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UB Today

A publication of the University at Buffalo Alumni Association

Spring 2010





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Open wide photo Stefan Ruhl, a faculty member in the Department of Oral Biology, School of Dental Medicine, obtains saliva, blood and dental plaque samples from Kwizera, a 200-plus-pound female gorilla at the Buffalo Zoo who was receiving a physical examination before heading to the Memphis Zoo for breeding. The specimens will help advance Ruhl’s research into human evolution and how and why the types of bacteria living inside the oral cavity of primates differ from the types living inside humans. Photo by: Douglas Levere, BA '89

University News

Public Health and Health Professions earns accreditation

The School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP) has earned full accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health for five years, the maximum for an initial accreditation.

Accreditation was the culmination of a rigorous multi-year peer–review process. UB’s SPHHP now is one of only 43 schools in the U.S. to hold membership in the Association of Schools of Public Health.

“When the school was founded in 2003, the vision was to become accredited and join the first rank of public health schools in the country,” says Lynn T. Kozlowski, dean of SPHHP. “I’m proud that we have accomplished this on our first effort.

“We have a significant shortage of public health workers,” continues Kozlowski, “and this shortage challenges us in Western New York, in the state, in the nation and in the world. We will need more than 250,000 public health workers by 2020 to meet the world’s health care needs—a challenge that is compounded by the impending retirement of nearly one-fourth of the current public health workforce. SPHHP now can ramp up its training of public health workers and help deal with this shortage.”

University News

Residence hall echoes campus master plan

A new residence hall that embodies the principles of UB’s comprehensive physical plan, “Building UB,” is under construction on the North Campus. Read about it here.

Residence hall echoes campus master plan Artist’s rendering of William R. Greiner Hall.

The 600-unit William R. Greiner Hall for sophomores will feature a “learning landscapes” concept designed to enhance learning by blending residential, academic and recreational areas.

“The first floor has a wide variety of settings for classroom spaces for study groups and for individual study, and features a 2,000-square-foot Market Café with seating for 50 people,” according to Joseph J. Krakowiak, EdM ’73, director of University Residence Halls and Apartments. “Casual study will be enhanced through the use of technology, lighting and flexible spaces.”

The 198,500-square-foot residence is expected to be ready for occupancy for the fall 2011 semester. The $57 million project is being funded by a partnership between the UB Foundation and the UB Alumni Association.

William R. Greiner Hall will include features that qualify it for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold standard.

University News

UB welcomes new dental school dean

Michael Glick, professor of oral medicine and associate dean for oral and medical sciences at the School of Osteopathic Medicine at A. T. Still University in Arizona and editor of The Journal of the American Dental Association, has been named dean of the UB School of Dental Medicine.

Michael Glick Glick

Known for his innovative, medicine–oriented approach to dental care, Glick is a proponent of having dental students think of themselves as health care professionals first, and dentists second. His research interests are focused primarily on the care of the medically complex dental patient, and he has published extensively and lectured worldwide on this topic.

Glick succeeds Richard Buchanan, who in 2008 announced plans to step down as dean after seven years in the post to devote more time to national issues in dental education.

University News

Scholarships will retain UB students in WNY

The Prentice Family Foundation has given more than $380,000 to help UB students graduate and establish their careers in the Buffalo Niagara region.

The Prentice Family Foundation’s Western New York Prosperity Scholarship Program is designed to help build a highly educated, innovative and experienced professional workforce prepared to contribute to the economic growth and sustainability of the area. These scholarships will enable qualified students in the UB schools of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Management to become better acquainted with career possibilities in the region.

“Through this gift, my family hopes to make a multi-generational impact on Western New York, helping to transform it into a 21st-century knowledge economy,” says Bryant H. Prentice III, president of the Prentice Family Foundation.


UB People

White House honors for engineering professor

Takeuchi Takeuchi

Esther S. Takeuchi, Greatbatch Professor in Power Sources Research and SUNY Distinguished Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation—the highest honor awarded in the U.S. for technological achievement—from President Barack Obama.

Takeuchi, a UB faculty member since 2007, was the first UB professor to receive this honor. The National Medal of Technology and Innovation recognizes individuals or companies for outstanding contributions to the promotion of technology for the improvement of the economic, environmental or social well-being of the United States.

Academic Insight

139 Howell Street

Where others saw blight, Michael-John Bailie, MArch ’09 & BA ’07, Paul Dudkowski, MArch ’09 & BA ’07, Ernest Ng, MArch ’09, and Dan Stripp, MArch ’09 & BA ’07, saw opportunity. In October 2008, the four friends, then entering their final year in UB’s architecture master’s program, purchased crumbling 139 Howell St. in Buffalo—their thesis project—for $6,500 at a public auction. They gutted the home and began a renovation that would transform the derelict property into a neighborhood gem. Ultimately, they put $36,000 into renovations, with donations of some materials.

139 Howell Street Architecture students Bailie and Dudkowski turned a master’s thesis into a masterpiece. Photo by: Douglas Levere, BA '89

The finished product, “Quad Space,” is a work of art and a tribute to minimalist living. At less than 700 square feet, the dwelling includes a bathroom with a claw-foot tub, a kitchenette, a parlor and four bedrooms, one of which doubles as a lounge. Each of the private quarters consists largely of a giant “cube,” a 7-by-7-by-7.5 foot space constructed using a sleek, warm-toned wood. The boxes protrude partway from the house’s original brick exterior, giving the structure a whimsical quality.

“These students have a sophisticated architectural sensibility,” says Mehrdad Hadighi, associate professor and chair of the architecture department, and a Quad Space thesis advisor. “It usually takes people a good 10 to 15 years after school and being in practice to be able to figure these things out.”

Click here to read more.

Academic Insight

Reaching out to Haiti

The powerful aftershock on Jan. 20 that hit the already devastated city of Port-au-Prince only intensified Haiti’s need for French–speaking structural engineers who could immediately determine which of the structures left standing still posed a threat to human safety.

Reaching out to Haiti André Filiatrault (in white hat) at Haitian orphanage.

André Filiatrault, UB professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering and director of the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER), headquartered at UB, led one of the first such missions to address this critical need. He was part of a team of 10 architects and engineers from U.S. educational institutions and private engineering firms.

“The sole purpose of these missions is humanitarian, to ensure the safety and welfare of Haitian citizens,” Filiatrault says. “We are taking the knowledge of earthquake engineers at MCEER, UB and in the engineering profession at large and applying it at a time when it is most urgently needed.”

Breaking Research

MS research probes new theory on cause

UB neurologists are conducting a research study that could overturn the prevailing wisdom on the cause of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Breaking Research Zivadinov Photo by: Douglas Levere, BA '89

The researchers will test the possibility that the symptoms of MS result from the narrowing of the primary veins outside the skull, a condition called “chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency,” or CCSVI.

This complex vascular condition restricts the normal outflow of blood from the brain, resulting in brain tissue injury and degeneration of neurons. Discovered by Paolo Zamboni at the University of Ferrara in Italy, CCSVI was found to increase the risk of developing MS by 43-fold.

Preliminary findings from a small pilot study at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) headed by Robert Zivadinov, UB associate professor of neurology, director of the BNAC and principal investigator, and at the universities of Ferrara and Bologna, Italy, directed by Zamboni and Fabrizio Salvi, respectively, showed that abnormalities affecting predominant pathways that return venous blood from the brain to the heart occurred more frequently in MS patients than in controls.

The UB/BNAC study, involving 1,600 adults and 100 children—1,100 patients who were diagnosed with possible or definite MS, 300 age-and-sex matched normal controls, and 300 patients with other autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases—will determine if the pilot-study findings can be replicated. All participants will receive Doppler ultrasound scans of the head and neck, while MS participants also will undergo MRI brain scans. Results from the first 500 participants were expected to be released in February 2010. MS patients from across the U.S. are eligible to participate in the study.

Click here for more details on the study.

By the numbers

School of Management Rankings

[Forbes cites MBA program as one of the best in the U.S. for return on investment]
[Business Week ranks UB MBA in the top five for fastest return on investment]
[Ranking in Northeast by Business Week]
[The Wall Street Journal national ranking for schools with strong regional recruiting bases]
[National ranking by Business Week]

Speaking of

Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Distinguished Speakers Series, Alumni Arena, Oct. 7, 2009

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair

“Can we actually find within the soul of humankind the ability to live with each other, to exist with each other peacefully? To respect each other, no matter what our faith, our culture, our civilization? That’s the biggest challenge that we have.”

For 2009-2010 Distinguished Speakers Series ticket information, go to

Flashback 1960

Schussmeisters hits the slopes

Schussmeisters hits the slopes Schussmeisters’ officers and staff, ca. 1977. Photo: UB Archives

Snow in the forecast? That’s good news for members of the Schussmeisters Ski Club Inc., an organization founded in 1960 by a group of UB students who embraced all aspects of skiing. These students established connections with Western New York ski areas, local ski shops and bus companies in an effort to bring affordable skiing to the UB community. During the 1960s, the club invited ski teams from other colleges and universities to ski meets that featured slalom, downhill and cross–country races, as well as ski jumping events.

The Schussmeisters became a student-run, non-profit corporation in 1972, offering memberships to UB students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of their immediate families. From December through March, club members can enjoy regularly scheduled outings to local ski areas, including Holiday Valley, Kissing Bridge, Cockaigne and Peek’n Peak.

Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, Schussmeisters is one of the largest and most active clubs at UB. With more than 2,100 members, the group ranks as one of the largest ski clubs in the Eastern United States. In past years, Schussmeisters has sponsored many out-of-town trips. The group’s 2009-10 travel offerings include trips to Park City, Utah, and Killington, Vt., as well as a spring break sojourn in Cancún, Mexico.

Schussmeisters is run by eight undergraduate students, a faculty/staff adviser and a full-time office manager. Kathy Witt, the club’s office manager for the past 23 years, describes the student-run corporation as “excellent preparation for getting a job.” Students who start out as volunteers can later apply for such positions as bus captain, head bus captain and finally, director. Many students enjoy their Schussmeisters experience so much that they keep in touch with the club long after graduation.

The Schussmeisters will mark its 50th anniversary with a party on July 24, 2010 at Kissing Bridge Ski Resort. The party, featuring music, food, a cash bar and prizes, is open to the public and everyone is invited to celebrate with the Schussmeisters, a UB club for all seasons!

Kathleen Quinlivan, University Libraries



White House Honors

See the video of Esther Takeuchi's White House recognition

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139 Howell Street

139 Howell Street

Take a walk through “Quad Space”

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