Campus News

UB gathers to celebrate student excellence

Celebration of Student Academic Excellence poster presentation. .

More than 230 undergraduate and graduate students presented their work as part of the Student Showcase, held this year in Alumni Arena. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

By GRACE OSABA

Undergraduate English and political science major

Published May 2, 2022

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“It is this spirit of curiosity, innovation and purpose that defines our UB students — just as it defines academic excellence. ”
President Satish K. Tripathi

Bright lights illuminated the presentations in Alumni Arena on Wednesday afternoon at the annual Student Showcase, but they were no match for the sea of bright minds who authored the projects.

The gathering was part of the annual Celebration of Student Academic Excellence, designed to recognize the acclaimed academic accomplishments and research projects of UB students.

More than 230 exceptional graduate and undergraduate students represented the schools and colleges on campus. They gathered in person for the first time in two years to present their mentored research, scholarship, and creative and community projects conducted during the current academic year.

“As I spoke with our students about their projects, it was clear to me that they are taking full advantage of their UB experience,” said President Satish K. Tripathi. “At every stage of their education, they are not only eager to better understand the world … They are resolved to contribute to the world. It is this spirit of curiosity, innovation and purpose that defines our UB students — just as it defines academic excellence.”

Students stand next to their posters and explain their research findings.

Students presented mentored research, scholarship, and creative and community projects conducted during this academic year. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

Students stood near their projects, heads held high as they finally had the opportunity to watch people admire their work — a contrast from the past two years where they had been restricted to staring at Zoom presentations on their computer screens.

Alex Novak was one of them. An English major, Novak presented a project that examines the history, variety and significance of queer representation in young adult literature. He visibly shifted his feet as academics walked by.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to showcase my project,” he said. “Presenting my work and the recognition are nice. The people I’ve been interacting with are very genuine and interested in what I have to say.”

After the Student Showcase, everyone migrated to the Student Union Theatre to attend the Celebration Ceremony, a tradition that acknowledges UB students who received prestigious awards and fellowships during the academic year.

President Tripathi speaks during the Celebration of Academic Excellence ceremony.

President Satish K. Tripathi welcomed those attending the Celebration Ceremony in the Student Union Theatre. Photo: Nancy J. Parisi

“It is a privilege to recognize your achievements, and your commitment to the highest ideals of our university,” Tripathi said. “You are among UB’s most talented and ambitious students. As today’s event highlights, you are accomplishing your life’s goals as you push the boundaries of scholarly research and make exciting discoveries.”

A. Scott Weber, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, also spoke about students’ dedication to the pursuit of knowledge.

“You are being honored today for your curiosity, commitment and success in challenging yourselves through research, scholarship and creative activities; leadership; engagement; and collaborative projects,” said Weber. “This celebration of your significant achievements is an opportune occasion for us to reflect on who we are as a university.”

During the Celebration Ceremony, recipients of awards in several categories were recognized on stage:

  • National scholarships and fellowships, among them the Goldwater scholarship, Marshall scholarship, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and Fulbright scholarship, among others.
  • SUNY awards, including the Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence and the SUNY Scharps Legal Essay Award.
  • UB awards, including the Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity Award; Sigma Xi “Companions in Zealous Research” Award; Clifford C. Furnas Scholar-Athlete Award; Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award; and the Three Minute Thesis Award.

A full list of honorees is available on the celebration website.