RIT Community Members Honored for Public Service

Professor John Klofas and student Ryan Buckley cited for volunteer efforts and activism

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A. Sue Weisler

John Klofas (left) Ryan Buckley (right)

John Klofas, professor and chair of the department of criminal justice at Rochester Institute of Technology, is this year’s recipient of the RIT Four Presidents Distinguished Public Service Award. Third-year RIT biomedical sciences major Ryan Buckley will receive this year’s Bruce R. James ’64 Distinguished Service Award.

Each spring, RIT recognizes students, staff and faculty for community service. Recipients then donate cash awards to organizations and charities of their choice.

Klofas, who has spent three decades at RIT, has a long record of community service focusing on crime reduction, urbanization and youth services. He has served as chair of the Mayor’s Public Safety Committee for the City of Rochester and as a member of the U.S. Assistant Attorney General’s Advisory Board and the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Understanding Crime Rates Working Group. He has also served as a board member of a number of local community organizations including the Judicial Process Commission, Teen Empowerment and the Monroe County Bar Association Committee on Justice.

“As a graduate of RIT, I am acutely aware of the significance of this award, and all RIT alumni can take great pride in the fact that Professor Klofas has been accorded this honor,” says Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy, a 1993 graduate of RIT’s criminal justice program. “He has distinguished himself in advancing the causes of public safety and justice and has exemplified the positive, constructive and beneficial role one man can play in a community.”

The honor comes with a $2,500 cash award, which Klofas plans to divide among the following groups: The House of Mercy, Determined Divas and Teen Empowerment.

Ryan Buckley, from Macedon, NY, has been selected to receive the Bruce R. James ’64 Distinguished Public Service Award. Buckley is being honored for his commitment to community development and service both in Rochester and around the world. He spent last summer in Kenya volunteering as a health care worker for Kikuyu Hospital, in the city of Kikuyu, and the Imara Clinic, outside the city of Nairobi. He also spent time traveling to different villages throughout the country providing health and educational support.

Locally, Buckley volunteers as a research assistant at the University of Rochester’s Center for Preventive and Community Medicine and has been a counselor for the Rochester Rotary Sunshine Camp. He currently serves as acting chief of the RIT Ambulance Corps and is also a medic/driver trainer. In addition, he works for Monroe Ambulance as an EMT.

“Ryan is an exemplary person who has successfully balanced full-time school responsibilities and wide participation in our community,” says Mary-Beth Cooper, vice president for student affairs. “He is a true role model and leader for his peers.”

The honor comes with a $1,000 award, which Buckley has designated to be divided between Art Peace Inc. and Rochester Roots.

Klofas and Buckley will be recognized at a ceremony at 4 p.m., March 16 in RIT’s Ingle Auditorium.

About the Awards: RIT Vice President Emeritus Alfred Davis created The Four Presidents Distinguished Public Service Award Fund on the occasion of the 65th year of his association with RIT to commemorate the dedication of the last four RIT presidents in their service to the Rochester community. The award is presented annually to a member of the RIT faculty or staff whose public service and commitment mirrors that of the four presidents who worked with Davis. The Bruce R. James ’64 Distinguished Public Service Award is presented annually to an RIT student and commemorates the public service of Bruce James, former U.S. Public Printer and chairman emeritus of the RIT Board of Trustees.