Meet the Ambassadors



Anna Porter

Major: Anthropology

Campus/Community Involvement: Amnesty International, Anthropology Student Assistant, Outdoor Adventure Club, Journey's End Refugee Services

Fun Fact: I participated in an archaeological dig at a Roman bathhouse in England.

What advice do you have for future UB students?  
Get involved! One of the best ways to find friends and figure out your interests is by getting involved in either the UB community or the larger Buffalo community. You can join clubs, participate in departmental events, or volunteer at different organizations in Buffalo. Whatever you choose, getting involved is the best way to make the most of your time at UB.


Grace Celik

Majors: Studio Art Major and Implied Environmental Design Major 

Campus/Community Involvement: Rumsey Competition and Exhibition, University at Buffalo, 2017,  Public Space, University at Buffalo, 2016, Coexistence: Humans and Nature, Albright Knox, 2015

Fun Fact: You may recognize me as your local UB barista at the Starbucks on campus, come stop by and say hello!

What advice do you have for future UB students?
Explore outside your major, you might even find out that you are interested in an area you would have never expected! Expand your horizons, go outside of your comfort zone and keep an open mind! When you go to college you are not only choosing your career, you are creating your lifestyle. 

Asian Studies

Kayleigh Reed

Majors: Asian Studies and English

Campus/Community Involvement: Journey's End Refugee Services, Honors College Colloquium TA, Boxing Club

Fun Fact: I'm named after a cringeworthy 80's love song!

What do you like best about your department?
I love the Asian Studies Program for its passionate faculty and staff! They all make excellent mentors.

Biological Sciences

Connor Cook

Major: Biological Sciences, Neuroscience concentration

Campus/Community Involvement: Xu-Friedman lab research assistant, Honors College peer mentor, cell biology teaching assistant, human anatomy teaching assistant

Fun Fact: I like board games. 

What is your advice for a future UB student?
Try not to get too overwhelmed right away. I know it is easier said than done, but if you focus on your classes and develop your work ethic from the beginning then everything else will fall into place down the road. As an incoming student, it is not worth stressing over internships or volunteer positions until you get settled and have a solid academic backing. You are here to be a student first. If you do that, everything else will fall into place and work itself out.

Shavon McKie

Major: Biological Sciences

Campus/Community Involvement: Biology Honors Research Program, RA, Buffalo Medical volunteer

Fun Fact: I was born with gray eyes.

What advice do you have for future UB students?
Take the time to learn about all of the available opportunities here at UB. Find your niche or find what makes you feel at home. This is time to make lasting connections and network.


Stephen Carro

Majors: Chemistry, Medical Chemistry, and Biochemistry

Campus/Community Involvement: SAACS president, undergraduate researcher in Dr. Troy D. Wood's and Dr. Sherry R. Chemler's labs, Honors College

Fun Fact: I have a fraternal twin. 

What do you like best about your department?
My favorite aspect of the Chemistry department is the availability of resources and opportunities for undergraduates. There are numerous highly-renowned faculty present who are very approachable and willing to offer their time (whether to discuss a research position/project or just a chemical concept). 

Bao Sciscent

Majors: Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences

Campus/Community Involvement: CURCA Ambassador, APMS, Buffalo VAMC Hospital volunteer, Cell Biology 201 TA, Mock Trial

Fun Fact: All of my siblings, including me, are adopted!

What do you like best about your department?
The Lacy Lab!! And the interdisciplinary research opportunities available. For example, a medicinal chemistry student could join an inorganic lab and have their experience tailored to their specific interests.


Ashley Cohen

Majors: Classics and Sociology

Campus/Community Involvement: Classics Club president, Advanced Honors Scholar, Tau Sigma

Fun Fact: "The Office" is my favorite show, and I have watched the entire series over 5 times.

What do you like best about your department?
What I like best about the Classics department is that it is small so you really get a chance to connect with professors and other students, forming relationships/connections that are difficult to make in a large department. 

Kenneth Starr

Majors: Classics and Anthropology
Minor: Linguistics

Campus/Community Involvement: Archery Club president, Classics Club, Outdoor Pursuits employee

Fun Fact: For the past two summers in a row, I have participated in archaeological excavations at Troia Ruinas Portugal.

What advice do you have for future UB students?
My biggest point of advice for new students, especially commuters like me, is that they should reach out to any and all clubs they might be interested in joining. They don't have to be devoted to a particular club to meet new people and have fun. Sometimes blowing off steam playing Fallout 4 with the people in SARPA, or learning the Lindy Hop with the Swing Dance Club can make a world of difference. Their time studying at UB does not have to be all work and no play


Jared Kibler

Major: Communication

Campus/Community Involvement: Orientation Leader, Orientation Team Leader, and Orientation, Transition, and Parent Programs Student Assistant

Fun Fact: I am the tallest member of my family AND the only one with 20/20 vision.

What advice do you have for future UB students?
Get involved with SOMETHING on campus. You'll make friends in classes, but the real connections and networking opportunities come from doing something you enjoy alongside people with similar interests and passions. So jump in!

Giselle Santiago

Majors: Business (Marketing concentration) and Communication (Journalism certification)

Campus/Community Involvement: Latin American Student Association, PODER Latinos Unidos, Student Support Services, National Society of Leadership and Success

Fun Fact: I love corny jokes, especially puns!

What advice do you have for future UB students?  
Be adventurous! The best experiences arise from embracing your curiosity and utilizing the variety of resources UB has to offer. This is a time to explore your interests, delve into your passions and embrace the transition of fully being independent and learning more about yourself. Success doesn't always arise from knowing, but also trying and taking that leap of faith to be open to new ventures. Trust your actions and look forward to the surprises that await you here on campus. 

Communicative Disorders and Sciences

Madeleine Friedman

Major: Speech & Hearing Sciences
Minor: Education

Campus/Community Involvement: Honors Scholar, Student Association of Speech and Hearing (SASH)

Fun Fact: I have a three legged Pitbull named Penny!

What advice do you have for future UB students?
Go to as many clubs' first meetings as you can and decide what you want to stay in based on what they do!


Nicholas Bush

Majors: Economics and Political Science

Campus/Community Involvement: Model European Union

Fun Fact: I can draw a perfect circle, free hand.

What advice do you have for future UB students?  
My time here at UB has exposed me to a lot of new experiences, perspectives, and opportunities. I think the best thing any freshman uncertain about their future could do is commit to their passion and find the best outlet for it. You'll work exponentially harder because you know you're doing it for yourself, and you'll be way happier doing it.


Heeba Kariapper

Majors: English and Computer Science

Campus/Community Involvement: Marianne Moore Digital Archive Project Assistant, Code Language Visualization Research Project Grant Recipient, EMERGE Interdisciplinary STEM Magazine Art/Design Team Lead + Staff Writer, SCIENTISTA Publicity Chair

Fun Fact: I really like climbing and running.

What advice do you have for future UB students?
Something you will hear a lot is to "get involved" - and it's true. Becoming involved in extracurriculars that are exciting and interesting to you is a great way to make friends, find opportunities, and augment your education here at UB. Pay attention to your emails and keep an eye out around campus - that's how I found out about many of the activities I am involved in today.

Shaun Nowicki

Major: English

Campus/Community Involvement: Undergraduate English Club president, Honors College, NAME Magazine, English freshman seminar TA

Fun Fact: I am a huge fan of Board Games and Tabletop Gaming.  

What do you like best about your department?
One of my favorite things about the English Department is the variety of classes that are offered every semester.

Brenna Zanghi

Major: English 
Minor: Classics (Ancient History concentration)

Campus/Community Involvement: NAME magazine editor, Global Ambassador, Honors College

Fun Fact: I was named after a storybook character (but my mom forgot the title of the book).

What do you like best about your department?
What I love about UB English is how many opportunities it provides as a small department in such a big university. As a department, UB English is as close-knit as it is wildly diverse; the professors and students all come from different backgrounds and all provide unique perspectives. 


Nadine Kennedy

Major: International Trade
Minor: Management

Campus/Community Involvement: National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Research Assistant at the Center for Trade, Environment, and Development

Fun Fact: I have read over 1,000 books and can speak French.

What advice do you have for future UB students?
Don’t worry if you aren’t sure which major you want to pursue! UB has a bunch of opportunities for you to visit departments and get advice on the best path for your interests. It’s also easy to customize your degree to your liking by adding on a minor or double majoring. I definitely recommend using your first year as a chance to explore UB’s many academic options!


Sandrine Duboscq

Major: Geology
Minor: French and Geographic Information Science

Campus/Community Involvement: Geology Club secretary, Phi Beta Kappa, Working on a one year project in the Geology Department's Biogeochem Lab

Fun Fact: I spent this past June camping and backing around Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming as one of the final requirements for my BS.

What advice do you have for future UB students?
Having a routine and a schedule that you follow, and a place to record everything due (planner, whiteboard, your phone's calendar, etc.) are so crucial to your ability to stay organized and on top of all your work, so you won't have to wake up in the middle of the night remembering an assignment you forgot about until too late. That being said, remember to step away from your routine once in a while! Take a new path to class and get outside, join a new club, try someplace new for dinner. College will go by way too quickly if you don't give yourself a chance to try something different.


Thaysha Sanchez

Major: History
Minor: Archaeology

Campus/Community Involvement: Conference Host, History Student Assistant, and artifact cleaner for the archaeological survey.

Fun Fact: I love hiking even though I am terrified of insects.

What do you like best about your department?
I am able to constantly learn and expand my knowledge since there are resources, such as the professors, that are available to me. Since the professors of the History department specialize in different aspects and parts of history, I can get a grasp of so much information.


Dana Glantz

Major: Linguistics (Honors Concentration in Language Structure & Theory)

Campus/Community Involvement: Honors College, TA, GSA Mesa de Conversación, Buffalo Quidditch vice president

Fun Fact: If I’m not in class, I’m usually out rock climbing. 

What makes UB unique?
I think UB is unique in that it offers us students the benefits of a large top-tier research university while still providing opportunities for experiential learning and a strong sense of community. I love that UB offers support to its students while empowering them to design their own experience. 


Michael Montoro

Majors: Math and Music
Minor: History

Campus/Community Involvement: Gifted Math Program TA, Math Club president

Fun Fact: I have really been into baking bread lately.

What makes UB unique?
UB's environment fosters diversity, not only in a sense of nationalities, but in the sense of academics, clubs, and viewpoints. There are academic programs ranging from computer science to dance and clubs ranging from chess club to intramural sports. This diversity makes UB an exciting, engaging, and often surprising place to be. 

Rachel Wieclaw

Majors: Environmental Engineering and Mathematics

Campus/Community Involvement: Engineers for a Sustainable World, Air and Waste Management Association vice president

Fun Fact: One of my goals in life is to ride the world’s largest rollercoaster. 

What advice do you have for future UB students?
Try new things and meet new people. Join some clubs that either are about your major or have nothing to do with your studies. Meet people and professors within your major, but also meet others outside of your major. College is a time to explore and to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life, and the University at Buffalo has many opportunities to do that.


Julia Cordani

Majors: Music Performance and Linguistics

Campus/Community Involvement: Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and Sotto Voce Vocal Collective, Buffalo String Works (music education nonproft),  Cora P. Maloney College tutor

Fun Fact: During the summer between my freshman and sophomore year I studied choral music abroad in France - and didn't know a word of French! It was a great experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

What advice do you have for future UB students?
If I could give any advice to new students, it would be to go outside your comfort zone and find new things that interest you! Never be afraid to try clubs, take cool classes, or explore campus. UB has too may exciting opportunities to pass up.


Jared Wolfson

Majors: Philosophy and Political Science

Campus/Community Involvement: Phi Alpha Delta 

Fun Fact: I went skydiving for the first time last summer.

What do you like best about your department?
What I like best about my department is how willing they are to help me, or any other student, in almost anything regarding the major. I’ve gone to the department for various things as simple questions on an assignment and career advice, and I’ve always left feeling like I actually meant something to the department and they truly cared about my future success. 


Tyler Barrett

Major: Physics
Minor: Mathematics

Campus/Community Involvement: Society of Physics Students

Fun Fact: In addition to physics, I love music and enjoy making my own arrangements of songs to play on the piano.

What do you like best about your department?
In our Physics department at UB, I like that opportunities such as research and independent study are available to students at all levels; the faculty are very accessible and offer plenty of advice and encouragement.

Anne Fortman

Major: Physics
Minors & Certificates: Mathematics minor, Creative Writing certificate

Campus/Community Involvement: Society of Physics Students, UB Honors College, Research Assistant, Women in Science and Engineering

Fun Fact: I like to go ice skating at the Northtown center next to campus!

What do you like best about your department?
There are so many opportunities for undergraduates to get into research! Most Physics department faculty are enthusiastic about helping students get research experience. If a student wants to get involved, all they have to do is knock on a professor's door and most professors will either be glad to take an undergraduate on board or will direct the student to a professor whose work best suits their interests

Political Science

Gunnar Haberl

Majors: Political Science and Legal Studies
Minor: Education Leadership and Policy for Equity

Campus/Community Involvement: Undergraduate Student Association Chief of Staff, Iroquois Central School District Board of Education Member, Alternative Break Trip Leader 

Fun Fact: I won the 2017-2018 Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress Presidential Fellowship.

What advice do you have for future UB students?
Taking risks in life can lead to great rewards, and the process of simply breaking out of one’s comfort zone can lead to immense personal growth in your educational studies. 

Emma Murphy

Major: Political Science

Campus/Community Involvement: Mock Trial, Honors College, Buffalo Federal Court Building intern, LEAP of WNY tutor

Fun Fact: I've been to Seoul, South Korea!

What advice do you have for future UB students?
Getting involved in clubs is one of the best ways to make friends on campus. 


Samiha Islam

Majors: Linguistics and Psychology

Campus/Community Involvement: TA for Dr. Wendy Quinton, Athletics Department tutor, part-time teacher and office assistant at a local private school in an urban community

Fun Fact: I got married this summer to someone from the UK, and have now become obsessed with the Premier League Fantasy Football. 

What do you like best about your department?
My department allows for a lot of flexibility and exploration into different fields and sciences, it opens doors to more exciting prospects and future options.

Allison Koenig

Majors: Psychology and Sociology
Minor: Counseling

Campus/Community Involvement: Admissions tour guide,  Research Assistant for Shira Gabriel's Social Self Lab

Fun Fact: I absolutely adore cats!

What advice do you have for future UB students?
Get to know your professors as soon as you can! Whether it be engaging in class discussion or going to office hours, it is important that your professors know you. This way, it can help when you need a recommendation letter or perhaps general advice for graduate school. Don't wait until the end of semester - get to know them right away!

Emily Li

Majors: Psychology, Pharmacology & Toxciology

Campus/Community Involvement: Admissions tour guide, Research Assistant, TA for CPM 101, AED, photographer for The Spectrum

Fun Fact: I've served over 1000+ volunteering/community service hours in the 4 years I've been at UB. #UBTheImpactChallenge

What advice do you have for future UB students?
I believe the most important ability you'll gain in college is to discover your own learning style. You will learn the importance of why your learning style can help you study efficiently. Everyone studies differently, whether you are an visual learner, auditory, or kinesthetic, you can easily find out what suits you the best. College is all about learning, utilizing what you've experienced, and applying it to your everyday life.  

Romance Languages and Literatures

Kelly Aldinger

Major: Spanish Language & Literature 
Minor: Linguistics

Campus/Community Involvement: International Student mentor, International Institute of Buffalo In-Home ESL, Study Abroad Global Ambassador

Fun Fact: I'm an avid reader and hiker/outdoors lover.

What advice do you have for future UB students?
Use your elective credits to get outside of your comfort zone and take some courses you wouldn't normally take.  The insight into other disciplines is invaluable!

Gina Calaiacovo

Major: French

Campus/Community Involvement: Human Anatomy TA, Tau Sigma, Certified Nursing Assistant 

Fun Fact: I've never broken a bone and have all 206 bones of the body memorized!

What do you like best about your department?
What I love most about Romance Languages & Literatures is that the department is a like a small community within the larger community that is UB. All of the professors go the extra mile for their students and want us to succeed! 

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Alana Becker

Majors: History and Legal Studies 

Campus/Community Involvement: Phi Alpha Theta,  National Society of Leadership and Success

Fun Fact: I am an only child, but I do have a dog and he is almost 14 years old!

What makes UB unique?
I am originally from Buffalo but decided to go away my first year of college. Although I did not mind being far away, I truly was not happy and decided to come back home. There are other universities in Buffalo, however I knew that UB was for me immediately. Many of my family members are alumni and have never said anything negative about the school! I visited it a number of times attending events like football games, basketball games, cheer competitions, etc. and have always loved the setting of UB. The professors are great (I’ve never had one I didn’t like) and they are always willing to engage the students and offer help when needed. Also, the campus environment is always friendly and welcoming. In my opinion, the diversity here at UB is amazing! It really enhances your learning because you are exposed to a variety of cultures and ethnicities and that is something you can only find at a school as large as UB. The size of UB really worked out for me; I didn’t feel like just a number and I was able to experience the classic lecture halls and then later in my academic years, the classroom became smaller and more focused. The best of both worlds! There are so many different clubs, activities, sports, concerts, special speaker events and more! Making the decision to attend UB was honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Madeline Elminowski

Major: international Studies
Minors: Spanish and international Trade 

Campus/Community Involvement: Honors College, Model EU, Undergraduate Admissions student assistant

Fun Fact: I love sledding!

What advice do you have for future UB students?
My advice for new students is to take advantage of all the opportunities the university has to offer.

Matthania Volmy

Major: Health and Human Services (Community Mental Health concentration)

Campus/Community Involvement: Tau Sigma president, REALM program participant, Walk to End Alzheimer's volunteer, Lockport Presbyterian Home volunteer

Fun Fact: I am “Miss New York 2017”

What advice do you have for future UB students?  
Always strive for success! When you have this positive mindset, you create a path of numerous opportunities that come knocking at your door. Also, set a goal that you would like to accomplish at the beginning of the semester, and work towards achieving it by remembering that with hard work and determination, anything is possible!


Richard Patti

Majors: Anthropology, Sociology, and Political Science

Campus/Community Involvement: Global Ambassadors, Honors College, Jazz Ensemble

Fun Fact: I've ridden a camel in Africa

What makes UB unique?
UB is unique because it is a campus that truly has a place for everyone.  There is a niche for everyone who sets foot on campus.

Theatre and Dance

Emma English

Major: Theatre Performance

Campus/Community Involvement: Center for the Arts Stagehand, UB's 24 Hour Play Festival Co-Director

Fun Fact: I once did laundry for the Mythbusters (through my job at the CFA).

What do you like best about your department?
What I like best about my department is its professors. Each professor goes above and beyond to ensure that every student is working to the best of their abilities. They have helped us accomplish goals and take advantage of opportunities that we never would have thought possible. 

Lilibeth Javier

Major: Dance

Campus/Community Involvement: Student Association

Fun Fact: My goal in life is to not only see, but to really experience as much of the world as possible.

What do you like best about your department?
What I love the most about our dance department is how much we allow for versatility. Our motto for the program is based around the phrase ‘versatility matters.’ Here at UB we are required to take ballet, modern, jazz, and tap classes if pursuing a BFA degree. We also study social dance, partnering, aerial silks, Laban technique, and every Friday of the week we bring in outside instructors to broaden our exposure. On Fridays we have been introduced to hip-hop, hooping, musical theater, and so much more. Training in various styles is so important as a dancer because it will open doors for more opportunity.