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Five at UB Named SUNY Distinguished Professors

Release Date: June 23, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Five University at Buffalo faculty members have been named a State University of New York Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank in the SUNY system.

Appointed by the SUNY board of trustees in May were Guyora Binder, UB Distinguished Professor, UB Law School; Tony Conrad, professor, Department of Media Study, College of Arts and Sciences; James A. Gardner, Joseph W. Belluck and Laura L. Aswad Professor of Civil Justice, UB Law School; Cristanne Miller, Edward H. Butler Professor of Literature, Department of English; and Timothy F. Murphy, UB Distinguished Professor, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The rank of distinguished professor is an order above full professor and has three co-equal designations: distinguished professor, distinguished teaching professor and distinguished service professor.

The distinguished professorship recognizes and honors individuals who have achieved national or international prominence in their fields.

An expert in criminal law and in the interdisciplinary field of law and literature, Guyora Binder is one of the nation's leading legal theorists. He has been recognized as one of the "50 Most Prolific Law Professors" for his consistent publication of substantial articles in the leading law journals in the U.S., among them Yale Law Journal, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, the Texas Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal and the Yale Journal of Law and Humanities.

His book "Felony Murder" (Stanford University Press) is forthcoming this year and another book, "Criminal Law: A Short Introduction" (Oxford University Press) is due out next year. His book "Literary Criticisms of Law" (Princeton University Press, 2000) is considered the definitive treatment of literary methods in legal scholarship.

A UB faculty member since 1982, Binder has led faculty recruiting efforts at the law school for many years as chair of the Appointments Committee. He currently is chair of the university's President's Review Board after serving as a PRB member from 2001-04.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton University and a JD from Yale Law School.

An internationally recognized experimental artist for more than 40 years, Tony Conrad has produced groundbreaking work in the visual arts, film, video and music.

His early experimental film "The Flicker," which exploits the strobing effect of the cinematic image, is considered a cornerstone of structural filmmaking.

A violinist who studied part time at the Peabody Conservatory of Music before receiving a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard, Conrad also was among the founders of minimal music, which developed as an accompaniment to minimal art in the 1960s. He performed during that time with such musicians as La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and John Cale, who went on to become one of the founders of the Velvet Underground.

Conrad continues to produce groundbreaking work that is exhibited at venues around the world, among them the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany; the Galerie Daniel Buchholz in Cologne, Germany; and the Greene-Naftali Gallery and Whitney Museum, both in New York City. He was an invited artist this year at the Venice Biennale.

A recipient of a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity, Conrad joined the UB faculty in 1979.

James Gardner is recognized throughout legal academia as someone who has transformed his field and set the standard for new thinking in the area of state constitutional law.

An extremely prolific scholar, he is the author or editor of five books, the most recent of which are "New Frontiers of State Constitutional Law: Dual Enforcement Norms" (Oxford University Press, 2010) and "What are Campaigns For? The Role of Persuasion in Electoral Law Politics" (Oxford University Press, 2009). In addition, he has authored more than 40 articles -- 13 in the top 25 most-cited law reviews. His work has been cited more than 1,000 times.

He is a frequent commentator in both state and national media on constitutionalism and election law, and has been voted the best teacher in the Law School.

In addition to his scholarly activity, Gardner also serves as vice dean for academic affairs and director of the Jaeckle Center for Law and Democracy in the UB Law School.

Before joining the UB law faculty in 2001, he worked in the U.S. Justice Department as a civil attorney and taught at Western New England College, William and Mary and the University of Connecticut.

He earned a BA from Yale and a JD from the University of Chicago.

Cristanne Miller joined the UB faculty in 2006 as chair of the Department of English and Butler Chair after serving as W.M. Keck Distinguished Service Professor and chair of the English department at Pomona College, a leading liberal arts college.

Miller is a specialist in 19th- and early 20th-century poetry, with an emphasis on the work of Emily Dickinson.

She is the author of four books, the best-known of which, "Emily Dickinson: A Poet's Grammar" (Harvard University Press, 1987), has been used widely as a graduate and undergraduate text for more than 20 years.

She presently is at work on a monograph, "Poetry after Gettysburg," which traces the effects of the Civil War on American poetry, and is under contract with the University of Massachusetts Press for "Lyric Strains: Reading Emily Dickinson in the Nineteenth Century," a study of what it means to read historically, with particular attention to questions of what constitutes persuasive evidence, genre and the popular context of Dickinson's writing.

Miller is the editor of The Emily Dickinson Journal, the major source for current scholarship on Dickinson, and has served as a member of the publications board of the Modern Language Association and as president and a board member of the Modernist Studies Association.

She earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago.

An internationally recognized expert in respiratory tract bacterial infections, Timothy F. Murphy is senior associate dean for clinical and translational research in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, overseeing the development and implementation of strategies to synergize the development of clinical and translational science within the university.

Murphy, who also holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, specializes in vaccine development against pathogens responsible for otitis media (ear infections, primarily affecting children) and lower respiratory tract infections in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

His research has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health since 1983; a COPD Study Clinic supported by a grant from the Department of Veteran Affairs has been running continuously since 1994.

Recipient of a Visionary Innovator Award from UB in 2009 for developing a technology that was licensed to an outside company, Murphy has been honored three times as the Niagara Frontier Inventor of the Year (1992, 1996 and 1998) for his work in developing vaccines. He holds vaccine patents in five countries.

He received a bachelor's degree in biology from New York University and a medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at Tufts before joining the UB faculty in 1981.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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