Deborah Dias

Deb Dias.

Adventure Awaits

I retired on July 20 after working in GSE’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy (ELP) for almost seven years as an office assistant. My career at UB started in the Financial Aid Office, then continued in the Department of Biochemistry and the Western New York Educational Service Council, and ended in ELP with a total of 11 ½ years of New York State service.

I loved decorating my office for all seasons, caring for my botanical garden setting, and welcoming everyone with a big smile. I especially enjoyed helping with events and always looked forward to greeting our students and guests.

In my retirement, I look forward to spending time with my husband Dave, my cairn terrier Jake, my Mom (who is in assisted living), our nine grandchildren and other dear family and friends. This fall, I plan to resume my tap-dancing hobby, learn how to crochet, stay in shape with the help of the Muscle Pump class here at UB, pursue my love of gardening and do all the other things I never had time to do. There are so many adventures just waiting for me!

I will cherish all the friendships I made with faculty, staff and students and plan to keep in touch. Thank you, UB, for all the memories that I will hold close to my heart! I feel so lucky I was, and will always be, a part of this special community.

Judith Roberson

Judith Roberson.

A 50-year Teaching Legacy

My favorite quote to share with prospective teachers, included in my email signature, states: “Ask yourself one simple question every morning on your way to work. Would you want to be a student in your class?”

I have worked in education all my adult life. For the past 50-plus years, I have been a classroom teacher, school program coordinator and coordinator for parent involvement for the Buffalo Public Schools—where I worked from 1971-2004. Then, I continued my second educational career journey in GSE under the leadership of Dean Mary Gresham immediately after retiring from the BPS.

As a team player, it has been a privilege to work with some of the most incredible associate deans and directors of educator preparation programs here at UB, such as the late Dr. Julius Adams, Dr. S.G. Grant, Dr. Fenice Boyd, Dr. David Cantaffa and, most recently, Dr. Beth Etopio. I witnessed firsthand how these insightful, positive and progressive leaders have increased effectiveness, nurtured growth, and maintained and enhanced the high standards needed to generate highly effective, quality educators. From the Buffalo Research Institute on Education for Teaching (BRIET) to the Teacher Education Institute (TEI) and now the Office of Educator Preparation, the evolution of teacher preparation at UB has been outstanding.

During my nearly two decades as program coordinator of clinical experiences at GSE, I have interacted with thousands of students, securing student teaching placements, and counseling, coaching and supervising teacher candidates. For three consecutive years, I represented GSE/TEI as a member of the Western New York Teacher Center Board. I also fostered, maintained and enhanced many successful relationships with mentor teachers, administrators and school districts in the Western New York area to create lasting, meaningful partnerships with the UB teacher education programs.

My passion for producing successful, highly effective teachers can be summed up in this quote by Dr. Christopher Edmin: “How successful the teacher is in the classroom is directly related to how successful the teacher thinks the students can be.”

All these experiences have helped me to manifest my purpose in life: helping others. Make a difference, be a difference. The old saying “each one teach one” rings true to me. I plan to continue to follow my purpose by helping others use their talents and abilities to want to teach all children.