Honors Students.

Honors College Faculty Fellows

The Honors College has several Faculty Fellows in residence who help plan our curriculum, review policies and teach a seminar during the fall semester each year.

Meet the Fellows

Dr. Craig Centrie

Adjunct Professor, Transnational Studies

Office hours: HON 106C – Thursdays from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Dr. Craig Centrie received his PhD from the Department of Social Foundations, SUNYAB, is a specialist in ethnographic data collection teaching Latinx Studies since 1981 and is an instructor in Transnational Studies/Latinx Studies. His work explores the identity formation and experiences of immigrants and refugees to the United States. Vietnamese Youth in an American High School, examines young Vietnamese refugees and their experiences in American schools, and has published on issues of Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. Recent publications explores the lived experiences of Karen Burmese Youth in Children’s Human Rights and Public Schooling in the United State and an examination of his personal friendship with writer Carlene Hatcher Polite “When Black Girls Became Pretty: Teacher Biography as Sources of Student Transformation” in Urban Female Students and Cultures of Violence and Silencing in an Era of Public Repression. Centrie is the co-founder of El Museo Francisco Oller y Diego Rivera in Buffalo New York, a WNY arts visual arts organization dedicated to the exploration of art of underrepresented communities. Research currently in progress explores the experiences of refugees in an era of populism, neo-liberal policies and privatization. Centrie received a proclamation of honor from the Mayor of Buffalo for his work in fine art and education on Sept. 12, 2018, and the Arts Services Initiative life time achievement award in 2019 for his work in the fine arts and education.

Dr. Maya Chilbert

Assistant Professor, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Office hours:

  • HON 106C - Tuesdays 9-10 a.m., in person, every other Tuesday beginning Aug. 31
  • Dr. Chilbert’s Zoom meeting, Tuesdays 9-10 a.m., online, every other Tuesday beginning Sept. 7 (Meeting ID: 845 376 7719, Passcode: 782276)
Maya Chilbert

Dr. Maya Chilbert is a clinical assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She is a board certified cardiology pharmacist and practices in the cardiac intensive care unit at Buffalo General Medical Center where she teaches pharmacy students and residents through experiential education. She teaches the didactic cardiology content of the Doctor of Pharmacy Program at UB, and conducts clinical research in cardiology pharmacotherapy. Chilbert is excited to be working with all the Honors scholars students, as she was an honors scholar when she was an undergraduate student at UB! Go Bulls!

Debora Grossman

Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Management

Office hours: 215 C Jacobs Fridays 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Debora Grossman

Professor Debora Grossman works in the School of Management. She has taught many classes in the marketing department, but currently concentrates on teaching an advertising class every spring. She is also responsible for teaching freshmen in the UB Seminar for the School of Management. In addition, she oversees the UB Seminar for transfer students.

Grossman worked in marketing for several years before beginning her teaching career. She continues to work as a marketing consultant while teaching full-time. Her experience includes advertising, market research, product development/management and brand management. She provides instruction by bringing her work experience into the classroom.

Grossman finds working at UB to be a rewarding career. She was honored to receive the Milton Plesur Excellence in Teaching award. One of her favorite experiences within the School of Management was traveling to Tanzania, Africa on a faculty-led study abroad trip.

Dr. Lindsay Brandon Hunter

Associate Professor, Theatre and Dance

Office hours: Please email Professor Hunter to make an appointment.

Lindsay Brandon Hunter

Dr. Lindsay Brandon Hunter is Assistant Professor of Theatre in the Department of Theatre & Dance at the University at Buffalo. Her research sits at the juncture of theatre, media and performance studies, and her current book project, Playing Real: Media, Mimesis, and Mischief, examines the performances of authenticity and realness in contexts as varied as reality television, alternate reality gaming, and live broadcast theatre. She is also an active theatre practitioner and directed the Pulitzer-nominated play Everybody, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, for the Department of Theatre & Dance’s MainStage season in spring 2020.

Dr. Chad Lavin

Associate Professor, English

Office hours: Please email Professor Lavin to make an appointment.

Chad Lavin

Dr. Chad Lavin is an Associate Professor in the English Department, where he teaches courses cultural theory, political writing, and American thought. He holds a PhD in Political Science, and prior to joining the English Department at UB he taught political science at various other universities. He has published two books exploring the relationship of language and politics: The Politics of Responsibility (2008) and Eating Anxiety (2013).

Dr. Lavin’s current research focuses on ethics, economics, and politics as three ways of assigning value in a liberal society, looking specifically at the creation of academic disciplines as vehicles for these values. He enjoys his work, but he also likes running, cooking, and shaming the family pets.

Dr. Melinda Lemke

Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy

Office hours:

  • Mondays 4-5 p.m. (available via Dr. Lemke’s Zoom, Meeting ID: 940 5986 1824, Passcode: 20202021)
  • HON 214 - Mondays 4-5 p.m. (except when listed as cancelled in the syllabus)
  • Or send Professor Lemke an email request to make an appointment
Melinda Lemke

Dr. Melinda Lemke, received her PhD in Educational Policy and Planning, with a concentration in Gender Studies, from The University of Texas at Austin, and completed a postdoc at the Observatory on Human Rights of Children, Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, Swansea University in Wales, United Kingdom. An Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, Dr. Lemke teaches in the Educational Administration and Educational Leadership and Policy for Equity (ELPE) minor programs. She currently is Leadership and Policy in Schools Associate Editor, and is affiliated with multiple entities at UB and internationally including the None in Three (Ni3) Centre for the Prevention of Gender-based Violence, University of Huddersfield in Huddersfield, United Kingdom.

Dr. Lemke is a feminist critical, interdisciplinary, qualitative educational policy researcher whose body of work focuses on the politics of education and how public education addresses societal violence, displacement, and centers the wellbeing of historically underserved students. She is the author of numerous publications on topics such as curriculum policy reform, gender-based violence (GBV) and prevention, human trafficking policy, international displacement and refugee youth resettlement, culturally/linguistically responsive trauma-informed practice, and urban school district-community partnerships. Dr. Lemke’s research is shaped by previous work in sexual assault prevention and a career in U.S. urban secondary public education. Beginning with an undergraduate semester abroad, hurricane relief work in Managua, Nicaragua, and a post-undergraduate J. William Fulbright Fellowship to South Korea, Dr. Lemke’s work also is shaped by significant time abroad – with interests including critique of the neoliberal colonial state, the extent to which open and bilateral communication can support the public good, and multi-level policy and social programming interventions into GBV and other human rights abuses. For more information, please visit Dr. Lemke’s profile.

Dr. Heather Ochs-Balcom

Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Office hours: HON 106C – Fridays from 9-10 a.m.

Heather Ochs-Balcom

Dr. Heather Ochs-Balcom is a genetic epidemiologist. The focus of her research program is on the role of genetics in complex diseases/traits, including cancer health disparities in breast and ovarian cancer. She is currently working on a study of breast cancer genetics in African ancestry and another on the influence of hormones on postmenopausal obesity development. She participates in several other studies in the Women’s Health Initiative and other consortia, and is developing new research in the area of breast cancer and the microbiome, and obesity and colorectal cancer.

Dr. Ochs-Balcom is a Graduate Director of Master of Public Health programs, overseeing concentrations in epidemiology, environmental health, and health services administration. She teaches mostly at the graduate level and is excited to spend more time with undergraduates in the honors program. She hopes to share excitement for the importance of public health, and to inspire students who are interested in science and math that there are other career options outside of medicine, from careers in community-based work all the way to an epidemiologist (public health scientist) working in academia, hospitals, industry or government.

Dr. Matthew Paul

Associate Professor, Psychology

Office hours: Professor Matt Paul is available for Zoom consultations every Thursday at 2 p.m.

Matthew Paul

Dr. Matthew Paul is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University at Buffalo. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 2005. His research lies at the intersection of Psychology, Endocrinology, and Neuroscience with a focus on the role of hormones in social behavior and sex differences during adolescence. Adolescence is an exciting time of self-discovery and independence, but it is also a time of increased risk-taking and vulnerability to mental health disorders. Paul is currently funded by the National Science Foundation to study how pubertal hormones contribute to neural and behavioral development during this critical life stage. He teaches courses in Behavioral Endocrinology and Biological Rhythms. He enjoys teaching and mentoring students from many departments (Psychology, Neuroscience, Biology, Biomedical Sciences) both in the classroom and in the laboratory.

Dr. Chi Zhou

Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Office hours: Please email Professor Chi Zhou to make an appointment.

Chi Zhou

Dr. Chi Zhou is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) at UB. He received his doctorate in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2012 and his master’s degree in computer science from USC in 2010. Prior to joining UB in July 2013, Dr. Zhou was a senior research and development engineer at EnvisionTec Inc. He participated in various R&D projects related to the development of featured 3D printing machines. Dr. Zhou’s current research interests are in the areas of computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), particularly in additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing). He received several best paper awards in SME and ASME-related conferences and journals. Other major awards he received include the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) in 2014, the Research Awards from UB in 2017 and SEAS in 2021, and the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2019. In one particular research, a revolutionary 3D printed graphene aerogel he developed was named “the least dense 3D printed structure” by Guiness World Records.

Dr. Zhou teaches courses in design and manufacturing. His classes emphasize hands-on experience and provide an open classroom where students can learn-by-doing. He hopes to integrate his industry and classroom experience to enhance teaching and learning by combining theory and practice. He is excited to be offering a Freshman Year Seminar this fall on 3D printing, an emerging advanced manufacturing technology people believe will bring the Third Industrial Revolution.

Past Faculty Fellows

Dr. Ashley Barr

Assistant Professor, Sociology

Ashley Barr

Dr. Ashley Barr is a family sociologist with her PhD. Her research examines the individual, interpersonal, and contextual factors that affect romantic and family relationships and the role that these relationships play in health and well-being across the life course. She is currently working on several projects to understand how romantic relationships—for better and for worse—get “under the skin” by affecting biomarkers of health and chronic disease. These projects are intended to enable a better understanding of the relational underpinnings of health and healthy aging.

Dr. Colleen Culleton

Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures
Honors College Civic Engagement Fellow

Colleen Culleton

Dr. Colleen Culleton received a PhD in Hispanic Studies from Cornell University in 2002. She specialized in the literature and culture of modern Catalonia, Spain. Her areas of academic interest include twentieth and twenty-first century fiction, narrative theory, landscape studies, theories of globalization, and ecocriticism. Her first book, Literary Labyrinths: Narrating Memory and Place in Franco-Era Barcelona was published in 2017. Culleton teaches on all aspects of modern Spanish literature and culture as well as on issues of globalization and global citizenship. She was the Academic Director of UB’s Global Perspectives Academy from 2012 to 2017 and Fulbright Program Adviser from 2012 to 2018.

Dr. Walter Hakala

Assistant Professor in the Department of English

Walter Hakala

Dr. Walter Hakala is Assistant Professor in the Department of English where he teaches courses on South Asian literature and culture, translation studies, and linguistic approaches to literature in conjunction with the Asian Studies Program at UB. He completed his PhD in South Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Urdu Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and a BA in Asian Studies from the University of Virginia. He grew up India, Pakistan, and Morocco before settling in the United States. He has published work on Afghan sociolinguistics, 18th-century coffee connoisseurs in Delhi, and the First Anglo-Afghan War (1837-42).

His book manuscript, “Negotiating Terms: Urdu Dictionaries and the Definition of Modern South Asia,” was recently awarded the Edward C. Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities by the American Institute of Indian Studies. He is currently working with undergraduates on a digital humanities project that involves the transcription of Indo-Persian children’s vocabularies.

Dr. Erin Hatton

Associate Professor, Sociology

Erin Hatton

Dr. Erin Hatton is an associate professor of sociology at the University at Buffalo. Her research is centered in the sociology of work, while also extending into the fields of social inequality, cultural sociology, labor, law, and social policy. Her first book, The Temp Economy: From Kelly Girls to Permatemps in Postwar America (Temple University Press, 2011), weaves together gender, race, class, and work in a cultural analysis of the temporary help industry and rise of the new economy. Her current book project, Between Work and Slavery: Coerced Labor at the Boundaries of American Citizenship, analyzes four groups of workers at the borders of exclusionary citizenship in the U.S.: prisoners, welfare recipients, college athletes, and graduate students.

Dr. Patrick McDevitt

Dr. Lance Rintamaki.

Dr. Patrick McDevitt is a cultural historian of the Britain, Ireland, and the British empire with a particular interest in the history of everyday life, including gender, sport, fashion, religion and popular culture. After graduating from NYU, McDevitt won a Fulbright to New Zealand and earned a First Class Honours degree from the University of Canterbury. He returned to the States and completed his MA and PhD at Rutgers in European history. His first book is entitled May the Best Man Win: Sport, Masculinity, and Nationalism in Great Britain and the Empire 1880-1935.

His current work is divided between a history of Catholicism in Ireland since Vatican II and the history of sport in the British military at home and in the empire. Since coming to UB, McDevitt has served as Fulbright program advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies for the history department. He is currently active as an officer of UB’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, America’s oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences, and as the faculty advisor to the UB Cricket Club. He is excited to be offering a Freshman Year Seminar this fall on the history of Fashion in the Modern West.

Dr. Eduardo Mercado

Professor, Psychology

Eduardo Mercado

Dr. Eduardo Mercado is a cognitive neuroscientist with interests in brain plasticity as it relates to learning, memory, and perception. His interdisciplinary training includes degrees in computer science, electrical engineering, and psychology, as well as training in the philosophy of science and in computational neuroscience. Both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation have funded his research, and he was named a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford in 2009. He is also the coauthor of an an innovative undergraduate textbook — Learning and Memory: From Brain to Behavior (currently in its 3rd edition) — that was the first to integrate findings from experimental psychology, behavioral neuroscience, and clinical neuropsychology, as well as the first to fully integrate findings from both human and animal studies. He is currently working to develop new physiological monitoring techniques that can enable students to identify times during the day when their brains are maximally plastic.

Dr. Fernanda Negrete

Assistant Professor, French

Fernanda Negrete

Dr. Fernanda Negrete is an assistant professor of French in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at UB since 2014. She is currently writing her first book, called “Symptom and Sensation: Clinical Aesthetics in Experimental Literature and Art,” which features challenging artworks produced between the 1960s and now by women artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Sophie Calle, Lygia Clark, Marguerite Duras, Clarice Lispector, and Roni Horn. These artworks propose original concepts of the work of art itself, and of its specific (and clinical, the book argues) effects upon the subject’s desire, so they are elucidated in connection with the theories of desire and of aesthetic experience found in psychoanalysis and in contemporary aesthetics. Her articles have appeared in journals such as Mosaic, CR: The New Centennial Review, and ARTMargins. She recently contributed an essay called “Alice in Wonderwater” for an edited volume (forthcoming in Bloomsbury Press 2019) on the connection between the thought of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and feminist criticism. She is co-editing a special issue of Samuel Beckett Today/aujourd’hui called Beckett Beyond Words (forthcoming fall 2018), where she has included an essay of hers on the presence of Beckett’s work in a symphony by the Italian composer Luciano Berio.

Negrete enjoys teaching courses that bring modern French literature into discussion with other art forms, such as film, music, painting, and installation art. She also brings these modes of expression into conversation with French philosophy and psychoanalysis in order to explore questions of perception, sensation, time, sexuality, and subjectivity. An important part of these courses consists in developing a sensibility to read nonverbal material and thinking of how it prompts us to find new ways of using language, so spending time with art books and at art galleries, or with music and at concerts, plays an important part in the courses. Inversely, the distinctive and always new treatment of language within literature itself is investigated to discover how it sheds light on the other arts.

Dr. Atri Rudra

Associate Professor, Computer Science and Engineering

Atri Rudra

Dr. Atri Rudra is an Associate Professor in the department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at UB. He does research in and teaches algorithms, which are mathematical recipes that make computers run. His research deals with designing algorithms that allow for processing large amounts of data efficiently as well as help recover original information from corrupted data. In particular, his recent research into automatically exploiting inherent structures in data has led to discovery of new, provably optimal, algorithms for problems that have been studied for decades and were considered “solved.” Very recently, this progress has led him, kicking and screaming in protest, into the deep end (er, deep learning). He currently teaches UB’s undergraduate algorithms course in the fall semester and more generally is interested in the societal implications of CSE. Specifically, he likes to think about how to make CSE students care more about the societal implications of what they build. Rudra’s journey from a student to a faculty member illustrates an important life lesson: Never say never. As a junior, he would go around telling anyone who cared to listen that (a) he was never going to graduate school and (b) even if he did, it won’t be in algorithms. Needless to say, he spectacularly failed to keep his words.

Last updated: September 03, 2021 11:57 am EST