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UB to Hold Celebration of Academic Excellence on April 29

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: April 21, 2005

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo will honor members of the university community for outstanding achievement at a Celebration of Academic Excellence to be held April 29 in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

While incorporating some of the traditional elements of the university's annual convocation -- in particular, recognizing UB's outstanding faculty and staff -- the Celebration of Excellence will feature a special focus on undergraduate student excellence in research, scholarship and creative activities.

The fall convocation was not held this year due to the investiture of John B. Simpson as UB's 14th president

"This event celebrates the creative and scholarly achievements of our undergraduates," said Michael E. Ryan, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, and chair of the Celebration of Academic Excellence Committee. "The emphasis on undergraduate research is a reflection of one of the distinctive opportunities of an undergraduate education at UB."

The event includes an exhibition and recognition of undergraduate student projects across all disciplines, Ryan noted, as well as artistic performances by undergraduate students -- both of which set the celebration apart from the traditional fall convocation.

Approximately 100 poster presentations by undergraduate student investigators will be on display in the Center for the Arts Atrium, beginning at 1 p.m. Ryan said the students were chosen to present projects based on input from all of the deans, who were asked to identify and select a number of outstanding undergraduate research and creative projects from their respective areas. In addition, other groups that typically showcase undergraduate student projects also were asked to select and submit exceptional presentations, he said.

Simpson noted that the end of the academic year is an ideal time to "pause and reflect upon the principles and vision that define us as a university community."

"The past year has been one of considerable achievement for our faculty, staff and students as together we continue to advance in our campus-wide, strategic pursuit of academic excellence," he said.

"The faculty, staff and student achievements we look forward to celebrating on April 29 truly embody the essence of UB's commitment to academic leadership. Individually and collectively, their accomplishments represent the highest ideals to which our university community aspires, and they serve to inspire us all to pursue new heights of discovery, inquiry and creativity," he said.

Satish K. Tripathi, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, concurred. "This Celebration of Academic Excellence calls together every member of the UB community in affirmation of our commitment to academic leadership, and in recognition of the accomplishments and contributions that best exemplify this spirit of academic achievement and aspiration," he said.

"As UB continues to move forward with campus-wide efforts in strategically planning for our future as a leading public university of the 21st century, this is an especially fitting time for us to gather together in recognition of the vision, goals and commitments that unite us as an academic community.

"We anticipate that this event will reflect the strength and diversity of the talented and dedicated individuals who make our university strong, and we look forward to the active participation of faculty, staff and students from across the university," he said.

Those attending the celebration may view the student poster presentations from 1-2:30 p.m., then move into the Mainstage theater for a performance by the Contemporary Music Ensemble, featuring undergraduate and graduate students from the Department of Music. The ensemble will perform "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" by Lukas Foss, with text by Wallace Stevens.

The formal celebration ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. in the Mainstage with remarks by Simpson.

The event will recognize UB's newly named SUNY Distinguished Professors, the recipients of the Chancellor's Awards for Excellence, the new UB Distinguished Professors, and the recipients of Awards for Outstanding Contributions to International Education at UB, the Excellence in Teaching Awards for Graduate Teaching Assistants and the Outstanding Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Awards.

Charles H.V. Ebert, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geography, College of Arts and Sciences, will receive a pin recognizing 50 years of service to the university.

A reception will follow the ceremony.

More details about the event are available at http://www.buffalo.edu/calendar/celebration_of_excellence.