For students who also are veterans, a safe spot to take a breather or find a friend can be the difference between a good day and a bad one.
The Efner “Lucky” Davis Veterans Lounge on the third floor of the Student Union is thus ready to serve. Named for the 93-year-old World War II veteran whose generous gift to UB helped make it happen, the lounge includes a group study room and a hang-out area with couches, a TV and an Xbox. The new space was officially dedicated in May and is available to any of UB’s approximately 500 military-affiliated graduate and undergraduate students.
Students in the School of Public Health and Health Professions’ physical therapy program got the chance to play hard in matches of wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby at Alumni Arena last spring. Led by Steve Spitz and Luther Vucic, adaptive sports advocates who both have played at the competitive level, the session enabled the students to better appreciate the opportunities that exist for their future wheelchair-using patients.
UB’s inaugural Inclusive Excellence Summit gave administrators, faculty, staff and students the chance to tackle some tough issues—from microaggressions to free speech on campus—in a frank and thoughtful manner. The two-day conference, held in May, brought the UB community together to share best practices and lived experiences through more than 30 workshops, breakout sessions and discussions. It was a significant moment for the university, but just a start, says Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence Despina Stratigakos, whose office coordinated the initiative. “To change attitudes,” she says, “we will need to build and maintain deep structures across campus.”
*In case you missed it
NAPKIN, PLEASE. The Bowl, a UB campus eatery in the Ellicott Complex, has scooped up national attention, winning the grand prize in the 2018 Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards’ Retail Sales category for its exemplary menus and presentations. The outlet specializes in greens-, grain- and noodle-based dishes, served conveniently in, you guessed it, bowls.
THREE DECADES ON THE MAP. UB’s National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, one of only three such sites funded by the National Science Foundation, celebrated its 30th anniversary in May. The center is a hotspot for GIS, or geographic information science—the domain that enables such technologies as Google Earth—and contributes to fields as diverse as public health, engineering and the humanities.
AWARD OF THE STATE. The new home of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has won an Excelsior Award, which honors design excellence in publicly funded architecture in New York State. Criteria included the use of sustainable materials and practices, as well as positive impacts on surrounding neighborhoods and communities.
COMMANDING PERFORMANCES. UB’s Creative Arts Initiative announced a new and diverse roster of musicians, choreographers, theater artists and others headed to campus for workshops and performances throughout the year, culminating with “Soundsuit” artist Nick Cave, whose offbeat work is known to challenge notions of race, gender and identity while bringing communities together.
“When the day is overcast and the sky is white, it essentially removes all details from the terrain. It makes you feel like you are lost inside of a ping-pong ball.”
It’s safe to say there was no shoe envy going on when a group of University Police officers joined other volunteers from UB and the greater community in the 13th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes rally on the South Campus in April. Styles from spike heels to platform wedges brought challenges for the male participants and entertainment to onlookers, while at the same time raising funds for Buffalo’s Crisis Services and promoting awareness of the issue of sexual violence.
The number of glue sticks, crayon boxes, packs of paper and other items gathered through a drive sponsored by UB’s Office of Community Relations and donated to Buffalo elementary and middle schools in September. This year marked the 10th annual collection effort.