Faculty Profile: Bryant Buchanan

Maria Hughes

Staff Writer

Professor Bryant Buchanan is a dynamic part of the Utica College biology department. Like many professors at UC, Buchanan is very knowledgeable in his field and well respected by his students. Buchanan got his undergraduate degree, a bachelor’s degree in zoology, from the University of Southern Mississippi. He later received his master’s degree and PhD. Before coming to teach at Utica College, Buchanan worked at a college in Mississippi along with multiple postdoctoral positions at universities in Virginia and Mississippi. When asked why he chose UC, Buchanan said he had heard about it from a friend. “I got a tip from a friend that the bio department was really cool,” Buchanan said. “He was right.” The Mississippi native has grown very fond of the upstate New York area. He enjoys getting to know the students on a personal level. Buchanan mentioned that UC is the perfect size, not too big and not too small, and is able to get to know each of his students on a level more personal than he would be able to at a bigger college. Aside from the location and appealing size of the school, Buchanan also feels that the bio department is fantastic. He loves working with his colleagues. In 2015, Buchanan received the 41st Dr. Virgil Crisafulli Distinguished Teaching Award. This award is a high honor and truly speaks to Buchanan’s teaching ability and commitment at UC. Buchanan has two daughters, both adopted from China. Aside from spending time with them, Buchanan enjoys the Adirondacks, hiking, canoeing and gardening. Buchanan’s favorite part of his job is helping students to discover their potential. “I love watching the light bulb go off,” Buchanan said. “When students are struggling, I love talking about their individual struggles to help them to excel.” One of his students, Quinaya Smith, spoke very highly of Buchanan. Smith mentioned that Buchanan is very intelligent with a broad range of knowledge. She noted that he is very thorough; never leaving a student confused and always covers all of the details that he’s aware of on any specific topic. “His discussions are very profound and entertaining, I always leave learning something interesting,” Smith said. Smith said she would take any course with Buchanan and that she could listen to and be around Buchanan any time. Another student, Jasmin Zvornicanin, felt the same way. “Dr. B is an amazing professor,” Zvornicanin said, “His stories are truly wonderful to hear because he’s been to so many places and has heard so much.” Zvornicanin is particularly impressed with Buchanan’s willingness to meet one on one with students for a more personal experience. “What stands out the most is the amazing one-on-one conversations he’ll have with any student, giving decades of wisdom within minutes at a time.”