UB names four distinguished professors
Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013 17:08
This summer, UB added Anne B. Curtis, Stephen Jacobson, Jean-Jacques Thomas and Joseph Valente to its prestigious list of Distinguished Professors.
The distinction is given to faculty members who have excelled as leaders and experts in their given field. This year’s honoraries are prominent figures in the areas of medicine, education, English, French and romance languages.
Anne B. Curtis
Aside from being a professor and the chair of the Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Curtis is a world-renowned expert in cardiac arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms. She is a clinical cardiac electrophysiologist and contributed to the guidelines of atrial fibrillation – an irregular heart rhythm originating from the top heart chambers – for the American Heart Association.
Curtis joined the UB family in 2010 from the University of South Florida, where she served as the chair of the Department of Medicine. She is honored to be named a Distinguished Professor and is excited to further the School of Medicine
“It is a reflection of important and ongoing achievement in an academic career,” Curtis said in an email. “I also intend to keep working to make the Department of Medicine at UB one of the best among public universities in the U.S. We are making great strides in bringing in new faculty and leadership, and we are growing in all areas – education, research and clinical care.”
Jacobson has been a part of the Graduate School of Education since 1986. The focus of his work is to build leaders in the classroom and is heavily involved the “LIFTS” program (Leadership Initiative For Tomorrow’s Schools). He appreciates being regarded as a Distinguished Professor.
“It’s very exciting,” Jacobson said. “It’s an acknowledgement that your colleagues respect your accomplishments over the course of your career. Whatever profession you’re in, to know your colleagues respect your work is incredibly rewarding.”
One of Jacobson’s passions is studying how school principals can be successful in regards to increasing student performance. He even uses his research to assist the International Success School Principals Project, an initiative that tries to mold educational leaders in 20 countries around the world.
Locally, he volunteers his time to the state education department, which uses his expertise to create tests educators all over the state have to take in order to be principals.
Jean Jacques Thomas
Thomas, who joined UB in 2008, is an esteemed professor of French in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the associate director of Canadian studies for Quebec affairs and programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.
He is a well-known researcher and scholar and has given eight invited lectures all over the country. Thomas has also published 12 essays, written two books and is working on his third.
Thomas was unavailable for comment.
Valente was recruited by UB from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2010 and is a prominent scholar of Irish studies and the works of James Joyce.
He is a professor and the director of graduate admissions in the Department of English and has written or edited 10 books, 50 articles and many reviews and papers.
Valente was unavailable for comment.