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More Than 5,800 Students to Graduate from UB in May

Release Date: May 3, 2012

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 Buffalo, N.Y.

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 budget cuts.

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 Nanostructures.

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 Campus.

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 Arts.

-- 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 Arena.

-- School of Architecture and Planning, 5 p.m., May 11, Center for the Arts. John P. Eberhard, founding dean of the school, is the speaker.

-- School of Management (graduate), 5 p.m., May 11, Alumni Arena.

-- 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, will speak.

-- Educational Opportunity Center, 7 p.m., May 22, Slee Concert Hall.

Media Contact Information

Christine Vidal
Senior Editor, Online Editor
Tel: 716-645-4607
vidal@buffalo.edu