Tonawanda News

Features

February 4, 2013

Kenmore native making good on accolade

Tonawanda News — Everyone loves knowing the ending to a good story.

When the News had to stop publishing our daily “Do You Remember” feature for a few years because our microfilm machine broke, boy did we ever receive the Sound Off calls and emails. People weren’t pleased. Tonawandans love to be reminded of their personal history ... indeed, who doesn’t? 

When the Historical Society of the Tonawandas offered to launch the feature again several months ago after we agreed to let them house our microfilm archives, we probably got just as many calls and emails from readers happy to read a quick snippet of what happened that day in history 10, 25, 50 and 70 years ago. 

Readers are reminded of that time 10 years ago when boxer “Baby” Joe Mesina visited Tonawanda Middle School students, or perhaps when the Doris Day musical “Jumbo” was playing at the Riviera Theatre 50 years ago.

Or how about the Kenmore West student who was named one of the nation’s most promising young scientists by Westinghouse Science Talent Search 50 years ago on Jan. 23, 1963? Whatever happened to young Marvin L. Marshak, “son of Mr. and Mrs. Kalman Marshak, of 379 Knowlton Ave., Kenmore?”

Marshak was one of only 327 high school seniors across the country named as finalists for the prestigious recognition that came with a college scholarship. 

We decided to find out.

Fortunately for us, it wasn’t all that difficult to research. We tracked him down to Minneapolis, Minn., where he works as a professor of physics at the University of Minnesota. Promising ... certainly.

Marshak told us he didn’t end up winning the scholarship award, but that certainly didn’t deter him from pursuing an education and career in the field of science. He received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 1967, and a master’s and doctorate in physics at University of Michigan in 1969 and 1970, respectively.

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