2017 Award Recipients
2017 Marconi Award Winner:
Dr. Andrew G. DeRocco
Dr. Andrew G. DeRocco earned his undergraduate degree from Purdue University (chemistry/physics/math) in 1951 and both his M.S. (1953) and Ph.D. (1956) in chemical physics from the University of Michigan. He continued research with a postdoctoral fellowship from the Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences 1956-1957. "My interests have been in statistical mechanics, mathematical biology, biophysics and intermolecular forces in globular (polyatomic) molecules. It was an initial surprise to learn that the 'ensembel methods' of statistical physics, developed to study either 'classical' or quantum mechanical systems, would prove equally instructive for systems of genetic replication and control. In eachof these areas mathemical dexterity is crucial, for which both my undergraduate and graduate studies were vital," noted Dr. DeRocco.
His teaching career began in 1956 at the University of Michigan, where he taught physics and chemistry. He went on tomany other positions and research at University of Colorado, University of Maryland, Tufts, U.S. Air Force Academy and Trinity College. His extensive bibliography includes research papers, educational essays, book reviews and commissioned studies. he has lectured widely in the U.S. and abroad. His research has been sponsored by the American Cancer Society, NASA, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, DuPont and NATO. Dr. DeRocco was president of Dennison University and then became Connecticut's Commissioneer of Higher Education in January 1992. He served in numerous other academic posts and positions and has received numerous recognitions and awards for his contributions and research.
2017 Philip Mazzei Americanism Award Grand Patriot
This award being given to a UNICAN for spreading goodwill as the best method for the creation of a stronger brotherhood of man, is a perfect fit!
Joyce Walker is a true “Hometown Hero”! She is known for unselfishly volunteering in any way able to support a stronger community. Joyce has been a loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, family member, co-worker, friend and public servant. Her personal calling is to serve people in need out of the kindness of her heart in a very unassuming way.
“Service Above Self” comes naturally to Joyce without hesitation. Her patriotism shows a love for our nation with an emphasis on values and beliefs.
“Patriotism is not a short or frenzied outburst of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” Adlai Stevenson, former Governor of Illinois, US Senator, and US Ambassador to the United Nations. This quote epitomizes the manner in which Joyce Walker lives her life and supports traditions and ideals of the United States of America.
Joyce has positively touched the lives of many through her service to our community, and our country. She works with the youth and the aged and everyone in between, inspiring us all to give more than we take in life.
The name Joyce Walker is a highly respected and recognized one in our local community and within our extended UNICO family. Joyce has proven herself to be a guardian angel to all of those whose lives she has touched. Their lives would have been fraught with despair, had it not been for Joyce making life easier for them to bear.
Receiving this award means the world to Joyce and she couldn’t have been more appreciative.
2017 Philip Mazzei Americanism Award
Nancy M. Cappello, Ph.D. is founder of Are You Dense, and Are You Dense Advocacy Inc. which was borne out of her own tragedy of an advanced stage breast cancer diagnosis in 2004. Her cancer, because of dense breast tissue, was not found by mammogram even though she had yearly "normal" mammograms since she was 40. In addition to her breast cancer advocacy, Dr. Cappello spent 34 years in public education as a teacher, an administrator and a state department consultant and manager. She received her doctor of philosophy in Educational Administration and Leadership in 1995 from the University of Connecticut.
She has been recognized for her leadership in the education of students with disabilities and her program development for students who need interventions in academic and social areas. She is the inspiration behind the national grassroots movement of advocates legislating for breast density notification and insurance laws to prevent later stage cancers. Specialities: Inspirational speaker, legislative activist and advocate, early detection of breast cancer awareness advocate, breast cancer awareness speaker, policy leader, breast density inform movement leader, breast cancer detection guidelines change advocate, early detection guidelines change advocate, early detection of breast cancer research supporter, early breast cancer diagnosis policy educator, breast density information advocate, reliable breast cancer screening tools advocate.
2017 Vincent T. Lombardi Memorial Award
Diana Taurasi is the most decorated player in women's basketball history. She is the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) all-time leading scorer, three point leader, and a three time WNBA champion She has won a record four gold metals representing the USA in teh Olympic Games, fiver Euroleague championships, and three national championships while attending the University of Connecticut.
Diana was named the Naismith College Player of the Year three times while at UConn. She was also the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player two times and is a member of the Huskies Ring of Honor. UConn coach Geno Auriemma (a former Lombardi Award winner) famously described the Huskies dominance as "We have Diana Tuarasi and you don't."
Professionally she has been a nine time First Team All WNBA player, WNBA League and Finals MVP, has lead the league in sacoring, and won the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award.
She is involved with Project: KaBOOM! Which partners with communities throughout America to build parks in impoverished areas and provide children with safe place to play.
She is known for her will to win, clutch shots, teamwork, leadership, strength of character, hard work, and honesty.