Published June 14, 2017
Two professional staff members in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences have received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.
John S. Taylor, executive director of development with the Primary Care Research Institute (PCRI) in the Department of Family Medicine, and Andrew P. Koenig, assistant dean for projects and planning, were honored at a May 24 ceremony at the Center for Tomorrow.
Taylor’s main responsibilities in the position he has held since its creation in 1996 are comprehensive and strategic planning for the PCRI, successful grantsmanship and effective faculty mentoring.
Colleagues who nominated him for the award said Taylor consistently goes above and beyond to fulfill those responsibilities through tireless effort and creativity.
Through his efforts, PCRI has secured more than $91 million in funding since 2000.
“John’s skills in grantsmanship cannot be overstated. He has been instrumental in every major award to our faculty,” says Daniel J. Morelli, MD, professor and chair of family medicine. “With his counsel, the department research faculty have achieved national recognition and promotion within our university ranks.”
Thomas C. Rosenthal, MD, professor emeritus and former chair of family medicine, notes Taylor’s ability to distill complex thoughts in preparing grant applications.
“Making a match requires a great deal of listening to divine mutual interests and opportunities. John did this by developing the now legendary ‘JT One Pager.’ This mechanism, always accompanied by a flow diagram, helped faculty and community organizations define their needs and clarified the opportunity for the funding entity.”
“The ‘JT One Pager’ may sound simple, but it requires active listening, tremendous insight, unique talent and tenacity,” Rosenthal says.
Ranjit Singh, MB BChir, MBA, associate professor of family medicine, vice chair of research and director of the PCRI, says Taylor “has a tremendous ability to see potential in new investigators and to nurture it.”
“His approach is to create a career vision and a roadmap for how to get there,” he says.
Linda S. Kahn, PhD, professor of family medicine, adds Taylor is an “extraordinary coach and mentor” and echoes her colleagues’ sentiments in making note of his selfless manner.
“John is among the most dedicated, service-oriented and hard-working people I have ever known. He is also among the most modest and humble,” she says. “He often comments that ‘our success is his success’ and that his job is ‘to build everyone else’s curricula vitae.’”
Koenig started his career at UB in 1981 as a lab coordinator for the Department of Orthopaedics and went on to become department administrator and assistant to the chair of orthopaedic surgery before being appointed as a network analyst in the Office of Medical Computing in 2001.
“Andy has been a tireless contributor to helping faculty with a wide assortment of computing issues and problems. He has taken a personal interest in helping new chairs investigate and bring their department’s computing and connectivity hardware and software up to our highest standards,” says Raymond P. Dannenhoffer, PhD, associate dean for support services.
“Andy shows outstanding leadership skills. He is often faced with very complex, unexpected problems that require his truly unique problem-solving talents,” says Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD, senior associate dean for research and graduate medical education.
“Whether it is a major equipment breakdown or facility failure or some last-minute change in the design of a research laboratory, Andy responds quickly, and he can readily adapt to any situation,” he says. “I have personally seen his uncanny ability to be flexible and creative when one simple solution will not solve the problem at hand.”
In 2012, Koenig assumed the many responsibilities of assistant dean for projects and planning while still carrying out his duties for the Office of Medical Computing.
“Mr. Koenig is superb in all of his project management roles. He is organized, complete and timely in his work,” says John E. Tomaszewski, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and chair of pathology and anatomical sciences. “Most importantly, he brings a level of enthusiasm, persistence and unwavering commitment to projects, which I have rarely seen during my 35 years in health care education.”
Koenig had previously worked on several projects with Suzanne G. Laychock, PhD, senior associate dean for faculty affairs and facilities, including the redesign and build-out of the third and fourth floors of Farber Hall — a three-year, $10 million project that included a state-of-the-art medical simulation center.
“Looking back, it was fortuitous that Andy and I had worked together on the Farber Hall build-out, because a much larger project soon loomed before us — the construction of the new school of medicine building in downtown Buffalo,” Laychock says.
“A project like this was not in anyone’s job description. It is a once-in-a-lifetime project that required Andy to step up as a leader and professional representative of the medical school and be a creative problem-solver and decision-maker.”
Koenig played a crucial leadership role in the project, working as a liaison between the project architect, University Facilities, the State Construction Fund and construction management.
One of his many duties on the project included working with faculty on purchasing new common and core laboratory equipment.
“Andy has been a member of every committee formed to plan for the design and needs of the new building — everything from the Laboratory Animal Facility to the furniture for classrooms, offices and laboratory spaces, electrical and plumbing requirements, flooring and testing of the exterior terracotta wall envelope, just to name a few,” says Sandra K. Drabek, senior associate dean for resource management.