This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

People etc.

Published: March 31, 2005

Dyson to deliver King address



Scholar and best-selling author Michael Eric Dyson will be keynote speaker for the 29th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Event, to be held at 8 p.m. April 7 in the Center for the Arts, North Campus.

The event is part of the Distinguished Speakers Series. Lecture sponsor is the Minority Faculty and Staff Association.

Dyson is Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities and professor of religious studies and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Named by Essence magazine as one of the nation's "50 most inspiring African Americans," he has been described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as "a major American thinker and cultural critic."

Dyson has written 10 books in 10 years, ranging from works on cultural criticism, race theory and religious thought to philosophical reflection and gender and sexual studies. He also has written four books on "biocriticism"—works that use biography to probe social themes and cultural politics. These include a book ranked by Black Issues Book Review as one of the outstanding black books of the 20th century and a national bestseller, "I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr.," and "Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur," his best-selling treatment of the slain rapper and icon.

Dyson also has published "The Michael Eric Dyson Reader" and "Why I Love Black Women," a national bestseller that won the 2004 NAACP Image Award for outstanding nonfiction literary work.

Dyson is an ordained Baptist minister, radio commentator for NPR's "Tavis Smiley Show," contributing writer for Philadelphia Magazine and frequent guest on the nation's leading cultural and political television shows.

Before all of his success, the former church pastor was a teen father on welfare in his native Detroit who worked in several factories before starting college at 21.

Tickets for Michael Eric Dyson are $20 and $16 for the general public and $18 and $14 for UB faculty, staff, students and alumni. Tickets may be purchased at the CFA box office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at all Ticketmaster locations.

Teaching circle seminar scheduled

The second in a series of Coffee House Teaching Circles designed to offer a venue for faculty members to share their experiences in the classroom will be held from 1:30-2:25 p.m. Wednesday in the Friends' Room of Lockwood Library, North Campus. Participants should enter through the cybrary/microforms/newspapers area on the second floor.

The series is presented by the Center for Teaching and Learning Resources.

J. Ronald Gentile, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus, Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology, Graduate School of Education, will lead the discussion on an article he authored, "Teaching Methods" (Magill's Encyclopedia of Social Science, Psychology, January 2003).

The seminar is free of charge, but seating is limited.

To register, go to or contact Lisa Francescone at or 645-7328.

SOM to host regional "HR Games"

The Career Resource Center in the School of Management, in conjunction with the student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association, has been selected to host the "2005 Northeast Region HR Games" on April 9.

"It is quite an honor to host the HR Games here," says Loreta Genco, associate director of the SOM Career Resource Center. "Student teams from 10-20 colleges and universities throughout the Northeast will be coming to our school to compete. It's an excellent opportunity both for our students and for human-resource professionals in our area."

Human-resource professionals will serve as judges for the event. The HR Games are designed to motivate and prepare students for the PHR (Professional in Human Resources) certification exam. Teams compete for cash scholarship prizes as they answer human-resource questions in a TV game-show format. Matches are held between teams of up to three undergraduate students from SHRM student chapters at various universities.

"The event gives students an opportunity to network with other students and to showcase their knowledge to HR practitioners who one day may be their employers," says Tahira Komal, an MBA student and president of the UB student chapter of SHRM.

The winner of the Northeast Region HR Games will compete against winners from other SHRM regions at the SHRM 2005 Annual Conference, to be held in San Diego in June.

SEAS students to receive more than $180,000 in scholarships

This week, 152 students in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences will be awarded 168 scholarships totaling more than $180,000 during the SEAS 20th Annual Scholarship Reception, to be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the University Inn and Conference Center.

SEAS Dean Mark Karwan will preside at the reception, assisted by John Van Benschoten, associate dean for undergraduate education and professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering. Students, family and friends, donors, alumni and faculty and staff are expected to attend.

The event is sponsored by SEAS and the SEAS Alumni Association.

UB Women's Club announces activities

The UB Women's Club will hold its Election Meeting and Tea at 11:30 a.m. April 9 in the Center for Tomorrow, North Campus.

The tea will be followed by the election of officers for next year.

All members are invited to attend.

Other upcoming activities include the annual Chinese banquet to benefit the Grace Capen Awards, set for 6 p.m. Sunday at the Golden Duck Restaurant, Maple and Ayer roads, Amherst. All are welcome to attend, but reservations are required due to limited seating.

The Book Club will meet on April 11 to discuss "A Gesture Life," by Chang-rae Lee.

Anyone interested in attending UB Women's Club activities or in making reservations should contact Joan Ryan at 626-9332.

Teleconference on retention scheduled

"Keeping 'Em Once You've Got 'Em: Promoting Student Engagement and Persistence" will be the topic of a satellite broadcast to be held from 2:30-4 p.m. April 7 in B-15 Abbott Hall, South Campus.

The STARLINK teleconference is presented by the Center for Teaching and Learning Resources.

Participants will learn what other institutions are doing to help students persevere and reach graduation, and how to implement these retention strategies on their own campuses.

The event is free but registration is required. To register, go to

Free alcohol screenings available at RIA

As part of National Alcohol Screening Day, the Clinical Research Center at UB's Research Institute on Addictions will offer Buffalo-area residents the opportunity to look at their drinking style to see if they are social drinkers or have crossed the line into problem-drinking territory.

Free confidential screenings will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 7 in RIA, 1021 Main St., between North and Goodrich streets. The screening process will take 30 minutes or less and involves completing a questionnaire and a consultation with a health professional. Appointments are not required.

It is estimated that almost 29 percent of American adults are "risky drinkers" whose drinking places them at increased risk for alcohol disorders.

This public-awareness campaign is sponsored by the Screening for Mental Health in collaboration with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

For more information, call 887-2387, or go to