Buffalo State will honor three of its most distinguished and dedicated alumni during its 144th Commencement, Saturday, May 14, in the Sports Arena.
Distinguished Alumnus Awards will be granted to Catherine F. Collins, ’75, New York State Regent, 8th Judicial District, and David J. Cywinski, ’87, orthopedic physician at Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center. Kyle R. Bradstreet, ’02, ’04, award winning writer and producer, will receive the Young Alumnus Achievement Award.
Distinguished Alumnus Awards
Catherine Fisher Collins, Class of 1975
Catherine Fisher Collins was elected to represent the 8th Judicial District of the New York State Board of Regents by the New York State Legislature for a five-year term beginning in March 2015. She has held positions in health care and health planning, education, and administration throughout her professional career. She served as an associate professor at SUNY Empire State College for more than 24 years, and also as a faculty member in women’s studies and Millard Fillmore College at the University at Buffalo (UB), the Criminal Justice Department at Buffalo State College, and the Human Services Department at Medaille College.
Collins will receive Buffalo State’s Distinguished Alumnus Award during the 6:00 p.m. master's hooding and C.A.S. ceremony.
Collins graduated from Buffalo State in 1975 with a bachelor of science degree in vocational technical education. She went on to earn a nursing degree from Trocaire College and a master of science degree in allied health education, evaluation, and curriculum development from UB, where she also completed the School of Nursing’s nurse practitioner program. She earned her D.Ed. from UB in 1990, majoring in education administration. She holds three certifications in health education, and is a graduate of England’s Oxford University Women’s Roundtable.
She served on the Buffalo School Board and the New York State Commission of Corrections Medical Review Board, the first nurse appointed to this position, which she held for more than five years. Collins is the author of 13 books on women’s issues and social justice, and is a mediator for community dispute resolution. She also hosted a health service information program on WIVB-TV for three years and, in 2011, launched “Women’s Health with Dr. Catherine Collins,” which airs on WWWS-AM 1400.
Collins has exhibited a quest for lifelong learning and has dedicated herself to community service. She has received over 50 awards and honors for her work, including the SUNY Outstanding Faculty Fellow, the 2014 Altes Prize for Exemplary Community Service from Empire State College, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Jack and Jill of America, where she served as national vice president. In addition, she has spearheaded community initiatives such as Project Love and Hope for Homeless Children that served children in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
David J. Cywinski, Class of 1987
David Cywinski is an orthopedic physician at the Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center in Canandaigua, New York. He graduated from Buffalo State in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in biology. While attending Buffalo State, he served as president of United Students Government from 1986 to 1987 and participated on the rugby team and the Ambulance Corps. He also served as a public safety assistant in multiple residence halls.
Cywinski will receive Buffalo State’s Distinguished Alumnus Award during the 2:00 p.m. baccalaureate ceremony.
Cywinski began his career after graduation as a firefighter and paramedic, but he had always hoped to attend medical school. He went on to SUNY Upstate Medical University, where he earned his doctor of medicine in 2000.
During the war in the Balkans, Cywinski spent time in the International Medical Corps in Bosnia (1993–1995) and later in Kosovo (1999), teaching emergency medical techniques and treating the war wounded. He assessed the needs of hospitals and health clinics, and counseled children with post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2010, he spent 10 days in Haiti providing medical relief after the devastating earthquake there.
Cywinski has a lifelong dedication to service to his community. In 1986, when he was just 21 years old and a student at Buffalo State, he and two friends embarked on an 8,141-mile bike ride to raise money for the Babcock Boys & Girls Club to give back to the organization that provided them with a safe place to go during their childhood. Tragically, a truck struck Cywinski and one of his companions in Seguin, Texas, and they were unable to complete the ride. Twenty-five years later, in 2011, the three completed the bike ride to benefit the Seneca Babcock Community Center in Buffalo and the Geneva, New York, chapter of the Boys & Girls Club of America.
Young Alumnus Achievement Award
Kyle R. Bradstreet, Class of 2002 and 2004
Kyle Bradstreet is an award-winning writer and producer whose work has been produced in the United States and Europe. He received his bachelor of arts degree in English with a minor in theater from Buffalo State in 2002, and then went on to earn his master of arts degree in multidisciplinary studies in 2004.
Bradstreet will receive Buffalo State’s Young Alumnus Achievement Award during the 10:00 a.m. baccalaureate ceremony and deliver the commencement address at the 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. baccalaureate ceremonies.
Bradstreet is currently working on the critically acclaimed Mr. Robot (USA Network), for which he has received Golden Globe and Writers Guild of America awards. Past television series include Berlin Station (Epix), Copper (BBC America), Borgia: Faith and Fear (Netflix), and The Philanthropist (NBC). He has also written for HBO and FX Productions.
Bradstreet is the author of the plays From Prague, October Eternal, and Honor Thy Mother and Alcohol, as well as numerous one-acts. His dramas have been produced and developed at the Flea Theater, the Contemporary American Theater Festival, the Gloucester Stage Company, Cherry Lane Theatre (Barefoot Theatre Company), LabRats theater company, Jimmy’s No. 43, the Shortened Attention Span Festival at the Players Theatre, and Microteatro Por Dinero in Madrid.
His short fiction has been published in such literary blogs and journals as Blood Lotus, Third Wednesday, the Coachella Review, rFISHc, and Two Hawks Quarterly. Guest lecturing stints include New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and Buffalo State College. Bradstreet is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and a council member of the Writers Guild of America, East. He actively supports the mission of Buffalo State College through scholarship opportunities and by mentoring students.
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