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UB faculty, staff receive SUNY Chancellor’s Awards

SUNY Chancellor's Award medal.


Published June 27, 2022


Twenty faculty and staff members have been named recipients of the 2022 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.

The Chancellor’s Awards acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities recognizes the work of those who engage actively in scholarly and creative pursuits beyond their teaching responsibilities. Recipients are Craig Colder, professor in the Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences; Haiqing Lin, professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Jun Qu, professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Adnan Siddiqui, professor and vice chair, Department of Neurosurgery, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Junsong Yuan, professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and Robert Zivadinov, professor, Department of Neurology, Jacobs School.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching honors those who consistently demonstrate superb teaching at the undergraduate, graduate or professional level. Recipients are Sabrina Casucci, associate professor of teaching, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Shira Gabriel, associate professor, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences; Mark O'Brian, professor and chair, Department of Biochemistry, Jacobs School; Jessica Poulin, clinical associate professor, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences; and Atri Rudra, professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service honors professional staff performance excellence “both within and beyond the position.” Recipients are Ellen Goldbaum, news content manager, University Communications; Meegan Hunt, associate director, Residential Life; Barbara McCabe, instructional support staff, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences; Anna Sotelo-Peryea, associate director and violence prevention coordinator, Health Promotion; Sofia Tangalos, senior staff assistant, Office of Faculty Affairs, Jacobs School; and Elizabeth White, director of graduate enrollment, research and graduate education, Jacobs School.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service recognizes classified staff members who have consistently demonstrated superlative performance within and beyond their position. This year’s recipients are Karen Barnes, keyboard specialist 1, Department of Rehabilitation Science, School of Public Health and Health Professions; Elaine Taylor, ophthalmology residency training program administrator and administrative assistant to the chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, Jacobs School; and Michelle VanDewalker, office assistant 1, Campus Mail.

Karen Barns.

During her more than 20 years as a UB staff member, Karen Barnes has cultivated an expansive network of co-workers, collaborators and resources across the university that allows her to respond efficiently to the needs of her department. She is widely known for her wide range of responsibilities, which include event planning, purchasing, grant reporting and applying awards to student accounts, to name just a few.

Barnes consistently goes beyond the scope of her position to fill customer service gaps or head off issues before they occur, such as setting up guest accounts for adjunct professors until their formal UBIT access is in place.

Moreover, her co-workers laud her ability to respond to “needs unspoken.” For example, when she discovered that faculty members were struggling to maintain their voices when teaching while wearing a mask, she obtained wireless microphones from UBIT that faculty could reserve throughout the semester.

Barnes is also praised by her colleagues for her initiative and detail-oriented approach. She often focuses on creating more efficient systems within the department, ensuring that technology tools are being used to their full potential and centralizing submission forms for purchasing and student placements on a departmental website.

Barnes also coordinated with the dean’s office regarding several construction projects impacting the department. She worked with faculty to identify any problems with the construction schedule, obtained alternate work sites and even moved office equipment and furniture as needed to ensure smooth operations through the completion of the project.

Sabrina Casucci.

From first-year students to doctoral candidates, Sabrina Casucci has taught nearly 1,800 students in traditional classroom settings, fully remote and hybrid flexible formats. She has also advised more than 150 students on their informal coursework, including independent research and capstone projects.

During the past five years, she has taught 19 courses that focus on technical theories, methods, applications and managerial topics.

In 2018, Casucci also helped the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) develop its first course to support fully online, credit-bearing instruction and non-credit-bearing professional development. She continues to incorporate new technologies, innovative teaching pedagogies and open-ended, immersive assessments to provide students with exceptional learning experiences.

In addition, she has worked with 12 ISE faculty members to transform their traditional, in­person classroom courses into 14 high-quality online courses that blend exceptional asynchronous instruction and synchronous interactions.

As director of the Engineering Management Program, Casucci led the effort to transform the program into a flexible and fully online format. In just three months, her efforts resulted in 200 enrolled students.

Casucci has served as a faculty adviser for undergraduate, master’s and PhD students. She has been recognized with the student-selected Tau Beta Pi Professor of the Year award (2019) and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ Best Teaching Faculty of the Year award (2019). In 2020, she was named an Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador.

Craig Colder.

Craig Colder serves as director of the university’s Adolescent and Family Development Laboratory. His research helps identify multiple levels of influence that contribute to childhood and adolescent behavior problems, and the development of adolescent substance abuse, such as individual temperament and personality, family and community influences.

Colder is also principal investigator of several projects, where he directs a multidisciplinary team that includes researchers from UB, SUNY Buffalo State, the University of Washington, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emory University and the University of Zurich.

The goal of these projects is to understand child development from an ecological perspective, a scientific discipline that examines the interactions between people, and between people and their environment. An important feature of this perspective is a “whole child” approach that examines the many influences that can support or derail healthy development and well-being.

Shira Gabriel.

Shira Gabriel is an internationally renowned social psychologist and an expert on the social nature of the self. She is president of the International Society for Self & Identity and president-elect of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology.

Gabriel leads UB’s Social Self Lab, where she and her students examine social surrogacy, the tendency for people to form psychological relationships with non-human (or non-physically available) entities; the social functions of the self; the need to belong, and how our relationships shape our feelings about ourselves, and vice versa. The lab researches the psychological importance of spending time in large, anonymous crowds, such as those found at concerts, sporting events, rallies and religious gatherings. Much of Gabriel’s research is guided by the proposition that humans are a fundamentally social species and that many human behaviors can be best understood as being in service of connecting to others.

Gabriel’s commitment to her students has been as profound as the impact of her research. Since joining the UB faculty in 2001, she has taught more than 30 sections of the psychology department’s introductory course, among other higher-level courses, impacting approximately 10,000 students. In her lab, meantime, she has mentored more than 150 students over the years.

She has received funding for her research from the Templeton Foundation, the Social Science Research Council and the Russell Sage Foundation.

The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, CBC, The Atlantic and Time magazine have all reported on Gabriel’s work.

Ellen Goldbaum-Kolin.

Ellen Goldbaum joined the UB professional staff in 1990 as a senior science editor covering the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and what was then the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; she has been covering the Jacobs School since 2011.

In covering one of the university’s most public-facing schools, she has helped elevate the Jacobs School’s reputation as a top-tier medical school by writing hundreds of news releases and stories for UB publications about the groundbreaking research and clinical care taking place there, as well as the school’s strong service to the Western New York community.

She worked closely with school leadership to develop the communications and event-planning strategies to celebrate the school’s grand opening of its new building in downtown Buffalo in 2017. Michael Cain, who was vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School at that time, noted Goldbaum’s “key role” in ensuring positive news media coverage of the school and her expertise in coordinating with the many stakeholders involved in the building’s opening.

Over the past few years, Goldbaum has focused her work on the Jacobs School’s scientists, researchers and students who are serving on the frontlines of the pandemic by providing clinical care or are making pioneering discoveries related to the understanding and treatment of COVID-19.

More recently, she has turned her attention to the school’s social justice efforts, bringing awareness to the research and related contributions of UB students, faculty and staff of color. She also has supported equity by setting up a series of informal Zoom conversations for her University Communications colleagues to discuss ways to better incorporate principals of diversity and inclusion across all facets of the division’s work.

Meegan Hunt.

A UB staff member for more than 20 years, Meegan Hunt has held a variety of positions within Campus Living, working on behalf of the health, safety and development of residential students. These include as residence hall director, complex director, assistant director for residential operations and assistant director for university apartments; she assumed her current position as associate director for residential life in 2015.

Hunt manages an operating budget of more than $700,000 and assists with the development of additional budgets of $3.6 million. She is responsible for supervising, training and evaluating numerous staff, including four assistant directors, one complex coordinator, 13 full-time complex/hall directors, nine office managers, 15 part-time assistant complex/hall directors, 42 community assistants and 175 resident advisers.

During the pandemic, Hunt has been integral to implementing SUNY guidelines to protect students’ health while ensuring their continued educational excellence. She coordinated the move-out process for approximately 6,500 students during the spring of 2020. Moreover, she has been actively involved in numerous campus committees related to COVID-19.

Dedicated to cultivating an environment of inclusion among staff and students, Hunt has served on the Inclusive Excellence Leadership Council, established and chaired the Campus Living Residential Life Social Justice and Inclusion Committee, and chaired the Staff Experiences Subcommittee of the Student Life Social Justice Advisory Group.

She also has worked collaboratively with the Office of the Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion on the development of Community Chats and the Difficult Conversation (DIFCON) series, which addresses difficult — and often uncomfortable — topics of importance to the UB community.

Haiqing Lin.

Haiqing Lin is a renowned scholar in the field of membrane separation science and technology. He develops high-performance materials for various carbon-capture technologies. He also works in water purification, industrial gas separations and polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cells.

Lin has garnered 23 grants totaling $12 million, including support from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior. Lin has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, including 80 in just the past eight years. He is a co-inventor on 10 patents and patent applications.

Lin is active in professional societies, having organized international meetings of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the American Chemical Society and the Materials Research Society.

He has served as a guest editor for a special issue of the Journal of Polymer Science titled “Polymeric Membranes for Sustainable Development”; an editor of Scientific Reports; board directors of the Separation Division of AIChE and North American Membrane Society (NAMS); and a reviewer for the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy.

Lin was given the Innovation Award of the Separations Division of the AIChE. This highly selective award goes to a single individual annually for outstanding contributions to scientific, technological or industrial areas involving separations technologies. Additionally, in 2016, Lin received a prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation.

Barbara McCabe.

Barbara McCabe’s colleagues in the Department of Biological Sciences call her a “natural problem solver” and “the guru of the teaching labs.” As an instructional support technician, she has a broad range of responsibilities, including maintaining inventory and functionality of teaching laboratory equipment, preparing educational exhibits and demonstrations, maintaining inventory and ordering supplies for instructional labs, and providing training and supervision to teaching assistants assigned to laboratory sections. She also troubleshoots lab exercises and provides critical input in the development of new labs and laboratory instruction in the curriculum. She manages more than 1,000 students and more than 50 lab sections.

As labs were converted to an online format during the pandemic, she worked closely with faculty during the 2020 spring break to create video recordings of her performing the semester’s remaining labs for students to review. Building on this work, she recorded herself performing the remaining labs to create a fully online lab program for the spring 2021 semester.

Dedicated to improving students’ overall educational experience, McCabe decided to address the dearth of comfortable seating for biological sciences students in the Cooke-Hochstetter complex. Looking for a cost-effective solution, she learned that the libraries had furniture available from a recent remodeling. With the help of her colleagues, she acquired and moved more than 30 chairs and several large tables to her department and placed them throughout the second floor. She then found remnants of UB blue-and-white fabric and reupholstered the chairs herself. To complete the transformation, she decorated the walls with students’ research posters and decorated the tables with UB decals she had made.

Mark R. O‘Brian.

As a UB faculty member for more than three decades, Mark O’Brian has demonstrated exemplary commitment to teaching, mentoring and educational service, and has been described as “one of those rare individuals who excels not only in teaching but also in administration and research.”

He has taught continuously since his appointment at UB in 1988, and has served as a course coordinator, director and new course developer, in addition to presenting seminars in the MD-PhD Medical Scientist Training Program. The diversity of classes he has taught over the years illustrates his breadth of knowledge and ability to seamlessly adjust to varying student education levels and class sizes.

While serving as department chair, O’Brian currently teaches two integrated medical curriculum courses for 180 first-year medical students — a first-semester fundamentals course and one on gastrointestinal systems — and last year began teaching dental biochemistry to first-year dental students.

Since 2014, O’Brian’s course evaluations have achieved an impressive overall instructor rating of 4.72 out of 5. In 2016, he received an award for excellence in graduate mentoring.

For the past two years, he has played a key role in the Jacobs School’s medical curriculum revision effort, serving as one of eight leaders of the core curriculum design team. Thanks in large part to O’Brian’s contributions, the new curriculum, when it launches next year, will feature a vastly enhanced experience for medical students across their education.

Jessica Poulin.

Since joining UB in 2008, Jessica Poulin has gained recognition among peers and students as an exceptional teacher and mentor, earning praise from hundreds of students in her classes. She encourages students to contact her for help during and outside of her well-attended office hours — a proactive approach that helped keep students connected and engaged during the pandemic.

Poulin’s successes extend well beyond her own teaching. Paying close attention to emerging knowledge in STEM pedagogy, she has played an influential role in efforts to improve student achievement and retention in the Department of Biological Sciences and at UB.

She helped revamp UB’s general education curriculum, transformed her department’s undergraduate honors program, developed a biology-focused writing course, and redesigned BIO 200, a large introductory lecture and lab. Colleagues credit this course with catalyzing tremendous growth in the number of biology majors at UB.

Additionally, Poulin teaches a summer “boot camp” that prepares high school students for the rigors of a university science curriculum, and serves as an active member of the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program to recruit, train and retain women students in STEM disciplines at UB. In collaboration with two UB faculty members, she created POP! WORLD, an engaging simulation program that introduces students to concepts of evolutionary biology.

Jun Qu.

A UB faculty member since 2004, Jun Qu has redefined cutting-edge methodologies and advanced scientific knowledge impacting the way cancer, infection and heart disease are diagnosed and treated. His research focuses on protein and drug analysis using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry to discover new knowledge and develop novel research techniques that are applied throughout the field of clinical and pharmaceutical proteomics. Qu has one of the top labs in the world addressing label-free proteomics for large-scale analysis; he is also a world leader in the characterization of antibody therapeutics using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry.

Among his most significant developments is the launch of his cutting-edge protein analysis tool “IonStar,” the first proteomics quantification method capable of reproducible, high-quality measurement of a high number of proteins in large biological cohorts, crucial benchmarks for pharmaceutical and clinical investigations. IonStar analysis has been used in more than 70 large-scale proteomic investigations, leading to advances in the treatment of chronic heart disease, traumatic brain injury and pathways for drug development in cancer treatment.

Qu has published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers and has received numerous awards, including the 2019 UB Exceptional Scholar Sustained Achievement Award and 2015 Thermo Scientific Research Award. He has also served as a grant reviewer for several federal agencies and has been an invited member of international task forces addressing critical pharmaceutical and clinical issues.

His research, scholarship and teaching will allow him to continue to address the global need for innovative strategies to support ultra-sensitive bioanalysis.

Atri Rudra.

Atri Rudra examines the theoretical underpinnings of computing, as well as its interaction with society. This includes the potential negative impacts of computing, especially artificial intelligence. During 15 years at UB, he has emerged as a pioneer in these fields, helping the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) reshape its undergraduate curriculum and making UB a leader in teaching responsible computing.

Among the strategies and curriculum he has developed to address responsible computing is “Teaching Responsible Computing Playbook,” a Mozilla-led project that serves as a guide on how schools can update curricula to place more emphasis on ethics and societal impacts when designing technology products. As a co-leader on the project, he coordinated an interdisciplinary team of 32 faculty members nationwide and planned the book’s 21 sections while also serving as an author and co-editor.

Colleagues and students praised Rudra’s commitment to helping students succeed in class while maintaining the challenging nature of the course. Moreover, his commitment to inclusion and mentorship has led to the formation of one of the most diverse groups of undergraduate teaching assistants (UTAs) in CSE. Many of these teaching assistants have won CSE’s best UTA awards.

Rudra’s excellence in teaching and mentorship has been recognized by his peers and students. He received the UB Teaching Innovation Award in 2021 and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ Senior Faculty Teacher of the Year Award in both 2015 and 2020. He also serves as a faculty mentor for two UB student clubs: UB DivTech and Society and Computing.

Adnan Siddiqui.

Adnan Siddiqui’s peers laud him as a “true triple-threat physician-scientist” whose international reputation as a neuroendovascular expert is “unquestionable.”

Daniel Barrow, professor and chairman in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Emory University School of Medicine, writes that Siddiqui “has earned an international reputation as an expert in the treatment of complicated neurovascular disorders ... His unique background as an expert in both the microsurgical as well as the endovascular management of these conditions makes him a highly sought-after expert in his field.”

Since joining UB in 2007, Siddiqui has progressively developed a nationally and internationally recognized clinical research program focused on endovascular neurosurgery and stroke treatment.

He leads the multidisciplinary Canon Stroke and Vascular Research Center at UB, which includes neurosurgeons, neuroscientists, physicists and biomedical engineers working collaboratively on cutting-edge neurovascular research.

He is the chief executive officer for the Jacob’s Institute, an independent, not-for-profit institute that’s partners with UB and Kaleida Health to promote entrepreneurship to develop implements to address vascular and neurological diseases.

As a neurosurgeon, Siddiqui has special interest and expertise in the performance of complementary microsurgical, radiosurgical and endovascular techniques to comprehensively manage skull base and neurovascular diseases.

Siddiqui has more than 500 peer-reviewed publications; has led dozens of international, multicenter clinical trials; has served as chair of the Cerebrovascular Section for Organized Neurosurgery; and has trained residents and fellows who are now chairs of neurosurgical departments and members of all major prestigious institutions around the country.  

Anna Sotelo-Peryea.

Since joining UB in 2007, Anna Sotelo-Peryea, an advanced-level nationally credentialed advocate, has been working to cultivate and create a campus culture that promotes healthy, equitable relationships and eliminates sexual violence.

As violence prevention program coordinator and associate director of health promotion for Student Life, Sotelo-Peryea is responsible for developing and implementing programs and strategies to reduce sexual and relationship violence, and cultivate student skills for healthier interactions.

Shortly after joining the university, she instituted a campuswide needs assessment to evaluate the prevalence, impact, knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of students, faculty and staff regarding sexual violence; she also assessed existing services, programs and resources. She then designed and oversaw implementation of UB’s Sexual Violence Prevention & Response Program, which earned her the Professional Staff Senate’s Outstanding Service Award in 2015 and the Campus Prevention Network’s National Prevention Excellence Award in 2017.

Sotelo-Peryea is founding chair of the Violence Prevention Team, an interdisciplinary team of campus and community stakeholders that examines trends, works to mitigate harm, addresses state and federal mandates, and provides professional training for faculty and staff. She also co-founded and serves as one of four co-chairs of the Western New York Higher Education Consortium’s Task Force on Sexual Assault Prevention and Compliance.

Sotelo-Peryea has been formally recognized as “A Friend and Supporter of the Students of the State University of New York” by the SUNY Student Assembly. She also was awarded a letter of commendation from the U.S. Navy in 2019 for her work in the SUNY/Navy collaboration to address sexual assault and sexual harassment, and received the 2017 Students’ Choice Award from UB’s undergraduate Student Association.

Sofia Tangalos.

As senior staff assistant for the senior associate and associate deans in the Office of Faculty Affairs in the Jacobs School, Sofia Tangalos is the first point of contact regarding faculty development and promotions.

She regularly meets with dozens of individual faculty members at all ranks to review their qualifications, personally revising CVs to conform to the university format, and offering helpful suggestions for improving CVs and personal statements.

Tangalos also has assisted new department chairs during periods of office staff turnover, helping to prepare dossiers for faculty promotion in a number of departments, including Urology, Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, Pediatrics and Structural Biology.

In addition, Tangalos plays a leadership role for the Jacobs School’s ad hoc promotions committees, helping to guide the selection of committee members, overseeing each committee meeting, assigning reviewers, providing and collecting reviewer evaluation forms, preparing materials for committee proceedings and conducting the voting process.

Tangalos’ colleagues praise her ability to make valuable innovations to the review process, citing her establishment of online dossier sharing. Working with the university’s Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs (VPFA), Tangalos suggested using UB Box to upload and review digital dossiers; previously, dossiers and nominations were made by printed copy and/or thumb drive digital copy.

Her streamlined process was adopted in 2020 for all dossier submissions, and her practice of “bookmarking” dossier contents was found to be so useful that VPFA is now requiring it for all schools.

A UB staff member since 2013, Tangalos is the recipient of the Jacobs School’s 2021 John P. Naughton Award honoring outstanding professional staff who contribute significantly to the advancement of the medical school and its mission.

Elaine Taylor.

A member of the university community for more than 36 years, Elaine Taylor is responsible for a wide range of professional responsibilities in her current position in the Department of Ophthalmology, including scheduling and coordinating meetings, appointments and travel arrangements on behalf of the chair.

On a broader level, she prepares faculty promotion dossiers and reappointments, manages the state and research foundation budgets, and coordinates all continuing medical education activity within the department, which involves creating program brochures, collecting registration fees, tracking expenses and attending each conference.

Taylor is praised by her colleagues for her “creativity and dedication, dependability, leadership and initiative, and superlative administrative skills.”

Her work extends well beyond her job description, as she manages the entire resident application process, as well as scheduling all medical students and residents who rotate through the ophthalmology department.

Her understanding of resident requirements helps trainees reach their goals; their respect for her myriad contributions to the department prompted the ophthalmology residents to formally honor Taylor with a special tribute of thanks and appreciation at their graduation ceremony.

Michelle VanDewalker.

Michelle VanDewalker is responsible for overseeing the sorting and documentation of the thousands of U.S. Postal Service packages delivered to UB each day. In addition, she applies postage to outgoing packages and completes an extensive list of daily clerical duties, including data entry, photocopying, filing and answering email inquiries.

A member of the UB community for more than 19 years, VanDewalker is highly regarded for her deep institutional knowledge of campus units, which helps ensure that even mislabeled USPS mail reaches the right office. Colleagues praise her professional excellence and work ethic, noting that she frequently offers to stay late or arrive early to make sure the campus mail responsibilities are completed.

VanDewalker’s supervisor notes her willingness to go above and beyond, even taking the lead on most of the duties of a staff member who left the unit after a promotion. While performing these duties until a replacement is hired, VanDewalker “has never complained or refused, and has continued to stay positive and supportive.”

Elizabeth White.

A UB staff member since 1993, Elizabeth White worked in the Student Health Center, Office of Admissions and the Office of International Admissions before assuming her current position as director of graduate enrollment, research and graduate education in the Jacobs School.

Far exceeding her scope of responsibilities in the Jacobs School, White has co-led UB’s Academic Health Center (AHC) Recruitment Collaboration since its creation in 2017. The initiative aims to reach more prospective students and pre-health advisers, and White has been called “highly instrumental” in the group’s successes, including overseeing extensive communications to UB undergraduates, AHC website updates, creation of an AHC logo, a tabletop recruitment banner and flier, and recruitment webinars.

She also had a leading role in planning the vice provost for enrollment management’s 2021 Graduate Enrollment Management Summer Retreat, an interactive, virtual gathering that required significant coordination of presenters, content preparation and follow through.

In 2019, White co-chaired a subcommittee for the vice provost for enrollment management’s annual resource planning process (ARPP) to consider proposals to fund virtual campus tours. Once the initiative was approved, she worked with participating UB graduate units on collaborative digital marketing campaigns to increase targets for brand awareness, applications and enrollment in the university’s master’s programs.

In addition, she chaired, on behalf of the vice provost for academic affairs, the 2018-19 working group that reenvisioned the UB Undergraduate Research Conference. After the in-person event was cancelled due to the pandemic, she helped create fully virtual national conferences each year from 2020 to the present.

Junsong Yuan.

Junsong Yuan, director of visual computing lab in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, is praised by his peers as being “among the most prolific and strongest scholars in the fields of computer vision and image processing,” according to his nomination letter.

A fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), he has published four books, nine book chapters, 114 journal articles and 218 conference papers in many prestigious venues. He has advised and co-advised over 35 PhD students and postdocs. According to Google Scholar, Yuan’s publications have received over 19,000 citations, and have an H-index of 65.

Yuan’s recent research focuses on human-centered computing, such as human sensing for inclusive and safe workplaces, virtual human for education and training. He has been a principal investigator on over 25 research grants, with recent support from the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, Snap, Adobe and others.

Yuan is collaborating with colleagues from UB’s Artificial Intelligence Institute, Department of Architecture and Department of Psychology to solve human sensing and artificial intelligence problems.

Yuan is an elected fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the International Association on Pattern Recognition and Asia-Pacific Artificial Intelligence Association.

Robert Zivadinov.

Robert Zivadinov has devoted his career to the study of multiple sclerosis (MS), and he and his team have made numerous impactful discoveries in the field.

Zivadinov conducts what has been described as “seminal, groundbreaking and highly cited” research, which has earned him a global reputation as an expert in MRI imaging, MS and other neurological disorders. He has published more than 500 articles and 850 abstracts in leading peer-reviewed journals with an H-index of 85.

Zivadinov joined the UB faculty in 2003 and, since 2004 has served as director of the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center in the Department of Neurology, Jacobs School, establishing the center as a world leader in performing quantitative MRI analysis in neurodegenerative disorders.

In addition, he directs the Center for Biomedical Imaging at UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center. He has also served as executive director of the New York State Multiple Sclerosis Consortium.

Zivadinov’s research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, commercial companies, foundations and the pharmaceutical industry. He is principal investigator, co-PI or co-investigator on a dozen current research grants totaling nearly $8 million. He has secured more than $50 million in research grants for collaborative research projects involving UB investigators, as well as national and international collaborators.

A dedicated educator, Zivadinov has advised 13 PhD students and 24 master’s students, and has served as a major adviser for more than 30 fellows.