Oscar-winning UB grad thanks professors for important career lessons

Academy Award winner Tom Curley, BA ’01, knew coming to the University at Buffalo was the right choice for him shortly after transferring from a community college in upstate New York. Curley loves movies and he says he found the demanding, yet rewarding program he was looking for at UB.

“It was the passion of the professors and their dedication to the art of film that was so special,” says Curley, who with Craig Mann and Ben Wilkins won this year’s Academy Award for sound mixing in the film “Whiplash” starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. “Right away, I learned this was a place of serious academia and that helped me focus my career ambitions.”

Curley runs through his UB experiences with the enthusiasm of a presenter reading the nominees’ names on Oscar night, but like the eventual award winner, the name Tony Conrad — SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Media Study — stands out.

“He was definitely one of my favorite professors,” Curley says. “He’s whacky but in the best possible way. Tony made everything interesting and fun. He allowed us to explore the weird side of film and taught me so much more than I ever would have learned by watching more mainstream stuff.”

If Curley knew right away that UB was the right choice for him, he knew just as quickly that “Whiplash” was going to be something special.

As a production sound mixer, Curley is responsible for capturing all the audio on set, from the actors’ voices to ambient sound. But his association on this picture with Mann and Wilkins, who had post-production roles, was unique.

“Many times, post-production sound people haven’t even been hired while a film is being shot,” Curley says. “The foresight to have them there for pre-production was great.”

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Princeton Review ranks UB among top schools that ‘pay you back’

In a new national publication, The Princeton Review has rated UB among the colleges and universities it considers the nation’s best for high-quality degree programs, affordability and career prospects.

UB “is able to provide a great education at a low price,” according to the editors of “Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get In.” “And at a fraction of the cost of comparable private colleges and universities, a UB education is also an exceptional value.”

The editors of The Princeton Review based selections on a “return-on-education” (ROE) rating developed for the publication. UB is ranked No. 91 among the top 200 schools that provide students with the best ROE, which measures 40 weighted data points — everything from academics, cost, financial aid and student debt to statistics on graduation rates, alumni salaries and job satisfaction.

The ranking considered 650 schools nationwide.

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Aviles named associate vice provost, director of admissions

José Aviles, director of admissions at the University of Delaware, has been named associate vice provost and director of admissions at UB.

The announcement was made on Monday by Lee H. Melvin, UB vice provost for enrollment management.

In his new position, Aviles will oversee development of proactive student recruitment initiatives and innovative strategies to promote recognition of the UB brand, as well as increase contacts with prospective students through various media and technologies. He also will be responsible for the strategic development and leadership of domestic undergraduate recruitment programs.

“I am very excited to have José Aviles joining UB,” said A. Scott Weber, senior vice provost for academic affairs. “He has had great success at the University of Delaware and his vision for further elevating UB’s undergraduate admissions was broad-based, stimulating and will be exciting to see implemented.

“We are truly fortunate to have such a nationally recognized figure in the admission community lead UB’s efforts to recruit the very best undergraduates to our institution,” Weber said.

Aviles began his career in 1998 as an admissions counselor at LaSalle University in Philadelphia. He then served as an admissions recruiter at Mercer County Community College in Trenton, New Jersey; assistant dean of admissions at Swarthmore College; assistant director of admissions and assistant director of education opportunity fund/maximizing academic potential (EOF/MAP) at Rowan University; and associate director and director of admissions at Millersville University.

He joined the University of Delaware as director of admissions in 2012.

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Office of Admissions Holiday Hours

UB’s  Office of Admissions will be closed to the public from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2, in order for us to prepare for application review.  We will resume normal business hours on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015.

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season!

UB to host Military Veteran Preview Day on Nov. 14

The University at Buffalo invites veterans and active duty or reserve members of the U.S. armed forces to attend a university-wide Military Veteran Preview Day on Nov. 14 in the Center for the Arts on UB’s North Campus.

UB is ranked No. 23 among national universities in the U.S. News and World Report’s listing of “Best Colleges for Veterans.” The ranking evaluates schools that participate in federal initiatives to help veterans and active service members apply, pay for and complete their degrees.

“The purpose of the day is to expose veterans to the many undergraduate and graduate and professional programs here at UB and to provide a glimpse into the many support services available to them,” says Daniel Ryan, event co-organizer and director of UB’s Off-Campus Student Services and Veteran Services.

A full agenda is available on UB’s Military Preview Day website. Registration is required for the free event.

The day’s keynote speaker will be Patrick J. Long, a U.S. Navy officer who earned a law degree at UB in 2000, practiced law at Hodgson Russ in Buffalo and is now teaching legal writing, analysis and research in the UB Law School.

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Admissions deadline dates for fall 2015 applicants

As the fall college application season enters full swing, here are a few key dates to keep in mind for students interested in applying to the University at Buffalo:

November 15 – Early Decision application submission date
December 1 – Early Decision application completion date
Mid-December – Early Decision decision letters sent

December 1 – Scholarship consideration application date
December 15 – scholarship consideration completion date

December 1 – Recommended application deadline date
December 15 – Recommended application completion date
Early March – Decision letters sent

New for fall 2015 – Early Assurance Pharmacy is 2+4=6

Greetings School Counselors,

New for fall 2015 and beyond for entering UB freshmen: Early Assurance (EA) @ UB is 2+4=6!

We are excited to announce that incoming freshmen entering UB directly from high school who indicate pharmacy as their intended major are automatically admitted to the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPPS) Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree through our prestigious Early Assurance program. EA @ UB is 2+4=6 (NOTE: slight revisions to the curriculum are pending SUNY and New York State Education Department approval).

This program gives talented freshmen the heightened advantage of securing a seat in our PharmD degree after completing two years of prescribed undergraduate course work. Successful students in this program will enter pharmacy school after only two years of prerequisite course work followed by four years of professional study in our PharmD program. EA @ UB is restricted to students who enter UB directly from high school. During the two years of undergraduate study, students must maintain a 3.3 prerequisite GPA, successfully complete an interview, and adhere to all Early Assurance program requirements. Students who meet all EA program requirements will enter the PharmD program after two years.

EA @ UB 2+4=6 offers significant advantages:
* a simplified application process – PharmCAS application, PCAT, recommendation letters, personal statement, and demonstrated experiences are NOT required;
* a top-ranked PharmD program with a reputation as the most established training program in New York State;
* access to renowned faculty involved in ground-breaking research; and,
* an innovative educational experience at an excellent value.

Through EA, qualified students do not have to compete with hundreds of PharmCAS applicants. This outstanding opportunity, available since 1998, has consistently provided a comprehensive curriculum in preparation for our PharmD program.

How to Apply
Admission to the EA program is based on the university’s freshman admission criteria. There are no additional high school GPA or SAT/ACT requirements. EA is not the sole route into our PharmD program and ineligibility for EA does not imply that a student is not qualified for admission. All other applicants are considered through PharmCAS. Students may apply via Undergraduate Admissions or apply via International Admissions.

About Pre-Pharmacy at UB
The Doctor of Pharmacy program is a four-year professional program, following a minimum of two years of undergraduate pre-pharmacy coursework. The PharmD is a professional degree that enables one to work as a pharmacist, interacting with patients and other health care practitioners for medical issues involving medication treatment. Pre-pharmacy at UB is not a baccalaureate degree-granting program; instead it is a pre-professional academic pathway similar to pre-medicine or pre-law. The program includes a set of courses that prepares students for admission to the professional PharmD program.

We look forward to working with you and your students.

Jennifer Hess
Assistant Dean, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Tripathi: ‘We are on the brink of a new future”

When Satish K. Tripathi came to UB as the university’s provost in 2004, UB was “a very fine institution with a solid foundation and great potential.” Now, a decade later, “I see a remarkable institution, a world-class university taking its rightful place alongside some of the best research universities anywhere,” UB’s president told members of the university community, alumni and friends on Friday during his third State of the University address.

Speaking to an audience in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on the North Campus, Tripathi outlined the progress UB has made across the university and the many ways it is transforming both the local and global communities.

He began by noting recent faculty and research highlights:
*UB hired 110 faculty members and 157 staff members in the past academic year.
*Total research funding from all sources is at an all-time high of $388 million.
*Faculty and staff members continue to receive national and international recognition as the recipients of major awards like National Science Foundation CAREER Awards and Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, as well as being named fellows in the prestigious scholarly associations in their fields, among them the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Psychological Association.
*UB has had the “lion’s share” of appointments as SUNY Distinguished Professors during the past five years.

Having world-class faculty attracts world-class students, Tripathi pointed out, and UB is recruiting more of the best undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

“These are intellectually passionate, motivated students who know they want to use their talents to make a difference in the world,” he said. “And they come to UB “because they know they will find opportunities here that will challenge them to do just that, to the very best of their abilities.”

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US News ranks UB in top 50 among public universities; No. 1 for grads with least debt

Top-notch academics and the lowest possible debt: that’s the win-win value offered to students by the University at Buffalo, according U.S. News and World Report.

This year, UB for the first time cracked the top 50 among the best public “national universities” in the country – ranking No. 48, up three spots from last year’s No. 51 ranking. U.S. News bases its rankings on an assessment of 1,600 of the country’s four-year colleges and universities. Among both public and private national universities, UB is ranked No. 103, up 6 spots from last year and an improvement of 17 spots over the past 5 years.

And UB continues to outperform its peers on value. UB is ranked No. 1 among public colleges and universities nationwide for graduating students with the least amount of debt. Among both public and private schools, UB is ranked No. 8 for the least debt.

According to U.S. News, for those UB students who graduate with debt (55 percent of students don’t have any debt upon graduation), the average debt amount is $17,455. At national universities with the “most debt,” students graduate with average debt of $35, 902 to $41,060, according to U.S. News, and as many as 87 percent of students graduate in debt.

For the first time, UB also was ranked one of the best colleges for veterans, at No. 23. This category, introduced last year, lists top-ranked schools that participate in federal initiatives to help veterans and active service members apply, pay for and complete their degrees.

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Undergraduate Education creates scholarship coordinator role

University at Buffalo students have received Marshall, Fulbright, Goldwater and other prestigious scholarships in the past year.

UB hopes to build on that success, which is why the Office of Undergraduate Education recently appointed Elizabeth Colucci as coordinator of nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships.

Colucci was formerly an assistant director of the Honors College, a job that included helping students write scholarship applications. In her new role, Colucci will focus on building programs that raise the number of UB undergraduate and graduate national award winners.

“We want to find students with a spark of something special so they can learn about fellowships and scholarships early in their career,” says Colucci. “If they can make wise choices about how to spend their summers and become more competitive, our students can put themselves in strong positions to apply.”

In the past year, UB students have been awarded a Marshall Scholarship, the university’s first in 25 years and second overall, and two Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, along with two honorable mentions, two National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowships, two Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships and one full Fulbright grant.

“We’ve had some tremendous successes with students competing for nationally recognized awards, largely through Elizabeth’s leadership,” says Mara Huber, associate dean for undergraduate education, undergraduate research and experiential learning.

“Through this expanded position and also our new undergraduate suite at 24 Capen Hall, students will now have access to more support along with expanded experiential learning opportunities,” she said. “Since virtually every competitive fellowship and scholarship requires extensive learning outside the classroom, striving for these awards can help students further their academic goals while supporting their individual interests and passions.”

To further support student participation in experiential learning, the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (CURCA) will be reorganized under the Office of Undergraduate Education. Tim Tryjankowski serves as director of CURCA, which connects students with mentored research opportunities and funding.

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