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UB Committee Honors Five Students for Promoting Diversity in Residence Halls

By Donna Longenecker

Release Date: April 30, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Committee for the Promotion of Respect for Diversity has honored five undergraduates for their efforts to promote respect for diversity through multicultural programming in the residence halls.

Jonathan Terrance of Rochester, a senior mechanical engineering major, took first-place honors for his "History of Red Jacket" program. The program featured a lecture/discussion with Richard W. Hill, Sr., about the life of the Native American man after whom UB's Red Jacket residence hall is named.

Emmanuel Fernandez of Brooklyn, a sophomore computer engineering major, received the second-place award for his "Latin Dance" program. Fernandez provided residents with lessons in the intricacies of traditional Latin-American dance steps. A feast of Latin-American cuisine prepared by Fernandez followed the dancing.

The third-place award went to sophomore Josh Solomon of Stony Brook for his "Open Drum Circle" program. Soloman organized an "orchestra of expression" that included a variety of drums and percussion instruments and was led by a board-certified music therapist. The program brought together people of different cultures, religions, ages, genders and backgrounds.

Junior Ivan Loh of the Republic of Singapore received honorable mention for his "Martial Arts Demonstration" program. Both on-campus and off-campus martial arts experts taught residents the history of martial arts and the related principles of non-violence. Loh served a home-cooked Chinese meal to round out the event.

JoAnn Speight of Lockport, a junior psychology major, received an honorable mention for organizing a trip to the Native American reservation in Cattaraugus County. The goal of the program was to dispel myths and stereotypes about the Native American way of life that had been expressed by both American and international students. This cultural exchange allowed residents to discover first-hand the similarities in the Native American culture that are common to all American families. Participants also discussed Native American history and some of the traditions that make the culture unique.