Washington attorney Vincent H. Cohen has been chosen to receive the Arents Pioneer Medal, Syracuse University's highest alumni award.

Cohen was an All-America basketball player at Syracuse. When he graduated cum laude in 1957, he was drafted to play professionally, but opted for a scholarship to Syracuse law school, from which he graduated cum laude in 1960.

Cohen, now a partner at the law firm of Hogan and Hartson, is also the Ward 4 representative to the District's Democratic State Committee.

He serves on the board of the Group Health Association and the Columbia Hospital for Women, and on the board of governors for the D.C. Bar Association. He is the former chairman of the board of the D.C. Public Defenders Service, and was named vice chairman of the D.C. Committee on Judicial Disability and Tenure by President Carter.

Cohen and his wife Diane have three children, Robyn, Traci and Vincent Jr.

*UPO Gives Awards

The United Planning Organization presented four community service awards at its second Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast last Monday.

Edward Hicks received the 1986 Mildred Claypoole Community Service Award for his 10 years as a volunteer counselor to youth involved with Job Corps. Betti Whaley was given the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award for her work with Operation Rescue, a free tutoring service offered to city students.

Donald J. Ulrich of the Mid-Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Co. accepted the Martin Luther King Jr. Corporate Community Service award for his company's commitment to minority programs. Patricia Lohr of NS&T bank accepted the H.R. (Barney) Ross Memorial award on behalf of the D.C. Bankers Association, which sponsors a job training program for minority youth.