Published June 12, 2019
Scott C. White, a longtime faculty member in the School of Public Health and Health Professions, passed away unexpectedly May 24. He was 68.
Jean Wactawski-Wende, the school’s dean, notified faculty and staff of White’s death in an email May 28. “Scott was a respected and well-liked faculty member in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences,” Wactawski-Wende wrote.
A UB faculty member since 1989, White conducted research in the Biomechanics of Human Movement Laboratory, focusing on neuromusculoskeletal movement issues related to osteoarthritis and injury in runners.
During his time with SPHHP, White also served as associate dean for faculty affairs from 2006 to 2012. He had recently retired from the school.
Many of White’s former colleagues and students shared their remembrances of him online.
Ryan Crotin, who received his doctorate in exercise and nutrition sciences in 2013, was one of White’s teaching assistants. A former collegiate and professional baseball player, Crotin recalled how White mentored him.
“Scott really understood my motivation to incorporate my education into coaching athletes. I was definitely unconventional as a doctorate student and he was always so supportive,” Crotin wrote, noting that White served on his dissertation committee.
Crotin wrote that he’ll never forget his dissertation defense. “I actually cried at the end of it as I was moved by my committee’s support and family being with me. During the roundtable discussion to follow the defense, Scott said, ‘Great work Ryan, but remember, there’s no crying in baseball’” — a reference to an oft-quoted line from the 1992 film “A League of Their Own.”
“It was classic and so was he,” Crotin wrote.
“Scott handled my tenure case and offered thoughtful advice throughout the process,” Jeffrey Miecznikowski, associate professor of biostatistics, shared. “Later on when I inherited Scott’s position, I strived to bring his level of professionalism, attention, and care to the position.”
Sue Ann Sisto, who became chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Science last year, appreciated White’s support as she took on a new role at a new university.
“He helped me to organize the biomechanics lab and to orient me to the history of the people who studied movement in that lab as well as helping to clear the path for my research,” she wrote. “His discussions with me were so grounded. As a new Chair, he always tried to help me to improve my work life balance.”
White is survived by his dear companion, Holly Balmer; son, Matthew (Alexandra) White; many dear friends, colleagues and his son’s dog, Tucker.
He was a lover of the outdoors and enjoyed hiking through his property in all seasons and weather in Buckhorn, Ontario. “Scott loved the trails,” said his colleague, Gaspar Farkas, SPHHP’s associate dean for academic and student affairs and an associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences.
Private funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family.