Staff

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This page contains a listing of our dedicated Baldy Center staff.

Baldy Center Staff on this page

Note:  Errol Meidinger served as director of the Baldy Center from Summer 2010 through Spring 2019. Read a message from Dr. Meidinger, in the Spring 2019 Baldy Center Newsletter. Also see UB Faculty Story: High honor recognizes Meidinger’s far-reaching scholarship.

Samantha Barbas is the Director of the Baldy Center. Barbas researches and teaches in the areas of legal history, First Amendment law and mass communications law. Her work focuses on the intersection of law, culture, media and technology in United States history. Her recent research has explored the history of the law of privacy and defamation.

Barbas holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She was previously an assistant professor of history at Chapman University, a visiting professor of history at U.C. Berkeley, and a lecturer at Arizona State University. She clerked for Judge Richard Clifton on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Barbas is the author of three books on media law and history: Laws of Image: Privacy and Publicity in America (Stanford University Press, 2015); Newsworthy: The Supreme Court Battle Over Privacy and Press Freedom (Stanford University Press, 2017); and Confidential Confidential: The Inside Story of Hollywood’s Notorious Scandal Magazine (Chicago Review Press, 2018). She is currently at work on a biography of civil liberties lawyer Morris Ernst, forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press. Barbas is also the author of Movie Crazy: Fans, Stars, and the Cult of Celebrity (Palgrave Macmillan 2001) and The First Lady of Hollywood: A Biography of Louella Parsons (University of California Press 2005). Read more.

Laura Wirth.

Laura Wirth

Laura Wirth, Assistant Director

Laura Wirth is the Assistant Director of the Baldy Center. She holds a masters degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is responsible for organizing and coordinating the Baldy Center’s activities, managing the daily operations and Center staff, maintaining the budget, administering the grant application and award processes for affiliated faculty and fellows, and overseeing event planning and public communications.

Caroline Funk.

Caroline Funk

Caroline Funk, Research Associate

Caroline Funk is the Baldy Center Research Associate. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and specializes in the archaeology of human/environment relationships. She has worked in multidisciplinary and multinational teams in Russia, Portugal, and Alaska to answer questions about the intersection of cultural and environmental histories. Caroline currently leads a multidisciplinary research program in the Rat Islands, western Aleutians, Alaska, investigating the long-term history of human use of the region, and the impact of small-scale societies on the environment. Caroline helps Baldy affiliated faculty to develop funding proposals.

Caitlin McIntyre, Research Assistant

Caitlin McIntyre is Baldy Center Research Assistant focusing on Conference and Events assistance. She is a Ph.D. student in the University at Buffalo Department of English. Her research centers on transatlantic modernism, the environment, and agriculture. She holds a BA (Hons.) from the University of Winnipeg, and an MA from the University of Manitoba, Canada.

Matthew H. McLeskey.

Matthew H. McLeskey

Matthew H. McLeskey, Research Assistant

Matthew H. McLeskey is a Baldy Center Research Assistant. He is a doctoral student in the SUNY Buffalo Department of Sociology and interested in sociology of law, urban sociology, and social theory. He recently completed an M.A. in sociology at SUNY Buffalo, and before that an M.A. in English literature at James Madison University and a B.A. at Davis & Elkins College.

Yaqi Yuan (Sam).

Yaqi Yuan (Sam)

Yaqi Yuan (Sam), Research Assistant

Yaqi Yuan (Sam) is a Baldy Center Research Assistant. She is a second-year Ph.D. student from SUNY Buffalo Sociology Department and interested in law and society, sociology of families, and medical sociology. She recently completed an M.A. in political science with the Hunan University Graduate School in China.