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Apr 18 2013

NYIT Announces 2013 Honorary Degree Recipients

Accomplished  Television News Anchor; Seasoned Health Care Educator and Advocate; Successful Entrepreneur; and Prominent Chinese Education and Research Leader to be Honored at 52nd Commencement

Old Westbury, N.Y. (April 18, 2013) – New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) will award honorary degrees to a well-known New York TV anchor; a health care educator and leader of a national organization dedicated to eliminating cancer; an entrepreneur and CEO of several national companies; and the president of a prestigious university in China who is also a professor and published researcher. The honorary degrees will be conferred at NYIT’s Commencement on Sunday, May 19, at its Old Westbury campus.

The recipients, who will be honored before an expected audience of 12,000, are WNYW FOX 5 News Anchor Ernie Anastos, who has an extraordinary record of achievement, including more than 30 Emmy awards and nominations; Otis Webb Brawley, M.D., the chief medical/scientific officer and executive vice president of the American Cancer Society and a professor at Emory University; Peter A. Ferentinos, an entrepreneur, CEO of Qualco Inc. and several other national companies, and the longest-standing member of NYIT’s board of trustees; and Yang Zhen, Ph.D., president of one of NYIT’s partner institutions in China, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications (NUPT), who has been instrumental in the success of the NYIT-Nanjing global campus since it opened in 2007.

This year marks the university’s 52nd Commencement. NYIT President Edward Guiliano, Ph.D., will salute the graduates and congratulate relatives and friends during his address to the Class of 2013. “We are proud to recognize these four dedicated and influential professionals who have contributed so much to their respective fields and who embody the values and attributes for which NYIT stands as a global university,” noted Guiliano. 

About the recipients:

Ernie Anastos
New York Emmy Award-Winning TV News Anchor
Doctor of Humane Letters

Anastos is a distinguished and popular Emmy Award-winning broadcaster for Fox’s WNYW-TV in New York and is the only New York TV anchor to receive the coveted Lifetime Emmy Award. He is also the creator and host of the program "Positively Ernie," which informs, entertains, and inspires viewers about people and stories that impact our community, country, and world. As a dynamic New York Hall of Fame broadcaster, Anastos has covered major stories that have shaped the past three decades and has interviewed top world leaders including Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, as well as Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and South African Bishop Desmond Tutu.

He has gained national experience as a news anchor and substitute host for ABC's Good Morning America and The CBS Morning News and created and hosted informational programs for CBS, Lifetime, and ABC. He is also a celebrated author who recently introduced a series of children's books titled, Ernie and the Big Newz, with proceeds donated to The Make-a-Wish Foundation. He graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern University.

Otis Webb Brawley, M.D., FACP
Chief Medical/Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President, American Cancer Society and Professor, Emory University
Doctor of Science

As the chief medical and scientific officer and executive vice president of the American Cancer Society, Dr. Brawley is responsible for promoting the goals of cancer prevention, early detection, and quality treatment through cancer research and education.

He serves as professor of hematology, oncology, medicine, and epidemiology at Emory University. A medical consultant to CNN, Brawley is also a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women, and on the advisory council of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. He has also served as a member of the Food and Drug Administration Oncologic Drug Advisory Committee.

He is listed by Castle Connelly as one of America’s Top Doctors for Cancer, among his other awards. Dr. Brawley graduated from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Case-Western Reserve University, and a fellowship in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute.
Peter A. Ferentinos
CEO, Qualco Inc.
Doctor of Commercial Science

Ferentinos is chief operating officer of several companies, including Qualco Inc., a repackager and contract packager of pool chemicals; Majestic Industries Inc., a major supplier of seating to the casino industry; Tube Fabrication Industries, LLC, a highly automated production facility providing small machined parts to the automobile industry; and Pafco Investments, LLC, a private investment financing firm providing funds to small companies. He has more than 25 years of engineering design and engineering management experience at defense-related companies including Grumman Aerospace and Control Data Corp. A significant shareholder in Gold Coast Bank, he is a member of its board of directors and its executive committee, loan committee, and audit committee and chairman of it compensation committee.

A member of Stony Brook's Medical Center Development Committee, he also supports The Long Island Museum, The Ward Melville Heritage Organization, and Southside Hospital, among other organizations.

A graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School, Ferentinos holds a bachelor of business administration from Hofstra University, where he also completed advanced studies in quantitative analysis toward an M.B.A. An NYIT trustee for more than 25 years, Ferentinos is the university's longest-standing board member.

Yang Zhen, Ph.D.
Professor and President, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications (NUPT)
Doctor of Science

Yang Zhen received B.Eng. and M.Eng. degrees from NUPT, and a Ph.D. degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (all in electrical engineering). He was initially employed as a lecturer in 1983 by NUPT, where he was promoted to associate professor in 1995 and full professor in 2000. He was a visiting scholar at Bremen University, Germany, in 1992-1993, and an exchange scholar at Maryland University in 2003. His research interests include aspects of signal processing and communication, cognitive radio, spectrum sensing, speech and audio processing, compressive sensing, and wireless communication. Yang has published more than 180 papers in academic journals and conferences.

Yang has held several administrative positions at NUPT, including vice director of information for the engineering department in 2000-2001; deputy president in 2001-2006; and president since 2006. He serves as vice chairman of the Chinese Institute of Communications, chairman of Jiangsu Institute of Communications, executive member of the China Education Society of Electronics, and vice director of the editorial board of The Journal of China Universities of Posts and Telecommunications. He chaired the Asian Pacific Communication Conference Steering Committee in 2013-2014, and is deputy of the 10th, 11th, and 12th National People's Congress of China.

For more information about NYIT’s 52nd annual commencement, visit

About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.

Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, more than 92,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit New York Institute of Technology at


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