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THE SPECTRUM VOL. 67 NO. 48 | APRIL 26, 2018





UB drop-out turned CEO returns to finish degree

More than 255,000 UB alumni live in all 50 states and in 150 countries.


New York

#4 New Jersey #5 Pennsylvania

# 2 California # 3 Florida

Eden Dedrick returned this past fall, 33 years after leaving to pursue games, puzzle business

#6 Virginia #7 North Carolina #8 Massachusetts

UB alum and daughter help fundraise for Parkland shooting victims Parkland community heals through the arts

#9 Maryland #10 Texas


Eden Dedrick dropped out of UB in 1982. She returned last fall as the CEO of a successful company to finish her degree in English.




# 2 India # 3 China

In 1982, Eden Dedrick started taking classes at UB. Her grades were either As or Fs, and she could be found playing pool and smoking cigarettes more often than sitting in Clemens Hall for class. Dedrick dropped out in her sophomore year. Thirty-three years later, she’s back to finish her English degree. These days, Dedrick doesn’t miss a single class, and she’s too busy managing Buffalo Games –– the million-dollar jigsaw puzzle company she and her husband co-founded –– to play pool.

#4 Canada #5 Korea #6 Taiwan #7 Malaysia #8 Japan #9 Turkey


#10 Hong Kong


Avery’s father and UB alum, Lonny Anger, is the director and vice president of media relations for Shine MSD, a nonprofit organization that benefits those affected by the Parkland shooting.


It was Valentine’s Day and Lonny Anger just returned to his house from buying flowers and chocolates when a news alert flashed across his phone screen –– an active shooter was at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, his daughter’s school. Anger called his daughter Avery and in a few moments received a text, reading in all caps: “Don’t call me, I’m hiding in a closet with my teacher.” > SEE PARKLAND | PAGE 13

From left to right, Sam Pawlyk, Cooper Ehrendreich, Elie Onokoko, Alec Frazier and Amy DuVall. UB alumni talked about their experiences since leaving Buffalo and gave advice to current students.




# 2 NYC # 3 Rochester


#4 Washington-Baltimore #5 D.C. Metro

UB alumni share advice on school, jobs, and finding the work-life balance

#6 Syracuse #7 Albany #8 San Francisco #9 Boston


#10 Los Angeles


All information according to the Office of Donor and Alumni Comunications


The Spectrum spoke with UB alumni across the country, from those in public relations in Los Angeles to aerospace engineering in Washington, D.C. Despite their different paths, most alumni had similar advice for students entering the job market. Networking: It’s as important as everyone says There is perhaps no phrase more ubiquitous on a col-

lege campus today than “networking,” and according to alumni, there’s a reason the buzzword gets so much traction. Nearly all alumni agreed on the importance of overcoming the “awkwardness” of emailing, calling and reaching out to professionals for advice and insight. Cooper Ehrendreich graduated from UB in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in international trade and now works as a staffing assistant in Washington for local Congressman Brian Higgins. Ehrendreich said he applied to internships here and there, never hearing back. His senior year he accepted an internship with Sen. Chuck Schumer and from there discovered he loved working in politics. “It took some doing for me. Initially I wasn’t super comfortable with this, but really just send a cold email to people and they’ll almost always be willing to grab a coffee with you to talk about what they do and what your interests are,” Ehrendreich said. Elie Onokoko graduated in 2014 with a degree in computer science and media studies, and now works for the international consulting firm Deloitte. Onokoko said he wishes he would have been more involved during his time at UB, and joined different clubs and organizations. > SEE ADVICE | PAGE 6

2 | Thursday, April 26, 2018


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Sunday, April 29, 2018 NEW LOCATION: Harriman Hall on the University at Buffalo South Campus A March Against Gender Violence to Benefit Crisis Services Advocate Program

Registration @ 11:30 AM Activities Start @ Noon Walk begins promptly @ 1:00 PM Make a team or fundraise on your own! Win prizes! The proceeds will benefit Crisis Services’ Advocate Program; providing confidential response and support for survivors of rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, family violence and elder abuse– 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All are welcome to this community event.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018 | 3

THE THESSPECTRUM PECTRUM Thursday, April 26, 2018 Volume 67 Number 48 Circulation: 4,000

EDITORIAL BOARD Editor in Chief Hannah Stein

Managing Editor David Tunis-Garcia

Creative Director Pierce Strudler Phuong Vu, Asst.

Copy Editors Dan McKeon, Chief Emma Medina Savanna Caldwell, Asst. Cassi Enderle, Asst. Lauryn King, Asst.

News Editors Sarah Crowley, Senior Max Kalnitz Haruka Lucas Kosugi, Asst. Anna Savchenko, Asst.

Features Editors Benjamin Blanchet, Senior Wanly Chen, Asst. Erik Tingue, Asst.

Arts Editors Brenton Blanchet, Senior Brian Evans, Asst.


The Spectrum stands with the hashtag #SaveStudentNewsrooms movement. We stand in solidarity with more than 100 college publications across the country that are advocating for editorial freedom for student newspapers because we believe in the importance of student journalism.

College newspapers are a vital part of campus communities The Spectrum stands with the hashtag #SaveStudentNewsrooms movement

Sports Editors Thomas Zafonte, Senior

Editorial Editor Maddy Fowler

Multimedia Editors Allison Staebell, Senior Jack Li, Asst. Elijah Pike, Asst.

Cartoonist Ardi Digap

PROFESSIONAL STAFF Office Administrator Helene Polley

Advertising Manager Ayesha Kazi

Graphic Design Managers Stephen Jean-Pierre JuYung Hong, Asst.

ABOUT THE SPECTRUM The views expressed – both written and graphic – in the Feedback, Opinion and Perspectives sections of The Spectrum do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial board. Submit contributions for these pages to The Spectrum office at Suite 132 Student Union or news@ The Spectrum reserves the right to edit these pieces for style and length. If a letter is not meant for publication, please mark it as such. All submissions must include the author’s name, daytime phone number, and email address.

For information on adverstising with The Spectrum: VISIT: CALL US: 716-645-2152 The Spectrum offices are located in 132 Student Union, UB North Campus, Buffalo, NY 14260-2100

JOIN OUR STAFF Do you have an interest in journalism, graphic design, photography, social media, advertising, cartoons or copy editing? The Spectrum is always looking for enthusiastic students who want to be part of our team. Join our 45-time award winning independent student newspaper for hands-on, real-world experience in your field. Anyone interested in joining The Spectrum’s editorial staff can email Hannah Stein at: Anyone interested in joining The Spectrum’s professional staff or advertising team can email Helene Polley at:


Student newsrooms are in danger. Southern Methodist University’s student newspaper, The Daily Campus, will dissolve in May. The University of Central Florida’s student publication, The Central Florida Future, shut down in 2016 after 48 years in circulation. Herriman High School students launched their own independent publication after administrators deleted an article on a teacher’s firing. In honor of Student Journalism Day, the editor-in-chief of University of Florida’s independent student newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator, organized a nationwide day of action to support student journalism. The Spectrum fully endorses the hashtag #SaveStudentNewsrooms movement. We stand in solidarity with more than 100 college publica-

tions across the country that are advocating for editorial freedom for student newspapers because we believe in the importance of student journalism. Because we know the work we do is vital to our community of over 30,000 students, staff and faculty. The Spectrum has been fully independent for 68 years and plays a crucial role on UB’s campus. Our publication has won roughly 50 national journalism awards within the past four years. And our reporting has led to meaningful change on campus. A story about lack of international student integration prompted the university to conduct a study on how to better serve international students. After we reported that UB photographers were using student photos for marketing purposes without consent, the photo policy changed.

Within the past year, we broke the news that former UB Vice President Dennis Black and former Campus Living Director Andrea Costantino embezzled more than $300,000 from student and faculty funds. We reported about the UB Foundation’s investment in fracking and the university cutting four sports teams. Our reporting has also raised awareness about low TA stipends and a lack of black faculty. We’ve published stories on the lack of oversight for SUNY foundations and the ongoing battle of private-public partnerships on campuses. We conducted a swab test that revealed E. coli and other bacteria and fungi in certain areas of campus. We covered the changes in the UB Curriculum that allows students to take a course about electrical transmitters and receivers to learn about racism. We also reported on the unusable state of the campus tennis courts for Division I teams. And the arts desk profiles talented student artists

like Kari Quimpo and Charles Augustin. Without The Spectrum, these important stories would go untold. UB does not have a journalism major, so The Spectrum is where aspiring reporters gain the skills, knowledge and experience to compete in the challenging field of journalism. Student journalism matters now more than ever. If you value student voices, if you value the right to have information about issues on your campus, if you believe administrators should be held accountable, it is imperative that you support the hashtag #SaveStudentJournalism movement. As it stands, The Spectrum does not receive any financial support from the university. All of our funding comes from ad revenue. If you believe in the importance of the work we do here at The Spectrum, please consider supporting us and donating. email:

‘My Beautiful Dark Twitter Fantasy’ Analyzing Kanye West’s recent social media resurgence, album announcements BRENTON J. BLANCHET SENIOR ARTS EDITOR

It’s been nearly 10 years since I first started listening to Kanye West. In the past decade, I’ve learned only one thing about Ye. He’s unpredictable. He does what he wants, when he wants. He creates at his own pace. He says what comes to his mind. But most of all, when he announces an album, you can almost guarantee that he’ll push it back. And when he’s active on social media, fans are either going to be thrilled or completely turned off by what he shares. On April 15, Kanye came out of hiding and resurfaced on Twitter. He just ranted as per usual. He tweeted about his favorite t-shirt designs, consciousness, creativity and trends, finding ways to somehow make each tweet less transparent and more

inspirational than the last. But even with inpiration coming from his fingertips, Kanye still managed to rile some fans up. On April 25, Kanye further endorsed President Donald Trump, something that goes against a lot of what Kanye based his early career on. Seemingly, many agree. Artists and collaborators Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna unfollowed Ye shortly after these Trump endorsements. Him shying away from his usual behavior bothers me, especially after Ye’s 2016 tour cancellation and hospitalization. He took a lot of deserved time off, and I truly hope that this time off means he’s in a healthier place. But even after these recent political tweets that I can’t get behind, I was most surprised by Kanye sneaking two album announcements four days into his Twitter rampage. Ye is dropping a new 7-song project on June 1, with a Kid Cudi joint record coming the following week. But I don’t really care. I think I’ve just grown desensitized to Kanye-related announcements. This is something you have to adjust to as a fan of his music. Ye may make a schedule, but the chances of him following through on that schedule are

worse than the chances of him consistently using social media, or even the chance of predicting his social media behavior. You’ll never be able to put a pin on Kanye and say “this is what he’s going to do” because most of the time –– if not all of it –– you will be very, very wrong. You can never predict West’s Twitter persona, but you can predict that whenever his two projects come out and however he chooses to package them should be fantastic. At first, this drawn-out Twitter rant made it seem as if Ye was back to his old self. The first batch of tweets felt far more inspired and optimistic than his usual rants. He wasn’t calling out Mark Zuckerberg, he wasn’t joking about his nearly non-existent smile and he wasn’t voicing his dislike for in-app purchases in kids’ games. He seemed at peace. Kanye was tweeting about his love for life. He was tweeting about not having any enemies. He was tweeting about staying away from phones and living in the moment. I’ve never seen him in a state of mind like that, but it shifted on Wednesday. Kanye’s relaxed tweets turned to self-hyped thoughts and more of the usu-

al name dropping. At first I thought that his tweets meant he put his all into this upcoming project, but now I’m not totally convinced. These rants could easily be a way to gain traction for his upcoming music, or they could be telling of Ye’s current state of mind. Regardless, I hope Kanye West is in a better place. His influx of Twitter input was confusing to say the least. I don’t care when his two albums finally drop. And quite frankly, as much as I say that I don’t care what Kanye tweets, a few of the recent ones really left me confused, and even dissapointed. I don’t care where he stands ploitically but after trying to be the voice of Chicago, I’m not sure if a Trump endorsement backs that. Still, I just want to hear the music and hope there’s still some connection in it for me. What actually matters in the long run isn’t his attention-garnering social media personality or his political leanings, it’s what he can do for our ears and what he can do for his own well-being. email:

4 | Thursday, April 26, 2018



Thursday, April 26, 2018 | 5

UB police blotter



‘When Larry Met Amy...’

Did you make this week’s blotter? NEWS DESK

4/17 9:53 a.m. A 22-year-old student requested an ambulance to Flint Village after feeling abdominal pain.


(left) UB alum and former EICs Larry Kraftowitz and Amy Dunkin got married in 1990, 15 years after they worked on the paper together. COURTESY | AMY DUNKIN

(top) Amy Dunkin sits outside working on an article outside of Goodyear Hall on South Campus.

Former Spectrum editors-inchief from the ‘70s married and reflect on time at UB HANNAH STEIN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Amy Dunkin and Larry Kraftowitz would frequently get pancakes at 2 a.m. after they finished sending in The Spectrum to print in the 1970s. He was the editor-in-chief in 1974 while she was managing editor. She became EIC in 1975. They met in the Goodyear Hall lounge on South Campus. Kraftowitz vaguely remembers he was working on a story for The Spectrum. They took classes together, such as Romantic poetry and became close, platonic friends, he said. After UB, they both interned in Washington D.C. at , Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service for four months. When she moved to New York City and he needed a place to stay, he slept on her couch and they got dinner together. Fif-

teen years later, they got married, and they now have two sons, ages 18 and 21. Dunkin compares their situation to “When Harry Met Sally…” “The Spectrum brought me in contact with her constantly. You spend a lot of time with people, hours and hours and hours editing and making decisions; you start to get very close,” Kraftowitz said. “There was always a kind of spark there.” Dunkin and Kraftowitz visited the Spectrum newsroom with their younger son on Accepted Students’ Day on April 15 to peruse The Spectrum archives. They covered the Attica trials, the Watergate scandal and worked alongside notable reporters, such as Fox News journalist Howard Kurtz and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for The Washington Post, Tom Toles. After working at several newspapers, Dunkin is now the Director of Academic Operations at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Kraftowitz, now a board-certified internist in Westchester County, said The Spectrum was a pivotal

moment in his life. “One of the things that brought me to campus originally was the history,” Kraftowitz said. “There had been some riots and a lot of demonstrations that were during the Vietnam War, a lot of anti-war activity and for some reason, that attracted me. I remember how people would say Buffalo is sort of the Berkeley of the East.” During their time at UB, Dunkin never took a journalism class. She joined The Spectrum during her freshman year in ‘71 in what she called “the glory years.” Kraftowitz had trouble staying on top of his course-load, and officially finished his bachelor’s degree nine years later in 1984. “We were totally consumed by the paper –– dawn to dusk,” Kraftowitz said. “For me, being editor-in-chief was allconsuming. I couldn’t multi-task. I did that and nothing else for the most part. ... It was my life at UB.” email:

4/18 11:52 a.m. A vehicle struck a stampede bus on the corner of Main Street and Bailey Avenue around 11:15 a.m. before fleeing the scene. 11:45 p.m. Two women removed paper products from a bathroom in Alumni Arena. UPD advised the two women against using an excessive amount of paper products. 4/19 9:56 a.m. A student living in Spaulding reported someone stole his medication from his room. 1:24 p.m. A woman reported someone stole her waller in the women’s locker room of Alumni Arena after the woman left it unattended on a bench to use the restroom. 4/20 2:05 p.m. A student reported a stray cat in the bushes at Grace Plaza in front of Davis Hall. UPD reported the cat blended in with the surroundings and was sleeping upon arrival. 4/21 3:15 a.m. A student reported his heart was racing because he smoked marijuana. 12:55 p.m. A man reported his female friend felt she was being stalked at UBCon. The woman said she told the suspect to stop following her multiple times. email:


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6 | Thursday, April 26, 2018 FROM PAGE 1

ADVICE “There are a lot of small communities and organizations [at UB] that I could have been involved in,” Onokoko said. “I met a lot of really great people but if I had been more involved, I definitely would’ve learned a lot more and grown my network more. It’s easy to get comfortable with your group of friends or your ‘thing.’ I think a lot of people do that. But you need to try new things. There are a lot of benefits to that.” Corey Rosen, who graduated from UB in 2015 with a bachelor’s in film studies and communication, said students should never be afraid to reach out to past UB alum for networking. Rosen has worked in Los Angeles entertainment industry since 2015, and said she still is “constantly asking” for informational interviews with others in the industry. “People are so happy to talk about themselves, especially when you have a connection either through a school or a sorority or something like that,” Rosen said. “They don’t need your whole life story, but just send a short introduction, and say, ‘If it’s not too much trouble I’d love to steal 10 or 15 minutes or your time to learn more about your career trajectory.’ UB has such an amazing international alum network, and I think it’s a shame that people don’t maybe take advantage of it.” Intern, Intern, Intern

Peter Rizzo received his bachelor’s in English in 2007 before getting his master’s at Cornell University in city and regional planning. He now works at the federal headquarters for Veterans Affairs, after working for six years in another federal agency. “The one piece of practical advice I would give to students is to use the summers and winters to take internships. I’m very fortunate to say I don’t have any regrets about how my career has gone, and that’s in part because of really thoughtful career planning. Interning is so crucial for



L .


that,” Rizzo said. Rizzo interned through UB’s partnership with Millard Fillmore College, and also worked at The Spectrum, first as an assistant news editor and later as editorial editor. He credits the newspaper with making him a fast and concise writer. Alumni also noted that any internship could be valuable experience, if for no other reason than to learn more about a field. “The things you get to learn from interning or volunteering in politics can translate into so many different things so even if it’s not totally for you. The skills you’re exposed to can really help you focus on what it is you want to do,” Ehrendreich said. Grad school: a gigantic waste of time, or essential in today’s job market?

Alec Frazier, who graduated in 2013 with his bachelor’s in political science, and in 2016 with his master’s in disability studies, began his career in disability rights advocacy immediately after graduating in 2016. Since then, he spoke on behalf of disabled communities at the Obama White House, and has a book on autism coming out in three weeks. UB’s graduate program in disability studies has been “immensely helpful” in Frazier’s career, he said. And yet he thinks students should consider taking time off before going into debt for their graduate degree. “The degrees were absolutely worth it. Life is a really wonderfully rich, magical thing for me right now and a big part of it is due to those degrees,” Frazier said. “But if you can only do grad school with student loans, then I would suggest you at least take some time off and make some money and have some fun before you can go to grad school.” On the other hand, Rizzo said he highly recommends students pursue graduate school if they can. “We don’t hire many people who are recent undergrads with bachelor’s degrees,” Rizzo said. “We need either a bachelor’s and significant professional experience or



we’ll hire people with a master’s right out of school, but in today’s world it seems to me that it’s paramount for students to strongly consider pursuing either graduate or professional studies.” From Nanosat to NASA: clubs as a launchpad

It’s no secret that incoming students are encouraged to join clubs, but alumni say being involved with organizations on campus is more than just a way to meet friends. For Sam Pawlyk, jumping around from club to club eventually landed him an internship with NASA. Pawlyk graduated in December 2014 with an aerospace and mechanical engineering degree and a computer science minor. He spent the spring semester interning at the space hub’s location in Maryland. From his internship, Pawlyk went on to get his master’s at the University of Maryland, and now works full-time designing software for a private aerospace company. But it’s tough for him to say where he would be now if he hadn’t joined clubs at UB, specifically working with the Nanosatellite Club out of the aerospace engineering department. “That was crucial,” Pawlyk said. “I worked with the robotics club a little bit,

but just going and trying different clubs until I found one that fit. Actually going out and doing things is the biggest step toward where I got.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 13


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Meet the press Buffalonians print passion into Foundlings Press BENJAMIN BLANCHET SENIOR FEATURES EDITOR

Max Crinnin’s father, Gerry, taught him that poetry is all around him. Crinnin, a ‘16 alum and first-year medical student at UB, holds his father’s teachings close today as co-founder and editorin-chief of Foundlings Press. “If someone had said a really odd phrase or a strange quote, my dad will always be like ‘end of poem,’” Crinnin said. “We’d play little games like that about finding poetry so this idea of found poetry is a big influence on Foundlings, hence the name.” Crinnin, Aidan Ryan, Darren Canham and S. James Coffed started Foundlings Press as a magazine in 2016. Two years later, the press is reaching audiences in Buffalo and beyond, receiving nationwide submissions for its chapbook contest

ALUMNI last year. Foundlings increased its market with newly released books by poet Lytton Smith and The Public writer Bruce Fisher. The term “foundlings,” Crinnin said, comes from a section the four friends discovered in the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church. “We were going to look for funny quotes in it and there was this one passage, Canon Law #1115: ‘Foundlings are presumed to be legitimate until the contrary is proved,’” Crinnin said. “We liked that word, ‘foundlings.’ It spoke to finding poetry where it’s hiding in plain sight, writing some poems, too, and tying it all together.” Crinnin said almost everything their press does is in print because of its impact in his life. “[Ryan] and I have a nostalgia for reading as children, reading books specifically. We spent years as undergrads reading literature, reading physical books,” Crinnin said. “For me, it’s always more impressive to combine the creative design work that someone like [Canham] is able to do with words on a page and be able to flip through it, having it all together. For me, I don’t get the same effect when I’m scrolling down a browser.” Crinnin, a former senior arts editor at The Spectrum, said his English degree has been a guiding force for the things he’s chosen to do in his career. Part of that life journey, Crinnin said, included the lessons of UB professors like Barbara Bono, Don McGuire and the now-retired Robert Daly. Crinnin said since Foundlings’ advent, managing editor Ryan has been the “locomotive that keeps Foundlings chugging forward.” Ryan, a former editor-in-chief at Canisius College’s The Griffin, said the press doesn’t come from experience in the industry and the editors learn as they move along. “There’s no roadmaps to this, and we’re sort of winging it,” Ryan said. “It’s hard to say it’s an advantage. I’m happy we’re not coming from the New

Thursday, April 26, 2018 | 7

York City publishing world. I don’t want to subscribe to anyone’s stamp of influence. We’re making it up as we go along and now we’re getting some national interest so hopefully we continue building on that.” S. James Coffed, a UB ‘16 alum, is Foundlings’ editor-at-large. Coffed said he maintains Foundlings’ West Coast-TransPacific Office in Pasadena, California, primarily investing his time in talent and material research for the press. Coffed said he spends most of his weekends at Southern California trailer park estate sales, searching for images, words, notes and artifacts looking for “found art.” “My hope is to start networking in the pre-dawn warehouse poetry scene, based primarily in the Fashion District, though that’s proven difficult to balance with my day job [at NASA],” Coffed said. “I’d like to see more West Coast talent, especially from a more diverse group of writers. We’re always looking for people from new backgrounds. Buffalo has proven to be a petri-dish for poetry and literature, but it’s still a small, tight-knit community that

can benefit from a few new bastards on its doorstep.” The biggest project on the horizon for Foundlings, according to Crinnin, is a commemorative anthology on the late Frank Stanford, “one of the all-time great poets.” “Stanford’s work is amazing and in his own timeline it got some recognition for being amazing but because he died so young, I don’t think he ever took off and became famous,” Crinnin said. “Our work, our idea, is to publish a collection of people who have been influenced by Frank Stanford and people, if we pull everything off, who knew Stanford.” Crinnin said he hopes the upcoming release of the anthology will coincide with a festival celebrating Stanford’s life and work. Editor’s note: Foundlings previously published work by Copy Chief Dan McKeon. email twitter @BenjaminUBSpec

DARREN CANHAM | THE SPECTRUM (left to right: S. James Coffed, Max Crinnin, Darren Canham, Aidan Ryan) Foundlings Press started as a magazine in Buffalo but expanded to a literary press, gaining interest nationawide

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Thursday, April 26, 2018 | 9

News Briefs LOCAL

CAMPUS Cain, Hubbard and Miller to receive UB President’s Medal

UB vice presidents Michael E. Cain and Laura Hubbard, and faculty member Cristanne Miller will be honored with the UB President’s Medal for their service to the university during the 2018 commencement ceremonies. The UB President’s Medal recognizes “outstanding scholarly or artistic achievements, humanitarian acts, contributions of time or treasure, exemplary leadership or any other major contribution to the development of UB,” according to UB Now. Three UB alumni will also be recognized during the commencement ceremonies. UB receives $1.1 million award to study viral infections

The National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center awarded UB a $1.1 million award on Tuesday to train 15 scientists in Jamaica and the Caribbean, and study chronic viral infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and the Zika virus, according to a press release. The grant will inspire viral infection research by establishing the Global Infectious Diseases Research Training Program, a joint research project between the UB Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences, University of the West Indies, SUNY Upstate Medical University and Jamaica Ministry of Health.

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Cold case closed

Police arrested Joseph Belstadt, a Tonawanda man, for alleged involvement in the 1993 killing of a North Tonawanda High School student Mandy Steingasser, according to The Buffalo News. Belstadt, 43, has been a suspect in the murder since its earliest stages. Police charged him with second-degree murder. Belstadt repeatedly denied any involvement in the murder during the 24-year investigation. Steingasser disappeared Sept. 20, 1993 after a night of drinking with friends. Investigators from the Niagara County Sheriff ’s Office found the 17-year-old’s body at Bond Lake five weeks later. Belstadt pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Niagara County Court. His bail is set at $250,000 and his trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 10. Man dies in Seneca Street fire, two injured

A two-alarm fire killed one man and injured two others in the second floor of a bar on Seneca Street early Wednesday morning, according to The Buffalo News. Charles Drumm, 55, died at Mercy Hospital. Red Cross volunteers helped four people left homeless by the fire, which spread to two adjacent buildings. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Colorado’s largest school district joins teacher walkout

Denver public schools will join over a dozen Colorado school districts in closing schools or releasing students early because of a classroom-walkout demonstration planned for Thursday and Friday at the state capitol, according to the Denver Post. Roughly 10,000 teachers are expected to participate in the day-long demonstration. The state currently underfunds schools by $822 million annually, according to Kerrie Dallman, president of the state’s teachers union. Colorado is currently ranked 31 out of the 50 states in its average teacher salary at $51,808. The U.S. average is $59,660. Former California police officer identified as the Golden State Killer

After searching for more than 40 years, authorities have finally identified former California police officer Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, as the Golden State Killer. Authorities said Wednesday the Golden State Killer became infamous after allegedly committing 12 killings and at least 50 rapes across California from 1976 to 1986, according to CNN.


Indian court sentences guru to life imprisonment for raping a 16 year-old

Asaram Bapu, a self-proclaimed Indian spiritual guru, was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for raping a 16 year-old girl in 2013. Asaram, 77, is described on his website as a “spiritual revolutionist,” “a great teacher,” and is one of India’s bestknown spiritual gurus. Asaram’s arrest in 2013 sparked violent clashes between his supporters and police in several major cities, CNN reports. Asaram’s spokesperson told the press that his legal team will challenge the verdict in India’s High Court. At least 18 killed in deadly fire at illegal oil well in Indonesia

A fire that erupted on Wednesday in Jakarta, Indonesia, killed at least 18 people and injured around 40 others, some who were reported to be badly burned, according to The New York Times. Although local news reports said that the fire may have started with a spark from a blowtorch or a cigarette, authorities are still trying to determine what caused the fire. The crude oil well was said to be operated by local residents, and the people responsible for it will be dealt with by the law, said a ministry spokesman. email:

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ALUMNI Finding a voice in Buffalo: Alan Zweibel’s journey from UB to ‘SNL’


Emmy Award winner reflects on Buffalo and career BRIAN EVANS ASST. ARTS EDITOR

Alan Zweibel went from being a South Campus resident advisor to an Emmy Award winner. After growing up on Long Island, Zweibel attended Buffalo State College and transferred to UB in 1969 for the rest of his college career. As a resident advisor at UB’s Tower Hall on South Campus, Zweibel found his niche as a comedy writer in his time as an undergraduate. “It was sort of like the revolutionary war years on campus,” Zweibel recalled. Zweibel said his time at UB is “tumultuous.” Continuous outcry toward the Vietnam War led Zweibel to channel his experiences through writing. “I sort of wrote about that, but I did it comedically,” Zweibel said. “I thought there was some sort of hypocrisy toward

playing the part of a revolutionary, if you will.” But before Zweibel found his knack for comedy, he first had his eyes set on law. Dan Zakaran, a UB alum and Zweibel’s friend and lawyer, recalls Zweibel’s ambitions before comedy. “Alan was thinking about becoming a lawyer, and indeed applied to law school,” Zakaran said. “I tutored him for about a month [for the LSAT exam] and shockingly, my tutoring didn’t work. I think he went up by all of 50 points.” He described Zweibel as “notoriously late,” and remembers regularly telling Zweibel events started 30 minutes earlier than they did so he would arrive on time. Zweibel eventually amassed a collection of thousands of jokes in his free time, sending his favorites to late night talk show hosts like Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett. He said he knew no other way into the business. “I actually cultivated [jokes] when I was a student at UB,” Zweibel said. “I wanted to be a comedy writer and I didn’t know how to go about doing it, [so] I just started writing jokes.” Each night, Zweibel would watch the late night talk shows to see if any program used his jokes. Though they nev-

er used anything he wrote, he took some encouragement that his style of comedy seemed so close to what the professional comedy writers were doing. Zweibel found work writing for comedians after graduating from UB, while also working at a deli to support himself. He took the unused jokes into a personal standup comedy routine, performing in comedy clubs like Catch a Rising Star in New Jersey and the Improv in New York City. Eventually, he caught the eye of “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels. Zweibel gave his collection of jokes to Michaels and earned a writing position on “SNL.” “I was real lucky to be in the right place at the right time, and I was prepared,” Zweibel said. Zweibel played a pivotal role on the show, penning “Samurai Delicatessen” starring John Belushi. Zweibel continued his television career writing upon leaving “SNL” in 1980, continuing to collaborate with “SNL” cast member Gilda Radner as well as co-creating the “It’s Gary Shandling’s Show” with the titular actor. Zweibel’s resume includes writing credit for the “Late Show with David Letterman” and “Monk.” He even appeared in an episode of “Curb

Your Enthusiasm.” “I’ve been very lucky to have been a part of shows that were sort of ground breaking and had different, left-of-center sensibilities,” Zweibel said. Zweibel earned numerous writing awards throughout his career, including three Emmys, two Writers Guild of America Awards, a Tony for his work with Billy Crystal on “700 Sundays” as well as the Thurber Prize for American Humor. The State University of New York recently awarded Zweibel with an honorary doctorate. Zweibel accepted with his signature humor. “They probably had one left over and had no one to give to,” Zweibel said. “I was very honored.” Zweibel emphasizes the need to adapt and find your own voice and outlet; something he says is a personal journey. “When you’re a writer, you try to capture the voices of the characters you’re writing for,” Zweibel said. “Whether it’s a standup comedian who has a specific tone, a specific look, a specific voice — you try to capture that, … acclimate your ear to who is going to be saying your words. Pick a person dead or alive who you think this would be funny coming out of.” Zweibel said he often returns to campus for talks and appearances. He sees his experience as proof of the power of determination, especially in the entertainment world. “There was a couple of times that a bunch of us who graduated UB who went into the arts went and gave classes at UB,” Zweibel said. “I just wanted to convey [to students] that I’m living proof that if you persevere and you take some chances, you can make it. To any upcoming comedy writer, you have to write every single day.” email: twitter: @BrianEvansSpec


Thursday, April 26, 2018 | 11

‘A DREAM COME TRUE’ Inside the Buffalo life of R&B legend Brian McKnight BRENTON J. BLANCHET SENIOR ARTS EDITOR

Brian McKnight never had a backup plan. During his time at Oakwood University in Alabama, the singer had a 3.4 GPA. But McKnight’s grades suffered the following semester. The now award-winning R&B superstar wasn’t focused on his academics. He was in the studio, creating roughly 150 song demos. His GPA dropped to 0.9. McKnight eventually got kicked out of school, giving him more time to focus on his music. “People always talk about having stuff to fall back on. I kind of always felt like if you have something to fall back on, you’ll fall back on it,” McKnight said. With 16 Grammy nominations, eleven Hot 100 hits and 30 million records sold worldwide, McKnight’s career is the result of his refusal to fall back. The singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist is a 25-year industry regular, and looks back on his Buffalo roots as a reason for his massive success. “I’m not sure if growing up anywhere else I would be the same me. I think it’s been super important,” McKnight said. “Anybody can come from New York. Anybody can come from LA. Anybody can come from Miami. Being from Buffalo, there’s only a few of us that made it out.”

A different dream McKnight was born in 1969, and grew up in North Tonawanda where he learned to sing at the foot of his grandfather. His family lived on Vine Lane off Sweet Home Road, and McKnight considered his neighborhood a “melting pot of everyone.” “I think when you grow up there, you learn how to dream, number one. And that’s something that’s really, really important because winters are so bleak. There’s nothing else you can do,” McKnight joked. McKnight grew up with three older brothers: Michael, Claude and Fred, who introduced him to sports and shared their

music tastes with him. A career in sports was McKnight’s first goal. McKnight and his brothers, who were five, six and seven years older than him, played little league football in Amherst. Although they were involved with a local church choir, their priorities were on the football field or in the stands, according to McKnight. He watched the Buffalo Braves, Bills and the Sabres with his father. He remembers a “hockey Christmas” where he and his brothers all received skates and sticks. They froze over their backyard that year so the kids could play hockey. Watching professional sports and playing with his brothers gave him his idea of what he wanted to be. “If I had been two inches taller, no one would have known I could sing at all. The NBA was always my dream, although football was probably my best sport,” McKnight said. “I don’t think any dream is really obtainable until you have an opportunity.”

A new opportunity Although McKnight loved sports, his family recognized his vocal talent and got him involved in their local church choir at Emmanuel Temple. McKnight and his three brothers formed and sang in an a cappella group, appropriately named the McKnight Brothers. The boys went from church to church performing their music. But McKnight was tired. “My weekends were filled with ‘go sing here then make it to halftime at the [Little League] game,’” McKnight said. “None of us wanted to sing. I mean, we liked it, but we wanted to be out there with the guys playing sports. It was a tough thing. But none of us would say that we hate it now because of what it’s done for us.” But when he wasn’t singing at church, McKnight was involved in music at Willow Ridge Elementary School. “I sang at a school thing in third grade. Before I went on stage, one of the ladies put makeup on me and I cried for [her] making me a girl. That was my first mem-

ory of singing in front of people other than church,” McKnight said. Joanne Cretacci, the current vocal music teacher at Willow Ridge Elementary School, wasn’t teaching during McKnight’s time at the school, but welcomes McKnight to return. “I think his success is wonderful and doesn’t surprise me because many outstanding musicians have come out of the Sweet Home program,” Cretacci said. “I intend to share Brian and his history and music with my students. If he would like to come for a visit here we would surely welcome him.” During and shortly after his time at Willow Ridge, McKnight learned to play multiple instruments. He taught himself how to play piano, then learned guitar at 12, bass at 15 or 16 and played trumpet in band in the sixth grade. Songwriting came easily to McKnight at an early age, too. “When I was a kid they put all the credits on the records. They put who played, the people who wrote it, the people who produced it. Some of the same names were always coming up –– that’s the writers. It dawned on me that the songs were probably more important than any other part of what I’m seeing. I always wrote instrumentals but I didn’t start writing lyrics until I was 14,” McKnight said. “Even now, with all the success as an artist, I’m a songwriter first because without the songs, I wouldn’t have a vehicle at all.”

Finding success McKnight moved from Buffalo to Orlando in 1978. Nine years later, everything changed for the McKnight brothers. In 1987, Brian’s brother, Claude, signed a record deal with Warner Brothers for his a cappella group Take 6. “[I thought] if that guy can make it than surely I can make it,” McKnight said. Brian then sent out his own demo tapes to labels. In 1989, while departing from Oakwood University, he signed his first record deal with PolyGram Records. The record

COURTESY | EMC BOWERY (left) Before his worldwide success, R&B singer

Brian McKnight got his start in his church choir and school music productions in North Tonawanda. SYDNEY CAPOTE | THE SPECTRUM (right) McKnight grew up on Vine Lane, off Sweet

Home Road, and attended class at Willow Ridge Elementary School before his family moved in 1979.

company’s president heard his first demo single and flew him to Los Angeles. It took McKnight three years to put out his debut album, but 1992’s certified-platinum “Brian McKnight” was just the first taste of success for the singer. Since releasing his debut album, McKnight has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. His accomplishments got him inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 1998. Van Taylor, a trustee at the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, said McKnight is a “true native son” of Buffalo and is impressed by his longevity in the industry. “[It’s] impressive. The entertainment business can take a heavy toll on anyone, from health to personal stress. To see him still kicking is a beautiful thing,” Taylor said. Marchon Hamilton II, a UB campus minister and music artist, met Claude McKnight and Take 6 before and said it would be great to meet and sing with Brian someday. “As an upcoming music artist, Brian is someone whose level of success both vocally and professionally I aspire to attain,” Hamilton said. In his 25 years in the industry, McKnight sang for Michael Jackson, was nominated for 16 Grammys and performed alongside Mariah Carey and Drake. But McKnight said none of things are his proudest industry moment. “It’s right now,” McKnight said. “People still come to see me. They put down their hard-earned money to come hear songs, some of which are thirty years old. … It’s a crazy feeling –– even crazier than selling a bunch of records. After all this time, this is still happening.” email: twitter: @BrentBlanchSpec

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CEO Dedrick doesn’t need the degree to make more money or to find a better job. She said she felt a nagging sense of “unfinished business,” and an almost “lurking shame” about never finishing her degree. “I wanted it to be sort of under the radar, as though I’ve always had it,” Dedrick said. The year Dedrick left UB, she and her now-husband Paul Dedrick began attending toy fairs with prototypes under their arms. She learned about the business through her father, who worked in the toys and games industry for Fisher Price, and then later subcontracted for smaller companies. His work influenced Dedrick during her childhood and into her professional life, she said. “It didn’t occur to me that there was anything else to do, and I wasn’t really qualified for anything else,” Dedrick said. “We literally didn’t have two cents.” In 1986, she and her husband officially started their jigsaw puzzle business. “We had nothing to lose,” Dedrick said. In 2016, Buffalo Games had over $100 million in retail sales, was ranked 37 in the top 100 local businesses by size and was the leading manufacturer in the U.S. for adult puzzles by Buffalo Business First. “If you do jigsaw puzzles, then you’ve undoubtedly done Buffalo Games,” Dedrick said. Mark Predko, a UB alum and director of operations and product management at Buffalo Games, has known Dedrick for almost 30 years. The company is a reflection of Dedrick’s personal values and standards, he said. “She really exudes confidence and belief, and she’s not scared to say, ‘Let’s go do it,’” Predko said. “I think that energy and passion to say, ‘Why can’t we do it?’ is very inspiring and I think you want to get on that.” Despite her success, Dedrick shies away from the idea that dropping out was anything like a Zuckerburg-style success story, and she doesn’t advocate others try it.

“I feel guilty saying I dropped out of school to run my business,” Dedrick said. “Because I really dropped out of school because I was failing and floundering.” She still remembers feeling terrified receiving the notification that she had unsatisfactory academic performance. “When you get that thing in the mail, you’re sick. The bottom drops out of you. Like, ‘Oh my God, I may just fail life. What will I be if I’m not a college graduate; what will define me?’” Dedrick said. Dedrick began her initial college career as a physics major, because she thought her father would be more approving of a degree in physics. “[My father] would not be excited to hear that I was getting a degree in English literature. He would not be impressed by that at all,” Dedrick said with a laugh. “But this is where my interests are.” She remembers being especially terrified to tell her father about her decision to drop out of college. In the summer of 2017, Dedrick calculated she would need 26 credits to graduate with a diploma. She then re-applied to UB in July in what she called a “spur-of-the-moment” decision. Dedrick originally planned to graduate this May, but has taken a semester of leave to


prepare for her daughter’s wedding. She hopes to graduate in December. Although employees and friends know her as Eden Dedrick, the classroom attendance sheet says “Eden Scott,” her maiden name. In her classes, professors and classmates know her by the same name she had when she first arrived at UB. “I thought it’s sort of poetic,” Dedrick said. “I actually want my diploma to read ‘Eden Scott’ because I want it to have already happened. It’s like this little check box of unfinished business.” While pursuing her interests and trying to obtain the elusive diploma last semester, she said she was in over her head. “I really love my classes, but it’s hell,” Dedrick said. “Writing papers right now is challenging for me. I find myself sort of jumping up, walking around my house and sort of binge eating. I feel like a freshman in college.” Still, after running her own business for over 30 years, it was refreshing to be in a room where she wasn’t in charge, Dedrick said. “When I come into a meeting for 15 people who work for me, when I decide that the conversation is done, it’s done,” Dedrick said. “But, if I say something stupid in my Irish literature class, it’s like, ‘No, wrong. That’s completely misread,’

and I feel like a total ass.” In class, Dedrick talks a lot. She sits forward in her chair, takes notes and is frequently the first to offer an answer. She is unafraid to discuss her own interpretation of the reading, or challenge the professor. Dedrick enjoys her classes, but said at times she is uncomfortably aware of the differences between her and her classmates, who are roughly the same age as her two children. She tends to sit at the front of class to avoid seeing any dirty looks by her fellow classmates, she said. “I don’t know what it’s like to be my classmate; it’s probably annoying,” Dedrick said. “[My classmates probably think] ‘You know, this class could have been four minutes shorter if you maybe not asked that question.’” English professor Joseph Valente said Dedrick was the “star” of his Irish literature class. “She was eager to speak, to participate and to have her perspective heard. And her perspective was always intelligent,” Valente said. “In fact, there were students in that class that told me they didn’t want to speak because they were confident that whatever they had to say, Eden could say it better.” Jessica Clark, a senior English major, said she thinks Dedrick brings a broad perspective because of her age and encourages discussion in the classroom. “She brings a deliberate thoughtfulness to class that almost encourages other students and her peers, regardless of age, to step up to the plate,” Clark said. “She definitely doesn’t rely on other people’s opinions to form her own.” After being away from college life for 33 years, Dedrick said some things have changed. The campus, at least outwardly, looks more racially diverse than in 1984, which Dedrick said is “amazing.” She also worries today students may be headed into a workforce unprepared and taking on massive debt without a clear plan, simply viewing college as a “box to check off.” But some things have not changed. “Parking is still terrible,” she said. email:

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PARKLAND All day, Lonny held his breath, anxiously checking his phone to for the “three dots” signaling his 14-year-old daughter was typing a reply to tell him she was safe. SWAT team members eventually escorted Avery and the 64 other students she hid with to safety. In the days to come, they would learn that 17 of their fellow students and faculty members died in the shooting. More than two months later, the Angers and the rest of the Parkland community are still healing. Some have done so politically and started the activist group Never Again MSD, which organized March for Our Lives. Anger, a UB alum ’91, and his daughter are looking to the arts and community work to heal their pain. Lonny is the director and vice president of media relations for Shine MSD, a nonprofit organization created by community members that supports victims’ families. The nonprofit uses songwriting workshops to inspire students. They performed the songs at a benefit concert and sold digital downloads and merchandise, raising mon-


ADVICE From politics to pastry: know when to scale back

After getting her law degree from UB in 1998, Amy DuVall went on to work in Washington as an environmental lobbyist, fulfilling a childhood dream to fight for the earth. She worked for most of a decade to amend a piece of legislation related to toxic waste. In 2016, DuVall finally saw the legislation pass. It was a moment of satisfaction her entire career had been leading up to, she said. But then something else happened; DuVall began to notice odd cramps in differ-

ey for those affected by the shooting. The name comes from the song “Shine,” written by Stoneman Douglas students Sawyer Garrity and Andrea Peña, which became popular after a performance during a CNN town hall on Feb. 21. Lonny said 100 percent of every dollar raised through performances, song downloads and merchandise sales goes directly to those in need. “We have full discretion over how the money is handled,” Lonny said. “If a student was shot and lived, we can give money to their family to help offset hospital bills or any unforeseen expenses.” The organization is still in its startup phase, but has already raised over $100,000, according to Lonny. The group raises the majority of its money through live performances, where Stoneman Douglas drama students sing songs of healing. Shine MSD recently partnered with From Broadway With Love, bringing Broadway stars to Parkland for a benefit concert on April 16. The organization participated in similar benefits after the Sandy Hook and Pulse nightclub shootings. As part of the benefit, students participated in therapeutic lyric writing, out-

lining how they felt after their traumatizing experience. Students were then paired with composers who helped make each song a reality. Avery paired with composer and singer-songwriter Drew Gasparini. Justin Guarini, runner-up on the first season of “American Idol” and now Broadway star, performed the song at the benefit concert. James Campbell, UB distinguished professor of political science, said the compassion that’s been shown to the victims and families affected by the Parkland shooting is remarkable. He applauds the efforts of organizations helping these affected individuals. “All these people were just going about their daily business and were victims of a terrible tragedy,” Campbell said. “Organizations [like Shine] are the best way to prevent events such as these. It’s a good thing that we put these people first and care about the people that were hurt and killed in this tragic event.” Campbell said the steps following tragedies like Parkland are always tough. He said regardless of peoples’ political positions, Americans need to show perseverance, patience and be reasonable with

their expectations for gun reform. “These efforts have to be sustained over a long period of time,” Campbell said. “All too often, there’s a little blip in public opinion –– Columbine or Parkland happens and a surge of outrage follows. Sometimes that’s understandable and not all well thought out. Then it subsides and disappears, and we’re back to square one. [There] has to be sustained effort on the part of those seeking some kind of change in public opinion.” As Parkland continues to look toward the future, the organization will continue to help victims and their families cope with the aftermath of the shooting. Shine is still raising money, so none has been distributed to families yet, but Lonny knows it’ll be put to good use. “The effects of the shooting are still unknown. Some will need therapy for years,” Lonny said. “Our mission is to assist in the healing of the victims through the arts. We consider victims not just the ones who were killed, but also the ones that were injured. We consider all within the school survivors.”

ent parts of her body from tensing muscles. Her dentist prescribed a bite guard because her teeth were so ground down from clenching her jaw. She wasn’t sleeping right. DuVall realized the stress and anxiety that she’d dealt with most of her life as a practicing lawyer and then lobbyist –– the same stress that drove her to do the work she loved –– was wearing her down. On March 9, she quit her job and began looking into pastry school. DuVall said she regrets nothing about her career, but wants students to know it’s never too late in a career to take a break or try something new, especially when mental and physical health is at stake. “What I’ve learned is that you can make the best plan and then at some point a

higher power takes over and says, ‘Hey, that was a great idea you had, but here’s how it actually is going to work out,’” DuVall said. “I don’t think I would have changed a thing. Getting that bill across the finish line is the highlight of my career, but I also knew right now I needed a break.” For the next few months, DuVall plans to explore her love of pastry, and is working on the first draft of a book detailing her work with environmental legislation.

Alumni said they regretted not spending more time exploring the city while they had the chance, and urge UB students not to make the same mistake. Students should also take advantage of being so close to the Canadian border, and visit major cities like Toronto, Pawlyk said. The same is true for the university itself. Don’t take opportunities for granted, alumni urge. “So many people complain about UB and there are so many opportunities at that school to learn and to grow and to develop,” Rizzo said. “I’m extremely proud of being an alum from UB. More so than even Cornell.”

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16 | Thursday, April 26, 2018


Men’s tennis to host MAC Championship this weekend NATHANIEL MENDELSON STAFF WRITER

UB men’s tennis looks to win its third Mid-American Conference Championship in four years this weekend. After going undefeated in conference play last season, head coach Lee Nickell maintained the team’s high level of play, going 12-9 overall and 5-2 in conference play this season. The Bulls are the No. 2 in the tournament as they look to go to the NCAA championships in consecutive years. With the lineups set, the Bulls are prepared to host the MAC Tournament for the first time in Nickell’s ten years as head coach. “It will be nice to finally get to host a tournament here and to do it in front of our home crowd,” Nickell said. “Minus the loss to [Western Michigan], any matches at Miller we rarely lose and haven’t lost since SPECTRUM STOCK PHOTO

April 15 there. We get a great home court advantage and hope everyone shows up.” Seniors Vidit Vaghela and Petr Vodak lead the Bulls on the court. The two play first doubles and are critical to the team, winning the doubles point. They have a 14-4 record on the year, including wins over the No. 34 and No. 70 doubles teams in the nation from Columbia and Harvard, respectively. The duo earned Buffalo’s first-ever national ranking and peaked at No. 64 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. In singles play, the Bulls have a deep lineup with many players rotating positions. Sophomore Hao Sheng Koay primarily plays first singles and finished with a 10-5 record this season. Sophomore Villhelm Fridell played multiple games at the two through five positions and expects to play at two this weekend, according to Nickell. Freshmen Matthew Johnson and Nickolas Frisk have rotated between the five and six positions, combining for a 14-10 record. “I see the nucleus of the team coming together with everybody firing on all cylinders and competing really well,” Nickell said. “We know we have as good a shot as any to win


Senior Vidit Vaghela’s doubles play will be key for the Bulls as the look to win their second straight MAC championship.

the tournament. This is the right time for us to peak.” The Bulls enter the tournament hot, defeating both the No. 3 Northern Illinois Huskies (157, 5-2 MAC) 6-1, and the No. 4 Ball State Cardinals (14-10, 3-4 MAC) 5-2, last weekend. The Bulls’ first game is scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m. against the Huskies. “We beat them 6-1, but it was a tough match. Almost all of our matches were three sets, and they were a tough three sets,” Frisk said. “It was 6-1, but it’s a shady 6-1 because it could have gone both ways. We respect Northern Illinois as a team because we know how good they are and we know what they can do. We feel pretty confident that we are the better team.” Nickell focused his team on the dayto-day aspects of the tournament and doesn’t want the players to get too far ahead of themselves in preparation for the match. Like a lot of coaches and athletes, Nickell is superstitious. “It’s been numerous times in the last nine or 10 years where we would play Northern during the regular season and then instantly play them again,” Nickell said. “We always play them at the end of the regular season and then play them the next week. We’ve lost most of those regular seasons when this has happened and beaten them in the tournament. Now, I’m just kind of hopeful the roles don’t re-

verse and we stay locked in.” For some players, it’s hard to not look forward and see the goals they set out at the beginning of the season. “We’re psyched. We just want to win,” Frisk said. “It’s our first year coming in, so it would be really great for us to win the MAC Tournament and go to [the NCAA Tournament], which is the whole objective.” If the Bulls win on Friday, the team is expected to play the Western Michigan Broncos (20-4, 7-0 MAC), who handed Buffalo its only two conference losses this season. The Broncos defeated the Bulls 5-2 in both matches, one home and one at a neutral site. “Clearly, we’re going to have to do something different,” Frisk said. “If it was a matter of just a game and we lost 4-3, then we could go for the same tactics. Since it wasn’t that close, we have to change a couple things, possibly game styles.” The championship match is Saturday at 1 p.m. Depending on the weather, the match will be played indoors at the Miller Tennis Center or outdoors at Sweet Home Road High School. email:

ready to repeat Women’s tennis looks to repeat at MAC Championships after winning season title THOMAS ZAFONTE SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR

UB women’s tennis is ready for the MidAmerican Conference Championship coming in on a 12 game win-streak, an 8-0 conference record and the first MAC season title in program history. Yet players and coaches said there is more work to do as they prepare to head to Muncie, Indiana. “They’re still humble in a sense,” said head coach Kristen Maines. “They have big goals and this is one of them, but there’s more to do after this. It’s not like this is the end goal and that’s where their focus is. [They are] confident, yet humble.” The Bulls’ (15-3, 8-0 MAC) first game is on Saturday, after they earned a first round bye as the No. 1 seed. Their opponent has not yet been decided. Members of the team voiced their excitement to be in the tournament and the opportunity to earn the program its first consecutive MAC Championships. Buffalo is in top form, not conceding more than one point in meets since March 25. “The cool thing is they get really excited about clinching [matches],” Maines said. “It’s not like in the past when it’s like, ‘Oh, are they going to win? Are they going to finish this match for us?’ Now it’s like, ‘I want to finish this match’ and be part of the four points that contribute to this victory.” Sophomore Emel Abibula’s and junior Arianna Paules Aldrey’s top priority is winning this weekend. The doubles

HARUKA LUCAS KOSUGI | THE SPECTRUM The Bulls celebrate with a horns up after a win. The women’s tennis team will try to win consecutive MAC championships this weekend in Muncie, Indiana.

partners are confident the team can move on to the NCAA Tournament. Still, they know the pressure a conference championship brings. “From a personal standpoint, I get nervous,” Paules Aldrey said. “It’s exciting, too. You get nervous because we went undefeated. We know we can do it. We have all the tools to win this conference. That makes you a little nervous, but that is a good nervousness. It’s confidence and excitement and wanting to go out and make it happen.” Abibula said she shared the sentiment, but said focusing on the process and going one game at a time was the key to not letting nerves get the better of them. Abibula said this was not a team that worries about making a mistake. They are aware errors will happen and she said the team does a good job of not letting those errors affect their play or relationships on

the court. “Sometimes, you just feel judged by the person you play with, but I do not feel that and I’m not afraid of making any mistakes,” Abibula said. “The fact that I’m confident and we trust each other makes a huge difference. Communication is a huge part of playing doubles, so saying what you have on your mind is really important.” Players and coaches stressed the importance of playing for each other and putting the success of the program first. That translated into closer relations off the court as players often spend much of their time outside of practice together. There’s no specific team worrying the Bulls in this year’s tournament. Instead, they are looking to take each game with the same level of seriousness and stakes. “It’s another day at the office. That’s kind of our go-to line,” Maines said.

“Does this one probably feel a little bigger and have more importance? Yeah, but it’s another day of tennis. There’s another seven points at stake, three doubles matches and six singles matches we all have to go out and do.” Abibula said the team hopes to add more accolades to the program, which is coming off its most successful Division I regular season. “When we started this, nobody was sure we could [achieve first-place success in the MAC],” Abibula said. “Seeing that we can count on each other each day and each match gives us a lot of confidence.” Buffalo will play in the semi-finals against the winner of the No. 4 and No. 5 seed Saturday at 10 a.m. email: twitter: @Thomas_Spectrum

The Spectrum Vol. 67 No. 48  

The Spectrum is an independent student newspaper at the University at Buffalo.

The Spectrum Vol. 67 No. 48  

The Spectrum is an independent student newspaper at the University at Buffalo.