Six Inducted into Science and Technology Hall of Fame
St. John Fisher College inducted six alumni into the College’s Science and Technology Hall of Fame during a ceremony held on Thursday, April 25.
During the ceremony, the College honored Dr. Susan Berlin ’81, Michael Lutz ’70, Dr. Louis Pilato ’56, Dr. Leonard Scinto ’68, and Dr. Christopher Ullrich for their significant contribution to science/technology, science education, or medicine and health-related fields. Dr. Richard “Dick” Karl Kurz ’57 was given the award posthumously, and his son, Mark Kurz, accepted the award on behalf of his father.
Established in 2011 by the College’s Science and Technology Alumni Group, the Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who are noteworthy for their service to their community or the College.
A member of the third graduating class at St. John Fisher College, Kurz spent nearly 30 years at the Eastman Kodak Co., where he worked in the developing radiographic films, commercial and portrait films, x-ray films, dental films, graphic arts and micrographic films. While most of his discoveries were held as internal trade secrets, he was granted 4 patents for his work in this area and authored over 100 internal technical reports. He was also highly innovative in management processes.
Kurz excelled in advocating and building a better world for those in need and for those who struggle to speak for themselves. He was a long-time board member of the United Cerebral Palsy Association, serving twice as board president. He was a founding member of the Montessori School of Rochester. Kurz worked on the initial fundraising campaign for the Al Sigl Community of Agencies. He was a stalwart member of his community, serving as a lector and member of several committees through Holy Name of Jesus and Peace of Christ parishes. In his later years, he tutored fourth-grade students in science.
Kurz is a 1953 graduate of the Aquinas Institute and he received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from St. John Fisher College. He went on to earn a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1961.
Berlin is a doctor of Dental Surgery in private practice in Palm Springs, Florida, where she performs general and cosmetic dentistry. Her practice offers restorative, preventative, and cosmetic dentistry, as well as oral surgery. She supervises five employees and has an active patient base of more than 10,000 people. Her humanitarian work has been recognized by several organizations.
Through her practice, she formed a partnership with The Lord’s Place, a non-profit dedicated to ending homelessness active in the community. Berlin offers free dental service to residents of men’s campus, which provides shelter, food, health care, and job training to homeless men in Palm Beach County. Now several years into the partnership, Berlin and her staff provide cleanings, tooth extractions, fillings, and dentures to about 18-20 residents a year on a pro bono basis.
Berlin is an active member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Palm Beach County branch. She joined the AAUW in 1995, and during her tenure with the organization has served as corresponding secretary, educational funds director, finance director, scholarship luncheon chair, and president. Through AAUW, she has helped plan Tech Trek Florida, a week-long camp that engages eighth grade girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
She was given the 2015 Unsung Hero Award from The Lord’s Place; the 2015 Women in Leadership Award from Executive Women of the Palm Beaches; and the 1999 Women of Recognition Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Berlin received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Fisher before pursuing her dental degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Dental Medicine.
Lutz, professor emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology, has enjoyed a long and illustrious career as a professor and researcher.
Lutz earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in mathematics from Fisher in 1970, and earned a master’s degree in computer science from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1973. He was among the first Fisher students to enter a graduate degree in computer science.
In 1976, Lutz joined the faculty at RIT, serving as an instructor, assistant professor, and chair of the department until achieving the rank of professor in 1992. A pioneer of computer science curriculum, he designed the first undergraduate program in software engineering in the United States. Over the next 20 years, he would go on to develop, teach, and redesign courses in software engineering and system design.
He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Society for Engineering Education. Lutz has published in peer-reviewed journals including IEEE Computer and Journal of Computer Science Education, and has presented at the Frontiers in Education and the Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training conferences, among dozens of other academic proceedings.
Pilato has more than 40 years of experience in Phenolic Resin Technology, encompassing virtually all of the various applications and market areas that require phenolic resins. He is a chief scientist at KAI, based in Austin, Texas, and actively collaborates in nanotechnology and ablatives research with colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin. He has engaged in composite research programs for the military and government agencies including the Air Force, Army, Navy, and the Small Business Innovation Research program.
A prolific researcher, he has published several books on advanced composite materials and phenolic resins, and has written more than 100 technical publications, earned more than 15 patents, and presented to technical societies and industrial companies.
Pilato has served as a consultant for more than 100 companies, many of which are U.S. Fortune 500, including DuPont, Norton Abrasives, Cytec, and 3M. He is a member of the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering and the American Chemical Society.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from St. John Fisher College in 1956, Pilato went on to earn a doctoral degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Throughout Scinto’s career, the focus of his work has been in the area of aging and degenerative disease, which grows out of a lifelong interest in human development and the development of mind and brain across the life span. He has spearheaded research efforts in both fundamental and more applied clinical trials including drug and diagnostic studies of degenerative disease.
After an early teaching position at Northwestern University, Scinto began his career as vice president of research at Applied Sciences Laboratories, a bioengineering firm outside of Boston. In 1980, he left the firm to take a position with Harvard University, where he also held medical staff appointments at Beth Israel and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in neurology and psychiatry.
Scinto co-founded and co-directed the Brigham Behavioral Neurology Group and the Laboratory of Higher Cortical Functions and served as an assistant professor of neurology and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School. He left his Harvard and hospital appointments in 2008 to establish Cambridge Neurodiagnostics, LTD in order to commercialize his work on an early non-invasive diagnostic for Alzheimer’s disease.
He is the author of numerous articles on degenerative disease, aging, and attention. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he was principal investigator for many clinical trials in Alzheimer’s therapeutics. He edited and co-authored the definitive book on early diagnosis in Alzheimer’s disease and his work has resulted in the development of a non-invasive pupil-based assay for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
Scinto earned his bachelor’s degree from St. John Fisher College in 1968, a master’s degree from Harvard University in 1975, and doctoral degree from Cambridge University in 1980. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, American Academy of Neurology, Society of Neuroscience, and the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.
Ullrich has been called a “tireless advocate for excellent radiologic patient care by the North Carolina Radiological Society. He is a noted researcher and lecturer; and respected voice for patients and the profession.” He has made an indelible impact on the patients he serves through privileges at Carolina Healthcare System University Medical Center and Carolinas Healthcare Northeast. In 2016 he was inducted into the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine, presented by the Governor of North Carolina to individuals with a proven record of service to the state.
A radiologist based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Ullrich is a member of several professional societies, including the American Medical Association, Radiological Society of North America, and the North Carolina chapter of the American College of Radiology, among other organizations. He is also a senior member of the American Society of Neuroradiology. In 2016, he joined the board at Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region, which offers end-of-life care to 11 counties in North and South Carolina.
A member of the St. John Fisher College Class of 1972, Ullrich earned his medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York, where he also completed his residency. He then engaged in a neuroradiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins Medical Institution in Baltimore, Maryland.