When we communicate the amazing things our students, faculty and alumni are doing, we are building our school’s brand, reach and reputation.
Our team provides expert assistance for strong messaging, while maximizing impact in an efficient and effective way. Our office is also the liaison to University Communications for the College's media relations efforts.
Whether you're communicating internally or want to get the word out to the masses, we're here to help write and assist with the dissemination of notable information about the College. Here are some examples of pertinent content areas:
The College of Arts and Sciences is filled with incredible stories to tell. We want to hear about your students, faculty, research and scholarship so we can help create compelling and engaging content to communicate with our stakeholders.
If you have an idea for a prospective student recruitment piece, website profile, internal communications note or another unique idea, use our news form so we can assist you with content.
The Office of University Communications manages UBNow and the UB News Center. Articles, news releases, media advisories and video interviews are posted to these sites and are disseminated digitally to media outlets worldwide. Stories about our College's people and places are also candidates for posting on our College Stories page.
If you have a news item that warrants a release, use our news form for assistance.
This list answers the style questions most frequently asked by UB communicators. We suggest keeping a copy on your desk as a handy reference guide. For all other style questions, use the resources listed in the right-hand column below, in order from top to bottom.
Lowercase both the degree and the subject of the degree. She earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. However, when the subject of the degree is a proper noun, it should be uppercase: He earned a bachelor’s degree in English.
When abbreviating degrees, do not use punctuation: BS, EdM, MBA, PhD.
In general, it is preferable to indicate a person’s title rather than their degree(s). For example: Fatima Khan, assistant professor of molecular biology, is a prolific researcher. (Note: The term professor on its own should be used only for a full professor.)
However, it is acceptable to indicate a person’s terminal degree following their name in direct quotes, in professional directories, in press releases, and in cases where doing so could serve to counter any negative assumptions about a person’s educational qualifications. Whenever a decision is made to use degree information for one individual, be consistent throughout the communication re: others.
Abbreviations are preferred when referencing degrees. Use abbreviations only after a full name—never after just a last name—and do not use punctuation: BS, EdM, MBA, PhD. Use only in first reference, and set the degree off by commas: John Snow, PhD, spoke. Do not use both a courtesy title before a name and an academic degree after the name in the same reference.
References to a person’s degree are also acceptable when pertinent to a story line in an article or profile. In this case, it is preferable to write out the degree after the name and include the person’s specialty. Candace Kim, who holds a doctorate in behavioral sciences, led the study. (Note: In this case, it is not necessary to be consistent re: others mentioned in the article). Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, a master’s, etc., but not in associate degree and never in the formal degree name; it’s Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science, etc.
The rule for alumni publications is to include only UB degrees, always as abbreviations, in combination with the year received. For example: Valentina Hernández (BA ’93) recently published a book. In instances where alumni have two UB degrees, use a comma to separate the degrees. In instances where alumni have three or more UB degrees, use commas to separate the first two degrees and an ampersand to separate the second-last and last degree. List degrees in chronological or reverse chronological order, staying consistent within a publication: Valentina Hernández (BA ’93, MSW ’00 & PhD ’03) recently published a book; or Valentina Hernández (PhD ’03, MSW ’00 & BA ’93) recently published a book. In all cases, the degree precedes the year it was awarded.
When giving a numbered address, use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St., and spell out all other similar words such as Drive and Circle. When only a street name is given, spell out all words: The hospital is at 1315 Jefferson Ave., at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and East Utica Street. North, East, South and West should be abbreviated as N., E., S. and W. only when a numbered address is given: UB’s family medicine department has offices at 132 W. Main St. in Cuba, N.Y. For address numbers, use figures: The UB Anderson Gallery is at 1 Martha Jackson Place. Spell out First through Ninth when used as street names, but use figures for 10th Street, 11th Avenue and above.
Do not spell out state names in body copy; use the state abbreviation list (NOT the postal code abbreviations) in the Custom Stylebook entry “state names.”
The ampersand (&) should not be used in place of “and.”
Avoid unnecessary capitalization. Common nouns such as university and president should be capitalized only when used as part of a full name for a person, place or thing: The University at Buffalo is a research institution. The university is among the nation’s top research institutions.
Not cell phone. Similarly, smartphone.
composition and publication titles
Use roman type and double quotation marks for the titles of books, films, musical compositions, paintings, dissertations, video games, etc. See AP Stylebook for exceptions. Render titles as they appear in the original composition, even if they deviate from our headline style.
The names of newspapers, magazines and periodicals should be cited in copy as they appear on their own banners. The article appeared in The New York Times. But: The article appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
In general, do not use courtesy titles (e.g., Dr.) except in direct quotes.
days, weeks, months
Always use Arabic figures, without st, nd, rd or th. For example: June 1, not June 1st.
Do not abbreviate days of the week, except when needed in a tabular format.
When a month is included as part of a specific date, use Jan., Feb., March, April, May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec. María Garcia’s birthday is Sept. 12, 1985. Do not abbreviate the names of any months when only a month and year are given: The research project began in January 2000 and ended in November 2003.
Do not hyphenate. However, a hyphen should be used with e-book, e-business and e-commerce.
No spaces around em dashes in body copy.
Use first-year to describe students in their first academic year, i.e., in their first or second semester of college.
Avoid the term freshman (pl. freshmen), as it is not gender-inclusive and does not reflect the diversity of the student population in its allusion to traditional “fresh out of high school” college students. However, if an abrupt switch will cause confusion in your communications, you may include the term in parenthesis on a transitional basis. The deadline for first-year students (freshmen) to sign up for housing is approaching.
Do not use first-year to refer to transfer students who are new to UB but in their second or subsequent academic year. Instead, use “new,” which refers to any student who is new to UB regardless of their academic year. All new students are invited to the Get To Know UB ice cream social. You can use first-year transfer student to refer to transfer students in their first year of college.
Hyphenate first-year when it precedes the noun it is modifying. A large group of first-year students showed up early for the pregame concert. Do not hyphenate when it follows the noun: A large group of students, all first year, showed up early for the pregame concert. An exception is if you are using first-year as a noun, an acceptable usage in informal contexts: A large group of students, all first-years, showed up early for the pregame concert.
Although not required, it is acceptable to use second-year, third-year, fourth-year, etc., in lieu of the traditional sophomore, junior and senior.
Two words, no hyphen, all uses. OK to use healthcare, however, if this is part of an organization’s formal title; for example, VA Western New York Healthcare System.
Lowercase. He surfed the internet.
Use first and last name on first reference and last name only on second reference.
When referring to common objects, spell out one through nine and use figures for 10 and above: James Nowak has two computers, 10 notebooks and 11 pens on his desk. However, use figures when referring to percentages, dimensions and children’s ages. (See AP Stylebook for additional exceptions.)
Numbers at the start of a sentence should always be spelled out: Sixty-four students signed up for the class.
school and department titles
Uppercase the formal name of UB’s schools, colleges and departments: She attends the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Lowercase when used informally: She attends the engineering school. However, when a proper noun is used, it should be capitalized in all uses: The English department has productive scholars.
Do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series: UB’s researchers are hardworking, innovative and creative. Use a comma before the conjunction in a complex series: In considering Aisha Kumar for the job of research assistant, they wondered if Kumar had enough research experience to complete required duties, if she was able to work for more than one semester, and if she was enthusiastic about the project itself.
Use figures with hyphens, without parentheses: 716-555-2000.
With the exception of noon and midnight, use figures and lowercase a.m. and p.m. The class began at noon and ended at 1 p.m. Haruto Sato skipped the class because he worked from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Only formal titles that precede a name are capitalized, and prepositions should be lowercase in all instances: Vice President of Student Affairs Jane Olatunji wears glasses. But: Jane Olatunji, vice president of student affairs, wears glasses.
UB Distinguished Professor, SUNY Distinguished Professor, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor and SUNY Distinguished Service Professor are always capitalized, as are endowed professorships, such as the Albert and Elizabeth Rekate Professor of Medicine.
Commonly used titles that are abbreviated when they precede a name include Gov., Lt. Gov., Rep. and Sen. Gov. Emma Tremblay will be the keynote speaker.
For more information on titles, see the AP Stylebook entry on titles and the Custom Stylebook entry on SUNY Distinguished Professor.
Don’t include https://www unless it is essential for calling up the website. Usually the simple web address will suffice, for example, buffalo.edu.
One word, not capitalized. Also webcam, webcast, webmaster, webpage, webfeed, the web.