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Three members of the Experiential Learning Network team posing.

A new kind of programming.

When we were asked to re-design our office to serve as a hub for credit-based experiential learning, we decided to go for it. We envisioned a model that was flexible and generative, able to support courses that were innovative and bold, stretching traditional boundaries of experiential learning and engagement. We wanted the model to be collaborative and catalytic, designed to tap into the connections and talents of UB faculty, encouraging them to think big and travel far. On the student side, we wanted to encourage engagement in UB’s vast array of opportunities by helping students weave their experiences into their coursework, designing compelling narratives and furthering their academic, career and civic-related goals.

Our resulting model — the Experiential Learning Network (ELN) — represents a different approach to experiential learning. Our network is activated through engagement. As faculty and students and partners bring their unique talents, connections and interests, it will continue to expand and yield exciting impacts.

ELN Staff

Mara Huber

Portrait of Mara Huber.

Director

I am truly excited to join the ELN as Director. Since 2003, I have served the UB community in a number of leadership roles focused on fostering student and faculty engagement, designing strategic programming, and leveraging partnerships toward broader impacts. In addition to my new role with the ELN, I will continue my responsibilities as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, working to build capacity for high-impact experiential learning. Past leadership roles have included Founding Director of the UB Center for Educational Collaboration, Special Assistant to the President for Educational Initiatives and Director of the UB – Buffalo Schools Partnership. I hold a doctoral degree in Cognitive Psychology with a focus on language development. However, my current research and professional interests focus on models of university engagement and experiential learning. To learn more about my work, ideas, and projects — including the Buffalo Tanzania Education Project (BTEP) and associated winter study abroad course- visit my blog at http://marabhuber.com

Christina Heath

Portrait of Christina Heath.

Administrative Director

It is an honor to be a part of the University at Buffalo community and a privilege to be working with such wonderful ELN students. My interest in working with college students was initially sparked by my own study abroad experience in Spain as an undergraduate student at Daemen College. Through this experience, I not only learned about Spanish history, culture, and language, but I learned a lot about myself and my personal views and beliefs. This was a significant growing experience for me as a young adult and I wanted to choose a career path that would enable me to help others grow, realize and achieve their goals. This led me to pursue a master's degree in College Student Personnel Administration from Canisius College. Over the past few years I have gained experience in programming, academic advising, orientation, assessment, and community-based learning.

Charlie Baxter

Portrait of Charlie Baxter.

Program Coordinator

I am thrilled to be a part of the ELN team and take part in this wonderful community of passionate and engaged students! My passion for learning and engagement stems from my personal undergraduate experience, which ultimately led me to pursue a master's degree in Higher Education Administration at the University at Buffalo. While pursuing this degree, I served the UB community as an Assistant Hall Director in Campus Living, and have enjoyed the relationships I have forged with students, faculty, and staff from all across the university along the way. Through these experiences, my desire to support college students in building connections in their learning, leveraging their talents, and developing as individuals has only grown stronger—and I hope to continue this work with the ELN for years to come!

Erin Maier

Graduate Assistant, Living Learning Communities

I am very excited to join the ELN team as the Living Learning Communities Graduate Assistant! In my undergraduate experience at the University at Buffalo, I enjoyed taking advantage of hands-on learning experiences, developing my leadership skills and engaging with the UB community. Through these experiences, I discovered my passion for working with students outside of the classroom, which led to my decision to pursue a career in School Counseling. I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in School Counseling at UB and I look forward to working with students who are eager to take advantage of high-impact experiential learning opportunities, especially those who join our Living Learning Community!

Amanda Hellwig

Portrait of Amanda Hellwig.

Graduate Assistant, Communications and Marketing

I thoroughly enjoy being “the storyteller” of the ELN team, and I’m so glad to be continuing my position as the Marketing & Communications Graduate Assistant this year! As a lost undergraduate who would have benefited from experiential learning to explore my options, I would have loved to have a resource like the ELN during my undergraduate career, which is what motivates me now to help spread the word about the ELN throughout the UB community. I’m the person behind all of the @UBuffaloELN channels and our newsletters, and sharing our amazing student and faculty stories with the world is one of the best parts of my job. Outside of the ELN, I’m currently in my second year of a Master’s program in psychology at UB, and I eventually hope to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

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