Published April 25, 2018
UB vice presidents Michael E. Cain and Laura Hubbard, and faculty member Cristanne Miller will receive the UB President’s Medal in recognition of extraordinary service to the university during UB’s 2018 commencement ceremonies being held May 4 through May 23.
Also this commencement season, SUNY honorary doctorates will be presented to three UB alumni: Gordon L. Amidon, Charles R. Walgreen Professor of Pharmacy at the University of Michigan; Robert Peter Gale, visiting professor of haematology at the Centre for Haematology Research, Imperial College London; and Margaret W. Wong, founder and managing partner of Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC, Attorneys at Law.
Alumna Abbe Raven, former president, CEO and chairman of the Arts and Entertainment Television Networks, will receive an honorary doctorate in humane letters in September at a campus event to be announced.
The UB President’s Medal, first presented in 1990, recognizes “outstanding scholarly or artistic achievements, humanitarian acts, contributions of time or treasure, exemplary leadership or any other major contribution to the development of the University at Buffalo and the quality of life in the UB community.”
Michael Cain, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, will receive the President’s Medal during the commencement ceremony for the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on May 4.
Cain joined UB in 2006 as dean of the Jacobs School, and was named vice president in 2011.
Throughout his tenure, he has sought to rebuild and modernize the Jacobs School to create an innovative environment where students and residents are inspired to emulate the culture of best clinical practice, scientific curiosity and community service. Following this vision, he spearheaded construction of a new medical school building designed for innovative undergraduate and graduate education. Concurrently, he directed the transformation of the medical curriculum to leverage the creative learning opportunities the building promotes.
Cain’s achievements are reflected in the medical educational strategic plan and the 640,000-square-foot medical education building on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Adjacent to UB’s health care partners and with 178 percent more space devoted to education, the building includes active learning centers; expanded, novel medical and surgical simulation centers; a structural sciences learning center; interactive auditoriums; and group learning and study venues — all promoting enhanced, collaborative and integrated learning and clinical experiences.
With three floors dedicated to laboratories, the new building places researchers close to UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center. Cain led the efforts to build the CTRC, facilitating student and resident participation in mentored research training and promoting scientific curiosity. The CTRC serves as a hub for the next generation of clinician-scientists to participate in translational research.
Understanding that investing in and improving the medical community will enhance medical education, Cain envisioned the construction of a multidisciplinary ambulatory care center utilized for student and resident education. His efforts led to the opening of Conventus, a 350,000-square-foot building on the BNMC with two floors devoted to such care.
Laura Hubbard, vice president for finance and administration, also will receive the President’s Medal during the Jacobs School commencement ceremony on May 4.
Hubbard is responsible for oversight of the university’s strategic financial planning and analysis of resource use and development. She provides leadership and oversight for UB’s resource planning, business services, internal audit, real estate, policy and internal controls, human resources, employee relations, sustainability, parking and transportation, emergency management, university police and facilities units. Hubbard also successfully led the planning, development, construction and delivery of the state-of-the-art, $375 million downtown home of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
With more than 20 years of experience in higher education administration, Hubbard has a track record of success in areas ranging from budget and strategic planning to organizational restructuring. She came to UB in 2012 from the University of Oregon, where she served as associate vice president for budget and finance. Prior to joining the University of Oregon in 2005, she served as director of capital planning and budget, assistant vice president for administration and interim vice president for finance and administration at the University of Idaho. From 1990 to 1999, she served as finance and administrative officer, as well as director of facilities administrative services, at Washington State University.
Hubbard holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Idaho.
Cristanne Miller, SUNY Distinguished Professor and the Edward H. Butler Professor in the Department of English, will receive the President’s Medal at the College of Arts and Sciences’ commencement ceremony for graduate students on May 18.
Miller has authored or edited 20 books, including the recent “Emily Dickinson’s Poems: As She Preserved Them” (Harvard University Press, 2016), which won the Modern Language Association Award for Best Scholarly Edition in 2015-16.
Her other publications include path-breaking scholarship on Dickinson, on the American Civil War and on the modernist period, with a particular focus on Marianne Moore but ranging to a comparison of the gender, sexual and religious politics in literary communities in New York and Berlin.
She has been awarded fellowships for this work from such national and international organizations as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 2013, Miller received the Fulbright/Tocqueville Distinguished Chair Award to teach and study in Paris. She founded and directs the Marianne Moore Digital Archive, a project furthering Moore studies and contributing to the development of digital tools to open new possibilities for textual studies in the digital humanities.
At UB, she has chaired the Department of English and participated in many of the major conversations shaping the university through college and university committee work. Other significant leadership positions include co-founding and serving as president of the Emily Dickinson International Society, serving as president of the international Modernist Studies Association and co-directing international conferences in the U.S., England, Norway and China.
As of fall 2018, Miller will direct UB’s Digital Humanities Initiative.
A fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, the American Pharmacists Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Gordon L. Amidon has been called a true visionary in the pharmaceutical sciences for his sophisticated research, most notably in the area of oral drug absorption.
He will receive a SUNY honorary doctorate of science at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences’ commencement ceremony on May 19.
Amidon is credited with developing the Biopharmaceutical Classification System (BCS), recognized and utilized worldwide to differentiate drugs on the basis of their solubility and permeability. Amidon’s scientific achievements have greatly contributed to the pharmaceutical community’s overarching understanding of drug absorption and serve as guiding principles used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine generic drug bioequivalents.
Amidon’s academic roots in his field began at UB, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 1967. During his time in Buffalo, he gained a passion for the study of pharmacokinetics, the convergence of pharmacy and mathematics.
An internationally renowned hematologist, immunologist, molecular biologist and cancer researcher, Robert Peter Gale has dedicated his professional life to unraveling the biology of leukemia and other blood cancers, and developing new, more effective therapies. His work related to hematopoietic cell transplants and effects of radiation made him a highly sought-out expert on the medical response to nuclear and radiation accidents, including those at Chernobyl, Fukushima and elsewhere. His recent focus is on preventing, but also preparing for, acts of nuclear terrorism.
Gale earned his medical degree from UB in 1970, followed by a PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a highly accomplished career. In 1983, he and his colleagues at the Weizmann Institute in Israel molecularly cloned the genetic mutation causing a common form of leukemia, which led to the development of a curative drug therapy for a previously fatal disease. Gale’s desire to improve the treatment and lives of cancer patients reflects his broad range of study touching on diverse areas beyond traditional medicine, including epidemiology, statistics and decision analyses.
He will receive a SUNY honorary doctorate of science at the Jacobs School commencement on May 4.
An international leader in the area of immigration law, Margaret W. Wong is one of the most distinguished, accomplished and dedicated alumna of the UB School of Law. Through her many achievements and contributions, she embodies the highest ideals of personal and professional excellence, service and leadership. An immigrant herself, Wong has made it her mission to help others from countries around the world pursue opportunities in the United States, helping tens of thousands of people along the way.
Based on her own experience of obtaining a green card and U.S. citizenship, Wong recognized that people need sound guidance in this highly regulated area of the law. She founded Margaret W. Wong & Associates in the 1970s, building her firm into a nationally and internationally recognized practice for its expertise in immigration and nationality law.
A 1976 graduate of the law school, Wong has remained a dedicated supporter of her alma mater, where she has mentored many students, serves as a longtime member of the law school’s Dean’s Advisory Council and co-chaired the successful $30 million Campaign for UB Law. Wong has endowed scholarships for 15 UB law students to date and a named professorship in the law school.
She will receive a SUNY honorary doctorate of law at the School of Law’s commencement ceremony on May 20.