Paul T. Wietig Dedication

May 20, 1947 - April 11, 2016

Paul was a dear friend of our school and we have set up this page in his honor. Please submit a reflection in the form below and we will post the comments on this page in Paul's memory.

 
 
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Reflections

April 29th, 2016 - Kim Krytus

Paul was a dear colleague, mentor and friend. He was visionary, committed, compassionate and an all around wonderful person who cared deeply about people, his work, and our school. It is because of Paul that I am where I am today at UB. He helped hire me, engaged me in projects that enhanced my strengths, showed me a career path in higher education, and guided me throughout. For this, I am forever grateful to him.
 

I will miss ice cream lunches with Paul, and visiting him in his office with classical music streaming in the background. I will miss his creative idea sharing, brainstorming on interprofessional education, and collaborating with him on so many projects at UB. He made an impact on so very many people. Our community, our university, our school, and I are better for knowing him.


Thank you, Paul, for all that you've done. You gave everything to making a difference in people's lives, and what a difference you've made.

April 29th, 2016 - Lynn Kozlowski

With his absence from the office due to his illness, there was a palpable diminishment of the spirit and positive energy on the floor where he spent much of his time.
 

I never knew a more considerate person. He was vigilant for things he could do to help extend the greater good as well as the personal good of those around him. Often before a need was openly expressed, Paul was there doing what needed to be done and never in an intrusive self-aggrandizing way. He pushed others into to spotlight. He worked hard to make others look good and feel appreciated.
 

He knew the power of networks and loyalty and looking out for each other. What a network he was at the hub of!
 

In my last conversation, he was enlisting my help in typing a message and he asked me also to spread the word to his colleagues at work. Which I did. Writing this makes me think that all Paul's colleagues and co-workers were to him loved ones.


Paul's complaints were most often about barriers to progress. He was sometimes piled on with tasks from the university, tasks that required an educator and someone who would be committed to get things done in an often under-staffed context.


Generous, considerate, committed, diligent, praising, patient, inclusive, tireless.


Part of our interaction was a kind of yin/jang interplay. His side was more reverent and my side was more irreverent--which made for many smiles and laughs.


I miss him and wish we had more years to work together.

April 29th, 2016 - Jeremiah Grabowski
Paul gave out Christmas cards every year, and included in every card was a note with his annual quote for the New Year. His last note now sits on my desk as a constant reminder of the type of person one should strive to become. 

From the day I interviewed at UB, Paul was a mentor, confidante, and friend. His genuine compassion for others was unlike anyone I've ever met. He was selfless, and despite the fact that you knew he was juggling 10 other projects, he took the time to help you with yours. Paul always made time for others, an exceedingly rare trait these days.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." That is the quote on my desk, and how I will always remember Paul. 
April 29th, 2016 - Keith Conroy
Paul was not just a colleague the past 10 years at UB, but also a mentor and friend. He would drop by my office weekly just to see how things were going and if he sensed any distress would always ask if I needed to get something off my chest. He taught me how to be a better worker and co-worker and that respecting others is critical to success. He often called me "Boy Wonder" and I will take that as a compliment! I miss Paul and think about him daily, but will do my best to live my life using what he taught me. Photo courtesy Lynn Koslowski.
April 30th, 2016 - Don Rowe
Paul was at all times a gentlemen, a gentle man, a scholar, a mentor, a marvelous colleague and most importantly the best friend you could ever ask for. His spirit will forever inspire us. Though we can no longer see him with our eyes he is embedded in our hearts forever. 
May 1st, 2016 - Caryn Sobieski-VanDelinder
Over the past 5 years, I learned a lot from Paul, just by listening to the manner in which he conducted himself in meetings, phone calls, and even emails. I'm thankful for those experiences. I believe he loved being a mentor, and did so without wanting much in return, but conversation. I concur with Lynn's post, that we were his loved ones. On many occasions, I felt as though some of us younger staff were like his work kids; bringing us butter lambs from the Broadway Market at Easter, sharing a soup (or even ice cream) lunch, offering life advice, and sending notes to have a restful weekend. I hope to live a life of purpose as he did. Now it's Paul's turn to, as he would say, "rest well."
May 1st, 2016 - Greg Homish

Paul was a truly amazing person.  He impacted me in so many positive ways.  I always felt like he was a guiding light for me; always wise, always kind, and always helpful.  He was a trusted confidante; one that I would turn to quite often.

 

I don't think I will ever meet a man who was so willing to do anything to help.  He was generous with his time as well offering the assistance from his large network of friends, collaborators and colleagues.  Whenever I needed help with the most unimaginable thing, Paul always seemed to have a plan.

 

He will be missed by me personally, but also by our UB community as well as the community at large.  Paul had a way of making every individual feel special.  One of the little things that I will miss was his famous ending to any of our encounters: How is Ms. Ellie; never missing an opportunity to inquire about the well-being our four year old daughter.

May 2nd, 2016 - Harold Burton
I worked with Paul on the core curriculum when he first arrived at UB. I was immediately struck by his professional demeanor. He listened more than he talked and respected the input from all members of the committee, always deflecting praise from himself and onto others. He was a humble man who truly cared about the well-being of those around him. A legacy of which to be proud.
May 2nd, 2016 - Dennis Kohl

My wife and I had the immense pleasure of getting to know Paul over the past 8 years. His generosity of time, his positive nature, and endless friendship to anyone who he met, was rejuvenating for us, and is so rare in this day and age.

 

My first meeting with him was at Schwabl's, where we met several more times after that first meeting.

 

There are very few people in life that make you feel, like you have known them, your whole life after your first meeting, Paul was one of those rare people.

 

Whether fishing, purchasing flowers for his wife, or helping with a resume or a new direction in life, he did them all with a smile and a helping hand, wanting nothing in return.

 

We are better people for having known Paul and will carry on his positive ways and welcoming smile.

 

Dennis & Brenda Kohl

May 4th, 2016 - Jahan Porhomayon
He was a great and devoted staff member for the university. We will miss him.
May 4th, 2016 - Lauren Johnson

Paul cared about students and he cared about people in general. Because of Paul, as a member of the Career Services staff at the university I have an office in Kimball Hall to meet with SPHHP students regarding questions and concerns about their career planning issues.  And once he brought me over, he didn't forget I was there!  He checked in on me periodically to see if I needed anything, made sure I had resources in the SPHHP to call upon, and always made me feel welcome and appreciated.

 

Paul was a special man and he will be greatly missed by so many.  Even when he was very busy, he would poke his head in with a smile to say hello and ask me "when are we going for our lunch this semester?"

 

Thank you for all that you have done professionally, but especially for being the kind, caring person who brightened so many people's lives each day. 

May 4th, 2016 - Barb Sen

Paul, there are not enough words to describe this gentle man.  I will miss his smile, his banter back and forth over what he wanted to eat at our graduate luncheon, his unannounced office visits which were always welcomed. 

He was always willing to help anyone that needed it without questioning why.  He is and will be greatly missed by all that knew him.  I know he is looking down and smiling on all of us!  He gave me a stuffed buffalo that sits on my shelf and I will cherish it forever!  God bless his family!  

May 4th, 2016 - Jim Olson
I have had the pleasure to know Paul for well over 20 years, since the days that our sons attended Amherst Schools together.  Any interaction I had with Paul was positive, helpful and friendly. UB was fortunate to be able utilized Paul's unique skills and can-do, friendly personality to advance programs in the SPHHP and SMBS.  I am honored to have known and worked with Paul.  He will be greatly missed.
May 5th, 2016 - Amy Lyons
My relationship with Paul stems from our work together on interprofessional education (IPE).  Paul was a connector, a networker, and idea man and got shear joy from putting people with similar interests together.  This was true with his belief that the Health Sciences Library (HSL) played an important role in the education of health sciences professional students.  Thus, he made sure that HSL was at the heart of IPE activities.  All of us at HSL have very fond memories of working with Paul, especially on the joint IPE grant project.  He could be demanding, but he was always extremely appreciative of the work one did for him!   Paul was always a gentleman in how he interacted with people, I am pleased to call him a colleague - and most of all to have had the opportunity to know him, and been fortunate to have worked together!
May 6th, 2016 - Michelle Zafron

I first met Paul officially when he came to UB as curriculum coordinator for the School of Public Health and Health Professions, but I knew of him from his days at Amherst Senior High. My mother had worked with him on various things and always spoke well of him. From the start, Paul was fantastic. He understood the value of libraries and was always so appreciative of what I did for him.

 

He was one of the most generous and kind people with whom I have ever had the chance to work.

 

Paul made connections between people like nobody?s business. He busted silos I never thought could be busted.

 

He did so much for me, the School of Public Health and Health Professions, and for the University at Buffalo and I for one will miss him greatly.

May 6th, 2016 - Becky Farnham
I only worked with Paul briefly, but he left a lasting impression. He was such a nice man, who seemed truly dedicated to his work. 
May 11th, 2016 - Heather Orom

Paul was the essence of kindness. He had a generous and gentle spirit that always had time to make your day brighter with a joke or a warm hello. He truly and genuinely showed care for his colleagues. He cared about how your kids were doing, how you were doing, and about how he could facilitate your ability to build something better at UB. He also made opportunities for people. I remember I was only a couple of weeks into the job and he invited me to join him on a committee. This really made me feel trusted, competent, and able to add value. Where he could find an opportunity to appreciate members of the UB committee he took it. It was Paul, although only a member of CHHB in spirit, who came up with an idea to recognize the community service of CHHB students with an award that we now give out each year.

 

Paul was generous in introducing me to his wife Margie - also a most kind and nurturing person - they seemed so perfectly paired in that respect.

 

Paul was a force for better and I'm so grateful I have his example in my heart.

May 19th, 2016 - Michael Noe
Those who attended the funeral service for our dear colleague and friend, Paul Wietig, will recall that among the musical selections was the soul-stirring processional, "Fanfare for the Common Man" composed by Aaron Copland. I was told that it alone among those selections was requested by Paul himself for that occasion. We can only imagine that he likely saw himself among those for whom the piece was dedicated and, in his own self-effacing and humble way, considered it a way to musically punctuate his life which was, ironically, a most uncommon one. It seemed that Paul's life, unlike that of too many others, was lived for others... for family, for students, for colleagues and friends, and even for those who were only casual acquaintances or recently met, but all having in common the unmet need which he seemed to search out and identify in his own quiet way and then sought to fill. It was as if he was energized by his caring role as helper which he fulfilled because he could, and not because someone was watching, or because it was a favor for which another person might selfishly expect one in return.  Who among us did not personally experience that touch and see the smile that followed and gave clear indication of the satisfaction he had in making someone's life even just a bit better for the moment or for years. Paul leaves to all who knew him a marvelous legacy made up of unselfish acts of kindness, of all that goes into forming the bonds of true friendship, and of an example that the "common men" among us would all do well to follow. We will all miss him greatly.

Paul's Legacy

Paul was a valued colleague, influential leader and beloved friend of the school.  He was named to the leadership position in UB’s Academic Health Center in 2014, a position he described as “an extension of my entire career in education.” He was responsible for developing infrastructure, facilitating staff development and identifying and delivering the best curricular instructional activities for interprofessional education—all with the goal of preparing students to care for patients within complex, evolving health care systems. Paul’s work was a significant element of UB’s commitment, participation and engagement in matters associated with health care reform. It paved the way for integration of curriculum, instruction, assessment, community, and faculty development: the “systems building” that will improve health care at all levels.

Paul dedicated his life to education. Prior to his responsibilities for interprofessional education, Paul was the core curriculum coordinator for the School of Public Health and Health Professions where he joined the school in July 2007.  He also served in UB’s Teaching and Learning Center and, at one time, as a lecturer at UB, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, teaching curriculum planning, development of grant and research proposals and social studies methods. Prior to coming to UB, Paul had been an influential part of the Western New York educational community as a teacher, curriculum director, principle and deputy superintendent at Amherst Central Schools and Grand Island Central Schools.  

His volunteer work also reflected his passion for education, including serving as a trustee of the Town of Amherst Libraries System, as a member of the Educational Advisory Board of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, as a member of the Dean's Advisory Council for UB’s School of Social Work and as advisory board member of the Thomas Reynolds Center for Special Education and After-School Programs. He worked as well as a consultant to numerous school districts, higher education institutions and not-for-profit organizations.

Paul was an enormous asset to our mission of interprofessional education within the Academic Health Center, the School of Social Work and the School of Management. He worked diligently to break down the “silos” that prevent health care professionals from functioning as members of a team and was recognized for his ability to get disparate professionals to work jointly. As a result, our faculty, students and graduates are better prepared to teach, learn and serve in the health care workforce of the twenty-first century. Paul will be greatly missed.