Readers share their thoughts

Clarifying crystallography

The article “Crystal Clear” (Spring 2014) begins: “If you’re not in the field of structural biology, you probably have no idea what crystallography is.” Crystallography is a nearly 100-year-old science and has been used in many areas, including the structure of metals, minerals and semiconducting materials. I understand that it can be difficult to write an article for a lay audience that conveys the excitement and relevance of science, but I think it’s not too much to ask that the first sentence not be hyperbole.

Dowman P. Varn
Davis, Calif.

Editor’s response:

Crystallography indeed underlies a number of technical and industrial fields, a point we ought to have made in our opening. We thank Dr. Varn for bringing this fact to our attention.

Eyes opened to concussion danger

It’s great to see articles like “At Their Own Risk” (Winter 2014) that spread awareness related to the impact of concussions. I am a speech pathologist who graduated recently from UB’s speech pathology master’s program. As part of my clinical work during my master’s, I was privileged to be part of the implementation of the post-concussion program at the Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic that works closely with Dr. John Leddy and UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. It’s so good to see a growing awareness about concussions and articles related to their treatment!

Mallory DiBerardino, MA ’13
Buffalo, N.Y.


From the Editor’s Desk

The man on the machine

Sometimes it’s the tiniest item that gets the most mail. On April 18, we received a letter from Jeffrey Seitelman (MD ’77) of Long Beach, Calif., about the man on the washing machine in “The Year That Was … 1977” (Spring 2014): “It looks a lot like me in that year. Can you confirm the identity of the student?”

Intrigued, we pulled our intern off crucial university communications work to search through old yearbooks. She zeroed in on Eric Nussbaum (BA ’77) of White Plains, N.Y., as a more likely candidate. Although he denied any connection, Nussbaum did sum up our conundrum nicely: “There must have been a thousand other guys who looked like that then.”

Then we heard from another potential match: Richard Allen (BA ’80) of Germantown, Md., who lived in Ellicott Complex in 1977, and recalls there being a laundry. At this point we turned to Bill Offhaus (MLS ’03), special collections assistant in the UB Archives, who located this close-up photo of Allen. We think we’ve found our man. If you beg to differ, please drop us a line.


An update on Douglas Prade’s case

Our Spring 2014 cover story (“False Impressions”) centered on Mary and Peter Bush of the UB dental school and their research on bite mark evidence—work which, among other things, helped lead to the 2013 release of former police detective Douglas Prade, who was then serving a life sentence for murder.

On March 19, 2014, shortly after we went to press, an appeals court reversed the decision exonerating Prade. He was briefly jailed and then released by the Ohio Supreme Court, which has since ruled that he can remain out of prison until the justices decide whether or not to hear his appeal. According to an AP report, this ruling is expected sometime this summer.


The key lives on ... and so does the music

The key depicted in our Winter 2014 Editor’s Essay brought together two UB alumni—David Cohen (MusB ’90, BA ’77), a music director/organist in St. Louis, Mo., and Alan Ehrlich (BA ’63), a patent attorney and musician in Bethesda, Md.—who each had a connection to the key’s prior owner, Samuel Luskin, a composer and choir director at Temple Beth El in Tonawanda, N.Y.

As a young man, Cohen (whose organist father had worked with Luskin) performed Luskin’s music at Temple Beth El. The young Ehrlich had trained for his bar mitzvah with Luskin. After reading the essay, Ehrlich reached out to Cohen. They “had a wonderful conversation,” and Cohen has since mailed a piece of his father’s music to Ehrlich, who may introduce the work to two choirs he sings with in the D.C. region.

In the words of Gabrielle Carlo, the UB graduate student helping to organize the Luskin holdings, “It’s wonderful that the ‘key’ has brought these men and their passions together.”


We want to hear from you!

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