2022 Presenters and Panelists

  • Gloria Aidoo-Frimpong, PhD

    Dr. Gloria Aidoo-Frimpong.

    Postdoctoral fellow, Yale AIDS Prevention Training Program (Y-APT).

    Gloria is a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University's Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) under the NIH-supported Yale AIDS Prevention Training Program (Y-APT). Gloria has a Ph.D. in Community Health and Health Behavior from the University at Buffalo, a master's degree in international studies, and a Master of Public Health from Ohio University, Athens. Her program of research focuses on HIV/AIDS (pre-exposure prophylaxis), global health, mixed methods research, the use of technology in research, sexual and reproductive health, and African immigrants and refugee health. Gloria's work has appeared in reputable journals such as AIDS Patient Care and STDS, AIDS Education and Prevention, and Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. 

    Pre-Conference Workshop: Thriving in Graduate School

  • Gwendolyn Baxley, PhD

    Gwendolyn Baxley.

    Associate professor, University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy

    Dr. Baxley explores community-engaged educational leadership and educational spaces that center the affirmation, well-being, critical consciousness and self-determination of Black youth and families. Within this work, Dr. Baxley also explores how societal and school structures and ideologies facilitate or hinder the development of such spaces, including the role of AntiBlackness and racism. Her current research projects explore these areas within the context of school-community-family initiatives, with an emphasis on historical and contemporary community schooling. Dr. Baxley earned her PhD from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a Minority Postdoctoral Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Baxley is also a proud first-generation college student and McNair scholar alumnae.

    Graduate School Application Hacks Session

  • Reem Berman

    Reem Berman.

    Master of Public Health student and research assistant in the Department of Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo

    Reem Berman's extensive laboratory research experience explores the mechanisms of aging and its implications for healthspan in both a benchtop and clinical setting. Concurrently, Reem has and continues to work on multiple global health initiatives addressing preventative health, female empowerment and education. She mentors undergraduate students in their experiential learning journey and international health work. Locally her work in the community focuses on STEM empowerment as well as data and policy development. Her ultimate goals are empowering minorities and females to pursue STEM and address the healthcare field from both a research and policy level. Notably, Reem is a WNY Prosperity Fellow recipient dedicated to the equitable growth and development of the region.

    Graduate School Application Hacks Session

  • Kevin Burke, PhD

    Kevin Burke.

    Associate professor, University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Deputy director, Energy Systems Integration Laboratory

    PhD in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Burke received the CSTEP Research Mentor of the Year Award and has been very involved in mentoring undergraduates in the McNair, CSTEP and LSAMP programs. He will discuss how you can build strong relationships with faculty and find supportive communities.

    Pre-Conference Workshop: Thriving in Graduate School

  • Graham Hammill, PhD

    Graham Hammill.

    Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School, University at Buffalo

    Graham Hammill is Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School. Before joining the Graduate School in 2015, he served as Chair of the English Department. He is the author of several books and numerous articles. 

    The Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs encompasses Undergraduate Education (including the Honors College, UB Curriculum, and the Experiential Learning Network); the Graduate School; Fellowships and Scholarships; Student Success and Academic Support Services (including the Cora P. Maloney Center, Exploratory and Pre-professional Advising and Finish in 4); the Center for Excellence in Writing; the Office of the Registrar; and the office of Curriculum, Assessment, and Teaching Transformation.  In addition, Academic Affairs is responsible for curricular program development and approval, assessment and program review, and academic support services to enhance undergraduate and graduate student access and success at all levels.

    Conference Welcome, Day 1

  • Kimberly Jones, JD, CAE

    Kimberly Jones.

    Executive Vice-President, Council for Opportunity in Education. (COE), Washington, D.C.

    With more than a decade of experience advocating for low-income, first-generation students and students of color, Kimberly Jones has established herself as a credible voice within policy circles in Washington, DC. Currently, Kimberly serves as the Executive Vice President at the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE). In this role,she oversees the day-to-day operations of the Council, including representation of students served by the Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Department of Education, and all government agencies; oversight of the program and professional development offerings for college access and success professionals; the organization’s fiscal policies and information technology; and the development and implementation of all print and digital communications of COE.  

    Prior to joining COE, Kimberly was an associate in the communications practice group at the law firm of Dow Lohnes, PLLC (now Cooley LLP), where she advised clients on a variety of broadcast and media law issues.  

    As a result of her expertise in the areas of higher education, congressional relations, and grassroots mobilization, Kimberly has been featured in publications such as the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and Diverse Issues in Higher Education and has delivered remarks at convenings by Comcast, NAACP, LULAC and other notable organizations. She is an inaugural advisory board member for Black History 365, a comprehensive textbook and curriculum guide designed for students and educators that spans the breadth of Black American history, and volunteers with DC Family & Youth Initiative, an organization that provides mentorship and support for young people in and aging out of the foster care system in the Washington, DC metro area.

    Kimberly has served in leadership roles within various professional and civic organizations, including the Committee for Education Funding, of which she served as president and the National Bar Association, for which she chaired the Legislation Standing Committee.

    Kimberly is a 2000 graduate of Yale University and a 2004 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center. In 1999, she was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar. In 2016, Kimberly was named one of the "40 Under 40 Nation's Best Advocates" by the National Bar Association and also received the organization’s Excellence in Activism Award. In 2018, she was selected for the Diversity Executive Leadership Program sponsored by ASAE, the American Society of Association Executives. In 2021, Kimberly earned the Certified Association Executive credential from ASAE.

    Program Director's Meeting: Access and Equity within a Changing Landscape: A Federal View of Current Higher Education Policy.

  • Richard Linares, PhD

    Richard Linares.

    Assistant professor, MIT

    PhD in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. Dr. Linares will share strategies, from the faculty perspective, on what graduate students can do to thrive in a doctoral program.

    Pre-Conference Workshop: Thriving in Graduate School

  • Rebecca A. Lorenz, PhD

    Rebecca Lorenz.

    Assistant dean for the PhD program, University at Buffalo School of Nursing

    Dr. Lorenz joined the faculty in the School of Nursing at UB in 2017 after working at Saint Louis University for ten years.  She has taught across programs in the School of Nursing with a primary appointment in the graduate programs.  The overarching focus of her research is to identify methods to improve sleep and reduce the adverse consequences of poor sleep among older adults, adults with neurodegenerative diseases, and caregivers. Her nursing experience was primarily in critical care and secondary prevention programs.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Central Methodist College, a Masters in Healthcare Services from Washington University in St. Louis, a Doctorate in Philosophy from Saint Louis University, and completed a Post-Doctorial Fellowship in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. 

    Graduate School Application Hacks Session

  • Lee Melvin

    Lee Melvin.

    Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, University at Buffalo

    Lee H. Melvin is the vice provost for enrollment management at the University at Buffalo. He serves on the president and provost leadership teams and is responsible for leading, developing, articulating and implementing an enrollment management strategy with the primary vision of maintaining academic momentum and moving UB to higher levels of institutional distinction. Melvin oversees the offices of financial aid, undergraduate and graduate admissions, international enrollment, Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Program, marketing and communications and 1Capen.

    Melvin came to UB from Cornell University, where he was the associate vice provost for enrollment management. Prior appointments included his service as the vice president for enrollment management and director of admissions at the University of Connecticut.

    Melvin has extensive experience in creating and implementing strategic enrollment plans and in developing and managing data-driven strategies that leverage financial aid. He has expertise in the use of predictive modeling software and is nationally recognized as an expert in strategic marketing, recruiting and yield programs.

    He is a member of numerous professional and national organizations, including the National Association of College Admission Counseling, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, College Board and the National Association of Graduate Enrollment Management. Melvin is also a founding member of the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success.

    Melvin earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Houston Baptist University and a master’s degree in music from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

    Conference Welcome, Day 1

  • Andrea Obah

    Andrea Obah.

    Psy.D student, Counseilng Psychology, Carlow University

    Andrea Obah is a doctoral candidate pursuing a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree in Counseling Psychology at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She obtained a master’s degree in clinical psychology from The Michigan School of Professional Psychology in Farmington Hills, Michigan. She is currently completing her pre-doctoral internship at UB Counseling Services, where she works with students to help improve their psychological well-being. Throughout graduate school, Andrea has provided therapy services to individuals in other clinical settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers and outpatient clinics.

    Previously, she has served as an adjunct instructor within Carlow University’s Criminology Department. Additionally, she has worked with a local non-profit organization to help lower income families obtain quality educational and vocational opportunities. In non-profit and community settings, Andrea has engaged with diverse populations of all ages, including survivors of intimate partner violence, people who have been incarcerated, and individuals belonging to sexual and gender minority groups. After finishing her doctoral degree this August, Andrea will continue serving college students as a staff psychologist at Towson University in Maryland.

    Pre-Conference Workshop: Thriving in Graduate School

  • Rasheen Powell, PhD

    Rasheen Powell.

    Postdoctoral fellow, Boston Children’s Hospital

    PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology. Dr. Powell’s current research focuses on the neurobiology of pain. He will discuss the transition from the PhD to the postdoc and how he found community and support.

    Pre-Conference Workshop: Thriving in Graduate School

  • Joshua Skeans, EdM

    Joshua Skeans.

    Assistant director of the Office of Educator Preparation, University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education

    As a  key component in his role, Joshua serves as the certification officer for the university and interacts regularly with NYSED and SUNY officials to stay up to date on regulations that affect teachers and school leaders. He also oversees interviews of prospective students and manages many of the day-to-day operations within the office. Prior to joining UB in 2018, Joshua began his professional career as a high school English teacher at Henry Ford Academy in Dearborn, Michigan, where he taught for seven years. Joshua is a graduate of Wayne State University, earning a BA in English Education, and of Eastern Michigan University, earning an EdM in Educational Leadership. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Administration within the department of Educational Leadership and Policy at UB.

    Graduate School Application Hacks Session

  • Despina Stratigakos, PhD

    Despina Stratigakos.

    Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence, University at Buffalo

    Despina Stratigakos, PhD, is a writer, historian and professor. Her research explores how power and ideology function in architecture, whether in the creation of domestic spaces or world empires. She is the author of four books. 

    • Hitler’s Northern Utopia: Building the New Order in Occupied Norway (2020) examines how Nazi architects and planners envisioned and began to construct a model “Aryan” society in Norway during World War II. 
    • Where Are the Women Architects? (2016), confronts the challenges women face in the architectural profession. 
    • Hitler at Home (2015) investigates the architectural and ideological construction of the Führer’s domesticity.
    • A Women’s Berlin: Building the Modern City (2008), which traces the history of a forgotten female metropolis, won the German Studies Association DAAD Book Prize and the Milka Bliznakov Prize. 

    Stratigakos has served as a director of the Society of Architectural Historians, an advisor of the International Archive of Women in Architecture at Virginia Tech, a trustee of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, and deputy director of the Gender Institute at the University at Buffalo. She also participated on Buffalo’s municipal task force for diversity in architecture and was a founding member of the Architecture and Design Academy, an initiative of the Buffalo Public Schools to encourage design literacy and academic excellence. 

    Stratigakos received her PhD from Bryn Mawr College and taught at Harvard University and the University of Michigan before joining the Department of Architecture at the University at Buffalo. During the 2016-17 academic year, she was in residence as a member of the Institute for Advance Study in Princeton.

    Conference Welcome, Day 2