Dunkirk native receives honor

Dunkirk native David Van Wey, center, receives one of three Witmer Awards for Distinguished Service from the University of Rochester’s President, Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, after working in the Laboratory for Laser Energetics for over 30 years.

Dunkirk native David Van Wey, graduated from Dunkirk High School in the class of 1985. His Principal was Mr. John Mancuso and his computer science teacher was Mr. James Will (DHS Class of 1961 graduate). Both encouraged Van Wey to further his education in the computer science field and after graduation he began his college career at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

While furthering his education in a Bachelor’s level program for computer science at RIT, he simultaneously worked in the office for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). Having made many new friends and colleagues, he was referred for a position at the University of Rochester in the Lab for Laser Energetics. Working in the laser lab, sparked an interest in him that led him to further his education, ultimately receiving a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Rochester.

In April 2023, he received a letter from the President of the University of Rochester, Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, stating he was chosen to receive one of the three Witmer Awards for Distinguished Service. Manglesdorf stated in the letter:

“For over 30 years, your commitment to the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) and University has been invaluable. From creating relational databases to modernizing operations years ago to standing watch over the laser system one shift per week for over 20 years as a trained power conditioning operator to becoming a highly respected and appreciated human resources professional today, your contributions exemplify our Meloria values”.

He was presented with the award where he was congratulated by the University of Rochester’s Board of Trustees. At this time, Van Wey plans to continue the rest of his career at the University of Rochester, eventually retiring in his hometown of Dunkirk.


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