Outstanding Medical School Faculty, Staff Honored in 2018

Published July 3, 2018 This content is archived.

story by dirk hoffman

A groundbreaking researcher and others who have made significant contributions to their fields and to the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences were honored with 2018 Faculty-Staff Recognition Awards.


The following awards were presented during a June 6 event:

2018 Stockton Kimball Award

Noreen Williams, PhD.

Noreen Williams, PhD

Williams received the award for “her long history of important contributions to her field, national and international recognition, and extensive service to the university, the school and her department, and to her many students,” noted Suzanne G. Laychock, PhD, senior associate dean for faculty affairs and facilities, who presented he award.

Williams has been recognized at UB for her outstanding contributions to her field by the UB Exceptional Scholar – Sustained Achievement Award, and twice as a Top 100 Federal Grantee.

She is well respected in her field for her work on the parasitic microorganism, Trypanosoma brucei that is carried by the tsetse fly and causes the often-fatal African sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis).

“Dr. Williams has contributed groundbreaking research to her field and published numerous papers and book chapters on her work with trypanosomes,” Laychock said. “Her work is widely appreciated and she has presented many invited lectures nationally and internationally.”

Williams will deliver the Stockton Kimball Lecture in 2019.

Dean’s Award

Robert Rychlik, Eric Alcott, Jennifer Kuhn.

From left, Robert J. Rychlik, Eric C. Alcott and Jennifer A. Kuhn were honored with the Dean’s Award for extraordinary service to the Jaocbs School.

  • Eric C. Alcott, senior associate dean of medical development and alumni relations
  • Jennifer A. Kuhn, manager of project support in Facilities Design & Construction
  • Robert J. Rychlik, project manager in Real Estate and Property Management

The award recognizes individuals who have provided extraordinary service to the school and who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference.

Three individuals were honored for their work relating to the new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences building on the downtown Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and medical school dean, said there were literally hundreds of faculty and staff who contributed to the process of designing the building.

“As I stand here today in the building, three important concepts come to mind and I want to recognize three people who were behind having these concepts become a reality,” he said.

“The first was we needed someone to help raise some money to pay for the building that we are in. Two, we needed a person who oversaw 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, the design and construction of the building,” Cain said.

“That gave us money and it gave us a building. The third area was we needed someone to actually move us into the building.”

Cain praised Alcott and his team for “putting together a program and convincing all of us to contribute to our school and to our program and for successfully raising more than $200 million.”

Kuhn “has lived in this building longer than anybody, including when it was a ditch and coming down here every day of the week from the first shovel that went into the ground and is still coming here every day to make sure the construction of the building and the oversight was completed in a spectacular way,” he said.

Cain said Rychlik did “an absolutely spectacular job of getting laboratories and offices moved into the new building.”

John P. Naughton Award

Elizabeth A. O’Brocta.

Elizabeth A. O’Brocta

Named for a former medical school dean, this award recognizes outstanding staff members or volunteers who contribute significantly to the advancement of the medical school and to the fulfillment of its mission.

“Beth was hired in 1995 and has been a key ingredient to a successful department,” Cain said. “Many of her qualities and accomplishments are not quantifiable. It is how she deals with people, always knowing what to do and going above and beyond her job description that set her apart.”

Cain noted O’Brocta also serves as the primary administrator for both the graduate program and the undergraduate major and is the go-to person for faculty, graduate students and undergraduates for a variety of issues.

“Beth helps everyone around her to do better. She is cheerful, optimistic and has a great perspective on the missions of the department, school and UB,” he added.

Service Awards

50 Years

40 Years

30 Years

Other Awardees Also Recognized