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Press Release


SBU Honors 2012 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Nov 16, 2012 - 4:00:00 PM

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Back row (l-r) Dr. Joseph L. Tromba; Andrez S. Carberry; Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD; Robert Lourie; David Gelernter; and Vito A. Cannavo. Front row (l-r): Suzanne Johnson; Lisa Lourie; and Dr. Sherry Sussman, Stony Brook Alumni Association President.
STONY BROOK, NY, November 15, 2012 – The Stony Brook University Alumni Association honored five Stony Brook University graduates and two philanthropists at the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony and reception held at Flowerfield in St. James on November 13. The event was emceed by Craig Allen (BS ’79), WCBS 880 radio meteorologist and a Stony Brook University Distinguished Alumnus.

Each year since 1983, the Stony Brook University Alumni Association recognizes prominent SBU graduates for their career and community achievements, extraordinary commitment to Stony Brook and for reflecting “the highest values embraced and promoted by the University and the Stony Brook Alumni Association.”

The 2012 Distinguished Alumni honorees are: Vito A. Cannavo (BA ’75); David Gelernter (MS ’80, PhD ’83); Suzanne Johnson (PhD ’74); Joseph L. Tromba (BS ’77); and Andrez S. Carberry (BA ’00, MA ’02). The Alumni Association also honored Robert and Lisa Lourie with the inaugural “Distinguished Service Award” for their philanthropy to the University. Robert Lourie, PhD, is head of Futures Research at Renaissance Technologies and Lisa is owner and president of Spy Coast Farm. The Louries’ generous $2.5 million gift to Stony Brook’s Center for Pediatric MS, now the Lourie Center for Pediatric MS, was matched by The Simons Challenge Grant bringing the total investment in Stony Brook Medicine to $5 million.

“This year’s honorees are remarkable because they have risen to prominence in fields that are as diverse as Stony Brook’s programs - they are leaders in pediatric psychology, computer science, physics, medicine, law, healthcare and finance,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “Together all of our recipients are a source of inspiration to our students, alumni, faculty, staff and community.”

Dr. Sherry Sussman ’91, ’95, president of the Stony Brook Alumni Association, noted that each individual honoree has made extraordinary contributions to their respective fields. “Each recipient deserves special recognition for how well they used their time at the University as a foundation for discovering, reshaping, and enriching the world around them,” said Dr. Sussman.

The recipients:
Vito Cannavo (BA ’75) is a partner in the firm of Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath & Cannavo, one of the leading personal injury firms in the nation. Mr. Cannavo is in charge of one of the firm’s General Negligence departments. He has won numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements in medical malpractice, premises liability, motor vehicle and firefighter-related litigation. Mr. Cannavo is currently serving as President of the Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn. He has been listed in New York magazine and Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top lawyers in New York, and has received the highest rating (AV®) from Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings; he has also been listed in The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Cannavo resides in Staten Island, NY.

David Gelernter (MS ’80, PhD ’83) is professor of computer science at Yale, contributing editor at the Weekly Standard, former board member of the National Endowment for the Arts, and regular contributor to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. His books include Mirror Worlds, the novel 1939, the memoir Drawing Life and others. He has published essays, fiction and reviews in Commentary, The Weekly Standard, Wall Street Journal, National Review, ArtNews, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Scientific American and many others. His essays are widely anthologized. The first museum show of his paintings opened at the YU Museum in Manhattan this fall; his most recent book, America-Lite, was published this past June. Dr. Gelernter resides in Woodbridge, CT.

Suzanne Johnson (PhD ’74) is a distinguished research professor at Florida State University (FSU) College of Medicine and the 2012 President of the American Psychological Association. She received her BA in psychology from Cornell and her PhD in clinical psychology from Stony Brook University. From 2002-2010, she served as the first chair of the Department of Medical Humanities and Social Sciences at FSU College of Medicine in Tallahassee. Prior to that time, she was a distinguished professor and director of the Center for Pediatric Psychology and Family Studies at the University of Florida Health Science Center in Gainesville, FL. Dr. Johnson has numerous publications in the areas of pediatric psychology and clinical health psychology and has received many research, teaching and service awards. She has more than 30 years of continuous research funding from the National Institutes of Health, including a Research Career Development Award. Dr. Johnson resides in Tallahassee, FL.

Joseph L. Tromba, MD, (BS ’77) received his medical training at the University of Catania, Italy, where he graduated with honors. Dr. Tromba was a developer and founding member of the Endoscopy Center of Long Island, one of the largest free-standing ambulatory endoscopy centers on the east coast. He is an attending physician at Winthrop University Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Stony Brook School of Medicine. He has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and is an active participant in the Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology fellowship teaching programs at Winthrop University Hospital, and has been nominated for Teaching Attending of the Year. He has served as adjunct professor of gastrointestinal physiology at Hofstra University and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Gastroenterology. Dr. Tromba resides in Garden City, NY.

Andrez S. Carberry (BA ’00, MA ’02) is the Employment Counsel for Avon Products, NA. Prior to joining Avon, for several years Mr. Carberry served as an associate attorney at Fox Rothschild, LLP (New York City) and as associate corporate counsel for the Employment and Labor Division of the New York City Labor Department. Mr. Carberry serves as an adjunct professor of law at Hofstra University School of Law. He has numerous honors to his credit including the Legal Rookie of the Year Award, New York City Law Department (2005-2006) and recognition as one of New York's "Rising Stars" by New York Super Lawyers (2011). He was selected for the New York State Bar Association Labor and Employment Section Diversity Fellowship Program for 2011-2012. He also serves on the board of directors for the Pajama Program, a New York City-based charity that provides new pajamas and books to underprivileged children who are abused, orphaned or fostered. Mr. Carberry resides in New York, NY.

About the Stony Brook Alumni Association
The Stony Brook University Alumni Association is an independent 501(c)3 organization which represents more than 150,000 alumni nationwide and abroad. Established in 1965, the Association works to increase communication, encourage involvement and expand services for alumni, while building support for Stony Brook University.

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Editors’ Note: Additional photos and photos of individual awardees can be viewed at the Stony Brook University Flickr site here.


© Stony Brook University 2013

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