out to more young alumni and to continue the work of the TAU Alumni Society," Joseph says. "We're all in this together. I'm going to try and do my part over the next 10 years to make this school better."

See a video of the award presentation and Justin's acceptance speech.



In recognition of alumni contributions to specific areas on campus (e.g., schools, Admissions, Career Development Center), we were pleased to present Medals of Distinguished Service to the following alumni, who have been tireless volunteers for the University while excelling in their respective career endeavors.

See a video of the medals presentation.


Yang Chen '87Yang Chen '87 – Chen is executive director of the Asian American Bar Association of New York, a position he has held since 2009. Previously, he was a partner at Constantine Cannon, a firm specializing in antitrust and complex commercial litigation. He has remained engaged with the University through Harpur Law Council and the Asian and Asian American Alumni Council.

Robert D. Eicher '81Robert D. Eicher '81 – Eicher has worked as a human resources consultant for virtually his entire career and is a global account director for Towers Watson. He manages several large client relationships and is co-leading a project to globalize the firm's health consulting practice. He and his wife Lauren have four children: John ('13), Catherine ('15), Caroline and Emily. Eicher is a longtime School of Management supporter.

Fred Farley, PhD '03Fred Farley, PhD '03 – Farley is president and chief operating officer of Arnot Ogden Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira, N.Y. He has contributed to a number of publications on clinical and management topics including chapters in surgical nursing textbooks. Additionally, Farley has been a guest lecturer in the Czech Republic. He's a former member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Ruthanne Koffman '82, MA '84Ruthanne Koffman '82, MA '84 – Koffman is vice president, financial advisor at Merrill Lynch in Binghamton. She established the Ruthanne Koffman Master of Arts in Social Science Fellowship at Binghamton University which is awarded to full-time MA students in the social sciences with demonstrated financial need.

Dr. Gary Kunis '73, LHD '02Gary Kunis '73, LHD '02 – In 2002, Kunis retired from his role as vice president and chief science officer at Cisco Systems, Inc., and executive sponsor of Cisco Japan. He oversaw design, development, sales, global deployment and services of Cisco products. He is a generous benefactor and a valued advisor to the Watson School.

David L. Kushner '70David L. Kushner '70 – He is president of The Kushner Companies, LLC, advising CEOs and governing boards on governance and election matters, specializing in nonprofit and healthcare organizations. Kushner is former president and CEO of the Professional Convention Management Association and its foundation. He's a past president of the Alumni Association and Foundation boards, and earned the 1995 Bartle Award.

Karima Legette '01, MA '05Karima Legette '01, MA '05 – Legette began her career as associate director of Binghamton's McNair Scholars Program, where she advised first-generation and underrepresented students. She is coordinator of the Binghamton Enrichment Program (BEP), and senior assistant director for the Educational Opportunity Program.  

William A. Orband Jr. '74William A. Orband Jr. '74 – Orband is president of the Binghamton Bearcats Athletic Association. A board member since 2005, he assumed his current position in 2012 after serving as vice president. He serves on the Virginia and Conrad Klee Foundation board and is president of the Binghamton Club. Since 1985, he has been president of William Orband Insurance, Inc., in Binghamton.

Brian L. Segel '85Brian L. Segel '85 – Segel is a partner in the Westchester General Office of New York Life, which he joined after working as a financial advisor with Citi Personal Wealth Management. He's an active Binghamton alumnus, volunteering at student-alumni networking events sponsored by the Alumni Association and Career Development Center. Segel is a co-founder and past chair of the Tau Alpha Upsilon Alumni Society.

Michael J. Warshawsky '81Michael J. Warshawsky '81 – Warshawsky is owner and education consultant of a Tutor Doctor franchise, serving students in Queens and Nassau County. He realized his passion for helping students excel when advising high school students about college selection and the application process as an alumni volunteer for Binghamton. He was a senior equity research analyst in the investment management industry.

See photos from the awards ceremony at our Shutterfly site.







B-CONNECTED with other graduates! B-connected is a secure virtual community only for Binghamton University alumni. Update your personal profile, search for alumni, and submit and read Class Notes. 


NEW SEASON, NEW JOB? To help you move ahead in your career, the Alumni Association offers two LinkedIn groups. Make new connections in our Professional Network group and search for jobs posted by alumni in our Job Forum group (and share postings if you have them).


SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE WITH US! The Alumni Relations office is asked to recommend alumni who are expert speakers. If you are well-versed, because of your education and professional experience, in subjects including national security, politics, technology, career networking, environmental studies or etiquette, please contact Melinda Holicky, associate director for volunteer engagement. Include your name, class year, and a brief description of your experience and expertise. Supporting material could include a c.v. or link to your website.


The Alumni Association and Uncommon Goods (founded by David Bolotsky '85) offer the opportunity to purchase banks made from mailboxes salvaged from Newing Dining Hall. This can be a great keepsake of your time as a student at Binghamton. Banks also make great gifts! Purchase a bank today.



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Last Updated: 9/26/16