4 UB Faculty Receive Plesur Excellence In Teaching Awards

By Mara McGinnis

Release Date: May 22, 1998

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Four University at Buffalo faculty members have received Milton Plesur Excellence in Teaching Awards from the UB Student Association recognizing their teaching excellence and commitment to students.

The former Student Association Excellence in Teaching Awards were renamed to honor Plesur, a nationally regarded author and scholar of popular culture and the U.S. presidents who died in 1987. Plesur was so highly regarded that in 1984 a group of his former students established a scholarship fund in his name.

Recipients of the Plesur award are student-nominated and selected.

o Jim Twombly, Ph.D., of Amherst, assistant professor of political science. Twombly has been teaching courses on American government and politics at the undergraduate and graduate levels at UB since 1990. He received an Outstanding Professor Award in 1995 and a Distinguished Service to Students Award in 1992, both from the Political Science Undergraduate Student Association. Twombly holds a bachelor's degree from Slippery Rock University and master's and doctoral degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

o Gary Burgess of the West Side of Buffalo, associate professor of music. Burgess teaches voice and opera in the Department of Music and directs the university's opera workshop. In 1995, he was honored by OPERA America for his long and distinguished service in the field of opera. Burgess has degrees in voice and voice pedagogy from Indiana University and the Curtis Institute of Music. He also has studied at Rome's Academy of St. Cecilia, the Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music.

o Debra T. Burhans of the West Side of Buffalo, doctoral candidate in the UB Department of Computer Science. Burhans teaches introductory computer-science classes at the undergraduate level. Burhans holds a master's degree from UB and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan. She was a UB Presidential Fellow from 1992-95, and from 1995-97 a

UB Increased Representation in Science Scholar as part of a partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation.

o Alex Ampadu of Buffalo, assistant professor of accounting in the UB School of Management. Ampadu has been teaching courses at the graduate and undergraduate level at UB since 1986. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Ghana and a master's degree in business administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Ampadu also is a certified public accountant, certified management accountant and certified internal auditor. He recently was appointed a member of the New York State Society of CPA's Minority Group Recruitment and Equal Opportunity Committee for 1998-99.