Archive for March, 2012

UB to Receive State Designation and Start-up Funding to Establish a Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics

The Western New York legislative delegation has informed University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi that UB will receive a state designation for a Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics and will be awarded $200,000 in funding to establish the center.

The designation and funding for the center will be included in the 2012-13 state budget.

UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics will use robotics and data-intensive computing technology to focus on discovery and commercialization of innovative new materials, including synthetic replacements for natural elements that are growing scarcer.

With the creation of the center, UB will be positioned nationally to hire additional faculty and pursue federal funding opportunities in this emerging and high-demand field. With the funding, UB will begin cultivating industrial partners and planning for the center’s facilities.

The center will foster increased collaboration between the university and industry, giving Western New York companies a competitive advantage and potentially creating thousands of jobs.

The new UB center will change the way materials research is conducted, speeding the discovery and deployment of advanced materials. Specifically, the center would make it possible for researchers to synthesize and test the properties of hundreds of materials at once, as opposed to one at a time.

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Native Students Use Wolf-Fire Scholarship to Improve Community

When he was eight years old, Beynan Ransom protested with his parents at a General Motors plant that discharged waste into the St. Lawrence River near the Akwesasne Mohawk Indian Territory, three hours from Syracuse.

More than 10 years later, Ransom is still working to improve the Native American community across New York by working with the Onondaga Nation, this time on the removal of the Onondaga Creek dam. Now, his commitment is getting a boost from the University at Buffalo’s Wolf-Fire Scholarship offered through the UB’s Native American Center for Wellness Research.

The Wolf-Fire Scholarship will aid Ransom, a UB civil engineering graduate student, by paying for the cost of his weekly travel between Buffalo and Syracuse to conduct research. His scholarship is among those awarded to five UB Native American students who are focused on improving their communities.

“Having Native American youth obtain a college degree and continue to be involved within their communities benefits both the Native student and community,” said David Patterson, director of UB’s Native American Center for Wellness Research, who also heads the scholarship program.

The other Wolf-Fire Scholarship recipients are: Monty Hill, UB linguistics major, Joe Candillo and Aaron VanEvery, both in the American Studies PhD program, and Jessica Brant, a senior communications major.

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UB Trivia Team Headed to Chicago for National Tournament

A team of four University at Buffalo trivia players will head to Chicago March 30 to take on other college teams in a national, invitation-only quiz bowl.

Hands clenching buzzers, they’ll field questions on topics including music, literature, mythology, philosophy, geography, astronomy, quantum mechanics and more.

It’s the first time that the UB academic quiz team has received an invitation to a national tournament, said Zach Pace, a physics and mathematics major who will be competing.

The accomplishment is impressive considering that the team is fairly new to the intercollegiate trivia circuit: The members are part of UB’s Academic Bowl club, a student group that Pace founded in 2010.

In Chicago, the team will be among 32 battling it out at the National Academic Quiz Tournaments Division II nationals from March 30-31.

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UB Grad Programs Ranked Among America’s Best by U.S. News & World Report

Several University at Buffalo graduate and professional degree programs again were recognized as among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report in its annual ranking of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”

“We’re always pleased when our excellent academic programs are recognized for their quality and impact,” said Bruce D. McCombe, UB interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “U.S. News & World Report is a very visible, albeit imperfect, ranking of graduate programs and schools.”

UB graduate programs in business, English, engineering, fine arts, law, medicine, audiology, clinical psychology, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, social work and speech pathology earned rankings.

Click here to see where the UB programs ranked.

UB Student’s Winning Plan Reimagines a Siberian City

Matthew Wattles, a senior in the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, and his planning team–the only Americans among students from around the world to have participated — were the winners of the 13th session of the International Winter University (WU) competition, held at Baikal International Winter University of Urban Planning Design from Feb. 11 to March 4 in Irkutsk, Russia.

The WU, which is built around a different theme each year and held in partnership with Irkutsk State Technical University; Les Ateliers, France, and the Union of Architects of Russia, asked students from around the world to offer Irkutsk’s city planners and politicians fresh ideas to address the city’s uncontrolled urban development, to bring its expansion under control and to promote better development programs.

“The main goal of the Baikal International University competition programs,” says Daniel Hess, associate professor in UB’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning, “is to encourage participants’ interest in creative work by involving them in regional investment projects like this one, in which students from around world get practical experience in solving some of Irkutsk’s very real urban planning issues. Another goal is to promote a professional urban planning culture among them.”

The subject of the competition this year was “Suburbanization: The City and Ecology” and architects, urban economists, ecologists and students in several disciplines from 30 countries worked in a planning studio where they addressed the suburbanization problems faced by Irkutsk’s population of nearly 600,000 on the shores of the oldest and deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal.

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UB’s Career Services Connects Students with Top Companies

In today’s survival-of-the-fittest job market, the University at Buffalo Career Services office is setting its sights high when it comes to helping students and graduates.

That office aims to develop job opportunities within companies that have been recognized for their excellence in rankings such as “Fortune’s Top 100 Best Companies to Work For,” as well as employers where graduates wish to begin their careers.

And the inventory of opportunities — whether they be internships, part-time jobs or full-time employment — are starting to reflect the center’s strategy and focus: find the best places for graduates to work, and build mutually beneficial working relationships with the employer community.

The result: UB students can work for the best employers out there, and at the same time, these companies can enjoy the benefits of the university’s well-trained and ambitious graduates.

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Stott Named Director of Honors College

Andrew M. Stott, professor of English, has been named director of UB’s Honors College and associate dean of undergraduate education.

Stott’s appointment, effective March 19, was announced by A. Scott Weber, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education.

Stott was selected for the post after a national search chaired by. He succeeds Clyde F. “Kipp” Herreid, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor.

Diane Christian, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of English and chair of the search committee, said the committee conducted a four-month national search and found a distinguished pool of candidates, with Stott emerging as “a visionary, collegial and innovative leader who will continue the remarkable history of UB Honors.”

A UB faculty member for the past nine years, Stott is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in teaching, and has served as both director of undergraduate studies and director of the MA program in the Department of English.

In his new role, he will be responsible for directing the academic experiences of one of UB’s most dynamic and academically talented undergraduate populations, while also providing leadership and vision across the university’s undergraduate enterprise.

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Mitchell Watt Named Mid-American Conference Player of the Year

University at Buffalo senior forward Mitchell Watt was named the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year on Monday as voted on by the MAC News Media Association. He is just the second UB player to earn the award, as current assistant coach Turner Battle also took home the honor in 2005.

“It’s thrilling to see his development and to see him evolve as a man to get to the point where he has that level of impact on not only his teammates, but the entire conference,” head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. “I know how difficult it is for someone from Buffalo to get an award like this. I’m just elated for Mitch, his teammates, our staff and his family.”

Watt is having a breakout season for the Bulls. He is averaging 16 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.4 blocked shots per game – all career highs. He ranks in the top four in the conference in five different categories, including scoring (4th), rebounding (4th), field goal percentage (4th), blocked shots (2nd) and defensive rebounds (3rd).

The Goodyear, Ariz., native had a strong finish to season, helping the Bulls earn their best ever conference record (12-4) and highest seed in the FirstEnergy Mid-American Conference Tournament (2nd).

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International Trade Major to be Added in Fall

The University at Buffalo will offer a standalone major in international trade beginning with the fall 2012 semester. The new major, housed in the Department of Geography, replaces the department’s international business and world trade concentration.

The newly established degree program prepares students to critically assess the process of globalization operating in the world today, including the growth of multinationals and foreign direct investment, international trade, the internationalization of capital and financial markets, new international divisions of labor, and the rapid development of technology and innovations.

For more information on the new international trade major, please visit the Department of Geography website.

New Program Takes Pharmacy to Next Level

Melissa Apa gets a lower-than-expected blood sugar report back from the lab and immediately contacts her newly diagnosed diabetic patient. She wants to be sure her patient isn’t experiencing dangerously low episodes of hypoglycemia.

Apa isn’t a physician, but she is part of a growing trend in primary care. A licensed clinical pharmacist, Apa is working at the Buffalo Medical Group as part of a pharmacy practice residency offered by the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The UB pharmacy residency programs place students in community agencies, teaching them to function as members of health care teams who follow and interact with patients as they adjust to new diagnoses.

“We build rapport with physicians and explain how UB residents can streamline their workflow and improve patient outcomes,” explains Nicole Albanese, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy and the residency program director at the Buffalo Medical Group.

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