Surgical Technology Student Daniel Danovskis is Vanguard Award Finalist

Trocaire College student Daniel Danovskis, currently enrolled in his third semester of the Surgical Technology program, recently made it to the finalist level for the statewide Vanguard Award.

The honor recognizes outstanding college students enrolled in career technical education that prepare them for careers that are not traditional for their gender. It is administered by the New York State Nontraditional Employment & Training (NET) Program, Center for Women in Government & Civil Society, and is sponsored by the New York State Education Department through a Carl D. Perkins grant.

Dr. Linda Kerwin ’07, dean of the Division of Health Professions, and Dr. Allyson M. Lowe, vice president for Academic Affairs, nominated Daniel for the award.

“Daniel has been nothing short of exemplary both in the clinical and academic settings since he entered the program in 2018,” Kerwin said. “He is professional, responsible, and very empathetic to patient care in the operating room. Daniel is well-respected in the field, and I hold him in the highest regard.”

The final eight winners were selected earlier this month from a pool of nearly 40 nominations statewide. Daniel made it to the top 16.

“We would like to thank and congratulate the finalists and all nominees for their success in non-traditional fields for their gender,” the NET Program said in a release. “You are wonderful role models for many men and women who will be following your footsteps.”

Daniel graduated from West Seneca West High School in 2012. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Master of Science in anatomy from D’Youville, but struggled to get into a physician assistant (PA) program. He shifted gears and decided to look for a program that would get him some practical experience, quick.

He was drawn to surgical technology for the precision, organization and hands-on role in surgical procedures it requires. He’s already completed clinical rotations at Buffalo General Hospital, United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, and Mercy Hospital.

“I liked that Trocaire’s program was two years, and that you could get right into the operating room,” Daniel said. “It’s been great—everybody’s been super helpful.”

He plans on keeping his options open after graduation—perhaps working as a surgical technologist for the foreseeable future, maybe reapplying to PA school, or possibly pursing a different career path in the surgical technology field entirely.

“You can do so much with this degree—the two years are definitely worth it,” he said.