Speakers and Presenters

Photo of Kelly Ahuna.

Kelly Ahuna

Director, Office of Academic Integrity

Kelly's Bio

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.

Rajan Batta.

Rajan Batta

Interim Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Rajan's Bio

Rajan Batta, PhD, is the Interim Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where he oversees the school’s nine departments, including faculty, staff and over 7,500 students.

He has previously served in various administrative roles in the school, most recently as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Diversity, where he helped to build and implement faculty mentoring programs, and enhanced diversity initiatives that address the school’s faculty and student communities. This is his second term as interim dean; he also served as associate dean for graduate education and research, and as chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Batta’s faculty appointment is as a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. His research is in the area of logistics, with specific focus on the areas of humanitarian relief and military mission planning. He has a sustained record of research funding, with more than $13 million in grants from federal and state agencies and private industry, and has published more than 140 articles in the top journals in his field.

An excellent teacher and mentor, Batta has supervised or co-supervised over 100 doctoral and master’s students. In recognition of his exceptional work, he has received many honors and awards, including the David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award, the Award for Technical Innovation in Industrial Engineering, and the Albert G. Holzman Distinguished Educator Award, all from the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers.

Batta joined UB in 1984. He received his PhD in Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984 and his Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1980.

Photo of Hadar Borden.

Hadar Borden

Director, Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars and WNY Prosperity Fellowship Program

Hadar's Bio

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.

Photo of Christopher Connor.

Christopher Connor

Assistant Dean and Chief Enrollment Officer for Graduate Education, UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Christopher's Bio

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.

Photo of A. Scott Weber.

A. Scott Weber

Vice President for Student Life, Professor of Civil Engineering

Scott's Bio

As a long-time respected professor to his current role as head of Student Life, Scott Weber has spent more than 30 years enhancing the student experience. For Scott, the mission is personal: to give students the tools they need to achieve more than they ever thought possible. 

As Vice President for Student Life, A. Scott Weber, PhD, oversees the UB student experience dedicated to providing UB’s nearly 30,000 students with the support and resources they need to thrive at the university and beyond. 

Formerly, Weber was the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs where he provided leadership for centralized enrollment services, student-support services and transformative extracurricular programs.  He led efforts to ensure that students have a transformative educational experience with opportunities to engage in truly distinctive research, creative and public service activities that are hallmarks of a top-tier university education.

A professor and former Chair of the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, his research focuses on biodegradation of chemicals in water and soil and the reclamation of environmentally impacted sites known as brownfields.

A member of the UB faculty since 1983, Weber was twice named Professor of the Year by the UB student chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. He received a BS and an MS from Virginia Tech and earned a PhD in civil engineering from the University of California-Davis.

Moderators and Panelists

Photo of Bethany Mazur.
Bethany Mazur

Director of Constituent and Alumni Engagement
Moderator, Current Student and Alumni Panels

Photo of Zachary Steever.
Zachary Steever

PhD student, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Current Student Panelist

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Kaivalya Mitesh Lal

PhD student, Structural and Earthquake Engineering
Current Student Panelist

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Ripudaman Dixit

PhD student, Electrical Engineering
Current Student Panelist

Photo of Yuan Hui.
Yuan Hui

PhD student, Civil Engineering
MS student, Engineering Science, Data Science
Current Student Panelist

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Wei (Will) Zhang

MS student, Chemical and Biological Engineering
Current Student Panelist

Photo of Ashish Shaw.
Ashish Shah

Vice President, Research, Development and Engineering at Viant Medical
Alumni Panelist

Photo of Dennis Elsenbeck.
Dennis Elsenbeck

Head of Energy and Sustainability, Energy Consulting Services, Buffalo, Phillips Lytle LLP
Alumni Panelist

Photo of Akinlaja Caulcrick.
Akinlaja Caulcrick

Process Control Engineer at DuPont
Alumni Panelist

Photo of Emily Ceccarelli .
Emily Ceccarelli

Learning and Development Program Manager at Moog Inc.
Alumni Panelist