Campus News

UB to celebrate faculty, staff excellence

By SUE WUETCHER

Published October 8, 2015

Outstanding achievements by UB faculty and staff during the past year will be recognized on Oct. 22 at the 12th annual Celebration of Faculty/Staff Excellence.

The celebration, to take place at 3:30 p.m. in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, North Campus, will showcase the work and achievement of faculty and staff in research, teaching and service in 2015.

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

The ceremony for faculty and staff will begin with a welcome by President Satish K. Tripathi and remarks by Provost Charles F. Zukoski.

After Zukoski’s remarks, faculty and staff members who have been named SUNY Distinguished Professors, UB Distinguished Professors, UB Exceptional Scholars, UB Teaching Innovators and recipients of SUNY Chancellor’s Awards will be recognized. Also being honored will be the recipients of two UB mentoring awards: the UB President Emeritus and Mrs. Meyerson Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring, and the UB Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award.

In addition, six faculty members — four of whom are SUNY Distinguished Professors — and a staff member will be honored for the unique achievement of completing 50 years of service to UB. They are Robert E. Ackerhalt, clinical professor emeritus, Department of Nuclear Medicine; Harvey Breverman, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Art; Sebastian G. Ciancio, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Periodontics and Endodontics; Georg G. Iggers, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of History; George H. Nancollas, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry; Shinpei Ohki, professor emeritus, Department of Physiology and Biophysics; and Pamela M. Rose, web services and library promotion coordinator, Health Sciences Library.

The ceremony will conclude with a performance by pianist Eric H. Huebner, associate professor, Department of Music. A reception will follow in the Slee lobby.

Those attending are asked to register online. 

The honorees

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

  • John M. Canty Jr., SUNY Distinguished Professor, Department of Medicine.
  • Michael C. Constantinou, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering.
  • Gene D. Morse, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice.
  • Johannes M. Nitsche, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

The Office of the Provost created the UB Distinguished Professors designation to recognize full professors who have achieved true distinction and who are recognized as national and international leaders in their fields. John Henry Schlegel, professor, UB Law School, was named a UB Distinguished Professor in 2015.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes outstanding teaching ability through superb classroom performance. Recipients are:

  • Peter G. Bradford, Peter Bradford, associate professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
  • Steven Miller, associate professor, Department of English.
  • Mary Nell Trautner, associate professor, Department of Sociology.

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:

  • Beth A. Corry, associate vice president and controller, University Business Services.
  • Elaine R. Cusker, associate dean for academic affairs and undergraduate education, Division of Academic Affairs, Office of the Provost.
  • John DellaContrada, associate vice president for media relations and stakeholder communications, University Communications.
  • Valerie Frerichs, associate laboratory director, Department of Chemistry.
  • Jacqueline Molik Ghosen, assistant dean and director of communications, School of Management.
  • Krista L. Hanypsiak, director of general education.
  • Kevin Leary, assistant to the director, Arts Management Program.
  • Patricia Shyhalla, associate vice provost for resource management, International Education.

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:

  • Stella Batalama, professor and chair, Department of Electrical Engineering.
  • Ralph Benedict, professor, Department of Neurology.
  • Ann Bisantz, professor and chair, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.
  • Sriram Neelamegham, professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

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:

  • Vickie Searight, undergraduate secretary, Department of Biological Sciences.
  • Deborah Szurgyi, clerk 2, Department of Oral Biology.
  • Paul Wilcox, maintenance supervisor, UB Anderson Gallery.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship recognizing exceptional skill — both professional and scholarly — in librarianship. Recipients are:

  • Theodora Belniak, associate librarian, Charles B. Sears Law Library.
  • Michelle Zafron, associate librarian, Health Sciences Library.

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:

  • Chester H. Fox, professor, Department of Family Medicine.
  • Zonglu Hua, professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
  • Janet R. Morrow, professor, Department of Chemistry.
  • Norma J. Nowak, professor, Department of Biochemistry, and executive director, UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences.
  • Noreen Williams, professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
  • Jinhui Xu, professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

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:

  • Iman Borazjani, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
  • David Dietz, assistant professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
  • Changhyun Kwon, assistant professor, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.
  • Xuefeng Ren, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health.

William A. Prescott Jr., clinical associate professor and vice chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice, is the recipient of the UB Teaching Innovation Award, which recognizes faculty members who have contributed significantly to engaging students with new methods and approaches to teaching that have enhanced student-learning outcomes.

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 — was established in 2011 to recognize 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:

  • Ana Mariella Bacigalupo, associate professor, Department of Anthropology.
  • Lance Rintamaki, associate professor, Department of Communication.
  • Mark T. Swihart, UB Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and executive director, UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics.

The Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award, established by UB’s Graduate School in 2011, annually honors and publicly recognizes exceptional excellence in faculty mentoring of graduate students at UB. Recipients are:

  • Rajan Batta, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and associate dean for faculty affairs, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
  • Anthony A. Campagnari, professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and senior associate dean for research and graduate education, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
  • Yvonne K. Scherer, associate professor, School of Nursing.