Meet Our Alumni

stage at commencement.

Marilyn Schindler, PhD walking the stage at the delayed 2020 UB Commencement ceremony 

Rodney Haring.

Rodney C. Haring, PhD, MSW

Rodney C. Haring, PhD, MSW, is Director of the Roswell Park Center for Indigenous Cancer Research, research faculty at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Office of Community Outreach and Engagement, Department of Cancer Prevention and Control and adjunct faculty at the Native American Research and Training Center, University of Arizona. An alumnus of the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, he is also a past fellow at the National Congress of American Indians and Mayo Clinic. Haring (Beaver Clan) is an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians and resides on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation (N.Y.). He holds a doctoral degree in social work with over 15 years of social work practice and a former delegate on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, American Indian and Alaska Native, Health Research Advisory Council. He is also the lead delegate for the historic MoU between Rowell Park and Indian Health Services with the common mission of addressing health burdens in Indigenous communities. In 2017 he was awarded an Impact Award by the National Indian Health Board and in 2021 he received the National Federation of Just Communities Hero Award. His research interests intersect eliminating disparities and encouraging resiliencies within First Nations and Indigenous societies. 

Shannon Seneca.

Shannon Seneca, PhD, REHS/RS, EIT

Shannon Seneca, PhD, REHS/RS, EIT is a Haudenosaunee environmental engineer with her Bachelor of Science in Physics. Her master’s work was focused on drinking water treatment while she gained expertise in geochemistry, contaminant hydrology and groundwater remediation during her doctoral studies. Dr. Seneca obtained ecosystem restoration training and experience through the University at Buffalo’s National Science Foundation IGERT Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange (ERIE) program.  She was the first female Native American to earn her PhD in Engineering at UB in 2012. For almost a decade, Dr. Seneca worked with the Seneca Nation and most recently served as the Seneca Nation Health System's Environmental Health Director. She recently joined the Center for Indigenous Cancer Research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute as an assistant faculty member to respond to Indigenous community desires to see more active environmental health cancer research. She brings in much diversity as an Indigenous person and an environmental engineer delving into environmental health to tackle the impact of environmental contaminants on human health. Dr. Seneca strives to be a part of many interdisciplinary teams as each individual brings unique backgrounds to the table to solve large scale problems together. 

Rahnekawę̀:rih Montgomery Hill.

Rahnekawę̀:rih Montgomery Hill, PhD

Rahnekawę̀:rih Montgomery Hill, PhD, is a recent alumni of the Linguistics Department, receiving a PhD in linguistics for his dissertation, Tuscarora Morphology & Language Revitalization in 2020. He is active in all forms of cultural and linguistic revitalization across the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations, Iroquois) Confederacy. His work is primarily centered around the Tuscarora language and research on the Great Law as a historical narrative and also as a cultural device that encodes a complex moral, ethical and metaphysical philosophy. He is interested in all forms of indigenous knowledge and indigenous knowledge creation, as well as the enactment of the knowledge in the forms of the revitalization of traditional governance structures (including such things as tribal wellness courts, traditional counciling, and so on).

Bernadette Scott.

Bernadette M. Scott, MA

Bernadette M. Scott, MA – American Studies, is currently the assistant at the Seneca Nation of Indians Higher Education Program, Seneca-Iroquois National Museum Board of Trustees member, and a participant in the Artist Residency Program at the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum. Bernadette (deer clan) is an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation resides on the Cattaraugus Territory, well-known in the community for teaching, sharing, and making traditional Seneca (no-face) cornhusk dolls. In addition, she creates traditional braided cornhusk moccasins in various sizes. 

Cornhusk doll making has been passed down through many generations on her maternal side. For many years, she has been sharing and teaching how to make Seneca (no-face) cornhusk dolls throughout Turtle Island with her family, the Iroquois Doll Makers. Bernadette has been making cornhusk dolls for since she was a young girl and learned mainly from her (late) Grandmother, Lillian Kane.

Dean Seneca.

Dean S. Seneca, MPH, MCURP

Dean S. Seneca, MPH, MCURP, serves as the CEO of Seneca Scientific Solutions+, a Public Health and Urban and Regional Planning LLC.  In this position, he provides capacity building assistance for Tribal Nations, States, Regions, Cities and Territories in economic and community development that embraces the concepts of “healthy places for healthy people.”  Services provided include public health policy, program, training & science; strategic/master planning; community, economic development; grant writing; architectural site planning & building design; performance programing; health research; data collection & management; and program evaluation. Areas of health expertise include epidemiology, chronic and infectious diseases, emergency preparedness and response, environmental health, social determinants, and global health. Mr. Seneca holds an adjunct position at the University of Buffalo, School of Public Health and Health Professions where he instructs a class on “Indigenous Health Disparities” and is considered a national subject matter expert.  Previously, Mr. Seneca served as a Senior Health Scientist in the Partnership Support Unit within the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  His main responsibilities were to build CDC’s national public health partners ability to provide greater capacity building assistance to state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments. Mr. Seneca has over 20 years of experience in the field of infectious disease outbreaks having been a first responder to Anthrax, H1N1, Ebola, Zika and now Covid19.  Before arriving to CDC, he held the position of Tribal Planning Director for the Seneca Nation of Indians.  He received both of his master’s degree(s) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

John Casali.

John Casali, PharmD, RPh

John J Casali, PharmD, RPh is Staff Pharmacist at John R. Oishei Children's Hospital, which specializes in comprehensive pediatric medical care, including neonatal, perinatal and obstetrical services. Dr. Casali is an enrolled member of the Cayuga Nation (Heron Clan). He received his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from the University at Buffalo. In his undergraduate career he was a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP). He later completed his Doctor of Pharmacy program, during which he attended a Pharmacy Practice Experience in Napo, Ecuador, working with bringing healthcare to indigenous tribes of Ecuador, while learning aspects of Kichwa culture including use of medicinal plants, oral storytelling, songs and dance, and artisan crafts.  Since graduating Dr. Casali has been working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, including immunization education and patient care.