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UB Today

A publication of the University at Buffalo Alumni Association

Fall 2009





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Alumni News

The Main Event

UBAA launches new Web site

After extensive research that included input from alumni and friends, careful testing, and subtle tweaking, the new and improved UB alumni Web site is here! We hope you’ll be pleased with its much friendlier appearance and its focus on all things alumni, whether about joining the alumni association or simply accessing programs and events available to alumni. “It sounds obvious, but it’s all about our alumni,” says Barbara Byers, associate director for alumni communication. “We found the site had lost its focus, and now we’ve brought it back to where it should be: UB alumni.”

The new site ( is a significant contrast to the previous site, which was introduced in 2003. Due to its design, the old site—although replete with good information—made it difficult for alumni to wade through the less-than-relevant data to find the alumni-related information they were looking for. “Our key word in this redesign was ‘simplify,’” Byers explains.

In addition, the look and feel is very much updated with fresh colors and a sleeker appearance. It retains the UB brand but has its own alumni feel, reflecting the uniqueness of UB’s 200,000-plus alumni. Here are a few things you’ll want to check out:


  1. Home page main stories The largest image on the home page always will be about alumni, whether events, programs, services or accolades. It’s what we do best and what you are looking for most.
  2. Did you know? Here you’ll find interesting facts about the university, your fellow alumni or a sage quote from a UB speaker past or present.
  3. Membership Because membership in the UB Alumni Association is a really big deal, you will always find it in a prominent spot on the home page (you’ll also be able to join from any page within).
  4. University Messaging We’re all part of the UB family, and when you want to learn about the progress of UB 2020, become a UB Believer or hear what’s on President Simpson’s mind, look no further, we’ll take you to it.
  5. Social Networks Connecting with other UB alumni has never been easier through our social networking sites. Check them out and start networking!
  6. We hope you take a moment to check out the new alumni Web site, and be sure to click here for your chance to win an MP3 player! We welcome your comments and feedback at ubalumni@

  7. Events and news Want to attend an event or learn about UB’s latest research breakthrough? They’re only a click away.
  8. My profile Have you moved, been promoted or changed your e-mail address? You may update your alumni profile online any time, 24-7. It couldn’t be easier!
  9. Convenient navigation All alumni benefits, services, programs and even answers to your questions are contained in the site, and may be found quickly with our streamlined navigation bars, above and below.

Oozfest: 25 years of fun in the mud

Oozfest Photo by Steve Morse

Oozfest, the mud volleyball tournament sponsored by the University Student Alumni Board, celebrated its 25th anniversary on April 25. A picture-perfect day provided an ideal backdrop for 128 teams comprising 1,100 students and alumni to get down and dirty. Congratulations, Oozfest, and here’s mud in your eye!


And in chapter news...

Many alumni and friends were along for the ride as the UB Bulls football team enjoyed its most impressive football season since the university’s return to Division-IA in 1999. On December 5, 175 UB fans watched the Bulls defeat the nationally ranked and undefeated Ball State Cardinals at the MAC Championship game in Ford Field in Detroit.

To learn more about the benefits and how to join, visit the alumni web site.

Toronto preceded the Bulls’ International Bowl appearance versus the UConn Huskies. More than 200 squeezed into the Harbour Sports Grille January 2, the eve of the International Bowl. Among the guests were members of the 1958 Lambert Cup football team. On game day— January 3—1,175 UB supporters turned out for the pregame tailgate party and the game at Rogers Centre. Although the Bulls lost, 38-20, their first bowl appearance was a historic and memorable event.

The UB Bulls men’s basketball team also had a great season that landed them a share of the MAC East regular season title and a run to the MAC Conference Championship game. On February 21, 60 alumni attended a party in New York City to watch as the Bulls played the University of Vermont Catamounts in the ESPNU BracketBuster event.

On March 14, 180 fans attended a pregame party inside the Quicken Loans Arena before the MAC Championship basketball game in Cleveland.

When the Buffalo Sabres travel, alumni events follow. Pregame parties and Sabres game events were held in Dallas, Detroit, Phoenix, Chicago, Washington DC, and Atlanta from January through April of this year.

Hey That's Me Hey That's Me Top: Judy Steul, Chi Sham, PhD ’84 & MA ’80, and Bill Steul, MBA ’68, in Boston. Bottom: Family members Howard Reis, BS ’76, Allison Reis, BA ’05, and UB student Jaryd Reis at New York career event.

On March 5, Robert G. Shibley, director of the Urban Design Project in the School of Architecture and Planning, spoke to 45 alumni and guests in Boston about UB 2020. He also attended UB Day at the Capitol in Albany on February 23 with a UB delegation to advocate legislative support for UB 2020. A reception held there was attended by more than 100 UB supporters, including New York governor David A. Paterson.

Hey, that’s me! To see photos of other alumni and friends from recent chapter meetings, click here.

On February 11 in Orlando, where a chapter may soon be formed, 46 guests heard Warde Manuel, UB director of athletics, update them on the university’s athletics program during a reception at the Front Row Restaurant.

The executive committee of the Houston chapter held a networking reception April 23 in Hotel Zaza’s trendy restaurant and lounge, the Monarch. Two Career Conversations were held, one in New York City on January 6 and the other in Rochester on March 10. Alumni from a wide range of careers and academic backgrounds advised current students about their education and career paths.

UB By The Numbers

Helping Out*

Alumni donors in FY 2008
Total alumni gifts in dollars
Alumni Memtors
UB Amassadors
UB Believers to date
Alumni volunteers

You can access UB alumni social networks at http:// socialnetworks

*May 1 to August 31, 2008

Ways to make a difference

Volunteerism for UB offers varied opportunities

Dinner for 12 Strangers Dinner for 12 Strangers brings UB alumni and current students together for camaraderie, conversation and a home-cooked meal. On January 17, Joseph Abdallah, MBA ’07 & BA ’91 (center), and his wife, Izzy (arms on chair), hosted a group at their home. Also in photo (at far left) is Marc C. Adler, MA ’83, MBA ’82 & BA ’79, and his wife, Patty, MSW ’83 & BA ’81. If you live in Western New York and are interested in hosting a D12 during the spring 2010 semester, contact Patty Starr (seated in photo) in the alumni office.

When given the opportunity, UB alumni have always stepped up to the plate to help their fellow graduates or current students. You have so much to offer, and we have a variety of activities for you to choose from based on your expertise, location and availability. All you have to do is let us know what you’re interested in and when you wish to begin. Visit to sign up for our volunteer e-mail list, and we’ll be in touch.

In the meantime, have you considered becoming an Alumni Ambassador or a mentor? Alumni Ambassadors, who assist UB with student recruitment, provide the opportunity for alumni to interact with prospective students through a variety of different activities, such as letter writing, making phone calls, representing UB at college fairs and informational sessions, and hosting receptions at your workplace or in your home. Mentors advise students and new graduates on their careers, the world of work and how to develop the networking skills they'll need to succeed.

To learn more about these programs, visit

UBAA Member Spotlight

Why am I a member of the UB Alumni Association?

Mike Reilley Robert O. Davies,
PhD ’05

“Successful universities have viable and engaged alumni associations. I joined the UBAA not because of the benefits to me as a member, but because of what it does for our university. The UBAA never stops promoting our university, whether to legislators, prospective students, parents or donors—all while providing the support alumni need to network and create new opportunities. Most important, the UBAA is the catalyst that enables the university to advance and achieve the ambitious goals set forth by UB president John B. Simpson. My membership is a voice of support for our university, what it has done, what it is doing and what it will do for our society.”

Robert O. Davies, PhD ’05, La Grande, Oregon

Davies close-up

Member since 2003; career spent in higher education, including associate vice president for alumni relations at UB (2000–2006). Currently president of Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Oregon; also served as vice president for Indiana University of Pennsylvania; executive director for the Boise State Alumni Association; director of annual giving for the University of Nevada, Reno

Association Billboard

Speakers draw large crowds

Speakers draw large crowds

Cosponsored by the UB Alumni Association and the School of Management, UB Downtown continued to break attendance records with two sold-out events in the first quarter of 2009.

Nearly 250 attendees came out to hear UB football coach Turner Gill on February 3 and Nancy Nielsen, MD ’76, senior associate dean of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and president of the American Medical Association (AMA), on March 25. Both events took place at Chef’s Restaurant.

Gill spoke about his team’s success this past season, including winning the Mid-American Conference Championship and making its first-ever bowl appearance in the International Bowl in Toronto.

Nielsen held the audience’s rapt attention as she detailed her dual roles with the AMA and UB, the plight of the uninsured in the U.S., and her entry into medical school at the age of 29 with five children under 7. The Buffalo News covered her presentation and published a lengthy piece in its next-day editions. UB Downtown will continue with two presentations this fall; watch for details.

UB-M&T Bank employee alumni reception

M&T Bank is one of the largest employers of UB alumni. Approximately 450 UB graduates work for M&T in Western New York alone, with another 250 employed throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

It is partnerships with organizations like M&T Bank that make UB and our alumni valuable contributors to our community.”
Marsha Henderson, Vice President for External Affairs

To celebrate the UB-M&T connection, the UB Alumni Association hosted a reception for alumni and friends April 2 at M&T’s downtown Buffalo headquarters.

A variety of campus offices were represented, including the Center for the Arts, the Department of Athletics, and the School of Management and its Career Resource Center. Marsha Henderson, BA ’73, UB’s vice president for external affairs, provided an overview of UB 2020 for alumni. She described progress made so far, explaining how alumni can play a pivotal role in making UB 2020 a reality.

The event also helped to highlight MoneySKILL, a joint program of M&T and the School of Management. Made possible by the generous support of the M&T Charitable Foundation, MoneySKILL is an Internet curriculum that educates high school students about making informed financial decisions.

Celebrating 75 years

Celebrating 75 Years

The School of Social Work reached its milestone 75th anniversary in 2009, and celebrations have been happening throughout the year, showcasing the school’s impact on educating and training social work professionals.

Approximately 5,000 students have graduated since the school’s founding in 1934. They have gone on to work in a variety of settings, from private organizations to public institutions, impacting countless lives throughout Western New York, the United States and beyond.

Two premier events are helping to shine a light on 75 years of excellence in social work education. First, following four years of work and more than 60 interviews with alumni, faculty and community members from Buffalo to western Canada, a short DVD has been created to document the school’s evolution, titled Living Proof: Reflections on 75 Years of Social Work Education.

Second, the yearlong celebration culminates on October 23 with a gala honoring the contributions of Cornelia Hopkins Allen, School of Social Work professor from 1935 to 1966. Allen’s two sons, John Robin and David, will be present for the event.

Information about the gala and how to purchase copies of the documentary can be found at Proceeds from the sale of the DVD will benefit the School of Social Work Alumni Association Scholarship fund.

Three take on new posts

New leadership for alumni

Zielinski Zielinski Lafferty Friedman Friedman

The UB Alumni Association, a volunteer-led organization that provides oversight for the association, and the UB Office of Alumni Relations, which carries out the day-to-day duties of the association, have new leadership.

Larry Zielinski, MBA ’77 & BA ’75, of Elma, NY, has been elected to serve a two-year term as president of the UB Alumni Association.

Zielinski, president of the Buffalo General Hospital and the Visiting Nursing Association of Western New York, has been an active member of the UB Alumni Association board of directors since 2000. He has served on the development, programs and events, finance, audit, membership, and executive committees. In addition, for the past two years he was the first vice president.

Zielinski plans to focus on increasing dues-paying membership in the alumni association. “We’ve got an ambitious plan for member recruitment and retention,” he says. “With the support of my fellow board members and the entire alumni community, the goal is achievable and will make us stronger than ever.”

Timothy P. Lafferty, BS ’86, of East Aurora, NY, was elected first vice president and chair of the alumni association’s communication-marketing committee. Lafferty, who is slated to assume the presidency in 2011, also is a member of the UBAA strategic planning committee. Other alumni officers elected for a two-year term to the UB Alumni Association board of directors are listed at

In addition, Jay R. Friedman, EdM ’00 & BA ’86, of Amherst, NY, has been named associate vice president for alumni relations. Friedman served as interim director of the alumni office from January through May 2009. Before joining the alumni office, he worked for nearly 23 years in campus catering and the Office of Special Events.

In his new position, Friedman is responsible for alumni programs and activities, providing creative leadership, and overall managerial direction to the alumni office and the alumni association. His primary role is to build relationships that result in volunteer service and philanthropic support for the university, and to initiate activities that maximize alumni outreach and engagement through communications, programs and services.

“I look forward to serving UB’s 200,000-plus alumni and bringing added value to their UB degree,” says Friedman. “Our staff is poised to implement a brand new strategic plan, and I see a very bright future, with more opportunities to bring alumni together and to provide them with more programs, services and benefits than ever.”

Other officers elected for the 2009-11 term of the UB Alumni Association are Thomas A. Palmer, JD ’75 & MBA ’71, of East Amherst, NY, partner and vice chairman for Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel LLP, chair, financial resource management committee; Peter J. Grogan, BS ’81, of East Aurora, NY, senior vice president, Harold C. Brown & Co. LLC, chair, audit committee; Kathleen Kaney, MBA ’96 & BA ’94, of Charlotte, NC, vice president, Carolinas Health Care System, chair and chapter leader representative, chapter committee; Kimberly J. Pustulka, BS ’97, of Lakewood, OH, associate at Jones Day in Cleveland, Ohio, vice chair, chapter committee; Nancy M. Battaglia, MBA ’96 & BS ’89, of West Seneca, NY, director, human resources, University at Buffalo, chair, alumni programs and events committee; Carol A. Gloff, BS ’75, of Natick, MA, president, Carol Gloff & Associates, chair, development committee; Clifton M. Bergfeld, JD ’08 & BA ’01, of Buffalo, NY, associate, Watson Bennett Cooligan Johnson & Schechter LLP, chair, government relations committee; Alison Wagner, JD ’00, of Brooklyn, NY, associate counsel, NHL Media, National Hockey League, chair, membership committee; and Kristin E. M. Riemer, MA ’01, of Akron, NY, paraplanner, Ameriprise Financial, chair, volunteer relations committee.

At-large members elected are Joseph J. Abdallah, EMBA ’07 & BA ’91, of Buffalo, NY, executive director, Leadership Buffalo; Willie R. Evans, EdB ’60, of Buffalo, NY, special adviser; James M. Militello, BA ’79, of Gainesville, VA, sports broadcaster, Associated Press; and Mary Garlick Roll, MS ’88 & BS ’84, of Williamsville, NY, clinical science liaison, Celgene North East.

Newly elected members of the board of directors are Michael A. Anderson, BS ’97, of Hamburg, NY, associate vice president, sales manager, HSBC Center; Mariam Assefa, EdM ’79, of New York, NY, executive director & CEO, World Education Services Inc.; George A. Cleary, MA ’85 & BS ’84, of Orlando, FL, managing director, Platinum Sports Management LLC; Eric Evans, Attended, of Washington, DC, managing director, E-Squared Communications; Nicholas J. Fabozzi, BS ’87, of Williamsville, NY, partner, Tronconi Segarra & Associates; Paul R. Hammer, BA ’78, of Williamsville, NY, owner, Hammer Financial Group; Kenneth M. Jones, MA ’84, of Perry Hall, MD, vice president, finance and administration, Annie E. Casey Foundation; Ruth Kleinman, BA ’05, of Port Chester, NY, program director, Hillels of Westchester; Matthew E. LaSota, BA ’04, of Buffalo, NY, director, entertainment & promotions, Buffalo Bisons; Wayne M. Nelligan, Attended, of Cheektowaga, NY, chief software architect, the PCA Group Inc.; Melissa Palmucci, EdM ’04 & B.A. ’01, of Schenectady, NY, director, campus MBA programs, University at Albany; and Charles A. Smilinich, EdM ’07, EdM ’03 & BA ’01, of Tonawanda, NY, administrative assistant, math specialists, Williamsville Central School District.