Published May 2, 2022
Sixteen students in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences were honored for outstanding achievements at the University at Buffalo’s 2022 Celebration of Student Academic Excellence.
The awardees were among students from disciplines across the university who were awarded — or nominated for — national, State University of New York (SUNY) and UB awards.
More than 200 posters and creative projects were on display at the April 27 event at Alumni Arena on UB’s North Campus. An awards ceremony followed inside the Student Union Theater.
Three students have each received an NIH F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award.
Emily Oakley, PhD, a graduate of the doctoral program in biophysics, was awarded the UB Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award.
Presented annually by the Graduate School, the award acknowledges a truly outstanding dissertation researched and written by a UB doctoral student who has received a PhD from UB within the past five years.
Her doctoral thesis project was to develop and test an image-based treatment planning algorithm and dosimetry model for Interstitial Photodynamic Therapy (I-PDT) of locally advanced cancers.
The developed treatment planning algorithm was based on finite element modeling of the light propagation through tissue and is currently being applied in two clinical studies for the I-PDT treatment of locally advanced head and neck and lung cancer.
Oakley is a postdoctoral research affiliate at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Undergraduate students Siana Jacobs and Diana Olivares-Salazar were named winners of a 2022 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.
The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated and have been recognized for outstanding achievements in such areas as academics, leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement or career achievement. It is the highest honor bestowed upon a student by SUNY.
Jacobs will graduate with a bachelor’s degrees in biomedical sciences and music performance, as well as minors in mathematics and nutrition.
A native of Wheatfield, New York, she is a University Honors College scholar and vice president of community service for UB’s chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
A teaching assistant, tutor and peer mentor, Jacobs also is a member of the choir, orchestra and flute ensemble. She works as a pharmacy technician and volunteers at a pediatric urgent care center.
Olivares-Salazar will graduate with bachelor’s degrees in biomedical science and Spanish.
The Brooklyn, New York, native has studied abroad three times, tutored chemistry and Spanish, and worked for a law firm, where she was a medical paralegal and interpreter.
Olivares-Salazar is a health care specialist in the Army National Guard and conducts military funeral honors for deceased veterans.
She also works at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center as a pharmacy technician.
Jelyn Cruz Eustaquio, a second-year medical student, was one of 35 recipients nationwide of a 2021 Tylenol Future Care Scholarship.
Eustaquio is a native of the Philippines, who immigrated to the United States and settled in Woodside, Queens, New York.
She was one of 10 winners of the Tylenol scholarship’s highest award level — $10,000.
Tylenol said its “award decision is based on the following criteria: academic excellence, exemplary leadership, community involvement and dedication to a career in helping others. It is one of the most prestigious scholarships in the nation.”
Other awards were:
Critical Language Scholarship
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
UB Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity Awards (Graduate Division)
UB Sigma Xi “Companions in Zealous Research” Award
Sigma Xi is an international honor society of science and engineering. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public's understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Three winning posters are selected.
UB Three Minute Thesis Award
“It is a privilege to recognize your achievements and your commitment
to the highest ideals of our university,” UB President Satish K. Tripathi, PhD, said to students during the afternoon ceremony. “You are among UB’s most talented and ambitious students.”
“Whether in laboratory experiments, clinical experiences, internships or creative expression, our students constantly seek to solve problems from new angles,” he added. “At every stage of their education, they are not only eager to better understand the world, they are resolved to contribute to the world.”
In his address to the students, UB Provost A. Scott Weber, PhD, said “you are being honored today for your curiosity, commitment and success in challenging yourselves through research, scholarship and creative activities; leadership, engagement and collaborative projects.”
“As one of the nation’s leading public research universities, UB is dedicated to impacting our community and larger world and to creating positive change through everything we do,” he added.
“At UB, students like you engage with distinguished faculty who conduct research and scholarship that create new knowledge, spark invention, contribute to the national discourse, change lives and enrich our world,” Weber said.