Collage of faculty member headshots: Paul Vanouse, Lourdes Vera, Robert Caldwell, Devonya Havis, Jochen Autschbach.

Advancing Excellence 2023

Celebrating the remarkable achievements, recognizing the collective contributions of our dedicated faculty and sharing in the accomplishments of our colleagues.

430+ Tenure track faculty.
$37.4M in research expenditure.
20+ books published.

Our Faculty

SUNY Distinguished Professors

The rank of SUNY Distinguished Professor is accorded to faculty who have distinguished their campus and State University communities through outstanding academic contributions, including scholarly publications, national and international research presentations, research findings and the training of students.

In 2022, five faculty from the College were named SUNY Distinguished Professors, the highest rank in the SUNY system.

Promoted Faculty

Full Professor

Bowker, Julie Photographer: Heather Bellini Photography.

Julie Bowker

Carole Emberton.

Carole Emberton

Omer Gokcumen.

Omer Gockumen

Charlotte Lindqvist, associate professor of biological sciences, poses for a portrait in Hochstetter Hall in May 2022. Her research includes the evolutionary histories of polar bears and brown bears. Photographer: Douglas Levere.

Charlotte Lindqvist

Sara Metcalf.

Sara Metcalf

Laura Rusche.

Laura Rusche

Salvatore Rappoccio.

Salvatore Rappoccio

Marla Segol.

Marla Segol

Kristen Schultz Lee.

Kristen Schultz Lee

Miraim Thaggert.

Miraim Thaggert

Helen Wang.

Helen Wang

Marion Werner.

Marion Werner

Troy Wood.

Troy Wood

Associate Professor

Priya Banerjee.

Priya Banerjee

Alexandru Chirvasitu.

Alexandru Chirvasitu

Jordan Fox.

Jordan Fox

Yingjie Hu.

Yingjie Hu

Ariel Nereson.

Ariel Nereson

Yun Pei.

Yun Pei

Steven Ray.

Steven Ray

Paige Sarlin.

Paige Sarlin

Alessandro Sebastiani.

Alessandro Sebastiani

Sarah E. Walker.

Sarah E. Walker

Gene Zubovich.

Gene Zubovich

Katherine Zubovich.

Katherine Zubovich

Clinical and Teaching

Gretchen A. Bennett.

Gretchen A. Bennett

Elizabeth Clizbe.

Elizabeth Clizbe

David E. Gray.

David E. Gray

Stacey Gulde.

Stacey Gulde

Nicholas Henshue.

Nicholas Henshue

Timothy Liwosz.

Timothy Liwosz

Wendy Quinton.

Wendy Quinton

Satamita Samanta.

Satamita Samanta

Laura Smith.

Laura Smith

Mary M. Staebell.

Mary M. Staebell

Erin Wilson.

Erin Wilson

Awards and Honors

College faculty have received a number of awards and honors this past year. This includes both UB and SUNY awards, as well as those received from outside institutions and societies. Roughly one out of every four members of our faculty have been recognized over the last year alone. Among the impressive list of accolades are:

Sophie Nowicki, Empire Innovation Professor in the Department of Geology, and a core faculty member in the UB RENEW Institute, posed for portrait in May 2022 at Hochstetter Hall. Recently, part of West Antarctic was named “Nowicki Foreland” to honor Nowicki’s leadership in helping the world understand the future of sea level rise. Photographer: Douglas Levere.

Sophie Nowicki


Sophie is a leading ice sheet scientist and climate modeler. Just so you know, there is a feature of Antarctica named after Sophie—she appears on the map of the world! The ISMIP6 team she leads was awarded the Richardson Medal that recognizes outstanding service to the International Glaciological Society and the field of Glaciology. This is the first time the award has been given to a TEAM.

Eduardo Mercado III.

Eduardo Mercado, III


Eduardo Mercado, III received a once-in-a-lifetime John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and was named a fellow of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Eddie’s work addresses how different brain systems interact to construct representations of experienced events, and how these representations change over time. His work is key to unlocking the puzzle of autism spectrum disorder.

Erik Seeman.

Eric Seeman


Erik Seeman, a world renown historian of early American, and the foremost expert on the history of death and dying in the U.S. He is currently working on a book about the 1721 smallpox epidemic in Boston—timely work in a time of COVID. Eric received a Fulbright Research and Teaching Fellowship, Erfurt University, Erfurt, Germany.

Miriam Thaggert.

Miriam Thaggert


Miriam Thaggert received the Mary Nickliss Prize Honorable Mention for her book, “Riding Jane Crow: African American Women on the American Railroad.”

Christian DiCanio.

Christian DiCanio


Christian DiCanio received a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to research and write a comprehensive reference grammar of Itunyoso
Triqui, an endangered Indigenous language in Southern Mexico. 

Lora Park.

Lora Park


Lora Park was named a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. 

Edith Gonzalez.

Edith Gonzalez


Edith Gonzalez received the U.S.-UK Fulbright Commission award to the British Library’s Eccles Centre for American Studies, where she will conduct archival research on the traditional ecological knowledge of Antigua and Barbuda.

Priya Banerjee.

Priya Banerjee


Priya Banerjee received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Priya’s research focuses on special proteins called transcription factors (TFs) and a subset called pioneer transcription factors (PTFs). Priya joins a list of 24 amazing faculty who have received the NSF CAREER award in the College.  

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo.

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo


Ana Mariella Bacigalupo received the National Humanities Center Residential Fellow for her project, “The Subversive Politics of Sentient Mountains: Collective Ethics and Climate Justice in Northern Peru.” Ana Mariella’s scholarship focuses on the Mapuche shamans and people.

Jeff Good.

Jeff Good


Jeff Good received a prestigious research award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Jeff’s research focuses on the Lower Fungom region of Northwest Cameroon, where the average adult speaks five languages, many of which are endangered. Jeff is an expert at the GIS mapping of language use and transmission over time.

Research Highlights

Our faculty have received millions of dollars in grants this past year. Here are only a few of the many highlights.

Soo-Kyung and Jae Lee

Biological Sciences

Portrait of Soo-Kyung Lee (right) and Jae W. Lee (left), researchers with Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. Photographed in February 2020 in a research lab in Cooke Hall. Photographer: Douglas Levere.

Researcher Soo Lee, Empire Innovation Professor and Om P. Bahl Endowed Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, received a $1.5 million dollar grant this year from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative to study the rare neurodevelopmental disorder FOXG1 Syndrome.  

Soo and Jae Lee, also in biological sciences, have focused their research on FOXG1 Syndrome since their daughter Yuna was diagnosed with the disorder at 2 years old. 

Adam Wilson


Adam Wilson.

Adam Wilson in the Department of Geography, received more than $620,000 dollars in grants from NASA and UNESCO for his ongoing biodiversity survey of the Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Adam’s research focuses on the spatial patterns and processes of biodiversity and ecosystem function. He uses remote sensing and field observations together with modeling to understand how ecosystems change through space and time.

Mishuana Goeman, Theresa McCarthy and Mia McKie

Indigenous Studies

Mishuana Goeman, Theresa McCarthy and Mia McKie.

Faculty members, Mishuana Goeman, Theresa McCarthy and Mia McKie, in the Department of Indigenous Studies received a $500,000 dollar Mellon Foundation grant to develop the Haudenosaunee Archive, Resource and Knowledge Portal, or (HARK). HARK will be a community-driven digital resource for the collection, preservation and dissemination of Indigenous research, teaching and learning. The portal is allowing indigenous people to tell their own stories with their own objects. An alternative archive of incredible value and power.

David Castillo

Romance Languages and Literatures

A portrait of David Castillo, with the department of romance languages and literatures, taken in August 2023 in Clemens Hall. Photographer: Douglas Levere.

David Castillo in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures is a key member of a UB team that received, with PI Siwei Lyu from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, a $5 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to create digital tools that help older adults better recognize and protect themselves from online deceptions and other forms of dis- and misinformation.

David is integral in this work because, as a humanist, he understands satire. Knowing how to recognize irony is a dying art, one critical to combatting disinformation in a digital age.

Our Impact

Our faculty have an impact not only at UB and on our campus but in Western New York and beyond.

Susan Clark

Environment and Sustainability

Susan Clark.

Susan Clark’s research focuses on the sustainability and resilience of critical infrastructure to climate change, including water, energy and transportation systems. She is chair of the Erie County Community Climate Change Task Force and has co-organized statewide public webinars on extreme heat and climate change in New York State. 

Holly Buck

Environment and Sustainability

Portrait of Holly Buck taken in West Falls, NY in July 2021. Buck is with engineering, Environment and Sustainability. Photographer: Douglas Levere.

Holly Buck has been working with the U.S. Department of Energy in the office of fossil energy and carbon management. She studies how emerging technologies can address environmental challenges and how these technologies impact communities. 

Devonya Havis

Comparative Literature

Devonya Havis.

Devonya Havis continues to promote social justice and make our city a better place to live and work through her Immersion East Side Program in Buffalo. The program gives students the opportunity to work with key partners in the East Side community to implement justice-related projects. 

Krishna Rajan

Materials Design and Innovation

Krishna Rajan, a professor in the new Dept. of Materials, Design and Innovation, teaching in Talbert Hall. Photographer: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki.

Krishna Rajan from the Materials Design and Innovation department that the College shares with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, was appointed as chief scientist in the Energy Processes and Materials Division, part of the Energy and Environmental Directorate, of the U.S. government’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 

Lourdes Vera

Sociology; Environment and Sustainability

Lourdes Vera.

Lourdes Vera is an environmental sociologist in the Department of Sociology and Environment and Sustainability. She used her research expertise to perform a true public service when she discovered that those lobbying to build a plastics production plant in Lockport, New York, used ChatGPT for research studies to support of the plant and the company’s bid for tax breaks. Lourdes ran the company-provided, “peer-reviewed” study through a program to analyze the text and concluded a majority of it was written using ChapGPT.

On Display

Our faculty have shown work and performed locally, nationally and internationally. In addition, many of our faculty musicians and artists have given their time to many local school districts. They have reached out to kids to help the next generation of artists, performers and musicians discover their passions.

Thank you for keeping the arts alive in Buffalo and Western New York.

Melanie Aceto and Tiffany Du Mouchelle

Theatre and Dance, Music

Melanie Aceto and Tiffany Du Mochelle.

Melanie Aceto from the Department of Theatre and Dance and Tiffany Du Mochelle’s from Music created a site-specific, multi-disciplinary performance art tour, “Inhabiting Spaces.”

Art Exhibits


Artists Noah Breuer, Millie Chen, Joan Linder, Matt Kenyon, Reinhard Reitzenstein, Stephanie Rothenberg and Paul Vanouse.

Artists Noah Breuer, Millie Chen, Joan Linder, Matt Kenyon, Reinhard Reitzenstein, Stephanie Rothenberg and Paul Vanouse, all from the Department of Art, have exhibited their work in shows in Buffalo, Brooklyn, Portland, Lincoln, Nebraska; and Canada; Italy; and in South Korea this past year.

Eric Huebner


Eric Huebner.

Pianist, Eric Huebner, performed with the New York Philharmonic Chamber Ensembles five times last year.

Melissa White


Melissa White.

Violinist, Melissa White, was a headline soloist at the Aspen Music Festival, one of the premier music festivals in the world. And, she performed at the Maverick Music Festival, with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Philharmonic and was part of the Dublin Chamber Music series.

Books Published

Advancing Excellence Celebration 2023

Share your news, awards and achievements

* Faculty reports from 2022-2023 were used to create highlights and celebrate as many faculty achievements as possible.