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UB Today

A publication of the University at Buffalo Alumni Association

Fall 2012





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Alumni News

The Main Event

Network fuels job search

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What 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 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.

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:

UB Connect: The online community for alumni contains a comprehensive alumni directory. Start searching today! “(The URL for UB Connect has changed. It may now be found at

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.

To get started building your network, visit the alumni connections tab at

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.

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.

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?

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

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.”

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.

International Alumni living in Istanbul Shannon Mullen, BFA ’10, and Rebecca Kelley, BA ’03, cochair of the San Diego chapter.

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

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.

Click here to see photos of other alumni and friends from recent chapter events.

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 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.

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

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 following 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.

East Coast and West Coast: two new alumni chapters

International Alumni living in IstanbulLauren Clifford, BS ’05; Peter Hersh, JD ’78 & BA ’73, with his wife, Karen Buell-Hersch.

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.

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

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.

Student Alumni Association

2012 Oozefest: Can You Dig It?

International Alumni living in IstanbulLauren Clifford, BS ’05; Peter Hersh, JD ’78 & BA ’73, with his wife, Karen Buell- Hersch.

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.

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.

UB at Noon for Distinguished Alumni

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

Barbara and Jack Davis Hall Opening.

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.

UBAA By The Numbers

Impact of e-communications

Do we have your email address? Find out by viewing your profile at

Alumni website visits
Alumni database emai addresses
Alumni events with online registration
Recent grads choosing to keep address for life


UBAA Member Spotlight

Why did you join the UBAA?

image Jim Militello, BA ’79 Gainsville, Va.

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.

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.

UBAA Travel

Tripathi Tour hits halfway mark

story imageIn 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.

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

UBAA Travel

Where do you want to go today?

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



Feb. 23-March 7, 2013

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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

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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.


Aug. 28-Sept. 12, 2013

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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 magnificent lakes in Lucerne and Berne. Witness the imposing Matterhorn and trek through Rosenlaui 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

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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

For more details on this and other UB alumni trips, click here

Nov. 19-Dec. 13, 2013

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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.

UB in the News

How Donald Trump ruined the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum for actual Civil Rights leaders

12/14/2017 An article in Newsweek about the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History, and the controversy over plans by President Trump to attend the ceremony, interviews Victoria Wolcott, professor and chair of history, who said Trump?s presence is problematic given his inability to denounce white supremacists in the wake of Charlottesville.

New downtown home for Jacobs School opens

12/12/2017 The Buffalo News quoted UB President Satish K. Tripathi on the opening of the new Jacobs School building. "The world-class design was a sight to behold. But to gaze upon the magnificent finished product is to fully appreciate it for the breathtaking building it is."

Gum infections may increase risk for digestive tract sores

12/8/2017 A Reuters article about a study that showed that gum infections may increase people?s risk for sores in the digestive tract that can lead to stomach cancer quotes Jean Wactawski-Wende , dean of the School of Public Health and Health Professions.

More of UB in the News