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UB to recognize faculty, staff excellence


Published October 7, 2016

Outstanding UB faculty and staff will be in the spotlight on Oct. 20 at the 13th annual Celebration of Faculty and Staff Excellence.

The celebration, which will take place in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, North Campus, will recognize the work and achievement of faculty and staff in research, teaching and service in 2016.

A separate ceremony recognizing student achievement will be held in the spring.

The ceremony for faculty and staff will begin at 3:30 p.m. with a welcome by President Satish K. Tripathi. It will include remarks by Provost Charles F. Zukoski and a performance by Jonathan Golove, associate professor of music, and UB graduate Zane Merritt, PhD ’16, music composition, who will play Merritt’s original composition for theremin cello and electric guitar.

The high point will be the recognition of faculty and staff members who received distinguished honors and awards during 2016. They include those who have been named SUNY Distinguished Professors, UB Distinguished Professors, UB Exceptional Scholars, UB Teaching Innovators and recipients of the SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. Also being honored are the recipients of two UB mentoring awards: the UB Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award and the UB President Emeritus and the Mrs. Meyerson Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring.

In addition, two faculty members will be honored for the unique achievement of completing 50 years of service to UB. They are Mary Cassata, associate professor emerita, Department of Communication, and Joseph Masling, professor emeritus, Department of Psychology.

A reception will follow the ceremony in the Slee lobby.

Those attending are asked to register online by Oct. 12.

The honorees

Joining the ranks of SUNY Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank in the SUNY system, are:

  • Anne B. Curtis, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Medicine.
  • Stephen L. Dyson, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Classics.
  • Reid R. Heffner Jr., SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences.
  • Mark J. Lema, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of Anesthesiology.
  • Joseph C. Mollendorf, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
  • Marilyn E. Morris, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • Jean Wactwaski-Wende, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health.

The Office of the Provost created the UB Distinguished Professor designation to recognize full professors who have achieved true distinction and are recognized as national and international leaders in their fields. This year’s recipient is Janet Morrow, professor of chemistry.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities recognizes outstanding academic and creative achievements across a broad spectrum of scholarly and artistic fields. Recipients are:

  • Chang Wen Chen, professor of computer science and engineering.
  • Jeffrey Errington, professor and associate dean for undergraduate education, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
  • Mark G. Frank, professor and chair, Department of Communication.
  • Jeffrey Lackner, professor of medicine.
  • Hui Meng, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes outstanding teaching ability through superb classroom performance. Recipients are Mark Bartholomew, professor of law and Katharina Dittmar, associate professor of biological sciences

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching recognizes consistently superior teaching by adjunct faculty at the graduate, undergraduate or professional level. This year’s recipient is Paul Schifferle, adjunct instructor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service honors members of the professional staff whose extraordinary service has significantly enriched the university. Recipients are:

  • David G. Costello, director of information technology and assistant dean, School of Management.
  • Elizabeth R. Harding, executive director for resource management, Department of Medicine.
  • Christina R. Hernandez, senior associate vice provost for administration and finance, Office of Academic Affairs.
  • Kara Saunders, university registrar.
  • Roberta (Robin) Sullivan, online learning specialist and instructional designer, Center for Educational Innovation.
  • Radhika Suresh, assistant dean for enrollment management, Graduate School of Education.
  • Cheryl B. Williams, human resource officer, University Libraries.

The Chancellor’s Award for Classified Service honors employees in the classified services who have demonstrated exceptional achievement and superior performance of duties. Recipients are:

  • Barbara Hammer, cleaner, University Facilities-Campus Operations.
  • Carol Lennox, janitor, University Facilities-Campus Operations.
  • Mary O’Brien, graduate coordinator, Department of Political Science.

The UB President Emeritus and Mrs. Meyerson Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring, formerly the UB Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, recognizes the outstanding faculty mentorship that currently exists at UB and seeks to encourage further faculty commitment to and participation in the undergraduate research and creative experience. Recipients are:

  • Laura M. Anderson, assistant professor of nursing.
  • Barbara J. Bono, associate professor of English.
  • Annette LeCuyer, professor of architecture.

The UB Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award recognizes exceptional excellence in faculty mentoring of graduate students at UB. Recipients are Margarita L. Dubocovich, SUNY Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Mark R. O’Brian, professor and chair, Department of Biochemistry.

The Exceptional Scholar Award for Sustained Achievement honors outstanding professional achievement that has been focused on a particular body of work over a number of years. It recognizes an unprecedented accomplishment in a senior scholar’s career, distinguishing a body of work of enduring importance that has gone beyond the norm in a particular field of study. Recipients are:

  • Irus Braverman, professor of law.
  • Thomas H. Feeley, professor of communication.
  • M. Laura Feltri, professor of biochemistry.
  • Murali Ramanathan, professor of pharmaceutical sciences.
  • Kui Ren, professor of computer science and engineering.
  • Brahm H. Segal, professor of medicine.
  • Doreen Wackeroth, professor of physics.

The Exceptional Scholar Award for Young Investigators celebrates a recent superior achievement of a scholar in his/her field of study. Such an achievement will have distinguished the recipient as an up-and-coming scholar, as well as earned the individual acclaim for his/her work, which could be a published work or other scholastic or artistic endeavor. Recipients are:

  • Samantha Barbas, associate professor of law.
  • Qiaoqiang Gan, assistant professor of electrical engineering.
  • Jonathan Lovell, assistant professor of biomedical engineering.
  • Manoranjan Majji, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.
  • Dhavalkumar K. Shah, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences.
  • Helen (Hua) Wang, assistant professor of communication.

The UB Teaching Innovation Award recognizes faculty members who have contributed significantly to engaging students with new methods and approaches to teaching that have enhanced student-learning outcomes. Recipients are M. Susan Grinslade, clinical professor and assistant dean for undergraduate programs, School of Nursing, and Steven Ko, assistant professor of computer science and Engineering.