2019 Special Recognition Awards

On May 2, at the 2019 Alumni Association Special Recognition Awards Ceremony, we presented the following awards to celebrate the impressive career achievements of more than a dozen Binghamton graduates. 


Stuart F. Koenig '73

Stuart F. Koenig '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.

Stuart Koenig has more than 40 years of diversified experience in the real estate, investment banking and financial services industries. His experience includes every aspect of commercial and residential real estate including acquisition, financing, leasing, property management and disposition. Koenig most recently served (2013-16) as a senior partner in the real estate division of Ares Management, LP, a global alternative asset manager with more than $100 billion of assets under management. He served as chair of the investment committees of the real estate funds of Ares, which collectively had $8 billion under management.

From 1995-2013, Koenig served as the global chief financial officer, chief administrative officer and senior partner of AREA Property Partners, a global real estate investment and asset management firm that raised and invested approximately $14 billion of client equity in more than 600 transactions across all sectors of real estate. He oversaw the financing and administrative activities for AREA and was also responsible for its reporting, human resources, compliance, legal and structuring activities. Koenig helped negotiate and execute the sale of AREA to Ares Management in 2013.

Prior to AREA, Koenig worked in various positions in investment banking including Goldman Sachs & Co. (1986-94) and EF Hutton Inc. (1981-86). From 1997-2014, Koenig served as the lead independent director and member of the compensation committee of Emeritus Corporation one of the largest publicly traded owners and operators of assisted living facilities in the country and helped oversee the sale of the company to Brookdale Senior Living in 2014.

Koenig currently serves as trustee for the Binghamton University Endowment Fund and is chair of its investment committee, a board member of Big Rock Partners Acquisition Corp., and also provides consulting services for the U.S. investment activity of Profimex, an Israel-based real estate investment firm. He has a bachelor's degree from Binghamton University and an MBA from Baruch College of the City University of New York.

David B. Wexler '61David B. Wexler '61 
Alumni Achievement Award
This award honors a highly distinguished alumnus or alumna who, over the course of a decade or more, has exemplified outstanding, significant professional achievement.

David Wexler is professor of law and director of the International Network on Therapeutic Jurisprudence at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and distinguished research professor of Law, Rogers College of Law, Tucson, Ariz. He is an honorary president of the International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence.

He has written numerous books including Rehabilitating Lawyers: Principles of Therapeutic Jurisprudence for Criminal Law Practice (Carolina Academic Press, 2008) and Judging in a Therapeutic Key: Therapeutic Jurisprudence and the Courts (with Bruce J. Winick) (Carolina Academic Press, 2003). Among his many accolades, he received the American Psychiatric Association's Manfred S. Guttmacher Forensic Psychiatry Award and was named an honorary distinguished member of the American Psychology-Law Society. 

Wexler first explicated the therapeutic jurisprudence perspective in a paper written in 1987. He and Winick, a professor at the University of Miami, worked together to further develop the area, which is now of interest to practitioners and academics of many disciplines and nations. Wexler is a consultant on therapeutic jurisprudence to the National Judicial Institute of Canada and the Judicial Academy of Puerto Rico, and has served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist, lecturing on therapeutic jurisprudence in Australia and New Zealand. Therapeutic jurisprudence writing is now in 14 languages, and some of Wexler's own work has been translated to Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Hebrew, Urdu and Slovenian.

Mabel L. Payne '71Mabel L. Payne '71  
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.

Mabel Payne is a native New Yorker who resides in The Bronx. She attended public elementary through high schools. She graduated from Harpur College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social sciences with a specialization in history. Harpur provided her with wonderful educational and social experiences as well as lifelong friendships. She has a Master of Science in counseling and student personnel services from the University at Albany and a Master of Arts in organizational psychology from Teachers College of Columbia University. Her career working in the public and non-profit sectors extended more than 30 years. Her work experience includes program evaluation and data analysis; grant proposal development; design and implementation of professional development and train-the-trainer events; design and implementation of educational accountability metrics and procedures; research and analyses of STEM and collaborative learning paradigms, and the impact of globalization and work-based learning; post-secondary career and educational group and individual counseling, and program design and administration. She travels extensively to provide presentations on her scholarly research. Payne is the owner and principal of RADE Associates LLC whose mission is educational and personal development, primarily for persons with limited opportunities.

Gigio K. Ninan '08Gigio K. Ninan '08 
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, and 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.

Gigio Ninan, an honors graduate of Binghamton University, is a practicing attorney and entrepreneur. During the course of his career, which includes co-founding the boutique New York City firm Shankar Ninan & Co. LLP as well as being associated with several large law firms, he has demonstrated a talent for structuring legal operations to align with corporate objectives, solving complex employment and labor law challenges, and introducing solutions which turn adversity into opportunity.

Among his many career highlights: He was named a SuperLawyers® Rising Star four years in a row (2016-19); in 2017, he was the youngest recipient of the New Jersey Law Journal "New Leader of the Bar" award, he was a Forbes New York Business Council member and wrote several pieces for Forbes.com; and he serves on the Rutgers Law School Alumni Association board.

Ninan actively mentors students from Binghamton University. He believes every student should plant seeds and build strong and meaningful relationships in addition to striving for academic success.

He immigrated to the U.S. with his family at the age of 3 and settled in The Bronx. His older brother, Ajus K. Ninan '05, MSW '07, is an active Army captain.


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

Diane Brown '74, MA '02Diane L. Brown '74, MA '02  – A lifelong resident of the Binghamton area, Diane Brown has been involved in nonprofit and community service for more than 40 years. She has also served on the boards of numerous nonprofits throughout the region. She has been executive director of the Community Foundation for South Central New York since September 2006. Brown has both undergraduate (bachelor's in anthropology) and graduate (master's in human services) degrees from Binghamton University and a certificate in not-for-profit management from Columbia University's Graduate School of Business.

Scott M. Eckers '02, MSEd '04Scott M. Eckers '02, MSEd '04  – Scott Eckers is a proud Binghamton alumnus. He was an active member of the Binghamton Crosbys, Hinman Production Company, Dickinson Community Players, Johnson City Mentor Program, Kosher Kitchen and Chabad. He enjoyed his job as an undergraduate admissions tour guide, a role that sparked his interest in alumni volunteerism. Eckers is social studies chair at the East Williston Union Free School District; previously, he worked for many years as a social studies teacher in Syosset. He is involved with the performing arts and can regularly be found singing, musically directing shows and designing theatrical stage lighting. For many years, Eckers entertained in iconic hotels and entertainment venues in the Catskill Mountains. He has produced albums, which are available online, and written a history book about his home community, published in 2016. He lives with his wife, Jenny, in East Meadow, N.Y., where he serves as a leader of the Board of Education.

Glenn M. Engelmann '77 and Michelle Tuman-Engelmann '77Glenn M. Engelmann '77 and Michelle Tuman-Engelmann '77 met as sophomores at Binghamton and graduated in 1977. After receiving an MPA in 1979 from New York University, Michelle was awarded a Presidential Management Internship and joined the U.S. General Accounting Office where she worked as a program evaluator until 1986. She became a stay-at home mother to three children and a dedicated community volunteer. Glenn received a JD from the University of Chicago Law School in 1980. After stints in government and private practice, he joined what became AstraZeneca (AZ) Pharmaceuticals in 1986 where he served as North American General Counsel and Vice President for Policy, Legal and Scientific Affairs for 18 of his 25 years with the company. Upon leaving AZ, he became vice chair of the life sciences practice at McDermott Will and Emery. Michelle and Glenn are presently retired and living in Washington, D.C.

Yohansa Fernández '08Yohansa Fernández '08  – Yohansa Fernández, LMSW is pursuing a PhD at New York University, is an adjunct professor at Hunter College as well as Yeshiva University and a member of the New York City Department of Health HIV Planning Group. She earned a Bachelor of Science in human development from Binghamton University where she was selected as a McNair Scholar and has a Master of Social Work degree from Hunter College-Silberman School of Social Work. Her commitment to remain involved as a Binghamton alumna is evident through her years of service on the Educational Opportunity Program Binghamton and Beyond Advisory Board and as advisor to Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Delta Chapter, an organization she joined while a student at Binghamton in 2008. She is engaged to Edwin Torres '10, MS '14, whom she met during the Binghamton Enrichment Program in the summer of 2005.

Ameya N. Hete, MS '99Ameya N. Hete, MS '99  – Ameya Hete serves as chief executive officer of MovieBeam. He's an executive director of Valuable Technologies Pvt. Ltd., and is responsible for global operations and business development for the Valuable Group. Hete's dynamic, innovative and aggressive approach to new business development has allowed Valuable Group to organize and consolidate business initiatives into the three verticals. Hete is responsible for defining the strategic direction and driving each Valuable Group business. With more than 12 years of global experience in technology and business development, he has been responsible for establishing Valuable Group's presence across various international markets. Hete is actively engaged with the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Michael F. Lane '89Michael F. Lane '89  – Michael Lane is managing director and head of U.S. Wealth Advisors for Blackrock iShares. He has spent 30 years in financial services beginning the Monday after graduating from Binghamton University. His focus for decades has been to improve the adoption of retirement and risk management solutions in the U.S. and around the world, having influenced the structure and implementation of investments from Canada to South Africa. He has published three books on investing, two with McGraw-Hill, and has participated in television and radio shows to help financial advisors and consumers make more informed investment decisions. Lane grew up in Corning, N.Y., and met his wife Lisa Moscardini '89, MA '92 during his junior year and they were married in Binghamton in August 1991. He is an active tennis player, having played for Binghamton from 1985-89 and remains a supporter of the program. He is a member of the Binghamton University Foundation Board of Directors. The Lanes have three children, Kendall, Brooks and Christian, and reside in Austin, Texas.

Constance A. Olson '90Constance A. Olson '90  – Constance "Connie" Olson graduated from Binghamton University in 1990 and is an audit managing director with Deloitte & Touche LLP. She has more than 28 years of public accounting experience and specializes in serving private equity, venture capital and fund-of-funds investment partnership clients. Olson has served many of Deloitte's most significant private equity clients, and her experience includes financial statement attestation, SEC reporting, research of technical issues and engagement quality control reviews. Olson also serves as Deloitte's audit recruiting leader and Women's Initiative Champion for Binghamton University, and currently serves on Binghamton University's School of Management Metro Advisory Board. She is also actively involved in various charitable activities, including serving on the board of St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, a nationally-recognized animal welfare organization.

Andrew P. Vaccaro '15Andrew P. Vaccaro '15  – Andrew Vaccaro facilitates life-changing experiences for future leaders of the world through the International Visitor Leadership Program, the premier professional exchange program administered by the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Prior to his current position, he was a program analyst in the Department's Bureau of Information Resource Management, a pathways intern in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Office of External Affairs, a climate and energy security intern at the American Security Project, and a fellow in the Partnership for Public Service. Vaccaro received his bachelor's degree from Binghamton University with dual majors in political science and English, and his master's degree from American University's School of International Service in global security with concentrations in counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism.

William M. Voelkle '61William M. Voelkle '61  – William Voelkle was appointed curator of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the Morgan Library and Museum in 1983, becoming department head in 1999. He began his career 50 years ago, when he became the department’s assistant curator in 1967. Before coming to the Morgan, he was director of visual resources at Binghamton University, where he also taught art history. He produced more than 60 publications, including exhibition catalogs, Morgan Library publications, commentaries about particular manuscript books such as the Crusader Bible, articles in scholarly journals, entries in encyclopedias and books. He has curated dozens of exhibitions at the Morgan and elsewhere, including an exhibition at the Binghamton University Art Museum in 2014 on the Spanish Forger who painted medieval-looking miniatures on period vellum in the late 19th into the early 20th centuries. In 2012, Voelkle was awarded the Harpur College 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award at the Recognition Ceremony for the Fine Arts and Humanities. He has been a longtime supporter of the Libraries and Art Museum at Binghamton.