Mentoring

Professor talking with two students outside.

Because faculty connections matter.

Need help defining and achieving your experiential learning goals? Confused about graduate school or career choices and looking for a faculty perspective?

The Experiential Learning Network is the place for informal mentoring and faculty connections. We invite students across all disciplines and areas of study to meet with UB's world-class faculty for informal guidance and mentoring.

  • Visit Un-Office Hours in 17 Norton: Meet with faculty who are ready to answer questions, share insights and engage in informal conversation about topics of interest to you. Select from a calendar of featured faculty mentors or simply drop in to see who’s available. Faculty hours, bios and contact information are below.
  • Explore our Mentor Network: Browse through mentor profiles to uncover interesting connections and mutual areas of interest. Visit faculty at Un-Office Hours or request an appointment by visiting 17 Norton.
  • Join our Student Listserv: Get in the know about featured faculty and mentoring opportunities.

Faculty Bios

Bob Neubert

Bob Neubert portrait.

Clinical Assistant Professor and Director, Entrepreneurship Programs

Thursdays, 2-3 p.m. and by appointment

Q1: Describe an opportunity or experience in college that you took advantage of and how that shaped your journey.

A1: I conducted biochemistry research as an undergraduate student, which led to my first publication and later to my first job. Before that, though, I worked as a head resident assistant, which built leadership skills that ultimately helped me advance rapidly in my corporate and start-up roles after college. An equally transformative experience for me was serving on a Sioux Indian reservation. This experience taught me empathy for oppressed populations and gratitude for the blessings in my life.

Q2: What are some of the projects in which you've supported, mentored and/or collaborated with undergraduate students?

A2: Mentoring start-ups. I work with numerous students to help them develop their start-ups. Social innovation. One of my favorite parts or UB is assisting students with the development of their social innovation projects.

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: Traveling frequently. Outdoor activities, such as kayaking, hiking, and biking. I'm a science geek. Art museums. Coaching youth sports—soccer, football, baseball, and basketball.

Colleen Culleton

Colleen Culleton portrait.

Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literature

Fridays, 2:30-3:30 p.m. and by appointment

Q1: Describe an opportunity or experience in college that you took advantage of and how that shaped your journey.

A1: I studied abroad in Seville, Spain for one semester. When I left, I was a double major in Political Science and Geography. When I returned, I became a triple major, adding Spanish. I was able to do that because of the credits I earned while studying abroad. The last two classes I took to finish the Spanish major changed my mind about what I wanted to do for work — instead of pursuing a career in politics, I became a Spanish professor. No regrets!

Q2: What are some of the projects in which you've supported, mentored and/or collaborated with undergraduate students?

A2: Research assistants. I have undergraduate research assistants every semester who help me with my research on water as a natural resource and cultural object in Catalonia, Spain. Traveling abroad. In the winter of 2015 I traveled to Costa Rica with a group of UB students on a service-learning "Alternative Spring Break" trip. We helped with infrastructure development in a small town. The student leaders did all the work, so I just enjoyed the ride!

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: Traveling, knitting, martial arts, and reading fiction!

Harold Burton

Harold Burton portrait.

Associate Professor Emeritus, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Email to schedule an appointment

Q1: Describe an opportunity or experience in college that you took advantage of and how that shaped your journey.

A1: My first college degree was a BA in Education and I wanted to be a science teacher in high school. A friend of mine was going off to a different college to do a Master's degree in Exercise Science and his research project (muscle injury and repair) intrigued me. I visited the college with him, loved the place and the people and was accepted into the program. I went on to complete a PhD in Physiology then was awarded a 3-year Research Fellowship at the University of Michigan. I came to UB in 1987 and continued a research program in the broad area of muscle plasticity, blood vessel regeneration in damaged tissue and using exercise to remediate joint pain in cancer survivors. So, basically, it was a seemingly insignificant event that caused me to change direction and discover my true passion.

Q2: What are some of the projects in which you've supported, mentored and-or collaborated with undergraduate students?

A2: Three examples of my research projects with undergraduate students. One. Behavior modification, weight management and reduction of joint pain in breast cancer survivors undergoing hormone treatment. We found that specific, individualized exercise training programs significantly reduced joint pain and fat mass. Two. Comparison of vegetable protein vs. animal protein in supporting gains in muscle mass and reducing muscle pain and cholesterol levels in hyperlipidemic men after 12 weeks of resistance training. We found that contrary to popular belief, vegetable protein was just as effective as animal protein in supporting gains in muscle mass, and both groups had similar reductions in blood cholesterol. Three. Diet, fat intake and incidence of lower extremity injuries in competitive female runners. We found that muscle injury was higher in female runners who had below normal fat intake.

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: Obesity — a global epidemic; Behavior modification and chronic disease; Why the current medical model does not work; Chronic disease in different cultures around the world; Why the current educational system is failing to educate our students.

Jim Jensen

Jim Jensen portrait.

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Environmental Engineering

Mondays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and by appointment

Q1: Describe an opportunity or experience in college that you took advantage of and how that shaped your journey.

A1: I was looking for a general education class and happened upon an economics class that focused on population growth. This led to a summer job in a birth control clinic (along with a second job as a janitor at Sears) and a lifelong interest in overpopulation. I also applied for a scholarship that led to me spending the year after college studying music in Germany.

Q2: What are some of the projects in which you've supported, mentored and/or collaborated with undergraduate students?

A2: Sustainable drinking water treatment. I have worked with over 50 undergraduate students over the years in developing sustainable methods for drinking water treatment. Sustainability. I work with students from all majors on sustainability projects around campus, Buffalo, and the world. Examples include the user of high-velocity hand dryers and solar charging stations at UB.

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: I play recorders (badly) — not the song flutes you played in the 4th grade but honest-to-goodness instruments. I like to day hike. I love to cook, especially baking (ask me about my pie crusts). I'm an unabashed word maven (esp. the origins of words).

Jody Kleinberg Biehl

Jody Kleinberg Biehl portrait.

Clinical Associate Professor and Director, Journalism Program

Tuesdays, 12:30-1:30 p.m. and by appointment

Q1: Describe an opportunity or experience in college that you took advantage of and how that shaped your journey.

A1 I went to France my junior year of college and it changed my life. Ever since I was old enough to think, I had wondered about life elsewhere. Elsewhere always felt like the place I was supposed to be. I had a wonderful childhood in Los Angeles and came from a supportive family. But I craved adventure, difference, challenge. Speaking a different language, studying history in a different context and participating in a culture different from my own transformed me. I both lost and found myself. I returned to campus more open to others, more humble about what I knew and eager to find and make new opportunities for myself.

Q2: What are some of the projects in which you've supported, mentored and/or collaborated with undergraduate students?

A2: The Spectrum. I advise the student newspaper, The Spectrum, and regularly help students produce accurate, ethical and thought-provoking campus news. In the six years I have served as advisor, my students have won 48 national journalism awards. They are nominated for two more so far this year!) Community-based learning. I paired 28 undergraduate journalism students with 28 refugees last fall and had each student write a profile of the person and the struggles he/she had since arriving in buffalo. The students created multimedia stories about community projects on the Westside. We called it "The Westside Local."

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: I swam in high school and college. I like to bike and do yoga and I'm trying to hike all the National Parks. I am a dog person. My dog, a Portuguese Water Dog, is a certified therapy dog.

Sarah A. Robert

Sarah A. Robert portrait.

Associate Professor and Director, Social Studies Education Program

Email to schedule an appointment

Q1: Describe an opportunity or experience in college that you took advantage of and how that shaped your journey.

A1: I am privileged to have attended a strong liberal arts college and probably even more privileged because when I chose my majors I was following my intellectual interests and curiosities, exploring me and the world I was curious about. However, as a first-generation college student entering my junior year, I became a bit concerned about how to transform my love of history and politics into a job. I had no models for what one might "do" with a bachelor of arts in history and political science.

I have no idea how I made my way into the dean's office at my university's school of education, requesting permission to enter a teaching certificate-master's program while still completing my undergraduate education. But I made my way there with the hope I could teach and earn a living. I was admitted to the program. I began taking night courses for the certificate while finishing my BA requirements in daytime courses.

I was the only white person in my night classes (including the instructor). I noticed this. Fine with me. I grew up in the City of Buffalo and attended Buffalo Public Schools. It was the diversity of my childhood education (not my childhood because as today, Buffalo is a severely segregated city). I realize now how unique that experience was, knowing that in the US the extreme majority of K-12 public school teachers are white and come from the middle class. I wish I could have done more with that opportunity to learn and grow from such an impressive fund of knowledge and experience.

Q2: What are some of the projects in which you've supported, mentored and/or collaborated with undergraduate students?

A2: Undergraduate Students. International Ambassadors — I was an M.A. graduate student at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). I served as the Program Assistant for the International Studies Teacher Education Program (ISTEP), which was a collaboration between UCSD and San Diego State University with the public school system, San Diego Unified Schools. I recruited international undergraduate students for the program, which introduced mostly elementary students to a diversity of cultures, languages, and geographic regions of the world, as well as life paths (going to college, traveling/working abroad). With the international undergraduate students, I developed engaging and interactive activities that were age appropriate, timely (and timed), but most importantly felt true to the undergraduate students' sense of self, identity. AND it had to be FUN! Graduate Students. The Cravens' Collection Project-At UB, I work mostly with graduate students who have decided to pursue professional preparation for a teaching career. My Master's students, Cheektowaga Central High School, Middle School, and Alternative School teachers, and I developed a day-long field trip. The day included hands-on learning with The Cravens' Collection artifacts from around the world, lunch on campus, and a tour. The UB graduate students involved also had the opportunity to facilitate hands-on learning with the general public at special events. Those students who went on to be classroom teachers also returned with their students for the experience of learning about the world and learning about opportunities at UB.

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: Running, generally being outside and not sitting still; gardening; and all new experiences!