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UB celebrates student research, successes

Recipients of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence pose for a photo at the Celebration of Student Academic Excellence. Photo: Joe Cascio

By MICHAEL ANDREI

Published April 8, 2016

“Individually, the students we honor today embody our university’s academic mission — to make the world a better place through our ideas, our innovations and our engagement.”
President Satish K. Tripathi

UB students, faculty and administrators gathered on Thursday to recognize outstanding student scholarly, research and creative achievements at the Celebration of Student Academic Excellence.

The 12th annual event, held in the Center for the Arts, North Campus, began with a poster presentation from 376 undergraduate students. The display showcased creativity, scholarship and wide-ranging research in projects nominated by deans and program coordinators from across UB’s academic disciplines. Students were also present to discuss and answer questions about their work.

This year for the first time, displays of selected undergraduate student projects that extended beyond a single discipline or major were linked together, as interdisciplinary studies, under intersecting areas of research.

The array of research topics included developing non-profit/public partnerships to offer disadvantaged students opportunities for skills-based, interdisciplinary learning; identifying geologic causes underlying thinning and thickening of the Greenland Ice Sheet; developing enhanced drug delivery for cancer treatment; evaluating the effect of oil price variability on biofuel production; and understanding implications of climate change on mosquito-borne illnesses to help prevent future epidemics.

The celebration also featured a theatrical performance, “Three Hamlets in Six Minutes or Less,” in celebration of “Buffalo Bard 2016: 400 Years Since Shakespeare.” The performance was directed by Stephen Wisker, a doctoral candidate in theatre, and performed by theatre students Katherine L. Edmonds and Jacqueline R. Libby, and musical theatre student Leah P. Berst.       

In welcoming remarks, President Satish K. Tripathi told those gathered for the ceremonies that UB students are making significant achievements and garnering national and international acclaim for their scholarship and creative expression.

“It is deeply rewarding to see our students taking full advantage of the opportunities and experiences available to them at UB,” Tripathi said. “Individually, the students we honor today embody our university’s academic mission — to make the world a better place through our ideas, our innovations and our engagement.”

Charles F. Zukoski, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said members of the UB community “strive for academic excellence, to have the greatest impact and excel in everything we do.

“We are passionate about inspiring our students, seeking understanding, approaching the most important questions and issues of our time, and improving the human condition,” Zukoski said.

“You, the UB students we recognize today, exemplify the unique excellence of our university and of a UB education. Your success has inspired us to provide all of our students with a transformative education that includes integrative learning opportunities within and beyond the classroom.”

The celebration, hosted by Tripathi and Zukoski together with Andrew M. Stott, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, recognized students who were nominated for, or were awarded national, SUNY and UB awards.

Among the students honored at the ceremony were those receiving the following awards and scholarships:  

  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, awarded to sophomores and juniors who have outstanding potential and intend to pursue advanced degrees in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering: Anna Smith, winner; Maria Camilia Lopez-Ruiz and Antara Majumdar, nominees; and Armond June, honorable mention.
  • Harry S. Truman Scholarship: Madelaine Britt, finalist.
  • Morris K. Udall Scholarship: Hailie Suk, Jack Walker and Rachel Whiteside, nominees, and Matthew Falcone, honorable mention.
  • Fulbright Scholarship: Rachel Landau, who will travel to the Czech Republic to teach. Sean Pears and Nida Syed were selected as Fulbright finalists.
  • SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence: Caroline D. Brown, Dylan N. Burns, Ashley E. Cercone, Steven J. Coffed, Max F. Crinnin, Ethan Hayden, Dante A. Iozzo, Patricia A. Johnson, Elizabeth A. Kaltenbach, Minahil Khan, Kristen A. Milleville, Natasha Singh, Alexandra K. Van Hall, Timothy J. Van Oss and Mingcong Zhang.     
  • UB Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity, recognizing outstanding contributions from each decanal area that achieve superiority in presentation, content and scope: Katrina Cropo, Shondel Nurse, Megan Ryan, Kirstin White, Siobhan Clements, Gavin Guild, Rachel Whiteside, Amanda Killian, Dylan Burns, Meghan Capeling, Alex Commisso, Patrick Krohl, Zachary Manzer, Taylor Furst, Alyssa Massaro, Kelsey Schaffstall, Brian Williams, Elizabeth Hunter, Matthew Ricotta, Yun Beom Lee, Eileen Diih, Nhan Nguyen, Nancy Song, William Waller, Oluwatosin Oniyide, Grace Cragie and Jessica Turner.
  • UB Student Organization Award for Excellence in Academics and Service, which is presented annually to the UB student club or organization that exhibits campus leadership in academics, UB spirit and service to others: Student Pharmacists for Global Outreach.

The event also included a musical performance by the Nickel City Brass Quintet, a UB student ensemble, of “Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming,” by J. Brahms.

A full list of award winners, finalists and nominees, as well as descriptions of awards, can be found on the Celebration of Academic Excellence website.