UB Alumni Association to Present Seven Scholarships

By Barbara A. Byers

Release Date: January 27, 2011 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A total of $6,500 in scholarship money will be awarded to seven University at Buffalo students at the UB Alumni Association dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 4, in the Center for the Arts atrium on the North Campus.

The scholarship portion of the program will be held at 6:30 p.m.

Four students will receive the J. Scott Fleming Scholarship. Established in 1985 as a student-to-student scholarship to recognize full-time undergraduate and graduate students for their leadership efforts, through extracurricular and volunteer activities, the awards have helped to promote student involvement and enhance the student experience at UB. In 1991 the $500 awards were renamed after J. Scott Fleming, who served as executive director of the Office of Alumni Relations and who exemplified the spirit of involving students, whom he called "alumni-in-residence." The recipients are:

• Deirdre Carter, from Rochester, N.Y., a junior majoring in accounting. An active member of the accounting society Beta Alpha Psi, the National Honor Society of Collegiate Scholars and the National Residence Hall Honorary, Carter serves as a resident advisor, an orientation aide and team leader, a peer mentor for the School of Management and treasurer for the university's club boxing team.

• Christopher Maugans, BS '10, from Tonawanda, N.Y., who is pursuing a JD/MBA with a concentration in labor and employment law and workforce management and management consulting. He is an associate consultant and founding member of the Buffalo MBA Consulting Group, Western New York's first pro bono MBA student-run consulting firm. He is also a career advisor for the School of Management career center, a teaching assistant and a blogger for the MBA website.

• Thawab Shibly, of Amherst, N.Y., a junior pursuing bachelor's degrees in political science and English literature with a minor in art. She is president of Community Action Corps, leads a biweekly discussion group for the Muslim Student Association, is a volunteer mentor at the Priscilla Project and is a co-founder of UB Students for Justice in Palestine.

• Nischal Vasant, a native of Mumbai, India, and senior studying computer engineering and business. He is president of the Student Association, and is a member of the search committee for UB's 15th president. He also serves as a community assistant for the South Lake Village apartments.

In addition, two women have been selected to receive the UBAA Alumnae Scholarship.

The Alumnae Scholarship was created by UB alumnae in 1941, but lay dormant for decades, and was reintroduced by the UB Alumni Association in 2010. "We are so pleased to reintroduce the Alumnae Scholarship," said Larry Zielinski, MBA '77 & BA '75, UBAA president. "When it was created in the 1940s, equal opportunity was unfortunately not the case. Having the ability to reintroduce it many decades later will not only aid current female students of UB, but honor the strong-minded women who established the award in the first place."

The recipients are:

Graduate student Grace Mukupa, a native of Zambia, Africa, who attended school in Japan and lived in Belgium before arriving in the U.S. While pursuing her doctorate she has been involved with the Graduate Student Association and was appointed a representative of the United Nations' Economic and Social Council. Her doctoral research focuses on international development issues, in particular, education, poverty and rebuilding women's lives after devastation.

Laura C. Neese, a senior from Staten Island, N.Y., who has already completed requirements for a bachelor's degree in English and is also pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degree in dance. Her interest is in studying the place modern dance has in the sociopolitical and theoretical discourse of gender, especially relating to 20th century feminism.

The 2011 Willie R. Evans UB Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship recipient is sophomore Nofa Abdallah, of East Amherst, N.Y. The Legacy Scholarship assists currently enrolled UB students who are children or grandchildren of UB alumni who contribute to the growth and enrichment of the university through active membership and participation in the Alumni Association.

"When we think of the term 'legacy,' we think of the concept of family, of maintaining a connection and handing down something valuable," said Zielinski. "And that is exactly what the Legacy Scholarship represents: a past replete with role models whose commitment to, and love for, UB are long-term, and, in some cases, historic."

Abdallah belongs to the Organization of Arab Students, and is an orientation leader and a member of both the Muslim Student Association and UB Green. She is pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degree in musical theater and a bachelor of science degree in psychology. Her father, Joseph Abdallah, EMBA '07 & BA '91, is a lifetime member of the UB Alumni Association and a former member of the UBAA Board of Directors, and her mother, Ismahan Abdallah, attended UB.

The UBAA is a volunteer-led, international organization that provides support for, and services to, alumni. The organization strives to create and promote lifelong bonds with UB graduates, and works to inspire them to care about the past, present and future of the university. Together with alumni, UBAA supports UB as one of America's great public research universities. The UBAA encourages UB students and alumni to take pride in their college experience and pass that enthusiasm on to their children, prospective students, faculty, staff and community.