ATHENS – The American Community Schools of Athens (ACS Athens), a Pre-K-12 institution located in Halandri, Athens, will honor two distinguished alumni with Achievement Awards, acknowledging their professional accomplishments, exemplary leadership with ethos, and service to humanity.
The award recipients are Dr. Anna Kaltsas and Dr. Scott Parazynski. The honorees will be recognized at the Inaugural Global Alumni Awards Dinner, on April 30, at the Loeb Boathouse in New York’s Central Park, from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM. George M. Logothetis, Chairman and CEO of the Libra Group, will be the keynote speaker at the event.
Anna Kaltsas, M.D., M.S., ACS Class of 1996 (Clinical Research, Infectious Diseases, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College) will receive the Emerging Young Leader Award which recognizes an alumnus, under 40 years of age, who shows promise in his/her field by providing inspiration and leadership to students and other young alumni. The recipient has to have shown significant leadership either in their professional career and/or community, public or humanitarian service.
Dr. Kaltsas is the Infectious Disease Specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She attended and graduated with honors from Albany Medical College, Union University in 2004, having over 12 years of diverse experiences, especially in Infectious Disease. She affiliates with many hospitals including Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases. Dr. Kaltsas also cooperates with other doctors and physicians in medical groups including Memorial Infectious Disease Group.
Scott Parazynski, M.D., ACS Class of 1979 (CEO of Fluidity Technologies, Physician, U.S. Astronaut, Inventor, Speaker) will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award which recognizes an alumnus, 40 years or more of age, whose accomplishments in the public, private or non-profit sector, have made an outstanding contribution to the community and serve as an example both professionally and ethically.
Dr. Parazynski was inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame last May at Kennedy Space Center, FL. He is a veteran of five space shuttle flights and has walked in space. A life-long scuba diver and accomplished mountaineer, Scott is also a commercial, instrument, multiengine and seaplane-rated pilot with over 2,500 flight hours.
In November 2014, Dr. Parazynski was designated University Explorer and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University. He is a prolific inventor and product developer, and serves on the Boards of several organizations and companies, and was also the first astronaut to summit on Mount Everest on May 20, 2009.
“I had great teachers at ACS who helped awaken the inner student in me,” Dr. Parazynski said. “I was a back-of-the-room B student when I arrived there” – he and his family were evacuated from Beirut just before the civil war in 1975.
He was at ACS from 1975-79, and wished he had picked up more Greek. “I could have skipped the first year of medical school with all the Greek terminology.”
When Parazynski was told he was elected to be among the first honored with ACS’s Alumni Achievement Awards, he said “I was really shocked and very honored. ACS was a catalyst for a lot of wonderful things that happened later in my life.”
Parazynski credits ACS with “a big transformation for me from a lackluster student” to a strong academic focus. “I attribute it to great teachers and friends and the environment – Greece as a place where you could actually experience history, where you could go to the origins of modern civilization.
It was also a great base for travel all over Europe for basketball, track, and cultural field trips…it was a phenomenal experience,” he said.
Tickets for the Global Alumni Lifetime Achievement Awards Gala are $250 per person. Register online, http://bit.ly/2mAvnUX, or contact Constantine Sirigos at 347-452-3502 for more information. All proceeds go to the John Aravanis and John A. Marder Alumni Scholarships.