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UB Today

A publication of the University at Buffalo Alumni Association

Spring 2011




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Alumni News

The Main Event

It’s a win–win situation

Freshman Move–in Day Eddie Asbie, BA ’04, helps newly arriving UB students move their gear into the UB residence halls. Each year, alumni volunteers like Asbie help students with moving-in tasks like hauling boxes, providing directions, calming parental nerves and easing the transition for all concerned.

Freshman Move–In Day... Hump Day Hangouts … New Student Orientation … FAN (Food, Alumni, Networking) events, UB Mentors … what do these things have in common? All are ways for UB alumni to connect with current students in a volunteer capacity.

Career Conversations are one of the most rewarding activities for alumni and students alike. Presented by the UB Alumni Association in collaboration with UB Career Services, Career Conversations are conveniently held between semesters so students can attend while home on break. Participating alumni advise students about their own profession, resume–preparation, interviewing, internships and possible career opportunities in their organizations. Most important, students begin to develop valuable connections with UB alumni as they get ready to enter the work world.

“We began these events for the New York City chapter a number of years ago and, due to their success and popularity, we’ve expanded into Rochester, Albany and right here in Buffalo,” says Dan Brewster, BA ’07, program coordinator in the Office of Alumni Relations. “Not only do the students benefit from the wisdom of our alumni volunteers, but the alumni benefit as well from meeting and networking with each other.”

“We can see this synchronicity beginning to take shape.” —Larry Zielinski, MBA ’77 and BA ’75

FAN is a similar concept on a smaller scale. Rather than the 100–plus people who turn out for Career Conversations, FAN brings in 30 to 40 alumni and students; these events are typically held on campus or at a nearby venue. “Discussions at our FAN are also geared toward jobs and great connections are made, but in a slightly more casual way,” explains Nancy Battaglia, MBA ’96 & BS ’89, associate director for special programs in the Office of Alumni Relations.

Hump Day Hangouts, meanwhile, are held one Wednesday a month in the Student Union on the North Campus. Alumni volunteers mingle with students while they enjoy free pizza and soda, test students’ knowledge of UB trivia and award prizes, and generally help build awareness of the benefits the UBAA provides to both students and alumni. “I truly enjoy these events. It’s so great to hang out with these kids, answer their questions and talk about their futures,” says Paul Hammer, BA ’78, UBAA board member and chair of the programs and events committee. “It’s really inspiring to me, and at the same time I feel like I’m helping.”

Chapter News

And in chapter news...

Ron and Christina Shrewsbury at UB at Noon presentation Christina Shrewsbury, MM ’92, and her husband, Ron, at Dec. 2 UB at Noon presentation

The Albany chapter hosted 90 alumni, family and friends at its third annual “Day at the Races,” July 31, at Saratoga Race Course on opening day. The event proved to be the most successful yet, with the addition of 50 Western New Yorkers who traveled to Saratoga on a chartered coach. In football-related events, Bulls head football coach Jeff Quinn was introduced to alumni in Washington, D.C., and New York, N.Y., on back-to-back evening receptions May 20-21 at the National Press Club and Cornell Club, respectively. Nearly 80 attendees got to meet the coach. Blondies, a favorite spot for UB graduates in Manhattan, hosted 80 chicken wings-loving alumni and Wings Night, Nov. 4.

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

A barbecue tailgate saw a total of 110 alumni and guests gather for a combined event for Houston and Dallas chapters before the UB-Baylor game in Waco, Texas, on Sept. 11. The Sabres came to Dallas on Oct. 30, and 75 area alumni and friends attended the game, as well as pregame and postgame receptions, in the American Airlines Arena.

On Sept. 25, more than 85 people attended a party for Northeast alumni preceding the UB Bulls vs. UConn Huskies game in East Hartford and were welcomed by Warde Manuel, UB’s director of athletics.

On Oct. 16, an afternoon tailgate and football game between the Bulls and Northern Illinois drew a respectable crowd of UB fans, many of whom also attended the pregame event and match as the Sabres took on the Blackhawks in the United Center that evening.

UB alumni in the Denver area enjoyed a 45-minute fireworks spectacular, following a Colorado Rockies baseball game, on July 3. The evening kicked off with 75 alumni and friends attending a pregame buffet in Lodo’s Restaurant.

For more information on these and other volunteer opportunities, click here.

The San Francisco chapter held its initial event of the year June 16 at the City Club, when 35 attendees heard the latest details of UB’s comprehensive physical plan from Robert G. Shibley, campus architect and newly appointed dean of the School of Architecture and Planning.

The Baltimore chapter gathered 30 alumni and guests together Oct. 24 for a pregame indoor tailgate party followed by the Bills vs. Ravens game in M&T Bank Stadium.

On Oct. 20, 50 people watched the matchup between the Sabres and Atlanta Thrashers in Philips Arena after an informal pregame gathering at the Headliners Bar and Grill.

UBAA By The Numbers

Hump Day Hangouts for UB students

[Hump Day Hangouts since 2009]

"Not only do the students benefit from the wisdom of our alumni volunteers, but the alumni benefit as well from meeting and networking with each other.” —Dan Brewster, BA ’07

[students served]
[liters of pop served]
[slices of pizza served]
[Tim Horton's free–coffee coupons distributed]
[alumni volunteer partcipants]
[stress balls given away]

Association Billboard

Hump Day Hangouts a hit

UBSAA logo

How did the UB Student Alumni Association (UBSAA) become one of the largest student organizations on campus in only four months? Three words: Hump Day Hangouts.

Oozefest, the annual mud volleyball tournament, certainly makes UBSAA membership attractive. But the buzz about UBSAA really began with Hump Day Hangouts, which take place one Wednesday a month in the Student Union. “We started Hump Days as a way for the UB Alumni Association to roll out the welcome mat for students while they were still on campus, and let them know that we have a lot of programs for them,” says Patty Starr, assistant director for student programs in the Office of Alumni Relations.

Oozefest picture Oozefest

UBSAA facilitates interaction between students and alumni and sets the stage for the students’ connection to UB beyond graduation. “Our hope is that we’ll not only promote UB pride, spirit and tradition but also foster a lifelong connection and philanthropic support, starting with supporting our alumni association,” says Jay R. Friedman, EdM ’00 & BA ’86, associate vice president for alumni relations.

Today, a UBSAA leadership board of seven is in place. Plans for the near future include a bigger and better Oozefest (with the addition of 64 teams), a fall networking event for graduate students and other leadership and social programs with alumni.

More information about UBSAA, including opportunities for alumni engagement, is available at or

UB Downtown

Event topics draw crowds

Three UB Downtown lunch programs drew nearly 175 UB alumni and friends to Chef’s restaurant in downtown Buffalo between June and October.

Co-sponsored by the UB and School of Management alumni associations, the first event, held June 22, featured Bill Strauss, BA ’80, senior economist and economic adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago. He provided insights about the “Great Recession” of 2008-09 and its significant impact on the U.S. and world economies.

Click here to show your pride and join the UBAA.

On Sept. 30, Thomas Dee, EMBA ’96 & BS ’75, president of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC), shared a detailed presentation on plans for the inner and outer harbor areas, including land acquisitions, infrastructure improvements, water features and substantial mixed-use development.

The final event took place Oct. 27 and featured James Campbell, chair of the UB Department of Political Science, who shared his mid-term election prediction of a strong comeback by the GOP and Nancy Pelosi yielding the U.S. House speakership to the Republican Party in January.

UB Downtown’s sister program, UB at Noon, was held in the Center for Tomorrow on Dec. 2. Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, EMBA ’07, president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau, shared details of Buffalo’s new branding campaign, plans for capitalizing on the region’s assets and a viewing of “Buffalo, New York: This Place Matters”, the bureau’s video that has gone viral on YouTube.

Office of Alumni Relations

New alumni staff member

Erin Lawless Lawless

Erin Lawless has joined the UB Office of Alumni Relations as associate director for affiliate programs. Her primary focus is to engage alumni in meaningful and beneficial relationships with UB by designing and implementing programs, activities and events. A graduate of Canisius College, Lawless earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2000 and a master of science degree in college student personnel administration in 2004.


School–Based News

Go Bulls!

School of Engineering pregame tailgate party EAA board member Rick Rink, BS ’80, (left), chaired the event, and Joe Frandina, BS ’78, (right), EAA vice president, was head chef.

Nearly 250 engineering school alumni, students, faculty, staff, family and friends attended a pregame tailgate party Sept. 18. The event preceded the UB Bulls-Central Florida football game in UB Stadium and was hosted by the Engineering Alumni Association (EAA).

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Govindaraju recognized

Venugopal Govindaraju Award-winning UB professor Venugopal Govindaraju, PhD ’92 & MS ’88, works with computer science and engineering students.

Awards are nothing new for Venugopal Govindaraju, PhD ’92 & MS ’88, but 2010 was a particularly stellar year for the UB professor. Founding director of the Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors (CUBS) and the associate director of the Center of Excellence for Document Analysis and Recognition (CEDAR), Govindaraju is a specialist in pattern recognition.

He also is a UB Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, and in 2010 was named a SUNY Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank in the SUNY system. For his pioneering contributions to biometric systems, Govindaraju was one of just five technologists in the world to receive a 2010 Computer Society Technical Achievement Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, an organization of which he is a fellow. For the third consecutive year, he was selected for the prestigious 2010 HP Labs Innovation Research program, which is designed to encourage breakthrough, collaborative research between HP and the academic community.

School of Nursing

Celebrating the 75th

 UB School of Nursing 75th anniversary Douglas Levere, BA ’89

UB’s School of Nursing is marking its 75th anniversary with a year-long celebration that includes a number of guest speakers and events that began last fall and continue through the spring. The celebratory events—from presentations by pioneering nurse educators to recognition of alumni who have served in the armed forces—reflect the school’s rich legacy of service, education and research.

To commemorate many of the school’s outstanding milestones, accomplishments and individuals, Janice Cooke Feigenbaum, clinical nursing professor, created seven posters with photos and facts that illustrate the school’s journey—from its founding on High Street in Buffalo as part of the then-private University of Buffalo to its current, state-of-the-art home on UB’s South Campus.

The anniversary festivities will culminate with a cocktail reception May 25 at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. To learn more about this event, call Sally Sams at (716) 829-3209.

School of Nursing

Director or Nursing Practice program

A new program in the School of Nursing will prepare graduates for leadership roles, provide enhanced knowledge for improving nursing care and patient outcomes, establish parity with other clinical practice health professions, and provide a graduate nursing degree for those interested in advanced-practice knowledge but who do not want the research focus of a PhD.

Generally considered the wave of the future in nursing, the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program, approved in November by the New York State Education Department, will begin being offered this summer to students with a bachelor of science degree in nursing, and in fall 2011 to advanced-practice nurses who have a master’s degree. The innovative program, which replaces all current master’s degree programs within the School of Nursing, combines DNP and PhD students in the first year of courses. For more information, visit

UBAA Member Spotlight

Why did you join the UBAA?

Alva Randall Royston Alva Randall Royston Sr., BS ’73 Cutler Bay, Fla.

Why did you join UBAA? To stay in touch with other UB alumni and what’s happening at the university. I think UB is the great untold education story of Western New York; in fact, for the entire region. The undergraduate education I received in the very early 1970s rivals the MBA training of many of the individuals I have interacted with and hired in recent years. I want to be a part of telling and spreading that story.

Royston close–up

Financial consultant since 1976, began his career with Merrill Lynch, and also served as both sales manager and branch manager for Smith Barney. Launched his own firm, A. RANDALL Financial in 2009 and currently serves as president.

Fond UB memories

Comradeship with his roommates, especially the “famous spaghetti dinner night,” when each of the five cooks added salt to the spaghetti. “We crossed the great Sahara desert that evening!”

UB Travel

Cradle of History Cruise: From Istanbul to Athens

Sept. 18–Oct. 1


UB alumni will board the Marina, Oceania Cruises’ newest ship, to explore historical sites and landmarks of ancient civilizations.

Beginning in Istanbul, the magnificent city that straddles two continents, the ship sails to Volos, Greece, then Kusadasi, Turkey, where the famed Library of Celsus still stands at the ruins of Ephesus; then, onward to the fascinating Greek port of Rhodes. Explore the ancient riches of Cyprus in Limassol before cruising to historic Israel and the picturesque cities of Jerusalem, a holy city for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike; and Haifa, home to the breathtaking Bahai Gardens. Turn back the sands of time in Egypt—stopping in Cairo and Alexandria—a land of ancient temples and enduring architecture, where the Sphinx stands by the Giza pyramids at the edge of the sweeping Sahara. Enjoy the Greek island of Crete, where a panorama of lovely windmills and ancient Minoan and Byzantine villages awaits, before concluding your voyage in the ancient city of Athens.

For more information, including cost and travel dates, click here. Bon voyage!

From $4,499 per person double occupancy (including airfare), the Marina provides a casual yet luxuriously elegant ambiance, replete with impressive services and amenities. With such spacious accommodations, unrivaled attention to detail, 10 dining venues and a refined staff who deliver unparalleled service, the Marina is the perfect example of what a midsize vessel should be.

UB in the News

Should mass shooting videos be public?

11/17/2017 NPR?s The Takeaway talks to Matthew Grizzard , assistant professor of communication, about the debate over whether the public should have access to footage of mass shootings.

Are face scans leading to bad science?

11/14/2017 An article in The Atlantic about artificial intelligence and the potential to use facial scans to infer personality traits and behaviors interviews Mark Frank , professor of communication, about this controversial area of research.

Adversity increases our resilience

11/13/2017 An article in The Wall Street Journal about resilience and what it takes to overcome a difficult childhood quotes Mark Seery , associate professor of psychology.

More of UB in the News