Alumni Updates

Daniel Oakes.

Daniel Oakes

Daniel Oakes, May 2019 graduating senior in Business Administration with an International Business concentration and a minor in Italian, has been chosen to participate in the SITE Program (Study, Intercultural Training and Experience), a paid internship program for English Teaching Assistants in Lombardy, Italy, for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Daniel writes, “I am very grateful to have been chosen to participate in the SITE Program, which was introduced to me by Dr. Laura Chiesa. This program gives me the opportunity of being a teacher’s assistant in an English-language class at a high school in Italy for the 2019- 2020 school year. I have been matched with ITE “Enrico Tosi”, a business high school just outside of Milan. Due to my Business background, I will not only be helping out in English, but also classes such as Accounting and Economics. I never considered myself to be a teacher in the past; however, it’s the amazing experiences I had by studying abroad in Italy and helping international students practice English through UB’s Chat Room that convinced me to apply. Here at the school, I’d like to thank Dr. Emanuela Pecchioli, Dr. Paola Ugolini, and Dr. Laura Chiesa for teaching me Italian to a level that made this possible. “ 

Daniel studied Italian in May-June 2018 while studying at the Lorenzo de’ Medici school in Florence. After the program, he indulged his love of travel by exploring other parts of Italy, Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. In his final semester at UB he took an introductory German class!

Pagie Melin.

Paige Melin

Paige Melin graduated summa cum laude from UB in Spring 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majo ring in English and French Language and Literature. From UB she went on to the University of Maine, earning a Master’s of Arts degree (also summa cum laude) in English with concentrations in Gender and Literature, and Poetry and Poetics. She continued to utilize her French language skills in graduate school, receiving a Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship to study Québécois History and Literature at McGill University in 2015. Her M.A. thesis, mentored by poet and Professor Jennifer Moxley, was a translation into English of the French-Canadian novel, Querelle d’un squelette avec son double by Ying Chen.

Since July 2016 she has been Education Coordinator for Explore Buffalo, a non-profit organization providing tours and other opportunities to find out what makes Buffalo such a great place to live. In January 2019, Buffalo Niagara 360 honored Paige with a Spotlight Professional Award in recognition of her contributions to the Buffalo Niagara region as a “young rising leader.”

Also a poet and writer, Paige has published a book of poetry, Puddles of an Open (BlazeVOX, 2016) and a chapbook, MTL/BFL//ÉTE/QUINZE (Buffalo Ochre Papers, 2016). She served as an Editorial Advisor for Ursa Literary Review, Paideuma: Modern & Contemporary Poetry & Poetics, the anthology My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry (BlazeVOX, 2017), and the upcoming Ghost City Press 2019 Summer Micro-Chap series. Her poems, reviews, and articles have appeared in Peach Mag, the Buffalo News, Step Out Buffalo, Chebacco: The Magazine of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society, Rain Taxi Review of Books, & others. She curates and hosts the 4th Friday Reading Series at Dog Ears Bookstore as well as the annual PoetExpo at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

In the fall of 2018 Paige applied for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Senegal and the Teaching Assistant Program in France. After teaching abroad, Paige plans to get her Ph.D. in Translation Theory to teach & translate francophone literature not traditionally represented in the Western canon.

“I am so grateful for the supportive community I found in the Romance Languages Department at UB. Without these professors and mentors, I would never have had the courage to study abroad in France as an undergrad, or to pursue my current goal of teaching English abroad.”

CaTyra Polland.

CaTrya Polland

CaTyra Polland graduated from UB in 2008 with a double major in Sociology and Spanish. She now owns her own business based in Rochester NY, Polland Enterprises LLC, specializing in career preparation and editing. She is a 2018 Rochester Business Journal “Forty under 40” honoree, in recognition of her professional success and contributions to the Rochester community.

Abigail LaPlaca.

Abigail LaPlaca

A Buffalo native, Abigail LaPlaca graduated in 2015 from the University at Buffalo summa cum laude with a B.A. in Spanish, a minor in Education, and Global Scholar Distinction. LaPlaca was an Honors College Scholar and a Presidential Scholar. She studied abroad in Ecuador and Italy and worked as an intern teaching in a bilingual classroom in Buffalo and teaching English in a school in Guayaquil, Ecuador. After graduation, Abigail was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching grant and spent a year teaching English at Universidad Tecnológica in Panama City, Panama. Abigail is currently a Masters student in UB’s English for Speakers of Other Languages teacher’s certification program. She works as a Graduate Assistant for the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships and works at Jericho Road Community Health Center developing a new-hire training program for employees. We were also very fortunate to have Abigail speak to our graduates at RLL’s May 2019 commencement celebration!