Heather Hagenbuch

Heather Hagenbuch.

Published June 2, 2021

This month's featured Professional Staff Senate member is Dr. Heather Hagenbuch, Assistant Director of the McNair Scholars Program.

How long have you worked at UB?

I have worked at UB for twelve years.

What do you enjoy most about your job?


I most enjoy seeing students come to the culmination of their projects. For some students this might be a conference presentation or a journal article publication, but there is an amazing pride in seeing so many pieces of work and tasks completed create something whole and wonderful. I truly enjoy seeing the delight in students as they showcase the production of their work.

What’s the most difficult part about your job?

The days when students face obstacles outside of their control. The days when they are tired, and many of them are working multiple jobs. On these days, I wish I had a magic wand.

What would you say is your biggest achievement at UB?

Finishing my Ph.D. and publishing my dissertation called Celebrating the First: Improving Outcomes for First-Generation college students.

Heather Hagenbuch on graduation day.

Heather on graduation day after completing her Ph.D.

Tell us something about your department that isn’t well known.

That our program serves students of all majors and fields. The interest in pursuing graduate school and a doctoral degree is open to all fields of study.

If you were to share some advice for other professional staff, what would it be?

To get involved with communities and initiatives that matter. And, as you get involved, connect with each other. UB is full of amazing people.

Do you have any hobbies? What do you do for fun?

When it’s possible, I love to travel; to meet new people and to see new things. Sometimes life is such that it isn’t possible to get very far, but it’s often possible to try something new.

Do you have a favorite meal you like to prepare?

Cooking has never been my forte, but I have learned a few good meals that are fun! For example, Lime chicken taco night is always fun. But to be 100% honest, nothing beats the look of pure joy on my 5-year old’s face when I make him peanut butter and jelly!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Recently, my thoughts have been with Greece and Scotland.

Any other fun facts about you?

Currently, I serve as the Western New York Regional Representative for the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education. I’m not sure it counts as a fun fact, but the work means the world to me.