UB Faculty Members Receive Fulbright Awards

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: December 9, 2004 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Five University at Buffalo faculty members have received prestigious Fulbright Scholar Awards for 2004-05.

Recipients are David A. Gerber, professor and Lockwood Chair, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences; Christopher P. Mele, associate professor, Department of Sociology, CAS; H. Raghav Rao, professor, Department of Management Science and Systems, School of Management; Erik R. Seeman, associate professor, Department of History, CAS, and Thomas J. Shuell, professor, Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology, Graduate School of Education.

Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and demonstration of extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.

This year's U.S. Fulbright scholars are faculty members and professionals who will travel abroad to some 140 countries for the current academic year. Founded in 1945 by Sen. J. William Fulbright, the Fulbright program is America's flagship international educational exchange activity, and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

"I am extremely pleased with the number and variety of the Fulbright Scholar grants that have been awarded to select faculty for the 2004-05 academic year," said Satish Tripathi, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. "Representing a range of disciplines, faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Education and the School of Management will lecture and conduct research at such institutions as the University of Hong Kong, National College of Ireland, University of the West Indies, and Jagiellonian University.

"Fulbright grants are exemplary opportunities for faculty to expand current levels of research and scholarship, as well as establishing collaborative relationships with host institutions," Tripathi noted. "Congratulations to all the grantees"

Gerber, a social historian, is lecturing on American immigration history during the fall semester at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. This is his second Fulbright award; he served as a visiting scholar at Flinders University of South Australia in 1980.

Gerber, who joined the UB faculty in 1971, specializes in 19th and 20th century American history, with interests in personal identity and personal relationships among non-elite populations. During the past three decades, he has conducted research on African Americans, Jewish Americans, European immigrants and veterans of military service who have incurred disabilities or chronic illness while in the service.

He also is interested in historic preservation of the urban built environment, serving on the board of the Preservation Coalition of Erie County, and testifying in federal district court in a suit involving the redevelopment on Buffalo's harbor.

He has received numerous awards during his academic career, including the 2001 Carleton Qualey Prize from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society for the best article published in the Journal of American Ethnic History during 2000, the 1997 Owen Augsperger Award from the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society for contributions to local history and a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

He has edited or co-edited numerous books, including "Anti-Semitism in American History;" which won honorable mention from the Gustavus Myers Center for Human Rights in 1987; "The Making of An American Pluralism: Buffalo, New York, 1825-1860," which won the 1990 Herbert Gutman Award for the best book in social history published by University of Illinois Press; "Identity, Community and Pluralism: An American Reader," and "Disabled Veterans in History." He authored His books include "Black Ohio and the Color Line

He received a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Northwestern University and a doctorate from Princeton University.

Mele, who is spending the 2004-05 academic year at the University of Hong Kong, is lecturing and conducting research on American cities in the "age of globalization," and on transnational migration between Hong Kong and New York

A UB faculty member since 1996, his research interests focus on urban sociology, sociology of culture and community studies.

He is the author of two books, "Understanding the City: contemporary and Future Perspectives" and "Selling the Lower East Side: Real Estate, Culture and Resistance in New York City," as well as a number of book chapters and peer-reviewed articles.

Mele is a recipient of the 2001 College of Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching in Social and Behavioral Sciences and a member of the advisory board of the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy in the UB Law School.

He received bachelor's and master's degrees in political science from the University of Delaware and master's and doctoral degrees in sociology from the New School for Social Research.

Rao is lecturing and conducting research during the fall semester on principles of information assurance and security at York University in Toronto.

A UB faculty member since 1987, his interests are in the areas of management information systems, decision support systems, and expert systems and information assurance.

He has chaired sessions at international conferences and presented numerous papers. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 technical papers, of which more than 60 are published in archival journals. His work has received best-paper and best-paper runner up awards at America's Conference on Information Systems and from the International Construction Information Society.

Rao has received funding for his research from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense and the Canadian Embassy, and he has received the prestigious University Lilly Teaching Fellowship.

He serves as associate editor of Decision Support Systems, Information Systems Research and IEEE Transactions in Systems, Man and Cybernetics, and as co-editor-in-chief of a new journal, Information Systems Frontiers: A Journal of Research and Innovation.

He earned a bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India; an MBA from the University of Delhi, Delhi, India, and a doctorate from Purdue University.

Seeman will spend the spring semester at the University of West Indies, Cave Hill in Cave Hill, Barbados, lecturing on U.S. history since 1865, as well as and conducting research for his book project, "Final Frontiers: Cross-Cultural Encounters with Death in the New World."

A UB faculty member since 1996, Seeman studies early American history and transatlantic exchanges within the context of the history of religion. He is the author of "Pious Persuasions: Laity and Clergy in Eighteenth-Century New England."

In addition to authoring "Final Frontiers," which examines the interactions of attitudes toward death among Indians, Africans and Europeans in the eastern half of North America to 1800, Seeman is co-editing a book, "The Atlantic and Global History," with Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, UB associate professor of history.

Seeman has received numerous honors and awards, among them a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers, an Interdisciplinary Research Grant from the Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender at UB and a Julian Park Publication Fund award from UB.

He earned a bachelor's degree magna cum laude from Harvard University and a doctorate from the University of Michigan. 

Shuell is one of only 37 of this year's 800 Fulbright scholars named to a prestigious distinguished chair at an overseas university—in his case, the Distinguished Chair of Learning and Teaching at the National College of Ireland (NCI), Dublin.

While at NCI for the 2004-05 academic year, Shuell is conducting research, offering tutorials and seminars, mentoring NCI faculty in methods of learning and teaching research, and exploring with them the implications of new instructional-design technologies.

Ireland is internationally recognized for its concentrated educational efforts on every academic level. The country has one of the highest education-participation rates in the world, with an 81 percent high-school completion rate and a higher-education rate of 50 percent.

Shuell, who joined the UB faculty in 1967, says he considers himself "very fortunate" to have the opportunity to help others grow from his professional expertise, adding that he himself expects to experience a good deal of professional and personal growth as well.

Shuell's research and publications are in the field of learning theories and educational paradigms, particularly the use of technology strategies and issues of multimedia authorship.

He received a bachelor's degree—with a major in general science and a minor in mathematics—from Oregon State University and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

He has served as editor of Educational Psychologist and the "Newsletter for Educational Psychologists."