Campus News

21 faculty, staff receive Chancellor’s Awards


Published June 21, 2021


Twenty-one faculty and staff members have been named recipients of the 2021 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.

The Chancellor’s Awards acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities recognizes the work of those who engage actively in scholarly and creative pursuits beyond their teaching responsibilities. Recipients are Jian Feng, professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics; John Leddy, clinical professor, Department of Orthopaedics; Andrea Markelz, professor, Department of Physics; Gang Wu, professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering; Jun Zhuang, professor, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; and Eva Zurek, professor, Department of Chemistry.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching honors those who consistently demonstrate superb teaching at the undergraduate, graduate or professional level. Recipients are Christine Bartholomew, professor, School of Law; James Lemoine, assistant professor, Department of Organization and Human Resources; and Marina Tsianou, associate professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service recognizes “the consistently superior service contributions of teaching faculty” sustained over a period of time. Recipients are Carole Emberton, associate professor, Department of History, and Victor Paquet, professor and chair, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service honors professional staff performance excellence “both within and beyond the position.” Recipients are Bin Chen, research administrator, Department of Electrical Engineering; Kris Jordan, advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) coordinator in the Office of Experiential Education, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; James Maynard, curator, Poetry Collection; Cheryl Michalowski, director of administration, Department of Biomedical Engineering; Lisa Mueller, vice dean for communications, School of Law; Michelle Scott, assistant dean for human resources, College of Arts and Sciences; Lisa Stephens, assistant dean of SEAS Online, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and Karen Zinnerstrom, administrative director, Clinical Competency Center and Behling Simulation Center, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service recognizes classified staff members who have consistently demonstrated superlative performance within and beyond their position. This year’s recipients are Justine Wheeler, administrative assistant, Campus Living, and Ann Zielinski, head janitor, Campus Living.

Christine Bartholomew.

Christine P. Bartholomew has taught thousands of aspiring lawyers during her 15 years at the School of Law. She teaches foundational courses in civil litigation, including Civil Procedure, Evidence and Antitrust. 

Bartholomew’s excitement and passion have earned her the respect of her students. Her approach to teaching is influenced by her own experience as an antitrust attorney before joining academia. As she explains, “I want students to love the legal profession as much as I do. But it’s an incredibly demanding field. The more I can prepare students, the more they will contribute to the never-ending work of justice after graduation.”

Bartholomew is a four-time winner of the law school’s only teaching award, the Faculty Award. She also received the 2019 Jacob B. Hyman Distinguished Professor Award. 

Students describe her as “tough, but fair,” and a professor who “clearly wants students to succeed.” Committed to mentoring students, student evaluations describe her as someone who “is always available to answer questions” and who “goes the extra mile to make sure her students know the material.” 

In addition to teaching, Bartholomew is an accomplished scholar and an active participant on multiple law school committees. She is also acting director of the Buffalo Law Review. “The best moments,” Bartholomew says, “are when a tricky legal concept really clicks for a student. That’s what I live for.”

Bin Chen.

Bin Chen is described by departmental colleagues as “a key feature of the research infrastructure — absolutely essential in the operation of a successful R1 university.” As a research administrator, she is responsible for managing research proposal pre-submission, budget preparation and editorial support; providing support to all department research initiatives; interfacing with faculty and funding agencies; and conducting post-award administration, which includes purchases, reimbursements, appointments and the grants management.

A UB employee since 2013, Chen plays an important role in recruiting and retaining faculty, providing much of their on-the-job training regarding the administration of sponsored research. She also has a good rapport with students, many of whom she works with through their appointments on the Research Foundation payroll.

Praised for her hard work, intelligence, integrity and professionalism, Chen also has taken on leadership and tasks far outside her job description and department, serving on numerous search committees for financial and sponsored research staff positions across the university.

Colleagues call Chen “the ultimate team player” who contributes to a wide array of departmental projects, among them K-12 outreach events, faculty recruitment and seminar speaking engagements.

Carloe Emberton.

Carole Emberton is an award-winning author whose research focuses on the Civil War era and Reconstruction, with a particular interest in slave emancipation. Emberton encourages her students to think broadly about the implications of violence and how it shapes the social, political and cultural realities of both the past and the present. Her first book, “Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence, and the American South after the Civil War,” received the Willie Lee Rose Prize for best book in southern history by the Southern Association of Women Historians.

The New York Times, Washington Post and many academic journals have published Emberton’s articles and essays, including, “Only Murder Makes Men: Reconsidering the Black Military Experience,” which won The Journal of the Civil War Era’s George and Ann Richards Prize for best essay.

Emberton’s new book, “To Walk About in Freedom: The Long Emancipation of Priscilla Joyner,” examines the testimonies of ex-slaves collected in the 1930s by the Federal Writers’ Project. Bridging the history of the Civil War with the New Deal, this study considers not only the lived experience of the war among the South’s rural Black population, but also the creation of this important archive of slavery and its political implications in the decades leading to the civil rights movement. It will be published in 2022 by W.W. Norton.

Jian Feng is an internationally renowned scientist who has dedicated his career to studying Parkinson’s disease. He conducts research into the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the disease, and is a leading expert into how stem cells can be used to better understand and treat it. His laboratory has created a technology that could enable the generation of large quantities of specific types of mature human cells in order to study a number of diseases that gravely affect humans, such as malaria and COVID-19.

A UB faculty member since 2000, Feng is director of the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Facility, and holds an appointment as a research scientist at the Veterans Affairs Western New York Healthcare System.

Feng has received more than $17 million of funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Affairs Administration and New York State Stem Cell Science (NYSTEM). His laboratory was the first to generate induced pluripotent stem cells from Parkinson’s disease patients with parkin mutations. He has discovered critical functions of the Parkinson’s disease gene parkin, and his laboratory has developed a number of novel stem cell technologies to advance Parkinson’s disease research.

In 2017, Feng was awarded a UB Exceptional Scholars Sustained Achievement Award. A member of Faculty of 1000, he serves as associate editor in the Stem Cell Biology section of Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Kris Jordan.

A staff member in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences for nearly 35 years, Kris Jordan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role as APPE coordinator, responsible for assigning and tracking the clinical placements for students that are required for graduation. Colleagues call her the “cornerstone of the Office of Experiential Education,” and say her dedication to the position was never more evident than during the past year, particularly at the beginning of the pandemic.

With many hospital placements disrupted, Jordan had to create and implement a plan to address the situation, which required considerable rescheduling and coordination between the Experiential Education office, students and preceptors. Colleagues noted Jordan worked at least 12-16-hour days during that critical time, and has continued to work long hours over the course of the current academic year.

Moreover, her dedication and compassion for students often place her in a liaison role for students with faculty and placement preceptors — a role that technically goes beyond her job description, but one that is remembered by students long after they graduate.

Jordan has received numerous honors from the pharmacy school, including the Department of Pharmacy Practice’s Development and Program Enhancement Award in 2012 and the Exemplifying Team Work Award in 2017; she was named the school’s Staff Member of the Year in 2008.

In addition to his position as clinical professor of orthopaedics, John J. Leddy holds an appointment as a professor of rehabilitation sciences in the School of Public Health and Health Professions. He also serves as medical director of the UB Concussion Management Clinic, where patients include players from the National Football League and the National Hockey League.

Leddy is internationally known for his research, conducted with co-investigator Barry Willer, UB professor of psychiatry, into the best ways of diagnosing and treating concussion, especially in adolescents. Together they developed the Buffalo Concussion Treadmill Test, which is changing the way that concussed adolescents are treated. The exercise test helps determine at what level of activity a patient’s symptoms worsen, and helps doctors understand when it’s safe for an athlete to return to play following a concussion. In 2019, Leddy and Willer published in JAMA Pediatrics their findings from the first randomized clinical trial of exercise treatment in the acute phase after a sport-related concussion. The journal called it “a landmark study.”

A fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American College of Physicians, Leddy is also a member of the Expert Panel for the Berlin Fifth International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport. A fellow of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, he is the recipient of its Best Overall Research Award. He is a Division 1 team physician at UB, a physician with UBMD Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, and a consultant to the National Institutes of Health on sport concussion research.

Jim Lemoine.

A UB faculty member since 2015, James Lemoine teaches courses in organizational behavior and leadership, with a strong focus in the areas of moral and servant leadership, motivation and ethics, and creativity and gender.

His teaching has proven highly effective across a wide audience — from 20-year-old undergraduates to senior managers in the Executive MBA program — with his teaching evaluations consistently earning high quantitative ratings, as well as positive student comments. He has been lauded for delivering content in an engaging, inspirational way that captures students’ attention while applying pedagogical techniques that optimize learning and retention.

Lemoine shares his experience and passion for teaching by offering multiple workshops at the discipline’s leading professional conferences, demonstrating a remarkable combination of scholarship and scholarship-driven instructional excellence. He is a researcher and presenter in the School of Management’s Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, serves on the board of directors of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, and has written for the Harvard Business Review.

Since joining UB, he has presented at more than 100 events for a variety of UB stakeholders, ranging from a talk to alumni and prospective donors in Silicon Valley, to his annual opening keynote addresses for Leadership Buffalo and the United Way Loaned Executive program, to international speeches for corporate audiences on the intersection of leadership and ethics. He also is recognized among his professor peers as a thought leader on teaching.

Andrea Markelz.

Andrea Markelz, Moti Lal Rustgi Professor of Physics, has conducted trailblazing research on electronic systems and proteins’ structural dynamics, which refers to the way proteins vibrate, enabling them to carry out important biological functions.

Continuously funded since 1999, Markelz has been the principal investigator for over $5.8 million in grants and co-PI or participating researcher for nearly $20 million in grants. A highly respected experimentalist, she has about 100 publications resulting in over 3,300 citations.

Markelz is a leading researcher in terahertz spectroscopy studies of biomaterials and condensed matter materials. Her team developed accessible techniques that use near-field terahertz microscopy to measure vibrations in proteins and other large macromolecules with terahertz light generated and detected by ultrafast lasers. Previously, such vibrations could only be measured using methods that required extremely dry and cold environments and expensive facilities. Markelz’ discovery is a significant breakthrough for the field, with a wide array of applications.

An active mentor of both students and junior faculty, she has committed time to numerous programs that encourage K-12 students to study math and science; has supervised 58 students and postdoctoral scholars; and is an enthusiastic practitioner of the “flipping the classroom” teaching concept. Her insights have also been instrumental in the success of other faculty members in her department — eight of whom have received the NSF CAREER award since Markelz received that recognition and funding in 2004.

She also holds appointments as an adjunct faculty member in the departments of Physiology and Biophysics, Electrical Engineering and Structural Biology.

James Maynard.

James Maynard builds, maintains and promotes the resources of UB’s Poetry Collection, developing local, national and international partnerships and collaborations to increase the collection’s visibility, and taking part in substantial outreach. He is also the coordinator of the UB Rare & Special Books Collection. Over the past few years he has organized numerous private tours for researchers, alumni, donors, elected officials, community members and other visitors, among them Daniel Mulhall, the Irish ambassador to the U.S.; Irish novelist Edna O’Brien; New York State Sen. Tim Kennedy; Patrick Foye, chairman of the NYC Metropolitan Transportation Authority; and Irish Senator Billy Lawless.

He has curated several highly successful exhibitions showcasing the resources in the Poetry Collection, and last year organized and moderated the UB James Joyce Collection Virtual Bloomsday Celebration, which attracted more than 250 attendees from all over the world.

In 2018, Maynard began envisioning the need for a dedicated museum to provide public access to UB’s Joyce collection, and through UB’s Boldly Buffalo campaign, the university now aims to create a facility on the South Campus. Fundraising will also support a preservation and acquisitions endowment, a James Joyce curator position, and programming and exhibition funds. Maynard helped launch a new James Joyce mural in downtown Buffalo earlier this month.

Maynard was one of just four UB community members selected to be a part of the 2020-21 MAC Academic Leadership Development Program, a competitive professional development program that identifies select faculty and administrators in an effort to develop them as academic leaders.

Cheryl Michalowski.

Colleagues call Cheryl Michalowski “instrumental in the outstanding growth and success” of the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME).

After working at the SUNY Research Foundation for 16 years, Michalowski joined BME shortly after its founding in 2009. As the first professional staff member in a department that needed to be built from the ground up, Michalowski handled all aspects of departmental operations for two years, included scheduling new faculty interviews and new courses, handling finances and helping submit documentation for the new graduate program. In addition, she helped train and supervise a technician, and supervised and trained the academic coordinator after initially serving in that role as well.

Michalowski continues to be responsible for departmental budgets and personnel matters, including faculty tenure and promotion dossiers. She supervises a team of two other staff members, both of whom she helped hire and train; manages student recruitment events; serves as webmaster for the department’s website; and organizes and assembles the department’s newsletter.

Colleagues say she manages multiple priorities, solves problems efficiently and handles all of these duties with diligence and attention to detail.

Michalowski is also heavily involved in the School of Engineering and Applied Science’s STEM outreach efforts for K-12 students, developing a BME lesson for third-grade charter school students who came to UB for STEM camps — a lesson that continues to be used by UB undergraduates during outreach to schools. This effort, combined with her overall excellent performance and commitment to BME, were key factors in the school awarding her the 2018 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Service.

Lisa Meuller.

Lisa Mueller has been an integral part of the law school’s strategic communications and community outreach for more than 20 years. Promoted to vice dean for communications in 2017, Mueller overhauled the school’s strategic communications plan to address a significant drop in enrollment — one experienced by most law schools after the recession. She transitioned what had been a primarily print communications strategy into more relevant digital formats and centralized the school’s communications plan to more effectively address enrollment issues.

Mueller was intricately involved in the school’s COVID-19 response and safety plan, chairing the school’s Facilities Committee and creating the necessary protocols. She also worked with Dean Aviva Abramovsky and the law school’s assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion to help coordinate the school’s response to the racial violence and injustices that occurred across the nation last year. She oversaw creation of a new webpage providing numerous resources on how to promote diversity and inclusivity, and collaborated with faculty to organize a panel discussion on race and the police, as well as listening sessions for students.

Mueller also developed and implemented a comprehensive communications strategy for the 2019 visit to UB by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The visit was extremely successful — not only leading to a historic event for UB, but also incredible media coverage for the university.

Among her numerous accomplishments, Mueller served as president of the Western New York chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY) from 2005-06 — she is an alumna of the UB School of Law, and also received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the university — and was a recipient of the WBASNY chapter’s highest honor, the M. Dolores Denman Lady Justice Award, in 2017.

Victor Paquet.

Victor Paquet’s list of university-wide volunteer and service activities is extensive.

They include, but are not limited to, serving as director of UB’s Center for Excellence in Home Health and Well-Being through Adaptive Smart Environments, as a member of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Standing Committee for Academic Integrity, and as a member of the UB Academic Continuity Graduate and Professional Subcommittee on Modified In-Person Instruction.

He also has provided expert leadership and managerial skills in various capacities in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, including in the role of sexual harassment prevention adviser. As department chair, he is focused on fostering successful leadership and innovative research, encouraging different learning styles and working with industry, community partners and alumni.

An accomplished scholar, Paquet researches the development and application of systems that improve the health, safety and abilities of people in the workplace, home and other environments. Most of this work has focused on addressing the needs of people with physical disabilities.

His work has received funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, as well as from private industry.

Additionally, Paquet has played a key role in UB’s Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access, and has devoted time to professional activities that have helped advance ergonomics research and practice in particular, and the industrial engineering profession as a whole.

Michelle Scott.

A UB employee since 2002 and member of the staff in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Dean’s Office since 2005, Michelle Scott oversees all human resources functions in the college. She also serves as a liaison between the college and a variety of other university offices, including the main UB HR department, the Employee Assistance Program, the Office of Employee Relations, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and UB’s legal counsel.

Scott was instrumental in the recent organizational restructuring of the college, helping to develop and implement the new framework. Dean Robin Schulze notes the process would not have been possible without Scott, praising her for her “skills as a negotiator and a booster.”

More recently, Scott was directly involved with the new Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program, working on the complex application and hiring process for the program that brought in multiple external faculty as visitors across several departments and one outside of the college. Maura Belliveau, director of the Center for Diversity Innovation and the visiting scholars program, notes Scott’s expertise helped the program’s inaugural cohort come together despite the complexities associated with the pandemic.

Colleagues also praise Scott for her discretion and sensitivity in handling human resources issues that involve difficult conversations and require confidentiality. Scott, they say, has a “seemingly effortless ability” to navigate these issues while steadfastly adhering to UB, SUNY and HR policies, procedures and decisions, and conducting sensitive conversations “in a way that makes the outcome easier and better than it could be.”

Lisa Stephens.

Recognized nationally for her leadership in educational technology issues, Lisa Stephens is a senior strategist of academic innovation in the Office of the SUNY Provost, in addition to her position in the UB engineering school. Stephens serves as the lead for SUNY’s partnership with Coursera, the online platform that now hosts 57 courses and nine specializations from 12 SUNY campuses. So far, over 238,500 students have completed SUNY classes on Coursera and more than 1,640,000 students are currently enrolled.

She is also interim director and co-founder of FLEXspace™, an open-access repository for best practices and learning environments that now supports 5,000 registered users from 1,400 unique educational institutions from 67 countries. In addition, she is co-founder of the Collective for Academic Innovation and Transformation (CAIT), a subgroup of the Leading Academic Change program supported by the Gates Foundation.

She remains a co-chair of the Innovative Instruction Research Council, and co-chair of UB’s Faculty Senate Teaching and Learning Committee, as well as adjunct associate professor in UB’s Department of Communication.

But colleagues note that with all of the technological advancements that Stephens has coordinated and implemented over the years, her primary concern is student success. She is praised for her commitment to students and focus on pedagogy, “rather than on the latest software or gadget.”

Marina Tsianou.

Recognized for the quality, effectiveness and inclusiveness of her instruction, Marina Tsianou has developed and taught a wide range of courses — from required classes to popular electives corresponding with her research in molecularly engineered nanomaterials.

Her lab has provided research training and mentoring to eight doctoral, 35 master’s, and 40 undergraduate students, including several underrepresented students. Students call her an inspiring teacher, dedicated adviser and mentor who always shows genuine concern for her students.

For the past 10 years, she has presented workshops designed to attract girls to STEM fields at the Tech Savvy conference, an annual event organized by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). For several years, Tsianou served as the faculty adviser for UB’s student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). In 2014, she was one of the founding members of UB’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program.

In 2010, undergraduate engineering students named Tsianou Professor of the Year. Five years later, her peers recognized her with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ Senior Teacher Award.

In concert with her teaching, Tsianou and her students have published more than 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals and delivered over 130 presentations at scientific meetings. Her scholarship has garnered more than a dozen research grants, and she has held several elected leadership roles in AIChE.

Tsianou’s service includes several terms on the UB Faculty Senate, UB Curriculum Committee and  the SUNY University Faculty Senate committees on Ethics and Institutional Integrity, and Black Lives Matter.

Justine Wheeler.

Justine Wheeler is known for her attention to detail and willingness to assist in creating and implementing new processes and procedures to serve UB students. She is responsible for tracking and accommodating housing assignment requests, answering countless questions from students and parents, and maintaining records for the more-than 8,000 students who live on campus.

Wheeler created a daily tracking system to enhance efficiency in room changes and the subsequent adjustments to student accounts these changes necessitate — a system that was not only beneficial under normal circumstances, but became increasingly important with the pandemic-related student housing fluctuations of the past year.

She also was instrumental in implementing and testing Campus Living’s new housing software program, her insight and feedback critical to this process, as well as ensuring that students utilize the program effectively.

Wheeler is known in particular for her exceptional customer service to students and parents who contact Campus Living. Colleagues say that even in the midst of a deluge of questions related to COVID-19, she has shown patience and compassion in reassuring students and parents.

Gang Wu.

A professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Gang Wu is an electrochemist whose research has far-reaching implications for the development of sustainable and clean-energy technology.

His research focuses on finding sustainable and economical substitutions to platinum group metal catalysts in the electrochemical reactions responsible for clean-energy technology. This work, which has led to nine patents and patent applications, includes significant breakthroughs that have been recognized by high-profile journals, media outlets and other scholars in the field.

Wu was named one of Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers for 2018, 2019 and 2020. His more than 250 publications — 150 of which were completed in his roughly six years at UB — has more than 28,000 citations.

He has received over $5 million in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the US Department of Energy.

UB awarded Wu the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) Early Career Researcher Award in 2017, the SEAS Senior Researcher Award in 2019 and the Exceptional Scholar – Sustained Achievement Award in 2020.

Wu has served as associate editor of the journal RSC Advances and as an editorial board member for the journals, Scientific Reports and ChemistrySelect. He has also served as a reviewer for more than 1,000 manuscripts in renowned journals, and as a panelist and proposal reviewer for multiple organizations and government agencies.

Additionally, Wu has mentored 17 undergraduate students, 23 master’s students, 11 PhD students and five postdoctoral associates. These mentees received awards such as the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Jun Zhaung.

A professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Jun Zhuang is an internationally renowned scholar whose research has made advancements in homeland security, disaster relief and other areas.

Zhuang’s research integrates a handful of fields – operations research, big data analytics, game theory, decision analysis – to create data-driven models that help decision makers mitigate risks, often during times of crisis or disaster. Examples include how to best allocate resources, how to manage misinformation, and how to create functional partnerships among disparate organizations.

He has examined efficient pre-travel security screening, border security and, more recently, the need for a more resilient medical supply chain, as highlighted by the nation’s COVID-19 response. He also has focused on fire risk management, sustainability measures, architecture and transportation.

Zhuang has been a principal investigator of over 30 research grants funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and National Fire Protection Association.

His publications include 116 peer-reviewed journal articles, 20 conference papers, nine book chapters, six edited books and journal special issues, and six technical reports.

Zhuang has mentored over 150 students and professionals ranging from high school students to visiting scholars. For these efforts, Zhuang received the 2020 UB Teaching Innovation Award, the 2019-2020 UB Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award,  the 2019 UB Student Engagement’s Exemplary Faculty/Staff Mentor Award, as well as the 2012 UB President Emeritus and Mrs. Martin Meyerson Award for Distinguished Teaching and Mentoring. 

As head janitor, Ann Zielinski coordinates the cleaning of 18 residential properties on campus and schedules 100 part-time and full-time cleaners. Highly organized, she manages the planned and unplanned absences and medical leaves of a large staff while ensuring outstanding, uninterrupted service to students. She also coordinates the timely training of her staff in a way that also accommodates staff members’ varying learning styles.

Known for her adaptability, Zielinski is praised by colleagues for her ability to manage and exceed the stringent cleaning and disinfecting standards required by the university’s COVID-19 protocols. When additional sites were added to her staff’s responsibilities in order to reduce costs for outside contractors, Zielinski reallocated staff to accomplish these new tasks. During this same time, she also readjusted her staff’s schedules, staggering their start times to reduce staff density.

Dedicated to improving her team’s methods of cleaning whenever possible, she continuously looks to remain informed on best practices for cleaning and has attended numerous facilities conferences and manufacturers’ demonstrations.

Karen Zinnerstrom.

Karen Zinnerstrom is responsible for the implementation, coordination and evaluation of training programs and curricula used at the Clinical Competency Center and the Behling Simulation Center. Colleagues cite her “passion for her work, advocacy for utilizing standardized clinical scenarios in education, generosity with her time, flexibility to work out logistics in a complex organization, collaborative nature and expertise.”

Zinnerstrom is in charge of identifying methods and content to ensure the delivery of quality programs that develop highly competent medical professionals. In addition, she participates in projects and research activities in collaboration with Jacobs School faculty and other health science professionals to ensure the delivery of performance-based assessment and teaching. She also generates statistical data and reports that help faculty assess student progress.

She has co-developed new patient scenarios for each of the courses’ active learning sessions, as well as trained actors serving as “standardized patients” to interact with students, developed trainee evaluations and ensured the seamless flow of patient encounters.

Zinnerstrom has overseen the clinical competency training of thousands of students and residents, not only in the Jacobs School but also in UB’s other health sciences schools. She is praised by colleagues for demonstrating “flexibility, adaptability and outstanding troubleshooting and communication skills.”

In addition to her professional responsibilities, Zinnerstrom is a dedicated scholar, co-authoring 13 papers or proceedings and four workshop presentations. She has contributed to papers explaining how to incorporate standardized patients into interprofessional learning, how to use standardized patient encounters to teach longitudinal continuity of care in a family medicine clerkship, and how to train standardized patients to be representative of the LGBT community.

Eva Zurek.

Eva Zurek is a leading expert in computational materials chemistry. Her work has had broad impact on research in high-pressure science, superconductors, superhard materials, quantum materials, planetary materials, catalysis and more.

Zurek’s team uses supercomputers to predict the structures, properties and reactivity of novel materials. Her group develops algorithms for the a priori prediction of the structures of crystals, interfaces them with machine learning models, and applies them in materials discovery. Innovative accomplishments include creation of the open-source program XtalOpt, which enables scientists to predict the crystal structures of materials.

The author of more than 130 publications, Zurek has received funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration and the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

Additionally, Zurek has committed time and energy to communicating science to the public. She has been interviewed by Scientific American; Science Friday, carried by public radio stations across the U.S.; CBC’s Quirks and Quarks; The New York Times; and many other outlets about advancements in materials discovery.

A devoted mentor, Zurek, who is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, has served on the dissertation committee for over 30 PhD candidates. Eight mentees have graduated with a PhD from her lab, with all securing employment or fellowships in their field.