Three from UB Named SUNY Distinguished Professors

By Mary Beth Spina

Release Date: July 21, 2000 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Three University at Buffalo faculty members have joined the ranks of distinguished professors appointed by the State University of New York Board of Trustees.

James E. McConnell of Williamsville, professor of geography, was appointed a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor.

Norman D. Mohl of Williamsville, professor and chair of oral diagnostics, has been named Distinguished Service Professor.

William J. Rae of Snyder, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has been named Distinguished Teaching Professor.

The rank of distinguished professor, the highest faculty rank in the SUNY system, is an order above full professorship and has three co-equal designations: distinguished professor, distinguished service professor and distinguished teaching professor.

McConnell serves as coordinator of the geography department's graduate and undergraduate programs in international trade and associate director of the Canada-U.S. Trade Center, a research center housed in the department. He was director of the trade center from 1988-95 and chair of the department from 1983-88 and 1994-99.

A UB faculty member since 1968, McConnell's teaching and research interests are in the areas of international business, industrial location, and regional growth and development. The focus of his current work includes regional economic-development strategies for international border areas, government trade and industry policy for declining industries, prospects for a Western Hemisphere free-trade area, and exports from U.S. metropolitan areas and economic impact on related firms and city-regions.

He has received more than $1.44 million in research grants and/or contracts from agencies including the National Science Foundation, the Small Business Administration, the Economic Development Administration, the U.S. departments of Commerce and Education, the Canadian government, and private- and public-sector firms and agencies within New York State.

He has authored or co-authored numerous books, book chapters, monographs and articles for scholarly journals, and presented lectures and papers at professional meetings.

McConnell received a bachelor's degree from Slippery Rock State College (Pa.), a master's degree from Miami University (Ohio) and a doctorate from The Ohio State University.

Mohl is widely recognized as a pioneering clinical investigator and dental educator. A specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), he has championed quality patient care through his efforts to encourage members of the profession to conduct, publish and use scientifically based information to diagnose and treat TMD and other oral-health problems.

For more than 30 years, Mohl has published his research findings in the Journal of the American Dental Association, the Journal of Dental Education and the Journal of Orofacial Pain.

He also has published in and served on the editorial review board of the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry and co-edited texts, including "A Textbook of Occlusion" and "Temporomandibular Joint and Masticatory Muscle Disorders."

A UB graduate, Mohl became a part-time member of the dental faculty in 1959 while in private practice. He became a full-time faculty member in 1968.

Active on numerous university and professional committees, he is a member of many national dental organizations and has served as a consultant to the American Dental Association, the National Institute for Dental Health and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Rae has received many honors and awards for his love of teaching and dedication to educating engineering students.

He joined the UB Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 1983 after a 30-year career as a research scientist and key engineer with the former Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, later the Arvin/Calspan Advanced Technology Center.

In 1993, he received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and was selected by the UB Student Association as one of 27 professors to be included in the "best professors" section of the 1991-92 "User's Guide to UB."

Rae is the recipient of the Most Helpful Teacher Award from the UB student chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), as well as the Carl Naish Award from the Student Association of Millard Fillmore College for his unselfish dedication to MFC students.

Formerly associate dean for graduate affairs in the engineering school, he has served on many university committees, most recently the university-wide undergraduate curriculum committee.

His work has earned him the Aerospace Pioneer Award from the Niagara Frontier Section of the AIAA for his work in aspects of fluid mechanics and the UB chapter of Tau Beta Pi Eminent Engineer Award.