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DA N I E L G I B S O N, B S ’99 | L I A M M C H U G H, B A ’99 | S H A N N O N F I L B E RT, J D ’07 & B A ’04

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Downtown center brings together researchers and clinicians in one place to create better outcomes for patients



Late Night Dance Party! Sarah Mobarak, a senior communication design major, cheers on the revelers during the first evening of this summer’s orientation. New students enjoy food, music, games, a community service project and a chance to kick back with peers and orientation leaders like Mobarak. Students get their pictures taken and are then encouraged to tag themselves on the UB Student Experience page on Facebook. It’s all part of getting to know campus and each other. PHOTO BY STEVE MORSE



Cover illustration by James Steinberg

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UBtoday All in one place


Scientists and clinicians collaborate in new center to translate research discoveries into real-world health care treatments

Science as art


Images that appear to be abstract art are instead visual representations of a widerange of scientific research

In the wings


Special events director offers off-stage remembrances of personalities he’s met in UB’s Distinguished Speakers Series

“Bee cab” lets visitors watch colony through a glass window.


Eyes on the lies


Researchers explore whether computers can decipher the subtle visual clues that give away human deceit

Hive City A huge colony of bees lives in “Elevator B,” a stainless steel tower on Buffalo’s waterfront designed by four


UB architecture students

Daniel Gibson, BS ’99


Co-creator of first synthetic cell

Liam McHugh, BA ’99


Sportscaster at NBC

Shannon Filbert, JD ’07 & BA ’04


ICON LEGEND More content online More photos online

Attorney and children’s advocate

Video/multimedia online



Alumni Association member












Vol. 30, No. 1 Fall 2012 UB Today is published twice annually by the UB Alumni Association, in cooperation with the Office of University Communications, Office of the Vice President for University Life and Services, and the Office of Alumni Relations, Division of Development and Alumni Relations. Standard rate postage paid at Buffalo, New York.

Editor Art Director Production Coordinator Alumni News Director Assistant Director, Alumni Communications Development News Director Class Notes Editor

Ann Whitcher-Gentzke, Rebecca Farnham, Cynthia Todd, Barbara A. Byers, Gina Cali-Misterkiewicz, MA ’05, Ann R. Brown, Danielle Yadaie,

UB Today editorial offices are located at 330 Crofts Hall, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14260. Telephone: (716) 645-6969; Fax: (716) 645-3765; email: UB Today welcomes inquiries, but accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, artwork or photographs. DEVELOPMENT AND ALUMNI RELATIONS Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations Associate Directors Assistant Directors

Nancy L. Wells Jay R. Friedman, EdM ’00 & BA ’86 Nancy Battaglia, MBA ’96 & BS ’89; Barbara A. Byers; Michael L. Jankowski, Erin Lawless, Andrew Wilcox Gina Cali-Misterkiewicz, MA ’05; Kristen M. Murphy, BA ’96; Patricia A. Starr

UNIVERSITY LIFE AND SERVICES Vice President for University Life and Services Dennis R. Black, JD ’81 Associate Vice President for University Communications Joseph A. Brennan, PhD ’96 & MA ’88 Assistant Vice President for Marketing, Web and Jeffrey N. Smith Creative Communications Director, Integrated Communications John Senall, BA ’93 UB ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OFFICERS President Timothy P. Lafferty, BS ’86 (East Aurora, N.Y.); Immediate Past President Lawrence J. Zielinski, MBA ’77 & BA ’75 (Elma, N.Y.); First Vice President Carol A. Gloff, BS ’75 (Natick, Mass.) EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Michael A. Anderson, BS ’97 (Hamburg, N.Y.); Willie R. Evans, EdB ’60 (Buffalo, N.Y.); Nicholas J. Gill, MS ’08 & BS ’02 (Lancaster, N.Y.); Peter J. Grogan, BS ’81 (East Aurora, N.Y.); Paul R. Hammer, BA ’78 (Williamsville, N.Y.); Kenneth M. Jones, MA ’84 (Perry Hall, Md.); Kathleen Kaney, MBA ’96 & BA ’94 (Charlotte, N.C.); Ruth Kleinman, BA ’05 (New York, N.Y.); James M. Militello, BA ’79 (Gainesville, Va.); Wayne M. Nelligan, AT (Williamsville, N.Y.); Mark Nusbaum, MArch ’85 & BPS ’83 (New York, N.Y.); Thomas A. Palmer, JD ’75 & MBA ’71 (Buffalo, N.Y.); Mary Garlick Roll, MS ’88 & BS ’84 (Williamsville, N.Y); Charles A. Smilinich, EdM ’07, EdM ’03 & BA ’01 (Tonawanda, N.Y.) SPECIAL ADVISER Rita M. Andolina, MSW ’88 & BA ’80 (West Seneca, N.Y.) BOARD OF DIRECTORS Randy J. Asher, BS ’95 (Staten Island, N.Y.); Tyler A. Balentine, MUP ’06 & BA ’03 (Cheektowaga, N.Y.); Ronald Balter, BA ’80 (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Lisa Berrittella, JD ’04 (Rochester, N.Y.); Jason L. Bird, BA ’05 (Tonawanda, N.Y.); Carrie L. Boye, BFA ’97 (Amherst, N.Y.); Robert W. Chapman, MSW ’03 & BA ’91 (Buffalo, N.Y.); Kimberly S. Conidi, JD ’05 & BA ’99 (West Seneca, N.Y.); Mary E. Dunn, PMCert ’93 & DDS ’90 (East Amherst, N.Y.); Edward J. Graber, Jr., MBA ’93 & JD ’92 (Orchard Park, N.Y.); Mary Anne Heiser, BS ’77 (Tonawanda, N.Y.); Gary J. Jastrzab, BA ’76 (Philadelphia, Pa.); Lisa M. Kirisits, MBA ’87 & BS ’85 (Lancaster, N.Y.); Ken Lam, EdM ’04 & BA ’01 (White Plains, N.Y.); Matthew E. La Sota, BA ’04 (Buffalo, N.Y.); Christian Lovelace, JD ’06, (Buffalo, N.Y.); Donna M. Manion, BA ’94 (New York, N.Y.); David T. Merrell, MBA ’96 & BS ’91 (Lancaster, N.Y.); Melissa Palmucci, EdM ’04 & BA ’01 (Schenectady, N.Y.); Peter A. Petrella Jr., BA ’00 (Lancaster, N.Y.); Jennifer Piccone, MBA ’99 & BS ’85 (Webster, N.Y.); Jennifer L. Shalik, BA ’07 (Buffalo, N.Y.); Ezra J. Staley, JD ’09 & MBA ’09 (Grand Island, N.Y.); David J. Stinner, BA ’98 (Kenmore, N.Y.); Mark J. Stramaglia, MBA ’86 & BS ’81 (Williamsville, N.Y.); Bernard A. Tolbert, MSW ’73 & BS ’71 (New York, N.Y.); Kristin M. Vento, MBA ’00 (Orchard Park, N.Y.); John Warren, BA ’01 (Ashburn, Va.); Ann Wegrzyn, MBA ’90 & BS ’85 (Orchard Park, N.Y.); Sylvia Williams Ferguson, BA ’98 (Buffalo, N.Y.) REGIONAL CHAPTER REPRESENTATIVES Melissa Palmucci, EdM ’04 & BA ’01 (Albany, N.Y.); Latasha A. Allen, BA ’01 (Atlanta, Ga.); Katie Siwy, BS ‘00 (Boston, Mass.); Joel P. Thompson, BA ’04 (Buffalo, N.Y.—UB Employee Chapter); Kathleen A. Kaney, MBA ’96 & BA ’94 (Charlotte, N.C.); Joseph Szuba, BS ’63 & AAS ’61 (Chicago, Ill.); Dorne Chadsey, MS ’86 (Cleveland, Ohio); Kevin M. Ruchlin, MS ’98 & BA ’95 (Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas); Jennifer Wozniak, MBA ’96 & BA ’95 (Denver, Colo.); Jeff Kless, BS ’90 (Detroit, Mich.); Raymond L. Poltorak, MBA ’68 & BA ’65 (Houston, Texas); Vince LoRusso, BA ’07 (Los Angeles, Calif.); Eric Katzman, BA ’01 (New York, N.Y.); Joshua Ramos, BA ’06 (Orlando, Fla.); Edward F. Ryczek, BS ’71 (Phoenix, Ariz.); Jeffrey Marshall, BS ’93 (Raleigh, N.C.); Kourtney Gagliano, BS ’02 (Rochester, N.Y.); Rebecca E. Kelley, BA ’03, Martha S. Rodgers, BA ’90 (San Diego, Calif.); Lily Stoyanovski, MBA ’94 & BS ’91 (San Francisco, Calif.); Christa Peck, BA ’09 & BS ’09 (Seattle, Wash.); Al Royston, BS ’73, Maria Tomaino, BA ’04 (South Florida); Eric Bartholomew, BS ’03 (Tampa, Fla.); James M. Militello, BA ’79 (Washington, D.C.) CONSTITUENT ALUMNI REPRESENTATIVES College of Arts & Sciences David L. Rothman, BA ’74 (San Francisco, Calif.); Dental Medicine Kevin J. Hanley, DDS ’78 & BA ’74 (East Amherst, N.Y.); Engineering and Applied Sciences James D. Boyle, BS ’78 (West Seneca, N.Y.); Graduate School of Education Mark Marino, EdM ’05 (Depew, N.Y.); Law Brian Melber, JD ’96; Management Thomas P. Cogan, MBA ’99 (Getzville, N.Y.); Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Sylvia Regalla, MD ’75 & BA ’70; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Dean P. Trzewieczynski, BS ’98 12-ALR-007

2 UBTODAY Fall 2012

from the


Major facilities highlight UB’s path to excellence JOHN AND EDITHA KAPOOR HALL


YOU’VE VISITED CAMPUS LATELY or have been following your alma mater in the news, you know that this is a time of tremendous energy and momentum at UB. Across the university, we are investing in faculty and student excellence, and in creating the 21st-century campus climate to support a premier research university. With the recruitment of internationally renowned scholars across the disciplines, our core of outstanding faculty continues to grow in size and stature, led by our new Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Charles “Chip” Zukoski, a member of the National Academy of Engineering. (See Shortform article on p. 7.) This fall, we again welcome one of the most academically talented undergraduate classes in UB history. Our students are competing with increasing success for major national honors, like Fulbright, Udall and Goldwater scholarships. And in just over a year, UB has opened five major facilities that support For updates on all the projects educational excellence and research innovation. All are LEED-designed buildand progress discussed in the ings earning national attention as models of sustainable architecture. On the president’s message, visit North Campus, UB has opened William R. Greiner Residence Hall; engineering’s Barbara and Jack Davis Hall; and an innovative solar array that will generate renewable energy. Details on these are included in this issue. On the South Campus, a world-class pharmacy building—John and Editha Kapoor Hall—opens this month, and major renovations are under way for the historic Hayes Hall clock tower. Downtown, the medical school is planning for its new home, where it will be strategically aligned with area hospitals and research partners. In May, with Kaleida Health Systems, we opened a joint health sciences facility that will include UB’s innovative Clinical and Translational Research Center, also featured in this issue. More progress is on the horizon. Next fall we will open the new home of the Educational Opportunity Center downtown. And plans are moving forward with our newly designated New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics—a research center that will establish UB as a worldwide hub for the discovery and commercialization of advanced materials in energy, medicine, electronics and other industries. All of this progress adds up to a research university that is clearly on the move and making a profound impact. We are on an accelerating trajectory of excellence as we pursue our long-range vision, UB 2020. This vision is about providing our students with the very best education, and it’s about providing our communities with cutting-edge research and clinical care. It’s about providing solutions and strategies for addressing the critical social, technological and cultural challenges of our time. These are outcomes of vital importance to our alumni, and your achievements and success as UB graduates will position you to impact your alma mater for generations to come. Your engagement helps create life-changing opportunities—for our university, for our communities, and for the students of today and tomorrow.




from the

Familial bond among alumni opens doors to success word “family” evokes emotions that are derived from many sources. For my wife Kathleen and me, family is not only an unending source of satisfaction but also a responsibility. We would do anything to help our two children succeed, offering advice and encouragement along the way (whether they want it or not). This responsibility extends beyond our immediate family: A phone call for assistance from a relative, near or far, can put us into fix-it mode, just because there is that family connection. In much the same way, I am reminded of that as a member of the UB alumni family. My affiliation with our university and with the UB Alumni Association has led to more connections and friendships than I can possibly count—creating an extended family, so to speak. The common bond among us—a UB history that links us as family—is real, and it can open many doors. My role as president of the UBAA gives me many opportunities to speak to fellow alumni and to current students. A recurring theme in my remarks is that our UB alumni network can be the most powerful professional tool each of us can leverage. Part of this is sheer volume. UB’s alumni body now totals more than 220,000, and we are represented in all 50 states and in 130 countries. No matter where you travel, chances are that other proud UB alumni reside or work nearby. They may even be employed in your firm or company. And they’re almost certainly represented in your larger profession or field. When you stay connected with us, together we can help build UB connections—professionally or simply for fun—in your particular geographic region. And to help instill the same alumni family sense in others, please consider giving of your time—your efforts are so appreciated. Visit with us through our chapters, assist students as mentors and participate in events like Career Conversations, one of many job-enhancing services described on pages 36-37. As we support each other, we strengthen our entire alumni family.

Tim Lafferty, BS ’86 President, UB Alumni Association

Look for the alumni association members asterisk throughout the magazine. It’s our way of celebrating our alumni association members.





ACA D E M I C I N S I G H T S , B R E A K I N G R E S E A R C H , U B P E O P L E A N D U N I V E R S I T Y N E W S

For the latest in campus news reports go to


The ‘Neurogenics of Niceness’

are known to make us nicer people, at least in close relationships. Oxytocin promotes maternal behavior, for example, and in the lab, subjects exposed to the hormone demonstrate greater sociability. Poulin says this study was an attempt to apply previous findings to social behaviors on a larger scale; to learn if these chemicals provoke in us other forms of pro-social behavior: the urge to give to charity, for instance, or to more readily participate in such civic endeavors as

Research by psychologists at UB and the University of California, Irvine, has found that at least part of the reason some people are kind and generous is because their genes nudge them toward it.

Design concepts produced by HOK and three other elite architectural teams will be used to produce the final design for the new UB school of medicine in downtown Buffalo. UNIVERSITY NEWS

Architecture team chosen for new medical school Following an international competition, HOK, one of the world’s leading architectural firms, has been selected to help produce the final design for a new medical school in downtown Buffalo. Robert G. Shibley, dean of the UB School of Architecture and Planning and head of the selection committee, said four teams of the world’s top architects were selected from among 19 teams in five countries that originally vied for the opportunity to design the building. Concepts produced by HOK and the three other firms will be used to produce the final design for what will be the largest new building to be built in Buffalo in decades. “The teams selected each produced a design experiment that taught us something about the architectural possibilities for the building, from how it might meet the ground to the kinds of learning environments and public spaces it could create,” Shibley says. The finalists, in addition to HOK, are Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and Cannon Design, Rafael Vinoly Architects with Foit-Albert Associates, and Grimshaw Architects and Davis Brody Bond. Groundbreaking for the new medical school is slated for fall 2013; construction is anticipated to be completed in 2016. Updated information on the design process is available at

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Michel Poulin, assistant professor of psychology at UB, is principal author of the study “The Neurogenics of Niceness,” published in April 2012 in the journal Psychological Science. Co-authored by Anneke Buffone of UB and E. Alison Holman of UC Irvine, the study looked at the behavior of study subjects who have versions of receptor genes for two hormones that, in laboratory and close relationship research, are associated with niceness. Previous laboratory studies have linked the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin to the way we treat one another, Poulin says. In fact, they

paying taxes, reporting crime, giving blood or sitting on juries.

“The study found that these genes combined with people’s perceptions of the world as a more or less threatening place to predict generosity,” Poulin says. “Specifically, study participants who found the world threatening were less likely to help others—unless they had versions of the receptor genes that are generally associated with niceness.”


Charles F. “Chip” Zukoski has been named provost and executive vice president for academic affairs following an international search. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Zukoski is an internationally recognized scholar in chemical engineering. He joined UB this summer.



Zukoski named provost

Duel in the Pool

Four hours before champion cyclist Lance Armstrong was due on stage in Alumni Arena to deliver remarks in UB’s Distinguished Speakers Series on April 28, he was kicking furiously down a lane of UB’s Olympic-size pool in a 50-meter sprint against cancer. The seven-time Tour de France winner and founder of the Lance Armstrong Foundation had been challenged to a kickboard “Duel in the Pool” by Mary Eggers, an Orchard Park, N.Y., native who works with the Teens Living with Cancer (TLC) program to support teenagers with cancer. Eggers edged out Armstrong in the competition, which raised $51,000 for LIVESTRONG, the Teens Living with Cancer (TLC) program in Rochester, and a new TLC chapter at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

Zukoski comes to UB from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, where he was Elio Eliakim Tarika Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. During his 17-year administrative career at Illinois, he served in several key leadership positions, including a


Law School celebrates its 125th The Law School is marking its 125th anniversary as a pathbreaking provider of legal education in Western New York and nationwide. The celebration begins Friday, Sept. 28 at the start of the Law School’s 2012 Reunion Weekend. Alumni, faculty, staff and friends will gather at the newly renovated Hotel @ the Lafayette in downtown Buffalo to kick off the festivities. The celebration will continue throughout the year with special events locally and nationwide. The Law School also will showcase its rich history and innovation in legal studies with an anniversary website featuring a detailed timeline and oral histories of many notable alumni. For more information visit

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Source: U.S. News & World Report in annual ranking of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” For additional rankings and full story, visit www.


Spots UB Law moved up since 2011—now no. 82 among accredited law schools in the U.S.

Spots School of Social Work moved up since 2011—now no. 26

Pharmacy school’s rank in U.S. for its PharmD program

“President Tripathi and the university community have created an innovative strategic vision that will strengthen UB as a great global institution ...” CHARLES “CHIP” ZUKOSKI

six-year tenure as vice chancellor for research. He served from 2006 to 2012 as chairman of the Science and Engineering Research Council of the Agency for Science, Technology, ZUKOSKI and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore, and he continues to serve as a senior fellow of the agency.

“I am tremendously excited to be joining UB and the Buffalo community,” Zukoski

said when his appointment was announced in April. “President Tripathi and the university community have created an innovative strategic vision that will strengthen UB as a great global institution, where students come to learn from the world’s most eminent scholars, and enhance the university’s role as a catalyst to the revitalization of Buffalo and Western New York.”

Rank in U.S. for English department program in literary criticism and theory (one spot above Harvard)

Engineering school ranking among 198 institutions


Overall ranking for School of Public Health and Health Professions among U.S. schools of public health

54 UBTODAY Fall 2012





Do animals have reflective minds?




National honors for two UB students Two UB students have won nationally coveted awards. Junior Esther Buckwalter won the Morris K. Udall Scholarship, awarded to outstanding students who have demonstrated a commitment to careers in the environment, health care or tribal public policy. Daniel Salem, also a junior, has won a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. This award is intended to support the continued development of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who plan to pursue careers in those fields.


Libraries offer prints from vintage collection The UB Libraries now offer selected images from their unique digital collections as posters or prints for purchase. The idea is to make these vintage, artistically rendered images accessible to a global audience. Among the images are famous people associated with UB or Buffalo (James Joyce, Charles Dickens), Buffalo and Niagara Falls vintage scenes or graphics, advertisements for Buffalo’s Pierce Arrow plant, children’s storybook lithographs, cover art from early UB publications, and more. To view and purchase images, visit

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According to leading scholars in the field, an emerging consensus among scientists exists that animals share functional parallels with humans’ conscious metacognition—our ability to reflect on our mental processes, and guide and optimize them. In an article published in March 2012 by Oxford University Press in the volume “Comparative Cognition: Experimental Explorations of Animal Intelligence,” J. David Smith, professor of psychology, and two research colleagues provide a comprehensive review of the current state of the animal-metacognition literature. Smith’s co-authors are Justin J. Couchman, visiting assistant professor of psychology, SUNY Fredonia; and Michael J. Beran, senior research scientist, Language Research Center, Georgia State University. They describe how Smith inaugurated animal metacognition as a new field of study in 1995 with research on a bottlenose dolphin. The dolphin assessed correctly when the experimenter’s trials were too difficult for him and adaptively declined to complete those trials. Subsequently, Smith and many collaborators also explored the metacognitive capacities of joystick-trained macaques. These Old-World monkeys, native to Africa and Asia, can make specific responses to declare uncertainty about their memory. For example, they can respond “Uncertain” to gain hints from the experimenters of what to do on the first trial of new tasks. “In all respects,” says Smith, “their capacity for uncertainty monitoring and for responding to uncertainty adaptively shows close correspondence to the same processes in humans.”

“Finish in 4” pledges to provide entering UB freshmen with academic resources they’ll need to graduate in four years. Students, who sign a pledge to adhere to program requirements, receive a personalized roadmap with courses and requirements. They also enjoy support from academic advisers as they pursue their degrees more efficiently and economically. Details at http://advising.



New wheels for UB Stampede

A new fleet of UB Stampede buses arrived on campus this spring. Each is festooned with a white-outlined UB Bull “wrap” running along the sides of the vehicle. The new buses are designed to handle a heavier passenger load—more than 24,000 passengers ride them during peak periods. Among green features, the buses run on a nontoxic, alternative fuel. Each bus has front-end racks for three bikes, offers wheelchair access and can be tracked using a UB Mobile phone app.


Scholarship honors human rights activist The university has established a scholarship in memory of Alison L. Des Forges, the historian and human rights activist who was killed in the crash of Continental Flight 3407 near Buffalo on Feb. 12, 2009.



With more than 180 distinct isotypes or variations cataloged to date, human papilloma virus (HPV) presents an extremely difficult target for broad-range treatments. And while the HPV vaccine provides protection against the most common HPV infections, it covers only four of the 180-plus isotypes. But now UB microbiologist Thomas Melendy has identified a protein interaction that could present the first viable, broadrange HPV drug target. This protein sequence in the viral DNA synthesis system is not only necessary for HPV synthesis, it is highly conserved between all HPV isotypes. To find out if this protein interaction might be the basis of a drug that would work against all HPV isotypes, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health has awarded a $1.65 million grant to Melendy, associate professor in the medical school. “Currently, no antiviral drugs exist that act directly against HPV,” says Melendy, whose laboratory is a world leader in identifying critical interactions between the HPV proteins and human proteins that the virus uses to duplicate viral DNA. His work explains why HPV integrates so readily into the genome of human cells.



Scientist identifies possible target for HPV therapeutics

Working with the Alison L. Des Forges Memorial Committee, UB created the Alison L. Des Forges Memorial Scholarship Fund to provide financial

support for graduates of the Buffalo Public Schools who are committed to studying human rights and social justice.

The scholarship will be open to students of any major and will be awarded for the first time “When we lost in fall 2014. A Alison, family and DES FORGES committee is friends wanted to being established to help act to keep her memory in the recruitment and alive and advance the selection process. causes she devoted her life to,” says Roger Des Forges, professor of history at UB. “One of those was improving K-12 public education in Buffalo; another was protecting human rights in central Africa.”

Alison Des Forges tirelessly advocated on behalf of citizens of central Africa and wrote a landmark book, “Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda.”

Bruce Jackson, James Agee Professor of American Culture; and Diane Christian, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of English, illuminate the grim world of death row inmates in their new book,“In This Timeless Time” (University of North Carolina Press, 2012). Included is a DVD of their 1979 documentary, “Death Row.” UBTODAY Fall 2012


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Books Come from Nowhere ELLEN GREENFIELD, BA ’73

Seven female characters share the same New York City subway platform in the early morning hours of July 13, 1977. They range from a nine-year-old girl and her Greek immigrant mother to a young chef who is losing her vision. During the next 24 hours, they will struggle to find their way home, both literally and metaphorically, after New York suffers its historic blackout. (3Ring Press, 2012)

The Official Book of Mob Humor MALCOLM KUSHNER, BA ’74

“The Official Book of Mob Humor” marks the first time mobster wit, gaffes and goof-ups have been collected in a single volume. The book is packed with hilarious, hardto-believe-but-true stories of mobster activities, and includes a foreword by the late Henry Hill, former Lucchese crime family associate made famous in “Goodfellas.” (Robert D. Reed Publishers, 2012)

Murder Over the Border RICHARD STEINITZ, AT

“Murder Over the Border,” in addition to being a gripping thriller with a surprise ending, presupposes that Jews and Arabs are, above all else, human beings

and very similar in nature. A longtime resident of Israel who spent more than 20 years in the Israeli army (reserves), Richard Steinitz wrote this book in part to rectify errors of fact and translation he’d found in fiction depicting the IsraeliArab conflict. “Murder Over the Border” is available as a Kindle book through Amazon. (LPA Group, 2011)

Abstract Painting: A Practical Approach HENNIE REIMER, MFA ’74

This volume offers a complete university art course in painting with fun and innovative approaches leading to highly creative, abstract images, along with instruction in color theory, tonal values and design structure. (CreateSpace, 2011)

The Lady of the Wheel ANGELO F. CONIGLIO, MS ’71 & BS ’61

“The Lady of the Wheel” is the story of foundlings and sulfur mine workers and their communities in 19thcentury Sicily. Interspersed in the tale are episodes derived from the real-life experiences of Angelo F. Coniglio’s

family, who originated in a small Sicilian town. (Legas Publishing, 2012)

Steps of Courage: My Parents’ Journey from Nazi Germany to America

Images of America: West Seneca



Using historic and vintage photographs, James Pace, West Seneca, N.Y., town historian, illustrates the various and diverse peoples who made the area their home, including the Seneca Indians and members of the Ebenezer Society of Germany. (Arcadia Publishing, 2011)

Belfast in My Colours: A Synaesthetic Exploration of My Temporary Home

Bettina Hoerlin shares her parents’ love story from the rise of Nazism to the height of the Cold War. Kate Tietz Schmid, a Jew, and Hermann Hoerlin, an Aryan, begin their courtship in Germany in 1934 but must flee the country because of the Nuremberg Laws. The couple escapes amid formidable odds and settles in the U.S. only to face adversity during McCarthyism because of Hermann’s left-wing associations. (AuthorHouse, 2011)



“Belfast in My Colours” explores synaesthetic connections that author Carrie C. Firman established while in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Firman drew symbols of the surrounding atmosphere, attitudes and history. She applied the coloring most suited to each item’s “reputation, history and character by matching the personalities that I synaesthetically perceive when describing different hues.” (, 2011)


Enjoy this eclectic mix of mainstream jazz, arranged standards and original cutting-edge compositions from the Dave Schiavone/ Joe Brancato Quartet in their debut recording of 2002. More information about the combo is available at (CD Baby, 2002)

For more books and submission guidelines go to

What UB is reading “Start Something that Matters” by Blake Mycoskie is the 2012 UB Reads selection— an opportunity for the campus community to enjoy a shared reading experience. Mycoskie created TOMS, one of the fastest-growing footwear companies in the world, by giving shoes away. He offers readers stories, ideas and practical tips for finding profit, passion and meaning all at once. (Spiegel & Grau, 2012) UBTODAY Fall 2012






White succeeds Manuel as AD

12 UBTODAY Spring 2012


Watt keys Bulls’ big season Mitchell Watt was named MAC Player of the Year and earned an invite to the Portsmouth Invitational in Virginia, a tournament that features the best college players in the nation, after leading the Bulls to another record-setting season on the hardwood.


Danny White has high aims for UB.

A new era in UB Bulls athletics began May 8 when New Orleans native and former Notre Dame basketball standout Daniel J. “Danny” White was named UB’s athletic director during a press conference in the Center for the Arts Screening Room. White, 32, is the youngest athletic director in the Football Bowl Subdivision. He succeeds Warde Manuel, who was named AD at the University of Connecticut in February. Manuel expressed his confidence in White, saying, “He’ll do an unbelievable job at Buffalo, and I look forward to watching the growth of UB’s athletic program under Danny’s leadership and direction.” “I am thrilled to serve as director of athletics at such a world-class institution,” White said. “I am excited about the vision of excellence UB is pursuing under President Tripathi’s leadership and I am energized by the prospect of helping to advance that vision by leading the next chapter of UB athletics.” White came to UB from the University of Mississippi, where he served as senior associate athletic director and executive director of the UMAA Foundation. “Obviously, I’ve been working very hard to rise to the director’s chair and I wanted to align myself with a world-class academic institution,” White said. “Because of that institutional profile, there is no limit to how high we can take UB athletics.” Other UB coaches seem to agree that White will take UB to new athletic heights. “Certainly, our Department of Athletics is going to benefit from his focus and passion and determination,” says Bulls head football coach Jeff Quinn. Adds head men’s basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon, “He’s had some experience in the MAC. He’s had experience in a similar conference [at Fresno State] and then he’s had GREENE some experience in the [Southeastern Conference]. I think his having a broad-based background is really good.” In addition to White, Allen Greene has joined the UB athletics staff as senior associate AD. He also comes to UB from Ole Miss, where he was assistant athletic director for development and priority seating.

The women’s varsity four boat won the gold medal and the team placed third overall at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships at Sandy Run Regional Park in Virginia on April 29. The varsity four boat of coxswain Katherine Evely, Margaret Lawn, Julia Hahn, Katie Coffin and Cornelia Willis edged Boston University by a tenth of a second. The two boats exchanged leads five times before the Bulls held off the Terriers for the win, finishing in 7 minutes, 47.5 seconds. The same group won the bronze medal in June at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships, finishing in 7:25.44. It was UB’s first appearance in the event. Rowing program coach Randy WIELER Wieler announced he would retire at the end of the season, completing an 11-year tenure during which he helped propel the Bulls to national prominence, including multiple wins at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta.

BASKETBALL New York City native

Felisha Legette-Jack



Baseball, Murphy have season to remember The 2012 season will be one to remember in the annals of UB Bulls baseball. The Bulls won their first MAC tournament game in program history on May 24, defeating Ohio 6-5 on a 10th-inning double by Alex Baldock. The next day, UB eliminated Western Michigan before falling to top-seeded Kent State in the MAC semifinals. In that game, junior catcher Tom Murphy cranked his 13th home run of the season, setting a Bulls BALDOCK single-season record. “I told the team after the game that this is something to be proud of; we put Buffalo on the map and hopefully every single team going forward will strive to match what we did here this week,” Murphy says. The great news continued for Murphy, who was taken by the Colorado Rockies in the third round (105th overall) of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft. “For Murph, it wasn’t about stats. It was about the team and getting to where we wanted to be,” says head coach Ron Torgalski. “Our goal was to make the MAC tournament and now he is able to move on having met that goal.” David J. Hill is a staff writer in UB’s Office of University Communications.


Women’s rowing captures gold; Wieler retires

Former Senior Associate Athletic Director Paul Vecchio was named director of athletics at Alfred University, his alma mater. Vecchio began his appointment at Alfred in July.





Watt’s three-game shot block total (13) set an invitational WATT record, garnering the Goodyear, Ariz., native a mention on NBA. com. Watt keyed coach Reggie Witherspoon’s Bulls to their secondstraight 20-win season, concluding with a 20-11 overall record ROBINSON and a program-best 12-4 mark in MAC action. UB fell to Ohio University in the MAC tournament semifinals. Following the MAC tournament, UB earned an invite to the Postseason Tournament. The Bulls’ season ended with an 84-76 loss to Oakland in the tournament’s second round after defeating American University in their tournament opener. In June, Titus Robinson signed a contract to play for the SB Tigers of the Thailand Professional Basketball League.

was named head women’s basketball coach on June 14. She succeeds Linda Hill-MacDonald, who guided the Bulls for seven seasons. Legette-Jack joins UB from Indiana University, where she spent the past six seasons as head coach, guiding the Hoosiers to a program record-tying 21 wins in 2008-09. FOOTBALL Wide receiver and Lackawanna, N.Y., native Marcus Rivers signed a free agent deal in April with the Green Bay Packers, joining former Bulls teammate and Super Bowl champion James Starks, BA ’10. TRACK AND FIELD Junior Asia Henry set a new school record in the 800 meters while finishing 14th at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. The Rochester, N.Y., native finished fourth in her heat with a time of 2:04.65. Also competing in the championships, Rob Golabek, BA ’12, placed 12th in the shot put with a throw of 61-0.25 feet to earn secondteam All-American honors. The Hamburg, N.Y., native caps his outstanding career as a four-time All-American and UB record holder in both indoor and outdoor shot put.


“Through his gift, Jack ensures the team will live on in perpetuity in the hope and expectation that future players and teams will carry on the team’s noteworthy legacy: teammate loyalty in the face of injustice.”

For updates on all team schedules, news and tickets go to

Fred Kogut, EdM ’65 & BA ’60, 1958 Bulls football team member, on teammate John “Bear” Dempsey’s significant estate gift in support of the 1958 Lambert Cup Team Football Endowed Scholarship. UBTODAY Fall 2012


Under One Roof Center unites researchers and clinicians intent on translating scientific discoveries into actual health care treatments BY BLAIR BOONE


Clinical and Translational Research Center will occupy the top four floors of new downtown Buffalo facility, which it shares with Kaleida Health’s Gates Vascular Institute.

A long-running study of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) put SUNY Distinguished Professor and lead researcher Timothy F. Murphy in monthly contact with each patient in the study. Researchers often have little interaction with study volunteers, yet in this instance the primary investigator’s direct involvement with patients led to a critical insight. Murphy and his collaborators identified a bacterium that previously was not believed to affect the overall health of patients with COPD as a key risk factor for some patients.

offices, seminar and conference rooms; advanced imaging facilities; a bio-repository that will collect, store and catalog valuable tissue samples from a wide variety of diseases; a clinical research center with nine exam rooms; and more. Among the center’s notable occupants are the UB Biosciences Incubator, which helps UB researchers create viable businesses based on the products of biomedical research; the Jacobs Institute, which conducts research and development and training in vascular medicine with a focus on entrepreneurship in developing applications for research innovations; and UB 2020 Health and Wellness Across the Life Span, which draws on the strengths of the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions to develop a holistic approach to health and longevity. The university invested the $118 million it received from New York State for its share of the construction, plus additional

“Patients drive our research. Placing research adjacent to and even physically overlapping patient care puts us on the leading edge of clinical translational research.” T i m o t h y F. M u r p h y UBTODAY Fall 2012


“In this case,” says Murphy, “direct observation of the patients led us to re-frame an essential question in our research, which in turn led to a breakthrough.” That’s exactly the kind of impact Murphy expects the new Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) to have for University at Buffalo researchers and their clinical collaborators. At the CTRC, clinical research and laboratory research on human disease are occurring in adjacent spaces. The new center will “transform clinical research in Buffalo as we know it,” says Murphy. Indeed, the center is home to a groundbreaking collaboration between UB and Kaleida Health designed to advance both basic biomedical research and patient treatment. Murphy is the director of the new center and senior associate dean for clinical and translational research in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sci-

ences. From his office in the CTRC, he is coordinating the effort to translate biomedical discoveries into new therapies. In fact, the CTRC addresses a need recognized nationwide, which is that many of the great biomedical research discoveries of the last three decades have not yet been translated into treatments. From 1980 to 2012, the rate of Food and Drug Administration approvals for the latest in patient treatments has remained flat. Yet during that time, basic biomedical research has made tremendous progress in everything from genomics to imaging. “If you look at basic biomedical research over the last 30 years, the advances have been nothing short of remarkable— genomics, cell biology, structural biology, immunology,” says Murphy. “But if you look at how effectively we’ve translated those great advances into new treatments— new drugs, vaccines, preventions, diagnostics—it’s not spectacular.” Part of the effort to translate research discoveries into treatments involves bringing researchers and clinicians into closer proximity, and in some cases daily contact. That’s why the CTRC shares the new $291 million building with Kaleida Health’s Gates Vascular Institute (GVI), a leader in research on and treatment of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Everything about the building is designed to foster cooperation and collaboration among clinicians and researchers from a wide variety of medical and biomedical disciplines. “Patients drive our research,” says Murphy. “Placing research adjacent to and even physically overlapping patient care puts us on the leading edge of clinical and translational research.” The CTRC occupies the top four floors of the building, with a total of 170,000 square feet of dedicated laboratory space,


Exterior and interior are melded together in a design that emphasizes fluid interaction among collaborative teams.


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The new building is designed as a “vertical campus,” thus fostering new synergies among disciplines.

tutions in the country that have similar efforts.” While it’s very unusual for a consortium to receive a CTSA with its first application—only five grants were made in the last round—the Buffalo consortium’s proposal performed exceptionally well. More significantly, the proposal was highly praised by reviewers, providing a blueprint for implementing programs to strengthen the center’s future opportunities. “The leaders of the health sciences and the hospitals have been strongly committed to this effort,” says Murphy. “There is definitely a common goal in Buffalo to excel in this area.” In fact, the Buffalo consortium will shortly submit a revised application for a CTSA, the NIH having recently released the next version of its request for applications. The consortium brings a number of strengths to translational efforts, especially in ongoing research. In addition to Murphy’s work on vaccine development to prevent otitis media in children, which was just awarded a five-year NIH grant, other notable efforts include research on


Similarly configured common areas also foster both structured and casual interactions that can lead to more productive exchanges and collaboration. The fifth floor even includes areas designated as “collision corners” equipped with seating areas, white boards and other tools to facilitate impromptu discussions among faculty. “Traditionally, scientists all worked in their own areas and talked only to other people in their area. They didn’t routinely talk to scientists in other disciplines,” Murphy says. “More important, we didn’t speak the same language. It’s almost a language problem—that’s been the key obstacle to translational research.” The innovative design is proven to foster collaboration. Murphy himself is collaborating with a lab neighbor, Brian Tsuji, assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, on a study of antibiotic-resistant genes in bacteria that cause respiratory tract infections in adults with COPD and ear infections in children. Before they began working in adjacent labs, the two had never met. The institutional collaboration reaches widely, with the new building serving as the hub for all the organizations that comprise the Buffalo Translational Consortium, a group that includes the medical research and patient care organizations Roswell

Park Cancer Institute, Great Lakes Health Systems of Western New York, UBMD, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Research Institute on Addictions, and UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. Community partners, meanwhile, include the P2 Collaborative of Western New York, dedicated to improving the health of Western New Yorkers; the physician group known as Upstate New York Practice Based Research Network; the New York State Area Health Education Center; and HEALTHeLINK, a regional health information organization. A strong indicator of the consortium’s potential came even before the CTRC building was finished, when the consortium narrowly missed receiving a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A total of 60 of these large grants have been awarded nationwide, part of an ongoing NIH initiative to prioritize clinical and translational research. The $20 million award would fund many research expenses, including salaries for more high-profile researchers. According to Murphy, even more important than the funding is that on receiving the award “we would become part of a national consortium of the leading 60 insti-


funds for equipment. The shared costs created another major benefit of the collaboration between UB and Kaleida, as building a single, shared facility dramatically reduced the overall investment that would have been required to build separate, fully equipped medical facilities for research and treatment. UB, meanwhile, is seeking private gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations to support the facility, fund research and endow faculty positions. Design features in the new building, such as open-plan laboratories, put researchers side-by-side, when traditionally they would be isolated in individual labs. The goal is to break down the “silos” that result when researchers in one discipline are isolated from researchers in another discipline. This atypical design encourages the exchange of ideas and collaboration between researchers in different areas of inquiry.

skin diseases by Animesh A. Sinha, chair of the department of dermatology and holder of the Rita M. and Ralph T. Behling, MD Chair in Dermatology; research into Alzheimer’s and other dementing diseases by Kinga Szigeti, director of UB’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center; and studies of cardiac disease conducted by the Center for Research in Cardiovascular Medicine, headed by John M. Canty Jr., who holds the Albert and Elizabeth Rekate Chair in Cardiovascular Disease. “The CTRC is the most exciting development I’ve seen in my career at the University at Buffalo,” says Canty. “Until now, our translational research efforts were conducted at multiple locations. Patientoriented research was largely dissociated from the preclinical environment. The new building’s unique vertical integration enables physician-scientists to move easily from the patients’ bedsides to the preclinical lab and back in a single facility. We can provide care to patients on the lower floors, enroll selected patients in clinical trials, and then follow them as outpatients in the sixth-floor clinical research center and the seventh-floor imaging suite for cardiac PET/CT and MRI scans.” According to Canty, this integration in a single location will also aid teaching and recruitment of both students and faculty researchers to the University at Buffalo, and it may encourage more students to consider careers as physician-scientists, too.


The push for translational research is already reshaping the curriculum at UB. A new interdisciplinary clinical research track in the master’s of science program in epidemiology is based in the School of Public Health and Health Professions. The program includes courses from all five university health sciences schools and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and was designed by faculty from each of the participating departments and institutions. The program received certification in 2010. Another of UB’s strengths is in the emerging discipline of medical ontology. Traditionally a subject for philosophers, ontology is the study of the things that exist and the relationships among them. For medicine, the discipline involves identifying and classifying medical terms to solve the “language problem” encountered by researchers and clinicians from different disciplines. In practical terms, the aim is to provide tools to examine medical databases

to identify and extract different types of data about pathogens, patients and disease so those data can be analyzed effectively to discover information currently hidden by the lack of a common vocabulary. The ontology effort is led by Barry Smith, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Julian Park Professor of Philosophy, and Werner Ceusters, professor of psychiatry and director of the Ontology Group of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. Smith, whose work has received more than $7 million in funding since 2001, is internationally recognized as a pioneer in contemporary ontology. Ceusters is principal investigator on an NIH study that draws on ontology to help patients who are suffering from chronic pain to express how they feel, and their physicians to better understand and treat them. “It is going to revolutionize how we do clinical research,” says Murphy of the insights of biomedical ontology. “If we could take all the studies that have been done on a particular treatment and look at outcomes, the value would be incredible. But we all have different databases with different terminology. Ontology determines the common terms and enables us to take advantage of the tremendous potential of this untapped information. And ontology is one of the disciplines where UB is an international leader.” The center also is an important component of UB 2020, the overarching plan to elevate UB to the ranks of the nation’s elite research universities while generating broad and deep local and regional benefits for Buffalo and Western New York. “The CTRC brings together for the first time at UB the critical components needed for interdisciplinary, disease-focused research that will more rapidly translate basic biomedical research into improved public health,” says Michael E. Cain, dean of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and vice president for health sciences. “There is no other place in the world I’m aware of where—under one roof—physicians and scientists are given the tools they need to conduct basic and translational-clinical research and to commercialize their discoveries. I’m confident this facility will contribute enormously to reshaping UB’s health sciences culture in the future.” Blair Boone, PhD ’84, is a Buffalo-based freelance writer.

New building timeline In just over a year, UB has opened five major facilities—all LEED-designed buildings. AUG. 19, 2011

William R. Greiner Residence Hall, North Campus State-of-the-art residence hall housing mostly sophomores, Greiner Hall is packed with environmentally conscious features like an irrigation system that draws water from an on-campus lake, and laundry room counters made from recycled Tide detergent bottles. APRIL 23, 2012

UB Solar Strand, North Campus The 3,200-panel Solar Strand is a work of public art and represents a unique partnership between the New York Power Authority and UB. At 140 feet wide and 1,250 feet long, the array has a rated capacity to produce 750,000 watts of energy—enough to reduce UB’s emission of harmful greenhouse gases by nearly 400 tons annually. MAY 10, 2012

Barbara and Jack Davis Hall, North Campus The state-of-the art facility for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is fully equipped with technology and instrumentation needed to best train tomorrow’s engineers. The building features updated classrooms and laboratories that support instruction and research in nanotechnology, pattern recognition and bio-based security systems. S E P T. 2 0 , 2 0 1 2

Clinical and Translational Research Center, Downtown Campus S E P T. 2 8 , 2 0 1 2

John and Editha Kapoor Hall, South Campus Kapoor Hall is designed specifically for the needs and anticipated growth of UB Pharmacy, which is ranked in the top 25 pharmacy schools in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report. Included are a pharmaceutical care learning center, patient assessment suite, a model pharmacy, lecture halls, classrooms and spaces for specialized research. UBTODAY Fall 2012


Daniel Gibson at the J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego, California.

Daniel Gibson, BS ’99: After helping create first synthetic cell, renowned

researcher continues to take ideas and make them work

N 1995, Daniel Gibson, BS ’99, arrived at UB and was accepted into the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholars Program, which allowed him to learn the fundamentals of scientific research in Paul Gollnick’s molecular biology lab in Hochstetter Hall. Fifteen years later, using those fundamentals, Gibson made international headlines for co-leading a team that created the first synthetic cell, a development that could transform industries, including biofuels, clean-water technology and medicine. The accomplishment drew comments from the Vatican and the White House, both of which cited the importance of the research, and placed Gibson ahead of George Clooney and President Barack Obama on Time magazine’s 2011 online poll of most influential people. “All the basic molecular biology tools and so many of the tools I use everyday—it all started in that lab at UB,” Gibson says from his office at the J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego, Calif., a biotechnology research center about a mile from the Pacific Ocean. Gibson, 35, is low-key and soft-spoken, more at ease talking about his family and the Buffalo Sabres than about meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, or invitations to travel to more than 20 countries to speak about his research. He’s an associate professor at Venter Institute and a principal scientist at Synthetic Genomics Inc., a privately held biotechnology company. Both were created by J. Craig Venter, a former UB and Roswell Park Cancer Institute scientist who was one of the first people to sequence the human genome. In 2004, Gibson earned his PhD from the University of Southern California and landed a postdoctoral research position at the




Venter Institute’s Rockville, Md., office. Hamilton “Ham” Smith, a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1978 and the leader of the synthetic biology group at the Venter Institute, was among those who hired Gibson. Smith said he was initially impressed by Gibson’s eagerness. Once hired, Smith realized Gibson had the uncanny ability to take an idea and make it work. “I recognized him as a star within a couple months,” Smith says. Gibson joined a team at the Venter Institute tasked with building a synthetic bacterial genome by taking DNA created digitally, inserting it into a living bacterium and keeping it alive. In 2008, the team synthesized the first bacterial genome in a lab. Then, in 2010, they culminated a 15-year effort by creating the first cell constructed in the lab using only synthetic DNA. Gibson helped make this work possible by developing a process that allows for the quick assembly of DNA fragments. It became known as Gibson Assembly. It was commercialized in February and is now used in labs around the world. The creation of the synthetic cell is the first step in what could be a biological revolution to customdesign organisms, similar to how computer software is reprogrammed. This could mean creating flu vaccines in 24 hours instead of several months, creating organisms to clean water and genetically enhancing algae to produce oil that can be turned into fuels. Now, Gibson is working to automate, reduce the cost of and improve the accuracy of synthetic cell construction. His team also is working to make better biofuels out of algae and recently showed that flu vaccines can be produced 28 days faster using Gibson Assembly than the conventional process. Story by Sean Nealon, BA ’01, with photos by Max S. Gerber

O U T T A K E S Birthplace West Seneca, N.Y. Advice to science students Take a wide range of classes—he wishes he took classes in computer science and business. Work ethic “A lot of my colleagues are smarter than me. But no one works harder than me. I would never let anyone work harder than me. Maybe that comes from being from Buffalo.” Media attention Work featured in 2011 “60 minutes” story called “J. Craig Venter: Designing Life” and a Science Channel documentary “Creating Synthetic Life.” Alumni recognition 2012 George W. Thorn Award given to a distinguished graduate under 40 Video Students in the United Kingdom wrote song about Gibson Assembly method. The YouTube video—at watch?v=WCWjJFU1be8—has more than 17,000 views. UBTODAY Fall 2012


Into the Void

As part of the National Science Foundation-sponsored “URGE (Undergraduate Research Group Experiences) to Compute” program, UB computational scientist Loren “Shawn” Matott has been collaborating with talented math majors at UB and Buffalo State College to design cost-effective systems to safeguard groundwater supplies from contaminated sites. The image visualizes a representative cost surface and dramatically illustrates the phenomena of artificial minima—valley locations corresponding to designs whose costs are only partially optimal. The image recently won a computer art competition run by the Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation and will appear on the cover of the organization’s 2013 brochure. The winning entry was prepared in collaboration with Adrian Levesque and Martins Innus, multimedia visualization specialists at UB’s Center for Computational Research. Loren “Shawn” Matott, PhD ’07 & PMCRT ’07, IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education Research and Traineeship) Fellow

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This is a vertical satellite image of Tungurahua Volcano in Ecuador. It contrasts areas of natural vegetation (green) with regions devastated by volcanic ash (dark blue to black). The red hot lava filling the crater and the active white volcanic plume are clearly visible. North is oriented to the right, as is the community of Banos (20,000 inhabitants). Michael Sheridan, UB Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Geology

“Study the science of art and the art of science.”

the Art Science

Leonardo da Vinci

As if pulled from the walls of a modern art gallery, these images of research exploration cross the boundaries of science to enter the realm of abstract art. Parallels exist between these two domains: The artist seeks to visually express complex ideas or emotions, while the researcher wants to convey often intangible concepts that may be impossible to fathom without visual representation. These extraordinary images curated by our editors from research activities across UB are based solely in science. Yet they have crossed an imaginary barrier to become a true art form.

Blue Moons

This is a sample of a rodent inner ear or cochlea stained with three fluorescent dyes, which are specific for actin filaments (green), nuclei (blue) and caspase (red). Actin filaments are part of the cytoskeleton found in all cells. In the cochlea they form an integral part of the structure of the socalled hair cells. There are three rows of “outer” and one row of “inner” cells. These cells directly transduce the acoustic vibrations collected by the ear and convert them into electrical signals, which are transmitted by the auditory nerve to the brain. The image was collected on the confocal microscope and demonstrates the dramatic difference in image quality obtained when the confocal microscope is used compared to a standard system. Richard Salvi, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences


This image shows microscopic gold electrodes that contact a thin sheet of graphene. Graphene has recently been shown to be a promising candidate to replace the silicon chips that power current electronic technology. The gold electrodes in the images allow an electrical current to be passed through the graphene sheet. They are separated by only a few hundred nanometers at their closest points. Girish Bohra, electrical engineering student; and Ratchanok Somphonsane, physics student UBTODAY Fall 2012



The image shows the failure of Single Walled Carbon Nano Tube (SWCNT) under uniaxial extension. SWCNT is a one-atom thick tube made up of carbon atoms. The project is exploring how to replace metals in electronics with SWCNT, because these new materials are much stronger and better conductors than are traditional metals. Cemal Basaran, professor in the departments of civil, structural and environmental engineering, and electrical engineering and director of the Electronic Packaging Laboratory; and Tarek Ragab, assistant director, Electronic Packaging Laboratory, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering


Pictured is an optical micrograph of cultured cells 24 hours after initiation of apoptosis, a process of self-initiated cell death that is critically important for physiological regulation and elimination of genetic disorders. Image represents a unique combination of label-free imaging of molecular vibrations by Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Scattering and high resolution fluorescence imaging by Two-Photon Excited Fluorescence. Subcellular distribution of the major classes of biomolecules such as proteins (red), RNA (green), DNA (blue) and lipids (grey) during apoptosis was revealed by a single shot of the nonlinear microscopy laser scan. Here, proteins abandon the nucleolus, accumulating in a highly irregular distribution in the nucleoplasm; genomic DNA condenses and partially segregates from the proteins. Artem Pliss, research assistant professor, Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics; Andrey N. Kuzmin, research scientist, Department of Chemistry; Aliaksandr V. Kachynski, research associate professor, Department of Chemistry; and Paras N. Prasad, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the chemistry, physics, medicine and electrical engineering departments

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Yellow Ground

Blue Orbit

Ken-Tye Yong, PhD ’06, ME ’04 & BS ’01, research associate professor, Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics

Sha Liu, PhD ’11, Department of Chemical Engineering

Transmission electron micrograph shows lead sulfide (PbS) nanocubes grown around gold nanoparticles. The overall cubic shape reflects the underlying cubic crystal structure of lead sulfide. These were created as part of a study of methods of creating multicomponent and anisotropic (non-spherical) nanostructures.

Spheres in this image are made of many nanocrystals of zinc sulfide, and are from 20 to 200 nanometers in diameter. Zinc sulfide has potential as a photocatalyst for degrading pollutants or generating hydrogen from water using energy from sunlight. The very small size of the particles means that they have a very large surface area for the desired chemical reactions to occur.


A thin histological section of tissue from the tongue of a mouse: The section is stained with three fluorescent dyes that are specific for actin filaments (green), nuclei (blue) and wheat germ agglutinin (red). The red fluorescence represents the cell surfaces; the green, the internal structure and blue, the cell nucleus. This image was collected on a standard fluorescence microscope. Wade J. Sigurdson, director, Confocal Microscope and Flow Cytometry Facility

Deconstruction As it moves around an indoor corridor, a mobile robot with a range sensor simultaneously calculates its position and updates an internal model of its surroundings. Juxtaposition of two versions of the model are rendered—a more concise representation on the left side and the full volumetric model on the right side. Julian Ryde, research scientist, Department of Computer Science and Engineering UBTODAY Fall 2012


Alien Exo

This image from a scanning electron microscope shows the structure of a freeze-dried antibiotic (Vancomycin). The material is exceptionally difficult to image because of its extreme fragility and tendency to absorb water. This image represents one of the ways UB supports the health science industry. Image provided by Peter Bush, director, UB South Campus Instrument Center with permission of IMA Life, Tonawanda, N.Y.

Dot to Dot

Image shows zinc oxide nanowires grown on a silicon substrate using a chemical vapor deposition technique. Gold nanoparticles are used as catalysts for nanowire growth. The green dots are gold nanoparticles on the silicon substrate, the blue bunches are zinc oxide nanowires, and the yellow dots are gold nanoparticles on the tips of the nanowires. Zinc oxide nanowires may have broad applications ranging from sensors to LEDs and solar cells.


The human brain contains an abundant population of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells with a unique capacity to repair damaged and diseased brain tissue following demyelinating diseases like MS and childhood leukodystrophy. Here are human CD140a-sorted cells transplanted into a mouse model of leukodystrophy, which lacks any normal myelin, the electrical insulating substance in the brain. Human cells, in blue, have begun to repair the diseased mouse brain and are generating new myelin (red). Human cells also reconsitute astrocytes (green).

Seongjin Jang, PhD ’08, Department of Physics

Fraser Sim, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology, along with scientists at the University of Rochester

Into the Deep These nanoelectronic switches have been proposed for use in future “quantum computers,” which would have greatly improved computing capabilities compared to existing computers. Arunkumar Ramamoorthy, PhD student, Department of Electrical Engineering, when image created

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Liam McHugh outside NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Center.

Liam McHugh, BA ’99: Stanley Cup Finals, Olympics, Tour de France

all in a day’s work for emerging NBC sportscaster

fter 86 Stanley Cup playoff games (25 of which went into overtime), 34-year-old NBC sportscaster Liam McHugh is enjoying that he doesn’t have to shave for a while. “Not shaving is the thing I miss most about writing,” says the former writer who has become one of the most promising emerging voices in sports television today. McHugh is on a short break after the Stanley Cup finals, but then it’s off to the Tour de France, then the Olympics in London, and then back home just in time to host NBC’s College Football coverage. It all began while McHugh was studying communication at UB and a friend convinced him (during a late night at The Steer on Main Street) that he should write for The Spectrum and that it would be a fun opportunity to earn course credit. “I remember the headline of my first story: ‘Checkstops Irk Stymied Students,’” he says. At that point, he had no notion of his future career as a television reporter. “I dropped a public speaking course at UB after only two classes. I was petrified when I was called on to speak,” he recalls. Fast forward to 2012 and you’ll see a poised, confident and articulate man who knows how to command an audience. Even those who are not avid sports fans may remember a pregame Super Bowl appearance on NBC by McHugh in the Giants locker room with network football analyst Tony Dungy, whom McHugh had met in the mid-2000s during his first on-air gig in Terre Haute, Ind.—home to the Indianapolis Colts summer camp. (Dungy was then the Colts head coach.) “That moment was the most surreal for




me so far. It reminded me how I had come full circle—from a small town covering local sports to the Giants locker room before the biggest game in the world.” As for his other notable career moments, sports fans likely remember Oklahoma State Football Coach Mike Gundy’s infamous rant caught on video in 2007. (“I’m a man! I’m 40!”) But what they might not know is that McHugh was working for one of the local network television affiliates when he found himself standing six feet from the coach. “It’s an odd sensation to witness a YouTube moment live, in-person. I remember calling friends back East, telling them ‘what I just saw is going to blow up on the Internet in a few hours.’” One of the most rewarding aspects of his career in sports, he says, is watching young players grow up and become stars—McHugh covered NBA players Greg Oden, Mike Conley and Blake Griffin when they were just teenagers. “With Griffin, you could see the talent instantly, he had amazing athleticism.” As for his own future aspirations, he hasn’t really had a chance to think about it as his rise to prime time has happened so quickly. Just a couple of years ago, he was out of work and unable to find a job for 13 months. “I’m pretty much living the dream now,” he says. “I’m doing what I love. I’m in New York where I always wanted to be. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was covering high school basketball for a small-market Indiana TV station. By no means did I expect any of this to happen.” Story by Mara McGinnis, BA ’97, with photos by John Emerson

O U T T A K E S Favorite sports teams St. John’s University basketball (his father is an alumnus) and the New York Mets Favorite player of all time former NBA forward Chris Mullin Memorable hangouts while at UB Broadway Joe’s, Amy’s Place Memorable lecture at UB Tommy Lasorda, who spoke in 1999 as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series Last book read “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz Favorite book ever read “The Ginger Man” by J.P. Donleavy Last live concert attended The Black Keys at Madison Square Garden Where he met his wife, Margaret Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications while they were both graduate students in the broadcast journalism program UBTODAY Fall 2012


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Behind-the-scenes glimpses of celebrities and other notables in UB’s long-running speakers series

LADIES GENTLEMEN Story by Ann Whitcher-Gentzke

TONY BLAIR, the former British prime minister, bounds up the stage and does a double-take at the life-size buffalo statue behind him. He grins broadly and the audience laughs with him. It’s a moIllustration by Marci Roth

ment when everyone can relax. Together audience and speaker will resolve the incongruity of a world figure—a media image for most people up to this point—who’s now present physically in Alumni Arena and ready to engage the crowd. Blair, who spoke at UB in 2009 as the Graduate Student Choice Speaker, is just one of many political leaders, intellectuals, journalists, comedians, authors or hard-to-define celebrities who have appeared in UB’s Distinguished Speakers Series (DSS) since it was launched more than 25 years ago. While the audience sees accomplished speakers fluently delivering their remarks, only a handful of university people are treated to up-close encounters with the public figures who dominate the series. UB has welcomed scores of well-known personalities as Distinguished Speakers. Among them are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rudy Giuliani, Tony Blair, Sidney Poitier, Amy Tan, Donna Brazile, Bill Nye, J. Craig Venter, Stephen Colbert, Janet Reno, Colin Powell, Anderson Cooper, Conan O’Brien and Mae Jemison. UBTODAY Fall 2012


From the silly to the serious

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Dennis R. Black, JD ’81, vice president for university life and services, has introduced dozens of speakers as part of the DSS but only one reacted like O’Brien. “As his introduction was finished, the rather tall and red-headed Conan came on to stage and waved to the crowd,” Black recalls. “But instead of shaking hands with me, he simply picked me up and twirled me around. It was a 360 degree circle in the air, much to the delight of the crowd! That was the beginning of a long and fun night as Conan O’Brien’s straight man at UB.” Another lively speaker, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, arrived early for his 2011 DSS address. So he suggested a trip to Starbucks to a surprised group of UB staffers. “We were a little caravan with University Police and a couple people he traveled with,” Regan says. “We walked into the Starbucks on Main Street in Williamsville, and everyone’s looking at this guy and seeming to say, ‘Is that Arnold Schwarzenegger?’ Because when you see people out of context you really question your own judgment and perceptions.” Most speakers wear business attire or at least are dressed for a casual evening out. One speaker, however, defied these conventions and opted for a super-relaxed look when travel plans went awry. “I remember Bill Cosby arriving on campus five minutes before his November 2003 lecture was supposed to start,” says Friedman. “He drove to Buffalo from New York City when his flight was cancelled because of a Nor’easter winter storm. He arrived in sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and flip-flops ... and walked right up on to the stage to deliver his lecture dressed ‘as is.’” Others have mesmerized the audience with their serious themes or elevated lan-

guage. “One of the more difficult introductions for me to draft was when historian and filmmaker Ken Burns joined us at UB in 2002,” says Black. “With his mastery of language, I felt appropriately anxious about saying the right things in the right way to introduce him to the sold-out Center for the Arts crowd. But he was very warm both before and after the lecture.” Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner, is another speaker remembered for his eloquence. “It was powerful to have him on stage,” says Regan of Wiesel’s 1998 visit. “The Mainstage Theatre was sold out and you could hear a pin drop when he was speaking. That was profound, to have him here as that beam of life, of hope, of humanity.”

How it all comes together The speakers series is funded through a combination of ticket sales, and university and sponsor support. And although Regan won’t divulge specific speaking fees, he does describe a deliberate process that leads to speakers who are chosen for their perceived audience appeal, with some prognostication to determine the likelihood they’ll be “hot” when lecture day arrives. “Obviously, we have a track record with what we’re paying out and what we can expect Unconventional greeting: to generate in terms of Conan O’Brien lifts sponsorship and ticket Dennis Black off his feet. revenues,” Regan says. “You certainly like to look at each program first and foremost on a stand-alone basis. But you also need to consider how each


Booked as the Student Choice Speaker in 2006, Conan O’Brien made a big impression with his gracious, down-to-earth manner. “Basically, he told me from the get-go, ‘I’m yours. Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it,’” Regan says. “So it wasn’t a matter of looking at the itinerary, looking at the contract and saying, ‘Okay, I’m doing this for five minutes,’ or ‘How many people are in the reception room?’ He was just so engaging with everyone.” O’Brien’s hilarious performance was followed by an impromptu Buffalo wings run that delighted the DSS staff. “When Conan finished his lecture, he walked up to Bill Regan and me backstage and told us he never had real Buffalo wings and wanted to try them before he left town,” says Jay Friedman, EdM ’00 & BA ’86, associate vice president for alumni relations, then assistant director of special events. “He then asked us if we wanted to join him. Fifteen minutes later we were sitting at Duff’s on Millersport eating chicken wings and drinking beer with Conan O’Brien. He then proceeded to call his pilot and tell him that he would be a little late for takeoff.”

Bill Regan, joined by Jay Friedman at his right, were among the campus officials who greeted His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama upon his arrival in Buffalo in September 2006.


William J. Regan, MBA ’92 & BA ’80, heads the Office of Special Events and has met all DSS speakers since he began directing the series in 1992. He enjoys welcoming these diverse personalities, who range from former presidents and senior statesmen to irreverent comics and literary artists of every description. He recalls, for instance, the warmth of Sidney Poitier, the Academy Award-winning actor who took part in the 2000-01 DSS season. Poitier’s address marked the first time UB merged the series with the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration event, a format that continues today. Poitier was contemplating a New York stage performance based on his own life and career; the UB appearance was considered a run-through. “Once he accepted our invitation, he went about preparing for it in a way that I’d never seen before,” says Regan. “On a trip to New York in the middle of winter, he lay over in Buffalo for a couple of hours so he could come in, look at our facilities and get a feel for how we were going to set it up. For the actual speaking event, he came in a day early so he could meet with a film class taught by Jim Pappas [now associate professor of transnational studies]. On event day he did a full-blown rehearsal during the afternoon.”

program contributes to the overall lineup in terms of creating widespread interest.” Still, speakers are not recruited for celebrity alone but rather are identified in a carefully calibrated process that draws on feedback from throughout the campus and from regular audience polling. “DSS has developed over the decades in several positive ways,” Black says. “We’ve added Student Choice Speakers to the line-up and developed a link to ‘UB Reads,’ meaning we bring an author to campus each year at the end of our community reading program. We’ve also been able to have several DSS speakers a year provide an educational experience and campus exposure to area high school students and their teachers through a special sponsorship program.” Probably the most logistically challenging DSS address was the 2006 visit by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama that culminated in a lecture before 30,000 people in UB Stadium. “Talk about protocols,” says Regan. “That was the protocol lesson extraordinaire when it comes to the dos and don’ts of coordinating security issues, and the coordination of simple receiving line etiquette, for instance. That was just a consummate university program where everybody had to be involved in some capacity to make it work the way it did.” The Dalai Lama’s visit entailed elaborate security measures, as was the case when former U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush delivered DSS addresses. “Anytime a world figure comes to UB, the security involves several agencies in addition to state and campus law enforcement,” Regan explains, “for instance, the U.S. State Department when the Dalai Lama visited, and Scotland Yard when Tony Blair was here.”

Airport arrivals Regan makes it his business to pick up and return speakers at Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Most of the pick-ups proceed routinely, but sometimes he needs to keep his eyes peeled while waiting under the arrivals sign. Take Stephen Colbert, for instance. “He’s got such a distinctive visage,” says Regan of the iconoclastic comic who appeared at UB in 2008. “He came in, ball cap scrunched down and carrying a knapsack. Television tends to make people look heavier or bigger than they are. And Colbert, in person, is not a real big guy. He almost walked by me before I recognized him.” The fact that Buffalo isn’t a hub city for major airlines can discourage speakers or their agents from choosing UB. Proxim-

ity to Niagara Falls, however, has helped motivate some celebrities to speak at UB or even to linger in the area. “When writer Amy Tan was here in 2003, she recognized an opportunity to see Niagara Falls,” Regan says. “So that clearly worked in our favor to bring her here. As part of her visit, Marcus Bursik, professor of geology, took her on a wonderful geological tour of Niagara Falls.” Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong also saw Niagara Falls when he was here in April 2012, his first ever visit to the world-famous attraction. Asked if speakers ever have unusual requests, Regan says most “are pretty tame,” such as no fish on the menu or preferred audiovisual equipment. “Bill Maher had to have a juicer in his hotel room,” Regan recalls with a smile, “and all sorts of organic fruits and vegetables that he could juice.” Sometimes a speaker will interact with DSS staff in memorable ways. “I was escorting Bill Bradley, the former U.S. senator, from the green room to the stage just before his lecture in 2003,” says Friedman. “And he asked me if I was wearing a watch. I said yes, and he asked me if he could borrow it. He told me he never wore a watch but wanted to put one on the podium so he could keep track of the time. I took off the watch and gave it to him, and never gave it a second thought. The next morning I got a call from his hotel. He remembered that he had my watch and left it for me at the front desk before he flew back to New York.”

A photo booth complete with cutouts of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Student Choice Speaker in 2011, was set up for audience members to remember the occasion.

Past Podium Personalities The Distinguished Speakers Series has attracted scores of wellknown figures since it began in 1987. A full list of past speakers appears in our online edition.

Wolf Blitzer, BA ’70 Dick Cheney Anderson Cooper Katie Couric Nora Ephron Michael J. Fox Robert Gates Rudy Giuliani Jane Goodall Michael Moore Joyce Carol Oates Colin Powell Anna Quindlen Salmon Rushdie Tim Russert

What’s next While broadcasting rights are prohibited by the agencies representing speakers, Regan would like to someday beam closedcircuit DSS lectures to alumni association chapters. Friedman endorses this notion. “I’d love to one day offer this opportunity to alums, not only around the country but also around the world,” he says. Technologies will vary and speakers will come and go, but don’t expect the essential purpose of the Distinguished Speakers Series to change much. “The series serves a variety of mission goals for UB,” says Black. “It brings the community to campus. It provokes thought and discussion. And it brings people and issues to life for our students, making them more real, more pressing and more understandable.” Presenting sponsor for the DSS is the Don Davis Auto World Lectureship Fund; the Undergraduate Student Association is the exclusive series sponsor.

Kofi Annan

Gail Sheehy George Stephanopoulos Jon Stewart Donald Trump

2012-13 Distinguished Speaker Line-up

David Brooks columnist

Presented by the Don Davis Auto World Lectureship Fund

Blake Mycoskie TOMS founder

Laura Bush former first lady

Walter Mosley novelist Steven Pinker cognitive scientist Steve Martin author and comedian

To order tickets and find out more go to www.student-affairs. UBTODAY Fall 2012


Researchers explore whether machines can read the visual cues that give away deceit


3,000 years ago that say, ‘Liars look away.’ But the conventional wisdom is not always true. For example, liars may learn to look you in the eye.” But, he says, we have a much harder time controlling the signals our faces give off. These signals, Frank says, “leak” subtle cues to our emotions, in “microexpressions” that flash by in a fraction of a second. Human beings often miss those fleeting signals. Likewise, the eyes can generate different movement patterns when people are trying to manipulate others, as when lying, and that too is a subtle signal people often cannot detect. The study showed that, apparently, computers can.


Here’s Moe, the sad-sack bartender on “The Simpsons,” hooked up to a police polygraph. “I got a hot date tonight,” he says. The machine buzzes: It’s a lie. “A date.” (buzz) “Dinner with friends.” (buzz) “Dinner alone.” (buzz) “Watching TV alone.” (buzz) “All right! I’m gonna sit at home and ogle the ladies in the Victoria’s Secret catalog.” (buzz) “Sears catalog.” (ding!) “Now, would you unhook this already, please? I don’t deserve this kind of shabby treatment.” (buzz). Poor Moe. You can’t fool a machine—in the popular imagination, at least. The reality, for those studying how computers can catch human beings in a lie, is a whole lot trickier. Now a new project by three UB researchers is showing promise for computer-aided lie detection. Analyzing videotapes from a previous study by Mark Frank, BA ’83, a Department of Communication professor, researchers in UB’s Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors (CUBS) developed an algorithm that measured changes in the subjects’ eye movements. The video analysis software identified the liars in the group with 82.5 percent accuracy—far better than even experienced police investigators, who typically are about 65 percent accurate in ferreting out falsehood. “The eyes have been an area of interest from time immemorial,” says Frank, who has consulted widely with law enforcement agencies on how to detect deception. “There are parts of the Hindu Vedas from

A high-stakes experiment The trio’s collaboration began with 40 videotaped interviews culled from a previous study by Frank on the ways group affiliations foster terrorism, research funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. The subjects were chosen because they had strong feelings about a political or ethical issue—the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, animal rights, abortion, even one’s political party. One by one, the subjects were placed in a room and told that down the hall was an envelope containing a check made out to an organization they opposed. A die-hard Democrat, for example, would find a check payable to the Republican Party. Then they had to decide: They could walk down the hall and steal the check, thus keeping it out of the coffers of the hated organization, or they could leave it be. After they took the check or decided not to, each subject then faced questions from an interrogator, mostly retired FBI agents who presented themselves as sympathetic to the “opposed” group. The conversation was mundane until, at a crucial juncture, the questioner lowered the boom: “Did you remove the check from the envelope?” Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. For the subjects, the goal was to lie successfully. If they managed that, they were led UBTODAY Fall 2012


to believe that they would be able to tear up the check to this opposing organization; instead the $100 would go to the organization they favored and the subject got a $75 bonus. If they lied unsuccessfully, meaning they were caught in their deceit, the organization they opposed got the money. So the stakes were high; these were liars under pressure. The challenge, then, was to teach a computer to “read” their eyes and discover who was lying.

Mining for information Enter Venu Govindaraju, PhD ’92 & MS ’88, a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and founding director of CUBS; and Ifeoma Nwogu, PMCRT ’10 & PhD ’09, a CUBS research assistant professor. (Another researcher and co-author of the study, Nisha Bhaskaran, MS ’10, has left UB and is now a software developer in Los Angeles.) Together with Frank they obtained a National Science Foundation grant to pursue further work on these data. They took an optical disc containing excerpts from the 40 interviews—culled from about 130 total and chosen for diversity of age, sex and race—and wrote software that analyzed the subjects’ eye movements in excruciating detail. At issue: At the “gotcha” moment when the interviewer asked about the stolen check, did the subjects’ eyes begin to move in a different way? It was technically tricky work. The researchers had to deal with, for example, reflections from some subjects’ eyeglasses and the data disaster that resulted when someone’s hair fell over one eye. The algorithm looked at how often the person blinked and the direction of his gaze. The data was analyzed used Bayesian statistical techniques, which estimate the probability that two events (such as eye movement and lying) are related. “The baselines have to be established to see what is normal behavior for this person,” Govindaraju says, “and when the questions are being asked and there is an incentive to lie, what changes are taking place. The analysis is probabilistic in nature, so it will make some errors.” Nevertheless, the researchers found remarkable success: Better than eight times in 10, when the subjects answered at the

34 UBTODAY Fall 2012

“gotcha” moment, the algorithm detected telltale shifts in the subject’s eye movement.

A note of caution Frank cautions that the popular notion of a perfect “lie detector” is still a flight of fancy. Conventional systems measure heart and respiratory rates, blood pressure and perspiration, but do not directly measure lies. Researchers also have tried to use linguistic analysis, static images of facial expressions and even thermal imaging to detect deceit. The UB researchers’ algorithm points to physiological patterns that indicate something is going on with the person. That something could be a lie or it could be any of a thousand other events or emotions. Maybe, for example, one research subject stole a check in another context, and the interrogator’s “gotcha” question has brought back memories of that crime. And nobody’s completely comfortable parrying questions from a guy with a badge. “The problem,” Frank says, “is that there is no Pinocchio response to lying— there is no unique behavior that indicates a lie. Everything that co-occurs with a lie has been found to occur with other things. … What this technology is detecting at its core is not a lie. It reflects the underlying emotion or effortful thinking. What’s really happening is that we’re learning how to read people, how to detect ‘hot spots’ rather than lies. That can then be a pointer to further questions and areas of interest. It makes for more effective questioning.”

Learning from each other Both sides say working at the intersection of behavioral theory and computer analysis has been a fruitful way to collaborate. “Crossfertilization is important,” Frank says. “The big accomplishment is pairing two very diverse fields. A lot of computer science is done in a behavioral vacuum, but knowing where to look matters.” Adds Govindaraju: “Computers are good at looking at lots and lots of data and analyzing it, so there’s this notion of discovering new things. We might discover nuggets of knowledge, and we can go back to the behavioral scientists and say, does

this piece make sense and does this kind of correlation between the verbal behavior and the facial expression make sense?” The study’s success has drawn international attention. Scientific American came calling, as did the BBC. The researchers presented their findings at the 2011 IEEE Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition and published their paper, “Lie to Me: Deceit Detection Via Online Behavioral Learning,” in the proceedings of that conference.

Widening the scope The scientists are now looking at the full set of videotapes from Frank’s terrorism study and exploring the idea of expanding their algorithm to examine other facial cues: a scrunched forehead, a twitch of the lips, raised eyebrows. If the eyes are a window into the soul of a liar, might these other cues produce an even more accurate indicator? Nwogu also notes that for the algorithm to be fully useful in situations like police interrogations, it would have to produce its results instantly—something that would require further programming work. And while no one is ready to roll this technique out as a commercial application just yet, Frank says machine analysis could be used outside of law enforcement as well. For example, he says, it might help persons with autism spectrum disorders, like Asperger’s syndrome, to recognize the social cues that make for smooth human interaction, or to discover early indications of schizophrenia. Facial recognition technology “has the advantage of the human element,” Govindaraju says. “Faces are in public view, and most people can tell whether the facial images of two people are the same or different.” That’s not true, he says, for the other two major biometric instruments, fingerprint recognition and iris recognition. And as Nwogu says, “When you have someone who really knows how to hide their emotions, it would be useful to have a detector that might help law enforcement deal with the occasional expert liars they face. … These changes in the face happen in a fraction of a second. We don’t want to miss them.” Riley Mackenzie is a Buffalo freelance writer. UBTODAY Fall 2012


Shannon Filbert, photographed in front of Erie County Hall in downtown Buffalo.

Shannon Filbert, JD ’07 & BA ’04 : Defying her disability, Legal Aid attorney

excels as an advocate for vulnerable kids

HINK ABOUT facing the unthinkable. What would your reaction be? Shock? Anger? Equanimity? Shannon Filbert knows what her reaction would be. She has lived it. In fact, she has lived it and emerged intact in the ways that matter. When she was 16, a car accident left her paralyzed from the neck down. An accomplished dancer, Filbert found herself dependent on others to manage life’s daily activities. But this live wire of a girl took her mother’s loving advice: “She said to me, ‘You can feel sorry for yourself, or you can go out and do what you want,’” she recalls. After enduring five months of rehabilitation and graduating with her senior class, Filbert took on the notion of attending college. She chose UB for a concrete reason: As a quadriplegic, it was important for her to stay in her hometown of West Seneca near Buffalo so family and friends could assist her. Filbert feels she became more mature as a result of her accident. She says she “took college seriously,” adding, “I still had a social life, but I was dedicated to my future.” Her major, legal studies, led to a business law class that piqued her interest. The payoff? Graduation magna cum laude and admittance to UB Law School. Law appealed to Filbert because she likes “to argue, to be right all the time.” Her time at law school was marked not only by intense studies but also by “a very tight group of classmates.” Taking the domestic violence clinic afforded her a chance to work with Erie County Family Court Judge Lisa Bloch Rodwin, JD ’85, who was then chief of the Erie County District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau. “That’s when I found out what I wanted to do,” she says. Filbert also clerked with




Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio. Filbert describes both women as “great mentors who taught me a lot.” Today, Filbert’s full-time position as staff attorney at the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo finds her representing children in abuse and neglect cases. From parents who keep a dangerously filthy home to corporal punishment, sexual abuse and even death, Filbert sees it all. “It’s very tough, but I remind myself that I’m the voice for these kids.” She also gets assigned counsel cases through Erie County, representing people who can’t afford a lawyer. And, lest anyone accuse her of slacking, she’s the town prosecutor in West Seneca, a “honeymoon” job taking on lower-stakes cases like traffic offenses. Filbert admits her career is stressful and timeconsuming. She dismisses any concern, however. “I live for that,” she says. “I don’t like being bored.” Though Filbert barrels headlong through life, she doesn’t shrink from revealing the difficulties she faces each day. She owns her own home but needs assistance with everything, a cold fact of existence that frustrates a woman who clearly values freedom and independence. “Everything is a challenge,” Filbert says. Maintaining her emotional health is a combination of her own attitudes and her support system of friends and family. “If it weren’t for them,” she says, “I don’t know if I could do this.” Filbert’s next big goal—one her persistence and success to date seem to ensure—is running for a judgeship. She absolutely refuses to let her disability rule her life: “Your life doesn’t end. I’m the same person I was.” Story by Grace Lazzara, with photos by Douglas Levere, BA ’89

O U T T A K E S What you don’t know about her “I passed the bar on the first try.” Hobbies “I like to gamble and enjoy fine dining with friends.” Favorite cuisine “Dessert. At my [some day] wedding we are eating the cake first.” Favorite pastime “Taking my nephew out for ice cream.” Favorite choreographer Mia Michaels, best known from the TV series “So You Think You Can Dance,” from whom Filbert took a couple of classes as a teen while at a dance convention UBTODAY Fall 2012





The Main Event

Network fuels job search HAT DO YOU GET when you combine determination with opportunity? “A job!” Alexa Manuel, BA ’12, says confidently. The Minnesota native and former UB volleyball player who spent only her last three semesters at UB, deftly employed networking tools to land her first professional job six weeks after graduating. In 2011, Manuel met Tim Lafferty, BA ’86, national sales manager for The PCA Group in Buffalo and president of the UB Alumni Association, at UBAA’s Career Conversations Buffalo event. Held annually in partnership with UB’s Office of Career Services, Career Conversations connects alumni with current students and recent graduates. Unlike a typical job fair, Career Conversations facilitates informal discussions about career paths and networking. “I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I knew that if I went in with an open mind, something good may come out of it,” Manuel says of the event. “My goal in life has always been to be one step ahead of everyone else.” Flash forward to January 2012, when the freshly minted alumna discovered an opening at The PCA Group. Using Lafferty’s business card she kept from

Alexa Manuel with Tim Lafferty.

Ways to connect As a UB alumnus, whether you’re a member of the Class of 2012 or from decades ago, you have myriad resources at your disposal:

38 UBTODAY Fall 2012

UB Connect: The online community for alumni contains a comprehensive alumni directory. Start searching today!

LinkedIn: Feel at home as a member of our alumni-only professional networking group.

Career Conversations: These networking opportunities are held annually in Buffalo, Albany, Rochester and New York City.

Career Conversations, Manuel confirmed that the employer was in fact where Lafferty worked, and she applied. Less than a week later she was interviewed by Lafferty, made it to the second round, and is now sales and marketing coordinator for the IT solutions company. “There are certain things that make people memorable,” Lafferty says. “Our common interest in UB athletics, her confident manner and, undoubtedly, Alexa’s height were things that, after our conversation I went ‘Wow.’ She’s a college volleyball player, how do you forget someone with that kind of persona? So when her resume came through, I said, ‘I remember her.’ And I remember the positive conversation we had, so it was easy to say ‘come on in.’” Lafferty adds that “helping each other is part of the UB alumni culture, not only with the alumni family, but also at The PCA Group. Personally, no matter where I am, I want to help UB graduates and students, so meeting them is something that piques my interest.” In fact, he says, roughly a third of his firm’s employees are UB grads. Manuel shared her networking success as a speaker during the May 2012 Career Conversations Buffalo. “There are no promises, but, nine times out of ten if you understand networking and the power of it, and how to use it, the sky’s the limit,” Manuel says.

Chapter events: Meet other alumni if you live or work near one of the 25 regional UBAA chapters around the U.S. Or, if you live outside the U.S., you’ll want to get in touch with one of the international chapters.

UB Mentor Network: UB alumni in countless industries are eager to lend career advice.

Many school-based alumni networking opportunities exist as well. Check them out on your school’s website. To get started building your network, visit the alumni connections tab at



Career success on West Coast


Vince LoRusso, BS ’07, moved to Los Angeles, Calif., with the following questions unanswered: Where should I live? Will I find a job? Whom will I meet? What do I do? The answers began to fall into place quickly, thanks to Lauren Clifford, BS ’05. “Lauren introduced me to a great headhunter who helped me find my first job in LA, welcomed me when I finally arrived in California after a long drive across country, introduced me to her circle of friends and showed me great places to hang out,” LoRusso recalls. “And she continues to make efforts to attend UB alumni events for the LA chapter [LoRusso is founder and chapter leader]. Now, I work for her at Mobile Messenger in Culver City. “She demonstrates what all UB alumni should strive to do—help each other out,” he adds. “Rain or shine, gain or no gain—she was, and continues to be, a big help to her fellow alumni.”

“She demonstrates what all UB alumni should strive to do—help each other out.” Vince LoRusso, BS ’07



Maryann Saccomando Freedman, JD 1958, has been appointed to the board of trustees for Cohen and Lombardo. She resides in Buffalo, N.Y.

J. Mason Davis Jr., JD 1959, who received a Distinguished Alumni DAVIS Award from the UB Alumni Association in 2004, has been inducted into the inaugural class of Fellows of the Birmingham (Ala.) Bar Foundation. He lives in Birmingham.

vice president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association. Funded by a Gates Foundation grant, the program assists historically underrepresented scholars to serve as leaders for America’s future. Merriweather Moore lives in Novato, Calif. Bruce

S. Rabin, PhD 1969 & MD 1969, professor of pathology and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, has been awarded the 2012 Abbott Award in clinical and diagnostic immunology. He is also medical director of the division of clinical immunopathology and the healthy lifestyle program for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Rabin resides in Pittsburgh, Pa. Irvin Wright, EdB 1969, a Bloomsburg University (Pa.) professor, was named an honorary alumnus by the Bloomsburg University Alumni Association. Wright lives in Bloomsburg.

60 70

Ann L. Swan, BS 1971, has

Steven A. Guttenberg, DDS 1969 & BA 1965, has published a

Connections are key! Daniel F.

McFarland, BS ’87, president of Talent Management Solution (gesturing), speaks with a captive audience of students and new alumni during Career Conversations Buffalo, May 30 in the Ramada Hotel near the North Campus. Unlike the customary job fair, Career Conversations allows participants to begin building their UB network, explore a variety of career paths and have their resumes professionally reviewed.

textbook, “Cosmesis of the Mouth, Face and Jaws” (WileyBlackwell, 2012). A senior attending surgeon at the Washington Hospital Center, Guttenberg is the chairman of its oral and its maxillofacial surgery training program, as well as the president of the Washington Institute for mouth, face, and jaw surgery in Washington, D.C. He resides in Bethesda, Md. Lois

Merriweather Moore, BA 1969 & AA 1967, has been elected

been re-elected chair of the Hilbert College board of trustees. She will also chair the board’s executive committee. She resides in Clarence, N.Y. Bobby Previte, BA 1973, has been named a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in music for his impressive past achievement and exceptional promise for future accomplishment. Previte, a drummer, composer and band leader, resides in New York, N.Y. Frank Woodbeck, BS 1973, was appointed director of the Department of Employ-ment,

Training and Rehabilitation by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. In this position, WOODBECK Woodbeck is serving as a non-voting member of the newly revised Board of Economic Development, which he will serve as chairman. Woodbeck lives in Las Vegas, Nev. Dennis M. Kelleher, BS 1978, has been appointed president of H2M Water. Previously, he served as vice president of the company’s water resources division. Kelleher lives in Centereach, N.Y. James J. Tyrpak, BA 1978, was inducted into ING Financial Partners’ Century Club, honoring achievement in the financial services industry. He resides in Williamsville, N.Y. Mark C. Weisbeck, BA 1979, was commissioned by Archbishop Stephen Enea, ruling archbishop of the ItaloGreek Orthodox Archdiocese of the Americas and Canada, to create a sculpture in memory of 9/11, as well as four modern religious sculptures, for a multi-park complex in Utica, N.Y. Weisbeck lives in Honeoye, N.Y.

In Memory Edward Shanbrom, MD ’51, a pioneering hematologist who invented a widely used process for removing viruses from blood plasma and helped develop a breakthrough treatment for hemophilia, died 02.20.12 in Tustin, Calif. He was also a clinical instructor at UCLA and UC Irvine.

For listings of alumni deaths since our last issue, go to www. UBTODAY Fall 2012




Hey, that’s me!

(From right) Shannon Mullen, BFA ’10, and Rebecca Kelley, BA ’03, cochair of the San Diego chapter.

And in chapter news… In Albany, Career Conversations, which brings together alumni, current students and recent graduates for networking and job tips, drew 30 attendees on Jan. 5. More than 150 people attended a similar event in Buffalo on May 30. In Dallas, a networking event in conjunction with the Music Library Association convention, was held on Feb. 16, with 30 attending, including Nancy Nuzzo, MA ’99, director of UB’s Music Library and Special Collections.

Seventeen UB supporters watched Adam Zelasko, BFA ’05, in the nearly sold-out production of “Jersey Boys,” then met him after the showing in Miami on Jan. 26.

a 90-minute tour of the American landmark on March 3. On Jan. 10, 140 people attended the Career Conversations event at the Union League Club in Manhattan.

Mark Nusbaum, MArch ’85 & BPS ’83, who was project architect for the restoration of Grand Central Terminal, fascinated 30 New York City alums and their guests during

Sixty people participated in Career Conversations Jan. 16 in Rochester.

East Coast and West Coast: two new chapters chartered

Shannon Mullen, BFA ’10, is starring in the touring production of “Rock of

To see photos of other alumni and friends from recent chapter events, go to

The UB Alumni Association has expanded its family. In May, the board of directors approved charters for two new alumni chapters in Los Angeles and South Florida, bringing the number of regional chapter programs around the country to 25. Alumni chapter generation is not university-driven; chapters are born purely of alumni interest, spirit and volunteerism. In Los Angeles, home to approximately 3,000 alumni, the credit goes to Vince LoRusso, BS ’07, and Alan Snitzer, BA ’75. “Vince hosted a series of events which, in turn, produced a core group of people who wanted to get involved, including Alan,” explains Mike Jankowski, associate director for programming in the alumni office. LoRusso created an LA chapter page on Facebook, and the chapter has held a number of successful events, including a Taste of Buffalo picnic in May. When the forecast called for rain and temperatures in the 40s, Snitzer quickly found a restaurant that would host Taste of Buffalo—originally planned for the outdoors—and prepare food imported from Buffalo for 60 attendees.

Lauren Clifford, BS ’05; Peter Hersh, JD ’78 & BA ’73, with his wife, Karen Buell-Hersch.

40 UBTODAY Fall 2012



Ages.” At the March 29 performance in San Diego, 28 alums and guests watched the show and then had the opportunity to meet Mullen during a reception.

Sabres road games draw alumni Hosting pregame gatherings in conjunction with Buffalo Sabres games continues to be one of the most popular events for alums in and around UB Alumni Association chapter cities. The fol-

lowing cities were on the Sabres road game schedule in the first part of 2012, attracting about 40 people on average to each event: Detroit, Jan. 16, vs. the Red Wings; Chicago, Jan. 18, vs. the Black Hawks; Long Island, Jan. 14, vs. the New York Islanders; Miami, March 17, vs. the Panthers; Tampa Bay, March 19, vs. the Lightning; Washington, D.C., March 27, vs. the Capitals; Los Angeles, Feb. 29, vs. the Kings; and San Jose, March 1, vs. the Sharks. The UB employee chapter also hosted an alumni event in Buffalo’s First Niagara Center on Feb. 19, when the Sabres played the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Chapter No. 25, with approximately 1,900 alumni, is South Florida. Things got off to a slow start but rapidly improved, says Erin Lawless, associate director in the alumni office and the chapter’s staff liaison. Lawless and South Florida alumna Maria Tomaino, BA ’04, planned a networking event as the developing chapter’s inaugural offering. The event was canceled because of low registrations. But a small group of alums met anyway and began to strategize ways to get the chapter up and running. Since that meeting, the group has held five successful chapter events. In addition to Tomaino, the leaders are Susan Haft, BS ’01, Marc Hurwitz, BA ’97, and Alva Royston, BS ’73. Each has personally reached out to other alumni to encourage involvement in the chapter. The team also created a South Florida chapter page on Facebook. Alumni chapters serve several purposes: reconnecting alumni with UB and fellow graduates, networking for professional or personal reasons, perpetuating traditions and building goodwill for the university, and meeting new people who share a common interest. “The distance from Buffalo doesn’t diminish the pride or spirit of UB alumni,” Jankowski says.




Ronald Balter, BA 1980, is a recipient of the 2012 Clara Lemlich Public Service Award presented annually by the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Memorial. The award is given to individuals who work to protect injured workers in New York State. Balter is a member of the UB Alumni Association board of directors and resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. Raymond R. Burke, BA 1981, has been named co-leader of the U.S.-Canada region for Rich Products Corporation. Burke is president of Rich’s foodservice and in-store bakery divisions and will continue to lead these businesses, while also assuming oversight of the company’s ingredients division. He resides in Buffalo, N.Y. Michael L. Corp, JD 1981, has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2012. Corp is a partner at Hancock Estabrook LLP and leads the firm’s trusts CORP and estates practice. Corp resides in Jamesville, N.Y. Peter J. Grogan, BS 1981, is managing director at United Capital Financial Advisors LLC in Buffalo, N.Y. He is a member of the UB Alumni Association board of directors and lives in East Aurora, N.Y. Jonathan S.


Malamud, JD 1982 & BA 1979, is the chief legal officer of Prudential Holdings of Japan. He resides in Tokyo, Japan.

David Szczerbacki, PhD 1984, has been selected to serve

as the ninth president of the College of Saint Rose. Szczerbacki previously SZCZERBACKI served as provost and vice president for academic affairs, a position he has held since August 2004. He lives in Wellsville, N.Y. Gregg R. Kam, BS 1985, accepted a position at the Newark Group in Cranford, N.J. as vice president and chief financial officer. Kam resides in Short Hills, N.J.

in Columbus, Ohio. MarengoHeifner resides in Grove City, Ohio. Cora A. Alsante, JD 1988, has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2012. She is the leader of Hancock Estabrook LLP’s elder law and speALSANTE cial needs practice, and focuses her practice on estate planning, trusts, planning for the elderly and disabled, and estate and trust administration. Alsante lives in Jamesville, N.Y. Andrew M.

executive officer of Goodwill Industries of Western New York. He lives in East Amherst, N.Y. Scott K. Mayer, BS 1985, an engineer for the U.S. Navy and an amateur photographer, exhibited a collection of his photographs in January 2012 in the Hoxie Gallery in the Westerly (R.I.) Public Library. He resides in Hope Valley, R.I.

Roth, BA 1988,

Thomas J. Lynch, MBA 1985 & * BS 1976, is president and chief

Raffaella M. Borasi, PhD 1986 & EdM 1982, was appointed to a third term as dean of the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education. Borasi lives in Rochester, N.Y. Richard A. Grimm III, JD 1987, is the chairman of the board of directors of Upstate New York Transplant GRIMM Services (UNYTS). He has served on the UNYTS board since 1999 and resides in Amherst, N.Y. Stewart C. Haney, BS 1987, is vice president facilities at Wendel, an architectural and engineering HANEY firm headquartered in Amherst, N.Y. He lives in Buffalo, N.Y. Luisa Marengo-Heifner, BA 1987, has been promoted to director of human resources at Scioto Downs Casino & Racetrack

is partner at Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker law firm. Roth ROTH concentrates his practice in complex commercial litigation on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in actions, and proceedings and appeals in New York State and federal courts. He resides in Bellmore, N.Y. Roberta L. Bemiller, MBA 1989, was appointed a leadership development consultant and coach by Career Partners International Buffalo/ Niagara. A certified BEMILLER career coach, Bemiller has more than 20 years’ experience in talent acquisition and assessment, and leadership development. She lives in Hamburg, N.Y.

Douglas P. Sosnowski, BS 1989, is a partner at Brisbane Consulting Group LLC, where he provides business valuaSOSNOWSKI tion, forensic accounting and litigation support services. He lives in Eggertsville, N.Y. UBTODAY Fall 2012




Association Billboard

Oozefest contestants frolic in the mud.


2012 Oozefest: Can You Dig It?

Impact of e-communications

Oozefest 2012, with its aptly named “Can You Dig It?” theme, was again a sellout, with 1,400 players, including students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members, and more than 200 volunteers who supported the event.

175,913 135,420 Alumni website visits

Alumni database email addresses

115 Alumni events with online registration

5,703 Recent grads choosing to keep address for life

Do we have your email address? Find out by viewing your profile at SOURCE: OFFICE OF ALUMNI RELATIONS FOR PERIOD JUNE 1, 2001-MAY 31,2012

42 UBTODAY Fall 2012

Taking home the tournament trophy and bragging rights for the second year in a row was 7 ½ White Men. The prize for best costume, sponsored by alumni team Poached Trout in a White Wine Sauce (notable for its 23 consecutive years of play), was team Star Wars: The Empire Spikes Back, which received a free team registration for 2013. See more Oozefest photos or watch a video of the 2012 tournament at Oozefest is presented by the UB Student Alumni Association. Presenting sponsors for 2012 were the UB Alumni Association, American Campus Communities, Campus Living, Student Life, Santora’s Pizza Pub & Grill, True Blue, Atwal Eye Care and The Buffalo News. Oozefest 29 is slated for April 27, 2013. UB DOWNTOWN

Career paths, health care, the media UB Downtown events continue to attract large crowds, particularly including dues-paying members of the UB Alumni Association. “In fact, we now start marketing these events for members first, and open it up to nonmembers only if necessary,” says Paul R. Hammer, BA ’78, chair of the UBAA’s events committee. On June 27, the UB Downtown speaker was Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, BA ’89, who discussed his first six months in office, the effect UB had on his career path and the university’s

importance in the community. Michael Cropp, EMBA ’03, CEO and president of Independent Health, an HMO, discussed the state of health care reform from both local and national perspectives. He also described what Independent Health is proactively doing to ensure the health of its members. Jack Connors, CEL ’01, publisher and president of Buffalo Business First, discussed the history of his popular weekly publication, and explained its reporting and publishing mechanisms. U B AT N O O N FO R D I S T I N G U I S H E D A L U M N I

Curious objects shape our history Analyzing curious items was the topic of discussion for the UB at Noon dialogue, March 13 in the Center for Tomorrow, North Campus. Peter Bush, director of the South Campus Instrument Center in the School of Dental Medicine, relayed stories about space shuttle parts, meteorites and toilet paper. Bush concluded his talk with a description of how UB technology helped in victim identification following the crash of Flight 3407 on Feb. 12, 2009, in Clarence Center, N.Y. SCHOOL-BASED NEWS

Engineering and Applied Sciences John R. “Jack” Davis, BS ’55, and his wife, Barbara, were on hand May 10 to dedicate the new School of Engineering and Applied Sciences building named in the couple’s honor for their $5 million gift to the university. Barbara and Jack Davis Hall is a cutting-edge facility that serves as the home for the departments of computer science and engineering and electrical engineering, as well as for several centers. Barbara and Jack Davis Hall Opening.

REALM Leadership Mentoring Program


Member Spotlight

(also on 02.28.13) Student Union, North Campus

Fall Discovery Day

11.12.12 Center for the Arts, North Campus Career Conversations, Buffalo


Hump Day Hangout: After Hours

Career Conversations



Albany Marriott, Albany N.Y.

(also on 11.14.12, 02.13.13 and 04.10.13)

Career Conversations

Student Union Lobby, North Campus

Hump Day Hangout with Alumni Association


(also on 01.16.13 and 03.20.13) Student Union Lobby, North Campus

True Blue Days

10.18-10.21.12 North Campus

Homecoming Football Game Bulls vs. Pitt


UB Stadium, North Campus

Majors and Careers Night


Student Union, North Campus

UB Open House


Student Union, North Campus

01.03.13 Genesee Valley Club, Rochester, N.Y.

Career Conversations

01.08.13 The Union League Club, New York, N.Y.

Career Conversations

01.10.13 Ramada Hotel & Conference Center, Getzville, N.Y.

Alumni Association Achievement Awards

04.12.13 Center for the Arts, North Campus

Soprano Laura Aikin, BFA ’86 Concert & Reception

04.23.13 Slee Hall, North Campus


04.27.13 Mud Pit, North Campus All dates and times subject to change. Visit www.alumni.buffalo. edu/events for updates.

Jim Militello, BA’79 Gainsville, Va. Why did you join UBAA? To reconnect with the school that afforded me the opportunity to build my career as a sports reporter. Growing up in the area, I was a commuter student and didn’t build a relationship with the school. By joining, and by steadily expanding my role on the UB Alumni Association board of directors, I’ve been privileged to be part of such a remarkable time in the university’s long and storied history.

Militello close-up: Throughout his 31-year career as a sports reporter and video producer for Associated Press Radio, Militello has reported on some of the most significant sporting events in the world, including 13 Olympics and numerous Super Bowls, Final Fours, major golf championships, World Series and NBA finals. *UBAA MEMBER SINCE 1999

Buffalo roots: Although he lives in the D.C. area, Militello has remained loyal to his Buffalo roots, and in September receives the prestigious Charging Buffalo Award given by the New York State Society of Washington, D.C., at its annual “Buffalo Nite on the Hill” event. Past recipients of the award, which recognizes the career achievement of a Buffalonian or friend of Buffalo, have included fellow UB alumni Wolf Blitzer, BA ’70, and Tom Toles, BA ’73.

The asterisk says you are a member of the UB Alumni Association. Jim’s a member ...

How about you? Fall Open House UBTODAY Fall 2012






Mary F. Kiener, MBA 1990, is vice president of finance, business development, for Rich Products Corporation. Kiener is responsible for financial forecasting, benchmarking, acquisitions modeling, and business integration planning and execution. She has been with the company since 1990 and will continue to support the introduction of business intelligence tools on a worldwide basis. She will also serve as leader of Rich’s planning and developing team. Kiener lives in Clarence Center, N.Y. Richard J. Ruh, MD 1990, has been named to a three-year term on the Hilbert College board of trustees, and is senior vice president of service lines for Catholic Health System of Buffalo. Ruh resides in Orchard Park, N.Y. Suaad H. Sait, BS 1990, is chief marketing officer for Rackspace Hosting, a cloud computing service. Before joining Rackspace, Sait was founder and chief executive officer of Reachforce, a venture-backed B2B marketing-data services startup, for which he continues to serve as chairman of the board. He lives in Austin, Texas. David

Crosby, MBA 1992, has been named managing director of CROSBY UHealth Solutions Inc., an affiliate of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and its health care consulting division, Commonwealth Medicine. He is responsible

for providing oversight for corporate functions, including technology solutions, business strategy and development, and guidance for administration and operations. Lisa Benincosa, PhD 1993, Roche vice president for drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics in non-clinical safety, received a 2012 TWIN (Tribute to Women in Industry) award for her achievements in the pharmaceutical industry. TWIN is an international program sponsored by the YWCA of Bergen County. Benincosa resides in Ivoryton, Conn. Adam S. Edelson, BA 1993, has been named vice president, business strategy and development, for Temple University Health System in Philadelphia, Pa. Edelson lives in Marlton, N.J. Martin A. Krebs, BS 1993, is chief information officer for Fidelis Care, a Catholic health insurance plan for New York State. KREBS He resides in Springville, N.Y. Roger D. Duryea Jr., MBA 1994, has been promoted to vice president, planning and business development, at Catholic Health System in Buffalo. He is responsible for developing collaborative relationships and programs to improve access to quality health care services throughout Western New York. Duryea lives in Buffalo, N.Y.

Douglas J. Sylvester, JD 1994, has been named dean of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, SYLVESTER where he was previously associate dean for faculty research and development. Sylvester resides in Chandler, Ariz. Ram Kumar Krishnamurthy, MS 1995, has been appointed a fellow of the IEEE. A senior principal engi-

neer and director of high performance circuits research at Intel Corporation’s Intel Labs, Krishnamurthy received the distinguished technical paper award at the 2012 International Solid State Circuits Conference. He lives in Portland, Ore. Scott P. Socha, MBA 1995, has been named vice presidenttreasurer for Delaware North Companies. Previously, he was the company’s vice president of business development. Socha resides in South Wales, N.Y. Thomas M. Mercure, JD 1996, has been named to the National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40. Mercure is a senior partner in MERCURE Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s personal injury department and serves as a member of the firm’s management committee. He lives in Snyder, N.Y. Steven B. Raines, BA 1996, co-founder of Algonquin Studios, a technology services and design firm, was named its chief executive officer. Previously, he was a senior programmer analyst at SOFTBANK Services Group, now known as Client Logic. Raines resides in Snyder, N.Y. Andrea B. Shaw, MSW 1997, was named 2012 Social Worker of the Year for the National Association of Social Workers’ Illinois Chapter, Northeastern District, for her contributions to the social work profession, as well as to the lives of those whom social workers serve. She lives in Troy, Ill. Eileen H.

officer of Wendel, an architectural and engineering firm headWALCK quartered in Amherst, N.Y. Walck lives in Sanborn, N.Y. James R. Deuschle, EMBA 1998, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Rich Products Corporation, has assumed responsibility for oversight of global procurement. He resides in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Trigoboff, DNS 1997, MS 1983 & BS 1977, has released her

Karen Swallow Prior, PhD 1999 & MA 1992, was named to a

eighth book, “Contemporary Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing” (Prentice Hall, 2012). This is the book’s third edition and is written with co-author and former UB faculty member, Carol Ren Kneisl, BS ’62. Trigoboff resides in Buffalo, N.Y. Timothy G. Walck, ME 1997 & BS 1991, is chief operations

13-member Faith Advisory Council, recently formed by the Humane Society of the United States. She will provide moral and spiritual guidance for the organization and its leadership. She lives in Amherst, Va.

John J. Koeppel, JD 1998, MBA 1995 & BS 1995, has been recognized in “Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business.” Koeppel is chair of Nixon Peabody’s private equity and investment funds practice. He lives in Hamburg, N.Y. Daniel J. Sucato, MS


1998 & MD 1991, has

been named chief of staff for Texas Scottish Rite SUCATO Hospital for Children in Dallas, Texas, where he also resides. Daniel J. Suttell, BS 1998, is senior accountant at the certified public accounting firm Brock, Schechter & Polakoff LLP. He lives in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Donna M. Banach, BA 1999 & * AAS 1994, received a master’s

degree cum laude in integrated marketing communications from St. Bonaventure University. She is a marketing and alumni officer for UB’s College of Arts and Sciences, and resides in Hamburg, N.Y.


Bradley J. Nowak, BS 2000, has

been elected partner at Williams NOWAK Mullen and is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Nowak resides in Arlington, Va. Sheldon K. Smith, JD 2001 & BA 1996, has been elected to Nixon Peabody LLP’s partnership for commercial litigation in the firm’s Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y., offices. Smith is SMITH an active leader in and past president of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York and the Rochester Black Bar Association. He is also a member of the New York State Bar Association, House of Delegates; UB Law School Alumni Association board of directors; and a past board vice chair of Meals on Wheels for Western New York Inc. He lives in Orchard Park, N.Y. Daniel


Trudeau, MA 2001, associate professor of geography at Macalester College, has TRUDEAU been granted tenure status. Trudeau is an urban social geographer and resides in Saint Paul, Minn.

Michael P. Joy, PhD 2002, JD 2002, MA 1997 & BA 1994, is partner in Reed Smith LLP’s energy and natural resources group in Pittsburgh, Pa. Joy UBTODAY Fall 2012




Tripathi Tour hits halfway mark The UB 2020 Presidential Tour, President Satish K. Tripathi’s quest to visit alumni and friends in 20 cities over a 20-month period, is more than halfway completed. Talking with and learning from alumni—whether in Buffalo, across the country or around the world—are among his top priorities as UB president. Locales slated for the tour over the next few months include Boston, Dallas and San Diego. To find out more and see additonal photos, visit In March, President Tripathi led a UB delegation to China, during which he visited with 155 alumni and friends as part of a reception and dinner at the Westin Beijing Chaoyang. (From left) Peng Han, MBA ’03, and Amy Burke, EMBA ’12 & MD ’05, join President and Mrs. Tripathi.

UBAA Travel Warm or cool, northern or southern, the UBAA and our partners, Alumni Holidays International (AHI) and GoNext, are offering trips for everyone in 2013.

Israel, Feb. 23-March 7, 2013 Discover the landmarks of Bethlehem and the legendary sites of Jerusalem. See the Western Wall, the revered Temple Mount, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the poignant Yad Vashem Memorial. Trace the storied shores of the Sea of Galilee and float in the Dead Sea. Explore Jaffa’s vibrant modern culture, the Roman ruins in Caesarea and the renowned Israel Museum. Visit a nature reserve, and discover the Ramon Crater’s unusual topography, Jordan’s “rose red” city of Petra and Masada’s stark beauty.

Baltic Treasures Cruise, June 24-July 5, 2013 Baltic treasures abound on the voyage to some of Northern Europe’s most legendary ports aboard Oceania Cruises’ luxurious Marina. Beginning in Sweden among the sights of Stockholm and ending in Copenhagen, Denmark, throughout your 10-day trip you’ll see onion-domed cathedrals, Baroque palaces, medieval towns and stunning harbors in Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Gdansk and Berlin.

Switzerland, Aug. 28-Sept. 12, 2013 Discover this cultural and geographic heart of Europe by train, bus, and boat, and on guided walks with your Swiss Rail Pass. Enjoy panoramic views set against the incredible Alps and cruise For more information, including details on magnificent lakes in this and other UB alumni trips, go to Lucerne and Berne. Witness the imposing Matterhorn and trek through Rosenlaui 46 UBTODAY Fall 2012

Gorge to view the stunning Reichenbach Falls. Board the Simplon Alpine railway to the Italian towns of Domodossola and lakeside Locarno. And visit historic Montreux and the Castle of Chillon.

Pearls of the Mediterranean Cruise, Oct. 10-18, 2013 The rich cultures of the Mediterranean are yours to discover as you cruise to France and Italy aboard Riviera, Oceania Cruises’ newest vessel. Sample the high life on the French Riviera, where museums featuring the works of Matisse blend with upscale restaurants and shops. Cruise up the coast and explore historic old Marseille or experience the rich Provençal countryside. Savor the superb Renaissance art and architecture of legendary Florence, or see Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower amid the superb Field of Miracles. Arrive in Sorrento and explore its charming streets or take in the amazing ruins of Pompeii. Then relax in Amalfi or Positano, picturesque Italian villages featuring medieval cathedrals, Moorish-style houses and breathtaking seaside cliffs, before disembarking in Civitavecchia, the port of Rome.

South Africa, Nov. 19-Dec. 13, 2013 Walk in Nelson Mandela’s footsteps on Robben Island. Stand at the Cape of Good Hope and see African penguins at Boulders Beach. Thrill to exotic wildlife on game drives near Kruger National Park. In Johannesburg, tour Soweto and visit a local youth center. Experience the power and majesty of thundering Victoria Falls, one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World. This adventure includes excursions, luxury accommodations and an extensive meal plan.




is one of the nation’s top experts on the Marcellus and Utica shale fields. He lives in Wexford, Pa. Kerri A. Katz, BA 2002, is director of licensing, strategic partner relations, for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street.” Before joining the workshop, Katz served as marketing manager for Nars Cosmetics and Del Laboratories in New York. She resides in Manhattan, N.Y. Ryan

* A. McPherson, JD 2002, was

named UB’s chief sustainability offiMcPHERSON cer, a newly created position to assist the university in achieving climate neutrality by 2030. McPherson lives in East Aurora, N.Y. Miche C. Needham, BS 2002, was elected the 2012 chair of the board of directors of the Buffalo and NEEDHAM Erie County Botanical Gardens Society Inc., and to her second term on the board. She resides in Tonawanda, N.Y. Jeff Toczek, MS 2002, has been named administrator at Michaud Residential Health Services in Fulton, N.Y. He previously was employed in a similar capacity with the Loretto TOCZEK organization in Syracuse, where he functioned as administrator for the Nottingham RHCF. Toczek lives in Liverpool, N.Y. S. Phillip

Unwin, JD 2002, is special counsel member at UNWIN Goldberg Segalla LLP’s Rochester, N.Y. office. Unwin lives in Rochester.

Melanie May Wojcik, JD 2002 & BA 1997, has been named partner in the Buffalo office of Hamberger and Weiss. She resides in Orchard Park, N.Y. Margo K. Benoit, MD 2003, is assistant professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s department of otolarynBENOIT gology. A specialist in all aspects of pediatric otolaryngology, Benoit is one of only two pediatric otolaryngologists in the Rochester area. She lives in Fairport, N.Y. Jacqueline Rivera, BA 2003, started her own company, Pawfect Day Inc., in 2008 in New York City. The pet care service has been featured in a number of metro New York publications. Rivera resides in New York, N.Y. Timothy J. Altieri, BA 2004, is assistant state attorney with Florida’s Office of the State Attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit. Altieri lives in Naples, Fla. Sandra K.

Blackman, MLS 2004 & BS 1991, has been named senior librarian for the Orleans Correctional Facility in Albion, N.Y. She resides in Buffalo, N.Y. Jennifer Gurske-dePerio, MD 2005, has been appointed foot and ankle surgeon for UB Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. She resides in Buffalo, N.Y. Evan

M. Halstead, BA 2005 & BS 2005, is visiting instructor of physics and astronomy at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. Halstead lives in Clifton Park, N.Y. John Jakovenko, MBA 2005, is director of human resources for Morris, Manning & Martin. JAKOVENKO He resides in Smyrna, Ga. Nicole R.

Ozminkowski, BA 2005, is OZMINKOWSKI

an associate at Harris

Beach in the firm’s health care industry team. Before joining Harris Beach, Ozminkowski was counsel at Health Care Navigator LLC in White Plains, N.Y. She lives in Webster, N.Y. Brian D. Rubenstein, JD 2005, has been named a partner at the Florida civil defense law firm of Cole, Scott & Kissane P.A. He lives in Tampa, Fla. Kimberly

Marie Colaiacovo, JD 2006 & BA 2002, is an associate for Hiscock & Barclay LLP in the firm’s Buffalo, N.Y., office. She was also awarded the American Bar Association COLAIACOVO and the Bureau of National Affairs Award for Excellence in the study of labor and employment law. Colaiacovo resides in East Amherst, N.Y. Melissa A. Stolfi, EdM 2006, is student activities and leadership director in Immaculata University’s office of student development and engagement. She lives in Philadelphia, Pa. Jerilyn J. Hickey, EMBA 2007, is senior director of the Buffalo Chapter of the American Red Cross. Hickey resides in Amherst, N.Y.

Joshua E. * Dubs, JD 2008,

has been named an associate by Friedman & DUBS Ranzenhofer PC Attorneys in Akron, N.Y. Dubs resides in North Tonawanda, N.Y. Eileen M. Falkenberg, BA 2008, is vice president of sales and marketing for Interactive Defense in Alpharetta, Ga. Falkenberg FALKENBERG has also been named as executive director of marketing for the NobleHeroes Foundation, which provides financial and social aid to severely injured or disabled

first responders nationwide. She lives in Alpharetta. Patrick J. Hines, BA 2008, is an attorney handling torts, insurance and products liability for Hodgson HINES Russ. Hines focuses his practice on personal injury and business litigation matters, including toxic torts, bad-faith, employment and labor law. He resides in Penfield, N.Y. Daniel Leo,

BS 2008, has joined Testone, Marshall & Discenza LLP as a senior LEO accountant in the TRAC department. He lives in Cicero, N.Y. Brent M. Zimmerman, BA 2008, is owner and creative director at Lilypad Wedding and Events in Amherst, N.Y. Zimmerman lives in Buffalo, N.Y. Kristy Marie Goodman, BS 2009, has received her master’s of public health degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She resides in Wolcott, N.Y.


Matthew T. Brown, PMCRT 2010, is residence hall director for Alfred State College. Before joining Alfred State, he worked as a substitute teacher. Brown lives in Livonia, N.Y. Ryan F. Cupello, BFA 2010, appeared in the summer 2012 production of “My Fair Lady” mounted by the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. Cupello resides in Rochester, N.Y.

Steven D. Szubinski, EMBA 2010, * has been awarded a 2012 volunteer recognition award by Lupus Alliance of America, Upstate New York affiliate. He lives in East Amherst, N.Y. Rachel L. Vertino, BA 2010, has been accepted as an education volunteer for the Peace Corps. She is serving a two-year assignment to teach English in Indonesia, as well as to develop educational materials and facilitate afterschool clubs and programs. She resides in Indonesia. Michael J. Fuchs, EMBA 2011, has been appointed director of finance for Rich Product Corporation’s Global Supply Chain. The 15-year veteran of Rich’s will have chief responsibility for driving productivity and financial stability throughout the company’s global supply chain network. Fuchs resides in Clarence, N.Y. Alexa Rae Godwin, BA 2011, has been promoted to assistant media planner and buyer at Crowley Webb, an advertising agency in Buffalo, N.Y. Godwin, who began her tenGODWIN ure at Crowley Webb as an intern through UB, is responsible for planning and strategy for print plans and online media. She lives in Orchard Park, N.Y. Jay M. Jerose, BA 2011, has joined Testone, Marshall & Discenza LLP, as staff accountant JEROSE in the firm’s audit department. He lives in Liverpool, N.Y. Alexa Manuel, BA 2012, has been named sales and marketing coordinator for the PCA Group, a leading technology company serving both Western and Central New York. She resides in Williamsville, N.Y.







What did you think you would be doing after graduation? And what are you doing now? I had no clue. I changed majors from math to art to business to law school to marketing. A career counselor told me I should consider illustrating math books. I’m now leading global strategic planning for the largest client of one of the largest ad agency networks in the world. It’s a lot like illustrating math books.

the country, which is exactly what happened in November of 1996. Currently, I’m working as a reference librarian at a community college. It’s what I wanted to do since I took my first reference course. Reference has always been a fascinating field to work in, especially when I can work with faculty members at my college.

*Cindy Scott, MBA ’80 & BS ’77 Long Beach, Calif.

& BA ’94

I thought I would be a high school Spanish teacher in a local high school. However, I am an AmeriCorps member who works at the Center for Youth in Rochester, N.Y., where I am a youth employment specialist. I help youth with resumes, cover letters, mock interviews, professional attire, the jobsearch process and applying to college. CaTyra Polland, BA ’08 Rochester, N.Y.

I knew I would be going to grad school after UB, so that went according to plan. I thought for sure I would be working as a speech pathologist at a school in the Buffalo area until the day I retired with a nice Tier 4 pension! Well today, I am an adjunct instructor

48 UBTODAY Fall 2012

*Tom Trinchera, MLS ’96 at both a small and large private institute of higher education, having earned my second master’s in English as a Second Language. But everything then and now has prepared me for where I am. Linda Doherty Pratt, BA ’82 Penfield, N.Y.

I assumed I’d get a master’s degree, but hadn’t decided in what. I ended up with a degree in library science and went to work for myself as a researcher and writer some years later. I am married with three daughters and five grandchildren, and currently retired. Richard Rosichan, BA ’64 Miami Beach, Fla.

I knew no matter what, I would further my education and pursue graduate school, but I was indecisive as to which master’s program would complement my degree in sociology. Fast-forward to present: I am currently pursuing my MBA with a concentration in human resources management. I finally discovered my niche!

*Lynette Dzwielewski, BA ’11 Buffalo, N.Y.

After I graduated with an MLS from what was then the School of Information and Library Studies, I thought I’d be working a series of endless temp jobs! It was so hard to find a job as a reference librarian, but I was willing to move to another region of

Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

When I was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1951, I felt that I should do more for my country. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and with the advent of the “Space Race,” I worked on the development of solid-propellant rocket systems for defense and offense. The need was critical and helped to a small extent in the breakup of the Soviet Union. I’m now retired and have regular lunches with a PhD chemist friend to discuss topics like light theory and nuclear energy.

*Gordon Gibson, BA ’57 Buffalo, N.Y.

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UB Today fall 2012  
UB Today fall 2012  

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