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NYPA Honors Inaugural Winners Of Scholarships

Connie Cullen

May 22, 2007


LEWISTON—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Tuesday honored the two winners of the first Niagara Power Project Relicensing Scholarships for Members of the Tuscarora Nation.  NYPA Chairman Frank S. McCullough, Jr. presented award of scholarship certificates to Brooke Patterson and Nicholas Smiedala, both of the Turtle Clan, at Tuesday’s meeting of the NYPA Board of Trustees here, as families of the two scholarship winners looked on.

“The future of our state and the Tuscarora Nation is in the hands of outstanding students like Brooke and Nicholas, and these scholarships will help provide the education they need to make sure that future is as bright as they are,” said Chairman McCullough.  “We congratulate them on their hard work and their families for encouraging them.”

The Power Authority will provide two scholarships annually—both for academic excellence and community service—under a settlement agreement with the Tuscarora Nation for the relicensing of the Niagara project.

These full-tuition scholarships, to any school in the State University of New York system, were awarded on May 17 by the Tuscarora Scholarship Committee.  

Patterson graduated from Niagara Wheatfield High School in 2001. Smiedala will be graduating from Niagara Wheatfield this year.  Both will attend Niagara County Community College.

Patterson wants to study radiology inspired by her mother, who died of cancer on March 25.  Her mother had encouraged her to apply for the scholarship.  Patterson’s community project involves working with the Community Health Workers Program, a health clinic,

by making deliveries from the clinic to the community. She was accompanied to the ceremony by her father, Leander “Rusty” Patterson, Jr., and her grandmothers, Kay Brayley and Judy Patterson.

Smiedala will major in digital media.  His community project will involve developing a web page and brochures for the Nation.  Smiedala was raised by his mom, Cathy Vail, who joined him at the ceremony.

Patterson and Smiedala were escorted to the ceremony by Jamie Gilbert, the Native American Coordinator at Niagara Wheatfield High School.


  About NYPA:

 ■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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