Karen S Towner, BSN, RN
Karen was born and raised in Watkins Glen, NY. After getting married in 1984, she relocated to Rochester and has 3 sons, a daughter-in-law and 2 beautiful granddaughters. She obtained her Associates in Nursing from Monroe Community College and later her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Brockport State College. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies in Healthcare from Empire State College; she is a certified asthma educator. Her nursing career has included pediatrics, family practice and working as a project coordinator for a Robert Wood Foundation grant for inner city children with asthma. She has worked in both hospital based and private practice. She joined AAIR in 2009 as the Nurse Manager of the private practice. Her hobbies include yoga, antiquing, photography, scrap-booking, gardening and hiking. Karen’s interest in research lies in the new innovations clinical research brings, as well as, seeing the how the patients benefit from these new treatments. Karen has had the opportunity to train under Becky Ricotta, MS, CCRC for the last quarter of 2016 .
Becky Ricotta, MS, CCRC
Research Administrator, Certified Clinical Research Coordinator
Becky retired from AAIR on December 30, 2016
Becky was born and raised in Buffalo and LeRoy, NY. After getting married in 1976, she relocated to Rochester and has 2 sons, a daughter- in- law, and two grandsons. She obtained her Medical Assistant Certificate from Sawyer School of Business, a BS in Biology from Fredonia State University, and a Masters of Science in Community Health Education from SUNY Brockport. She has worked in nursing homes, doctor's offices, and a cardiology unit in a local hospital before coming to AAIR Research in 1993. She has been Certified as a Clinical Research Coordinator by the ACRP (Association of Clinical Research Professionals) since 1997. Becky has been active in the ACRP as the Secretary to the Site Manager's Forum from 1997-1999 and as the Co-Chair for the Western New York Chapter of the ACRP from 2008 - 2010. She is a member of the 2014 ACRP Awards & Recognition Committee. Her hobbies include camping, golf, music, and water aerobics. She enjoys clinical research because it allows her to be on the cutting edge of medicine and provide patients, as well as our medical community with opportunities currently unavailable as part of their health treatment.
Research Assistant/Regulatory Specialist
Tina was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and moved to Rochester in 1988. She is married and has 1 son. Tina has been in research for over 17 years and has worked with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals as an assistant to the director and data management specialist. She also worked at Rochester Clinical Research for 2 1/2 years before coming to AAIR Research Center in November 2007. She enjoys learning and has taken classes in nursing as well as natural health. Her hobbies include traveling, gardening, and an interest in all things about health and fitness. She has been in research for many years and enjoys how it keeps her "on her toes" as well as allowing her to help people to feel better.
Amy Wielgosz, RN, CCRC
Certified Clinical Research Coordinator
Raised and educated in Rochester, Amy worked in manufacturing at Eastman Kodak and Johnson & Johnson for 19 years as a Quality Control inspector before going back to nursing school. She graduated in 2001 from GCC with her Associates in Nursing and worked in Med/Surg and Surgical Services 7 years before coming to AAIR Research in 2008. Amy then went on to become certifed as a Clinical Research Coordinator through the ACRP (Association of Clinical Research Professionals) in September 2010. She is active in ACRP attending local meetings of the Western New York Chapter of the ACRP. Amy is married and has 2 grown sons as well as 3 beautiful grandchildren. She enjoys knitting, gardening, and marching in the Drum Corp. Amy enjoys the patient contact aspect of research as well as being part of the critical role research plays in the advancement of medicine.
Richelda Cavenaugh, LPN, CRC
Clinical Research Coordinator
Richelda Cavenaugh was born in the Philippines and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Manila, Philippines. While waiting for the results of her RN licensure exam (the results for which took much longer in those days to be disseminated), she worked as a pharmaceutical sales rep. After working in the Philippines for several years as an RN, she moved to Singapore and later to England (Liverpool and London), where she worked as a senior RN. She has also worked in Guernsey Channel Island. Her nursing specialties include post anesthesia care unit/recovery room, adult general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, plastic surgery, general practice, out-patient, travel nursing, acute medical nursing, and nursing home care of elderly and demented patients. Richelda is licensed as a LPN in New York State. Her hobbies include church activities, movies, aerobics, sewing, domestic and international travel, and photography. She lives with her husband, son, daughter and mother. After over 15 years of working in direct patient care, Richelda felt that a career in Research would be an exciting but different way to build on her experience that involves more variety than routine patient care. She enjoys the intellectual stimulation that a career in Clinical Research has provided.
Laurel Howard, RN, CRC
Clinical Research Coordinator
Laurel was born and raised in South Carolina and Rochester. She graduated from Syracuse University Cum Laude with a degree in Visual and Performing Arts. She then decided to continue her education and pursued a degree in nursing from the University of Rochester School of Nursing, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Prior to working at AAIR, Laurel’s nursing experience has been in labor and delivery and the special care nursery. She has been a presenter at Women’s Care Teaching Days. Laurel went to Haiti after the 2009 earthquake to volunteer her services at a local hospital. Laurel has a beautiful 2 year old daughter and a dog. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, volunteering,and making jewelry. Laurel joined the AAIR team in August 2015. She sees nursing and research as a way to help, educate and touch people’s lives.