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Faculty, Alumna Named ATHENA Finalists

November 5, 2019

Among the finalists for the 2020 ATHENA International Awards are Dr. Arlette Miller Smith, associate professor of English and director of the African American Studies program at St. John Fisher College, and Nancy Catarisano ’83, managing partner, Insero & Co. CPAS LLP. Dr. Mona Gandhi, associate professor of pharmacy practice and administration in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, was among the finalists of the ATHENA Young Professionals Award, which recognizes emerging female leaders.

Dr. Arlette Miller Smith and Dr. Mona Gandhi

Dr. Arlette Miller Smith and Dr. Mona Gandhi

The awards are given by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and its Women’s Council affiliate, and honor female leaders who have made significant achievements in business, community service, and the advancement of women.

Miller Smith, who has been a member of the Fisher community for more than 20 years, has taught and mentored hundreds of students at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. She began in the dual position of creating formal diversity initiatives for the College while also serving as a half-time English professor. During her tenure at Fisher, Miller Smith was appointed dean of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs and in collaboration with Dr. Doug Howard, launched the African American Studies minor at Fisher. Today, as a current member of the faculty, she continues to bring engaging, thought-provoking programming related to issues of social justice, racism, and equality to campus each year. Most recently, she served on the committee that brought the National Association of African American Studies and Affiliates regional conference to Fisher and Nazareth College.

The founder and executive director of AKOMA, Rochester’s African American Women’s Gospel Choir, Miller Smith is a stalwart leader within the arts community. Among her many community engagements, most recently, she was a member of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commemoration Committee.

A graduate of the College’s accounting program, Catarisano was honored by the School of Business as its Accounting Alumnus of the Year in 2000. A managing partner at Insero, she is the founder of its Outsource Accounting Services Group.

She is a board member of the Al Sigl Community of Agencies and Genesee Valley Club, and was a past board member of the Rochester Area Community Foundation and CP Rochester.

In addition to her teaching role, Gandhi is currently the director of the Drug Information Center at the School of Pharmacy. Prior to joining the faculty in 2008, she performed numerous roles in medical information in the pharmaceutical industry including directing a drug information residency.

Her primary teaching responsibilities are concentrated around the discipline of drug information. She serves as both the course coordinator and lead instructor in two mandatory courses within the Pharm.D. curriculum: drug information and literature evaluation. Her effectiveness in areas of drug information and information literacy was acknowledged in 2015 when she was given the Dr. Mark Szarejko Faculty Information Literacy Award.

In addition to her specialized training in drug information, Dr. Gandhi’s interests also include women’s health issues, specifically medication use during breastfeeding and infertility therapies.

The finalists will be formally recognized at the 34th annual ATHENA International Awards dinner in January.