Campus News

Three receive Plesur awards for teaching


Published July 29, 2019


Alex Ampadu, Jessica Kruger and Mark R. Marino have received the 2019 Milton Plesur Excellence in Teaching Award from the undergraduate Student Association in recognition of their commitment to students and the quality of their teaching.

The coveted award — recipients are nominated by students — is named for Plesur, a professor in the Department of History who died in 1987. He was a beloved teacher, author and scholar of popular culture and the American presidency, whose humor captivated his students.

The recipients received the award during a ceremony held on April 29.

Alex Ampadu.

Alex Ampadu

Ampadu, clinical associate professor of accounting and law in the School of Management, is the first recipient in the award’s history to be honored four times. He previously received the Plesur award in 1998, 2006 and 2010.

A UB faculty member since 1986, Ampadu teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate accounting courses in such areas as managerial accounting, financial accounting, auditing, financial statement analysis and internal audit. In addition, he is director of the MS in Accounting program’s internal audit and risk management track, one of just 31 programs worldwide endorsed by the Institute of Internal Auditors. He also serves as faculty adviser to the School of Management Minority Alliance.

In addition to being a CPA, Ampadu is a Certified Management Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Fraud Examiner, Forensic CPA, Chartered Global Management Accountant and Certified in Financial Forensics.

He has received the Outstanding CPA in Education award from the New York State Society of CPAs, and was twice named Faculty Advisor of the Year by Beta Alpha Psi, an international honor organization for financial information students and professionals. Last year, the School of Management’s Career Resource Center also recognized him as Faculty Member of the Year for his contributions to students’ career success over the years.

Jessica Kruger.

Jessica Kruger

Kruger, clinical assistant professor of community health and health behavior in the School of Public Health and Health Professions, focuses her research on consumption and addictive behaviors, such as binge-watching Netflix or consuming drugs or alcohol, as well as health behavior decision-making and public health pedagogy.

Kruger, who joined the UB faculty in 2017, is known for her innovative teaching methods. Students in her fall 2018 PUB 320 course authored their own textbook as an open educational resource and used it as the reading material for the course. She uses a Catchbox — a small foam box with a microphone that students toss to one another — to facilitate discussion in her large lecture classes.

And she organizes Saturday morning bicycle rides for her students to encourage them to be connected to the community, and takes students to the Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic on Buffalo’s East Side to promote the importance of public health within free medical clinics.

Kruger is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the 2019 Excellence in Instruction Award from the SUNY Faculty Advisory Council on Teaching and Technology (FACT2), which recognizes faculty members who have incorporated new or existing technology in ways that enhance the curriculum and engage students using methods and strategies that are scalable and adaptable to other settings.

Mark Marino.

Mark Marino

Marino, an instructor in the Department of Mathematics and Undergraduate Learning Center in the College of Arts and Sciences, teaches all levels of Calculus and Pre-Calculus courses. He has received numerous awards, including the 2015-16 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2017 Friend of the University at Buffalo Educational Opportunity Program Award. In 2018, he was ranked as the top UB professor by Top Class

Marino has taught math at Erie Community College and SUNY Empire State College, as well as online math and statistics courses for Purdue University and Northwestern University.

Honored as a faculty fellow of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges in 2007, Marino is frequently invited to speak at international, national and state conferences on the topics of teaching and learning mathematics, online education and computer literacy. 

He was recognized with the session’s Best Paper Awards at both the seventh and eighth International Conferences on Education and Information Systems, Technologies and Applications.


I was happy to see the Milt Plesur award given to such deserving persons. Dr. Plesur gave me the encouragement and opportunity to continue graduate study. If it were not for him giving me a chance to get into a graduate program, I would never made it to the doctoral level. He will always be my model as I mentor students. Thank goodness for educators like him.

John Violanti