Shortly after noon yesterday, the UR community was informed of the death of first-year graduate student Erik Maceira. An e-mail, sent out by UR President Joel Seligman to the UR Community, stated that Maceira was found dead on Tuesday in his apartment in the town of Brighton and that the cause of death had not yet been determined.

“From all that I have learned, Erik was a wonderful student, deeply loved by his family and friends,” Seligman said in the e-mail. “A tragedy like this cuts all of us to the quick. We do not at this time know what happened, but we do know that Erik will always be a part of our community and that all of us will do everything that we can to support his family and friends.”

Maceira was a graduate student in the Chemistry Department and a laboratory teaching assistant in CHM 131: Chemical Concepts, Systems and Practices. He came to UR from SUNY Plattsburgh, where he had recently made the Dean’s List for the Spring 2007 semester, according to the Press Republican, a newspaper covering northeastern New York. Maceira was a native of Plattsburgh, N.Y.

According to Director of UR Security Walter Mauldin, his department was contacted by Brighton Police shortly after they found Maceira’s body and realized his connection to the University. Security then worked to determine Maceira’s specific connections to UR and the Chemistry Department. A cause of death will not be determined until an autopsy and toxicological tests have been done.

Seligman has met with Maceira’s father and brother and, according to Mauldin, other family members are expected to arrive in the coming days.

“My heartfelt condolences go out to Erik’s parents, brother and friends and to the graduate students, faculty and staff in Chemistry,” Seligman said in the email.

The Dean of Students’ Office released a statement with ways for students to cope with the situation.

“We strongly encourage students to reach out to one another and make use of available support services,” the statement said.

It listed strategies such as planning time for relaxation, talking with professors and advisers and numerous other methods.

Moeller is a member of the class of 2009.

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