Education is more meaningful when you put it into practice. Explore our featured opportunities that incorporate exploration, critical reflection and hands-on learning.
ELN is working with faculty from across the university to develop courses and projects with exciting hands-on learning experiences. Check out this list of opportunities for the upcoming year and contact the professors to get involved or explore related possibilities!
During this course students will travel via public transportation in Buffalo to various areas of the city. During this time they will capture images of concepts that will be covered in the course. Students will then reflect on why they chose the picture and begin to scaffold knowledge of what they believe the concepts might be. After the topic is covered in the course, students will provide a video reflection on what they learned about the topic.
Contact Prof. Jessica Kruger for more information about this course.
In this course students will learn about environmental health as one of the core topics. After learning about this topic, students will travel to Love Canal, one of the top 10 environmental disasters that occurred in the United States. Love Canal is a neighborhood within Niagara Falls, NY and 40 years ago President Jimmy Carter declared it a national health emergency. Residents learned their homes and school were built on 22,000 tons of chemicals. Students will have a guided tour by an EPA representative and after the visit they will provide a reflection on the experience along with applying models and methods that public health professionals could use to protect the health of the population.
Contact Prof. Jessica Kruger for more information about this course.
RLL 496 is designed for students majoring or minoring in languages. The course will offer training in the basics of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), and students will tutor English language learners in the Buffalo immigrant community. This tutoring will serve practical needs, but the UB participants will also help their clients develop a personal narrative through which they share whatever they would like their new neighbors to know about them. The narrative might take a written verbal form, or look like a graphic novel, or be a video or an animation. It might tell a story about a faraway homeland, a memorable experience, or dreams for life in a new country. The class will culminate with group presentation of narratives and a celebratory dinner at West Side Bazaar.
Contact Prof. Maureen Jameson for more information about this course.
A message from Professor Ernest Sternberg on the new course and other opportunities for project-based learning:
In the School of Architecture and Planning, I sometimes teach in the Environmental Design program, in which students learn about the shaping of our urban built environments. Many eventually enter professions such as architecture, real estate development, historic preservation, and urban and regional planning. In these fields, a special mode of teaching is the “practicum” or “studio.” It means learning by actually carrying out studies on behalf of a community on how to solve local problems. Working on diverse topics, I discovered that I learned the most, and enjoyed myself the most, when I learned by doing, often in the company of persons with more experience than I had. Soon after arriving at UB in 1990, I was, luckily for me, assigned to teach a practicum. I found this was just the teaching I loved, partly because I felt stimulated by it, but more importantly because my students were more enthusiastic, more engaged.
Decades after such education, former students I meet say that they’ve forgotten many lecture courses, but remember their practicums. Sometimes it changed their lives. I am working on defining the topic and identifying a community for us to work with. It is sure to be an exciting and challenging learning experience for all of us. If you want to talk with me ahead of time, whether about my favorite topics in urban planning, or about the studio-practicum teaching that I enjoy so much, please come and see me! I like meeting students! If you’re shy, don’t worry. I’m probably even shier.
Contact Prof. Ernest Sternberg for more information about this upcoming course.
This course will soon become an experience that not only puts culture and the sciences in conversation but also provides students with hands-on learning. It will be co-taught by a scientist and a cultural critic and will combine writing and critical reading with other disciplinary experiences that include the social sciences, GEM, visual arts, biology and ecology.
Specifically, students will get to revisit principal debates within environmental studies surrounding key terms such as invasive species (are they all bad?); endangered species (is a focus on individual organisms helpful?); wilderness (is it out there?); bacteria (as “other” / within us); genes and DNA (a tool of power?) among others. They will explore the practical applications of each debate in the field and the laboratory, as well as via discussion of literary, cultural, and filmic texts. The course will develop real-world learning opportunities through fieldtrips to Niagara Falls; vernal pools on campus; Coalesce, the Bio-Art laboratory at UB; the Botanical Gardens; various cultural exhibits as well as a film screening. The goal is to allow students to develop a big picture perspective and make connections between what they are learning and the real world.
Contact Prof. Carine Mardorossian for more information about this upcoming course.
This international internship opportunity is centered on innovative entrepreneurship in new democracies with a focus on female-led initiatives in Poland. During the travel period, students will stay in dorms and will meet and interact with students from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. The program involves meeting with female politicians and female presidential candidate Ms. Dorota Bonk-Hammermeister who will discuss challenges faced by female politicians in Poland as well as social programs that are set up for families and working moms in Poznań. Students will visit social entrepreneurs working on innovative ways to care for youth and the elderly, including community after school programs for families experiencing difficult situations and elderly caregiving programs. Additionally, these visits and meetings will include businesses set up by young entrepreneurs, particularly women, where students will learn about the open opportunities and support received, as well as challenges that these businesses experience. Students will also meet with successful artists and owners of highly profitable galleries. The program includes sightseeing at famous historical places, including: a visit to Gdańsk, the famous Amber city on the Baltic Sea; the place of Poland’s entrance into Christianity and European nations in 966; and Copernicus’s birthplace, the town of Toruń. Since Poland’s economy used to focus on farming, students will have a chance to see traditional Polish farms where peasants used to cultivate the land. Students will learn about modern Polish agriculture, from varieties of crops and farm animals to sustainable organic farming. The cost of all transportation, including bus travel within Poland, plus accommodation and living expenses will be included.
This two-week program will take place in May or June 2019 (specific dates TBA). Students will be able to earn 3 credits that will count as an internship course and a global pathway course for participation in this program.
For more information or to express your interest, contact Prof. Barbara Wejnert.
Aurangabad-Daulatabad, Bidar, Gulbarga, and Bijapur are four major historic centers of Islamic political power in the arid central Indian plateau known as the Deccan. The cosmopolitan character of these cities depended on the successful management of water resources. We will make the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research in Pune (India’s seventh largest city) our base from which to explore the region and study the different hydraulic technologies that permitted these cities to flourish. These include bands (dams), baolis (stepwells), karez (horizontal underground conduits), Persian wheels, siphon towers, hammams (Turkish baths), gardens, and fountains whose ostentatious display of water resources inspired awe in governed populaces. Architectural historian Dr. Pushkar Sohoni will guide us in Maharashtra, demonstrating the connections between the control of water and political power in the built environment. We will explore the underground karez of Bidar with geologist Dr. Valliyil Govindankutty. In Bijapur, we will work with Mr. Ameenuddin Hullur, whose NGO is working to clean, repair, and publicize his city’s unique hydraulic infrastructure.
Contact Prof. Walter Hakala to get involved.
Support for this project is also provided by a generous donation to the UB Asian Studies Program by Dr. Vinod Rustgi and his family.
A message from Prof. Jody Kleinberg Biehl about the project:
I am curating an exhibit titled “Finding Refuge in Buffalo," which chronicles and compares the experiences of current refugees living in Buffalo with those of people who arrived from 1870 to mid-1900s.
I am excited to work with students who would like to help me with the reporting and recording of refugee stories as well as creating the exhibit for spring/summer 2019. The students will get to hear these peoples’ amazing stories as well as learn interview and recording techniques. Some can even help me create a film.
Contact Prof. Jody Kleinberg Biehl to get involved.
A message from Prof. Erica Goddard about the project:
In order to facilitate a deeper experiential understanding of the human experience, and to foster empathy for those who experience the world differently than the “norm,” I will be setting up a Human Library centered on psychological disorders and cognitive differences at the University at Buffalo. This library will follow the model of (and hopefully be affiliated with) the Human Library Organization and will feature both those who experience diagnosed disorders and differences as well as those who treat and study those differences. Human libraries allow for people to be the “books” and for library attendees to have meaningful, personal conversations with a book about their experiences and perspective on the world. The ultimate goal of a human library is to bridge the divide between individuals from different backgrounds and with different experiences to foster empathy, understanding, and a sense of shared humanity by providing a safe environment for conversations that cannot be had in other contexts within society. I hope that the library at UB will make the human experience come to life for students who may otherwise only learn about these differences on a page and give those students the opportunity to interact with a living case study who can make a more meaningful impact on their view of those who experience the world differently from themselves.
Contact Prof. Erica Goddard for more information or to get involved.
Our project immerses students in game-based entrepreneurship education. We are using game-based education modules to develop entrepreneurial capabilities, and this project is focused on game design and the validation of the effectiveness of games in building entrepreneurial skills. This project will evaluate the value of games for entrepreneurial capability development and study the attributes of entrepreneurs that facilitate successful new venture creation. Our early research shows a positive relationship between using games and achieving the learning objectives of our entrepreneurship modules.
This project provides students with an opportunity to learn entrepreneurial concepts, to moderate games, to learn data modeling methods, and to develop a network of fellow entrepreneurs. Our goal is to develop a framework to measure the effectiveness of games in delivering entrepreneurship learning outcomes, and to determine the attributes of teams that increase the effectiveness of problem identification and problem solving.
Contact Prof. Bob Neubert for more information about this project.
Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL). By taking a COIL course, you will be connected to global learning opportunities while studying right here at UB. Check out the list of current and upcoming COIL courses to learn more and enroll. Note that COIL courses allow you to work toward a Global Collaboration Digital Badge (see below)!
Explore American foreign economic relations, trade, aid, and investment relations as well as the American role in the international economic system. UB Students will partner with students in Mexico to collaborate on projects during the course.
Course number: 23287
While completing a global collaboration experience is important, being able to talk about it in ways that are compelling and resonant is critical to your ultimate success. Our new Global Collaboration Digital Badge provides a facilitated framework for reflecting upon and leveraging your collaborative experience toward greater impacts and potential. Earn the badge and gain useful skills in just 3 steps!
Are you ready to reflect upon and share your global collaboration experience with other students and professionals here and around the world? Our new open-source digital journal provides an accessible space for students and partners to share research, stories and resources related to global collaboration and experiential learning. Submissions are now being accepted for the inaugural issue!
Whether you're interested in science or inspired by the humanities, all students can benefit from participating in mentored research. Find out how the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Acitivies (CURCA) can connect you with research projects, funding and opportunities to present your work.
Have an idea for an experiential learning project or want to dive deeper into a topic of interest not listed above? Meet with ELN faculty and staff to explore offerings and opportunities!