BUFFALO, N.Y. -- More than 5,800 students are candidates to
receive degrees during the University at Buffalo's 166th general
commencement and 14 other commencement ceremonies that will be held
through May 22.
UB President Satish K. Tripathi will deliver remarks at the
general commencement ceremony, which will take place at 10 a.m. May
13 in Alumni Arena on the UB North Campus. Brittany A. Sager of
Syracuse, N.Y., is the student speaker. Vocalists are Emily E.
Croft and Kara R. Tripoli, both music theatre majors.
Forty-three students will receive special recognition during the
ceremony. Mahima Gupta of Delhi, India, will receive the Student
Affairs Senior Leadership Award.
Students receiving the State University of New York Chancellor's
Award for Student Excellence are Kristina N. Blank of Craryville,
N.Y.; Mara C. Deckard of East Amherst, N.Y.; Allison P. Funk of
Voorheesville, N.Y.; Emily Gargiulo of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Emily Gibson
of Kings Park, N.Y.; Taylor M. Hiller of Channahon, Ill.; Bridget
K. Hughes of Williamsville, N.Y.; Andrew D.G. Hunt of Fairport,
N.Y.; Lauren M. Little of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Jasmine L. May
of Sanborn, N.Y.; Madeline T. Morcelle of East Amherst, N.Y.;
Shannon E. O'Leary of Rochester, N.Y.; Mary K. Scheda of Brockport,
N.Y.; Thawab Shibly of Amherst, N.Y.; and Shante L. White of
Graduates receiving the Outstanding Senior Award from the
College of Arts and Sciences are Lauren M. Little of Boulder,
Colo., Anthropology; Karina Galinskaya of Uzhhorod, Ukraine, Asian
Studies; D. Jamieson Brady of Waterville, N.Y., Biological
Sciences; Nicole E. Kendel of Massillon, Ohio, Chemistry; Christina
N. Caucci of Hancock, N.Y., Classics; Emily Gibson of Kings Park,
N.Y., Communication; Jenna L. Goldsmith of Binghamton, N.Y.,
Communicative Disorders and Sciences; Kevin M. Foltmer of Carmel,
N.Y., Economics; Sonia F. Hassan of Ontario, N.Y., English; Joseph
J. Tamborski of Northport, N.Y., Environmental Geosciences; Linda
Schmidt of Cowlesville, N.Y., Geography; Rachel L. Kolenko of
Getzville, N.Y., Geology; Robert E. Murphy of Elma, N.Y., History;
Matthew C. Goehrig of Buffalo, N.Y., Linguistics; John P. Susice of
Lockport, N.Y., Mathematics; Catherine J. Boatman of Williamsville,
N.Y., Media Study; Lisa K. Waltzer of Rochester, N.Y., Music;
Seokman Kang of Jinju, South Korea, Philosophy; Katherine A. Spoth
of Clarence Center, N.Y., Physics; Michael D. Rudroff of Tonawanda,
N.Y., Political Science; Bryan Sim of Thomson Hill, Singapore,
Psychology; Ute K. Inselmann of Schneverdingen, Germany, Romance
Languages and Literatures; Samantha J. Barone of Fairport, N.Y.,
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary; Stacy C. Katzman of Bayside,
N.Y., Sociology; Carly M. Rehac of Cheektowaga, N.Y., Special
Major; Taylor M. Hiller of Channahon, Ill., Theatre and Dance;
Kayla L. Williams of East Amherst, N.Y., Transnational Studies; and
Caitlin R. McLeod of East Amherst, N.Y., Visual Studies.
During the ceremony, Interim University at Buffalo Provost Bruce
McCombe and Angelo Fatta, chairman of the UB Foundation's board of
directors, will receive the UB President's Medal in recognition of
extraordinary service to the university.
State University of New York honorary doctorates will be
presented to Paula Allen-Meares, BS '69, chancellor of the
University of Illinois at Chicago, and Ronald H. Coase, Nobel
laureate and Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus of Economics at
the University of Chicago Law School.
The UB President's Medal, first presented in 1990, recognizes
"outstanding scholarly or artistic achievements, humanitarian acts,
contributions of time or treasure, exemplary leadership or any
other major contribution to the development of the University at
Buffalo and the quality of life in the UB community."
Since joining the UB faculty in 1982, McCombe has served the
university in numerous academic and administrative leadership
roles. Appointed interim provost and executive vice president for
academic affairs on Jan. 1, he holds the rank of SUNY Distinguished
Professor of Physics, and has served as associate chair and chair
of the physics department. He was director of the Center for
Advanced Photonic and Electronic Materials, as well as the Center
for Spin Effects and Quantum Information in Nanostructures. He also
has served as associate dean for research and sponsored programs in
the College of Arts and Sciences, vice provost for graduate
education and dean of the Graduate School, and dean of the College
of Arts and Sciences.
As dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2006-11, he
oversaw substantial growth in the college's faculty and increased
fundraising activity that served to strengthen the teaching and
research activities of the college during a time of unprecedented
After stepping down as dean to focus on scholarship, he agreed
to serve as interim provost during a critical period of leadership
transition for the university.
An internationally recognized scholar in his field, and a gifted
and dedicated teacher, McCombe has remained active in research,
scholarship and mentorship, even while holding numerous
administrative posts. A fellow of the American Physical Society, he
is a former editor of Physica E: Low Dimensional Systems and
A longtime university volunteer and dedicated community leader,
Fatta has played a vital role in helping to advance UB's mission
and strengthen its ties with its broader communities. He was
appointed a trustee of the UB Foundation in 2004 and named chairman
of the board in 2008.
Fatta has been a catalyst and champion for the region's
innovation economy. He served on the advisory board for UB's Office
of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach; as a
director for the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute; and
was instrumental in the formation of the Buffalo Niagara Medical
From 2001-06, he served as president of BuffLink Inc., a
not-for-profit initiative he co-founded to promote regional
development in the life sciences. Previously, he was owner and
chief executive officer of ACTS Testing Labs, a consumer-products
testing and consulting service with offices in Buffalo, Hong Kong
and other international locations. He currently serves as CEO of
ANSECO Group, a global leader in the field of product safety.
A member of UB's 2010 presidential search committee, Fatta has
served as a valued advisor to Tripathi and his predecessor, John B.
Simpson, and has been integral to a multitude of regional arts,
cultural and educational initiatives. A longtime chair of the
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra board of directors, he currently is
its treasurer. An officer of The Fatta Foundation, a charitable
foundation supporting child welfare and development, Fatta also has
served the community through his leadership and volunteer service
with many other organizations, including Canisius College, Cradle
Beach Camp and the Buffalo Transportation Museum.
In addition to the general commencement ceremony, UB will hold
14 other commencement ceremonies:
-- Biomedical Sciences (graduate and undergraduate), 6 p.m., May
10, Center for the Arts. James H. Wyche, professor of chemistry at
Howard University, will speak.
-- Graduate School of Education, 9 a.m., May 11, Center for the
-- College of Arts and Sciences (graduate), 1 p.m., May 11,
Center for the Arts.
-- School of Management (undergraduate), 1 p.m., May 11, Alumni
-- School of Architecture and Planning, 5 p.m., May 11, Center
for the Arts. John P. Eberhard, founding dean of the school, is the
-- School of Management (graduate), 5 p.m., May 11, Alumni
-- School of Nursing, 9 a.m., May 12, Alumni Arena.
-- School of Social Work, 9 a.m., May 12, Center for the Arts.
Nancy A. Humphreys, professor of policy practice at the University
of Connecticut School of Social Work, will speak.
-- School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 1 p.m., May 12,
Alumni Arena. James P. Smist, BS '80 in chemical engineering,
president of Dean and Company, and recipient of the SEAS Dean's
Award, will speak.
-- School of Public Health and Health Professions, 1 p.m., May
12, Center for the Arts. Nirav R. Shah, New York State commissioner
of health, will speak.
-- School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 1 p.m., May
12, Slee Concert Hall.
-- School of Dental Medicine, 5 p.m., May 12, Center for the
Arts. William R. Calnon, president of the American Dental
Association, is the speaker.
-- Law School, 3 p.m., May 19, Center for the Arts. Martha
Minow, dean, and Jeremiah Smith Jr., professor, Harvard Law School,
-- Educational Opportunity Center, 7 p.m., May 22, Slee Concert