Campus News

Faculty selected for Plesur, Accessibility awards


Published May 27, 2020


Seven UB faculty members have recognized by the undergraduate Student Association for their commitment and dedication to students.

Recipients of the coveted Milton Plesur Excellence in Teaching Award and the inaugural Accessibility Award are nominated and selected for the awards by students.

The Plesur Award — named for Plesur, a beloved teacher and scholar in the Department of History who died in 1987 — recognizes commitment to students and quality of teaching. This year’s recipients are Robert Busch, clinical assistant professor, Department of Mathematics; Zachary Carr, clinical assistant professor, Department of Communication; Ralph Critelli, adjunct instructor in environmental studies, Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Program; and Thomas Hohle, lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry.

The Accessibility Award honors outstanding professors who “go above and beyond to ensure the inclusiveness of all their students, regardless of their disabilities,” according to Arsh Issany, director of student affairs for SA.

The first recipients of the award are James Mauck, director of athletic bands; Filip Stefanovic, teaching assistant professor of biomedical engineering; and Xiaozhong Wen, associate professor of pediatrics.

Issany told UBNow that SA created the Accessibility Award as a result of data received from students. Responses to a questionnaire he sent to students during the fall semester to determine where he and his team should prioritize their advocacy indicated that accessibility issues such as handicap buttons and how professors handle educating those with disabilities were severely overlooked on campus. So he and his team started working with numerous offices to address the issues.

“After consulting with other universities and the Student Accessibility and Inclusion Council, we found that professors are our biggest allies and decided to acknowledge those professors that provide an equitable education to students with accessibility issues,” Issany said. “We can not only congratulate their hard work, but create a standard for other professors to look up to.”