Our SEAS 360° Professionalism Orientation is an annual event that welcomes our new entering graduate students while providing them critical training beyond the classroom to better prepare them for their professional careers.
The sessions for this event are typically led by industry professionals, academic faculty and university senior leadership. Students in attendance that choose to opt-in to our free SEAS 360° Certificate of Professional Development program will receive 3 training hours.
Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Moog Professor of Innovation, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Kemper E. Lewis, PhD, MBA, and dean of UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is a global leader in engineering design, system optimization and advanced manufacturing. He is also the Moog Professor of Innovation in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and served as department chair prior to being named dean.
Lewis is also the director of UB’s Community of Excellence in Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART), an initiative that harnesses the strengths of faculty across the university to develop advanced manufacturing and design processes including autonomy, intelligence and materials technologies.
He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and has served on the National Academies Panel on Benchmarking the Research Competitiveness of the United States in Mechanical Engineering. He has published over 200 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings and has been principal or co-principal investigator on grants totaling more than $18 million.
Active in the profession, Lewis chaired ASME’s Mechanical Engineering Department Head Executive Committee. He has received numerous awards in recognition of his teaching and research excellence from several professional societies, including ASME, the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Lewis joined UB in 1996. He earned a BS in mechanical engineering and a BA in mathematics from Duke University, his MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech, and an MBA from UB.
Director, Office of Academic Integrity
Kelly Ahuna is the director of the Office of Academic Integrity. In this role, she provides leadership and expertise in promoting UB’s fundamental value of integrity in the academic enterprise. This includes oversight of the undergraduate and graduate academic integrity policies, adjudication of cases that are not resolved at the instructor level, and programming to educate and orient the campus (faculty, staff, and students) on university academic integrity policies and procedures. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in English with secondary teacher certification from Dickinson College, a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Vermont, and a doctoral degree in sociology of education from UB. Her past work and academic interests have centered around applied critical thinking, culturally responsive pedagogy, and student success.
Director, Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars and WNY Prosperity Fellowship Program
Hadar Borden is the director of the University at Buffalo’s Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars, a campus-based entrepreneurship program. In addition, Hadar serves as the director of the WNY Prosperity Fellowship Program, a leadership development program, generously funded by The Prentice Family Foundation that seeks to recruit and retain entrepreneurial-minded students to contribute to economic development in Western New York. Prior to her current roles, Hadar served for eight years as the administrative director of the University at Buffalo’s Undergraduate Academies, the collaborative, interdisciplinary living-and-learning communities for undergraduates. She was formerly the assistant administrative director of the University Honors College and before that served as an assistant director in the Office of Admissions.
A University at Buffalo alumnus, Hadar holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in geography with a concentration in international business and world trade. In 2012, Hadar was awarded the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award in Professional Service in recognition of her professional accomplishments.
A true “UB Believer,” Hadar bleeds UB Blue. Hadar is engaged in the community outside of UB as well. A mother of two young sons, she is married to David Borden (BS ’97, MBA ’01) and resides in Amherst, NY. He plays in a local Buffalo rock band and is active in their synagogue, Temple Beth Zion. Hadar also engages in her community as a member of the Junior League of Buffalo, where she collaborates and innovates with a group of inspiring, accomplished women dedicated to volunteerism. She has served as a commissioner on the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women; currently serves as a board member with the Amherst Industrial Development Agency and Town of Amherst Development Corporation, is a trustee on the board of the Buffalo Jewish Federation; contributes to The Center for Jewish Engagement and Learning; is a member of the board with Explore Buffalo, The Tool Library, and Hillel of Buffalo; and was recognized by Buffalo Business First as a member of the 2013 Class of Forty under 40.
Assistant Dean and Chief Enrollment Officer for Graduate Education, UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
With 20 years of experience in higher education, Chris’s experience includes leadership roles in undergraduate and graduate education both from an institutional and academic unit perspective. He currently serves as the Assistant Dean for Graduate Education in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University at Buffalo. In his current role, he focuses strategically on all aspects of the graduate student lifecycle including new program development, international and domestic recruitment, enrollment planning, financial aid leveraging, diversity programs, graduate student professional development and alumni engagement.
Assistant Dean for Diversity, UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Dr. Thomas is responsible for the support of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines within UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as well as the College of Arts and Sciences. She serves as a resource for grant writing and outreach programs, to provide greater paths to success for underrepresented student participation in STEM. She oversees National Science Foundation funded grants that seek to increase the number of underrepresented students pursuing STEM, by building a supportive network for STEM Scholars. In addition to her administrative duties, Dr. Thomas is committed to scholarship and teaching. Her research interests include STEM education, social justice, and qualitative research methods. She has taught courses in sociology including Race & Ethnic Relations, Social Problems, and Social Justice.
Dr. Thomas is a member of various professional organizations including the American Association of University Women, American Society for Engineering Education, and National Association of National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates.