Readers share their thoughts

Tanzanian Keepsake

This is one of the greatest documents of my Tanzanian journey [“African Connections,” Fall 2017]. It’s like a keepsake, and I will use it often because it simplifies my sharing of something that is truly difficult to put into a few words. I can actually say the trip was life-changing. This story captures why.

Regina Jackson
Buffalo, N.Y.

The writer, a senior at Empire State College, was one of the students on the study abroad trip to Tanzania.

Fondness for ‘Gut Flora’

Fantastic art! [“The Color of Difference,” Fall 2017] The piece is vibrant and brings much-needed color and feeling to our world.

Michael P. Smith (BPS ’88)
Batavia, N.Y.

Kind Thoughts

I found the articles in the Fall 2017 issue of At Buffalo to be very interesting. I hope this magazine will continue for a long time.

Mary Goretti
North Tonawanda, N.Y.

The writer is a member of the facilities staff at UB.

Save the Scraps!

I was impressed with the At Buffalo Food Issue [Summer 2017] and enjoyed the various themes related to this topic. However, there is a key element missing in your coverage, and this relates to food scraps and food waste reduction. Many cities have policies or a vibrant entrepreneurial culture that enables food scraps to be processed locally into compost, which has incredible benefits both environmentally and economically.

Sashti Balasundaram (BS ’05)
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Editor’s response: Right you are, and we’re proud to note that UB uses a state-of-the-art system for managing food waste.

A Better Way

The discussion titled “Can We Change the Way We Eat?” [Coffeehouse, Summer 2017] overlooked an easy diet type for more sustainable living. Vegetarian diets are a much less radical shift from the status quo than veganism and have a small ecological footprint. Ethical vegetarian diets aim for mutualist symbiosis (a relationship between species for mutual benefit), including reducing the livestock herd to a responsible size.

People can intentionally reduce their meat consumption (become “flexitarian”) if they understand the reasons for doing so. And as more people choose vegetarian meals, more options will be made available, making a positive feedback loop that encourages sustainability.

The public may not be very conscious of modern environmental challenges, but nature’s brutal response is beginning to wake us up. Eating low on the food chain is a simple change enabling anyone to help the planet every day.

Paul Howard (BS ’95)
Harrisburg, Pa.

Mycological Memories

Thank you for spotlighting the life and work of Dr. Philip Miles in “A Spore to Adore” [Summer 2017]. I had the privilege and pleasure of taking two classes with him. A post-class discussion over his homemade tea turned into a job helping to edit manuscripts and maintain his personal mycological collection. Our working friendship stands out as a highlight of my time at UB. Dr. Miles was a wonderful and giving person and teacher, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who misses lively conversations with him.

Phil Barber (BA ’04)
Homer, Alaska


In the Fall 2017 Coffeehouse [“Are We Free to Offend?”], we incorrectly stated that Donald Sterling was the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers. In fact he owned the Los Angeles Clippers.

From the Editor’s Desk

A Career High

Kristina M. Johnson.

Kristina M. Johnson

Kristina M. Johnson helped create the technology for advanced 3-D glasses and invented a camera that can depict cancerous and precancerous cells. She holds 42 U.S. patents and is an inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. She founded a company that develops hydroelectric facilities to provide clean energy to communities and businesses across the country. She was appointed undersecretary of energy by former President Barack Obama. She has held leadership positions at several major institutions of higher education. And now she comes to us.

In September, Johnson succeeded Nancy Zimpher to become the 13th SUNY chancellor, an opportunity she called the “highest honor” of her career—which, considering the above, is saying a lot. As head of the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the United States, Johnson will promote excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and creative work, and service to the communities that are home to SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities.

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