CSE welcomes new co-chair and two new members to its advisory board

By Peter Murphy

Published January 21, 2022

New additions include first female member

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) has expanded its advisory board to include a new co-chair and two new members. Mike Kurdziel joins Russell Agrusa as one of the board’s co-chairs.  Kari Bancroft is the board’s first female member, and Kevin Ruggiero joins as its newest member. All are graduates of UB’s programs in computer science and engineering.

“I am thrilled to have Mike serve as co-chair of the board, and warmly welcome Kari and Kevin. Their expertise in industry and education are a valuable addition to the board and I thank them for taking on these new roles. ”
Jinhui Xu, Professor and chair
Department of Computer Science and Engineering

“I am thrilled to have Mike serve as co-chair of the board, and warmly welcome Kari and Kevin,” says Jinhui Xu, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. “Their expertise in industry and education are a valuable addition to the board and I thank them for taking on these new roles.”

The 16-member board is made up of industry leaders, many of whom are UB alumni, and provides external counsel to the department on a variety of topics including education and research programs, strategic planning and industrial relations. 

Meet the new board members

Mike Kurdziel.

Mike Kurdziel (PhD ‘01, MS ‘88, BS ‘86) is a principal fellow and engineering director for the Chief Engineering Systems and Technology (CEST) Group for the Communication Systems segment – Tactical Communications sector of L3Harris Technologies, a technology company, defense contractor and IT services provider. He is recognized as a published industry authority in various cybersecurity technologies. Kurdziel holds 17 patents and has authored or coauthored over 30 publications on military communications applications. He is an adjunct faculty member with the Rochester Institute of Technology and was named 2019 Inventor of the Year by the Rochester Intellectual Property Law Association. Kurdziel earned his BS, MS and PhD in electrical and computer engineering from UB. Kurdziel has served as a member of the CSE advisory board since 2013. 

Kari Bancroft.

Kari Bancroft (BS ’08) is a senior engineering manager at Webflow, a no-code custom website builder, where she supports the billing team and works on engineering-wide initiatives. Prior to joining Webflow, Bancroft served as an engineering manager at Nordstrom, and as director of education and technology at Ada Developers Academy. Bancroft has worked as an engineer or educator with Girls Who Code, Fidelity National Information Services, MBMS and Lockheed Martin. Bancroft received her BS in computer science from the University at Buffalo in 2008 and worked as a teaching assistant while an undergraduate student. She earned a Master of Science degree in software engineering from Penn State University in 2013. Bancroft has a passion for empowering others to do their best work and diversifying the technology industry. 

Kevin Ruggiero.

Kevin Ruggiero, MBA (MS ‘04, BA ‘99) is the CIO for Moog, Inc., a motion and fluid control systems designer for applications in aerospace, defense, industrial and medical devices. In this role, Ruggiero oversees Moog’s digital transformation and cybersecurity, and leads the company’s evolution from a traditional manufacturer of high-performance systems to a digitally capable solution provider with smart factory capabilities. Prior to joining Moog, Inc., Ruggiero served as the director of enterprise information management for Northrop Grumman Corporation where he led a team of architects, data engineers and data stewards, and developed strategy and organization to establish information governance, enterprise information structure and improve data quality and security. He earned his BA and MS degrees in computer science from UB and an MBA from Indiana University.