Mentoring

Professor talking with two students outside.

Because faculty connections matter.

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

Visit Un-Office Hours in 17 Norton where you can get connected with faculty outside of traditional office hours for support achieving your goals. Here you can discover the opportunities for hands-on learning to get the most out of your student experience.

All students are welcome! 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 or emailing ubeln@buffalo.edu.

Faculty Bios

John Atkinson, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

Harold Burton portrait.

Assistant Professor, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

Wednesdays, 10 a.m.

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

A1: As an undergraduate junior, I started working in a chemistry research group to experience the research "process" and to gain laboratory confidence. The opportunity morphed into two graduate degrees, a post-doc, and now a faculty position! I had no intention of going to graduate school before this experience, but I loved the opportunity to be creative in science (and now engineering). Prior to this, I was under the, admittedly narrow-minded, impression that science and engineering are rigid, governed by decades old equations that provide little opportunity for new input. This experience showed me just how wrong I was!

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

A2: Adsorption Properties of Plastic Microbead Alternatives in Rinse-Off Cosmetics - Students isolate additives (e.g., activated charcoal, walnut powder, sand, etc) from soap products and then test their capacity to adsorb environmental contaminants. The goal is to identify, in terms of ambient adsorption ability, how the replacement additives compare to plastic microbeads, which are now banned.

Preparation of Activated Carbon from Spent Coffee Grounds - Students collect coffee grounds and use laboratory methods to convert the waste into a useful product for pollution prevention. Prepared materials are then tested in different air and water pollution control applications.

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: Living Sustainably (Compost, EV, Public Transport), Distance Running, Traveling

My sustainability course has seemingly infinite ways to collaborate, as the field is highly interdisciplinary and requires input from folks with different backgrounds and expertise. Guest lectures and participation in social media-based experiential learning efforts are examples.

Q4: What opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculty exist within your courses, research, or ELN projects, if any?

A4: I also teach a study abroad course in Costa Rica that occurs annually in January. The trip is themed around sustainability and seeks diverse student participants. There may be a chance to work with other faculty to tailor a portion of the trip to their particular expertise. The itinerary is fluid and changes from year to year depending on the interest of the course leaders.

Harold Burton, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Harold Burton portrait.

Associate Professor Emeritus, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Tuesdays & thursdays, 10-10:50 a.m.

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.

Colleen Culleton, Romance Languages and Literatures (Spanish)

Portrait of Colleen Culleton.

Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literature

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!

Erica Goddard, Psychology

Portrait of Erica Goddard.

Adjunct Instructor, Department of Psychology

Wednesdays, 2:15-3:15 p.m.

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

A1: My experiential learning in college was focused on research experiences in the Department of Psychology, and it allowed me to know both what I wanted to do and what I didn't want to do with my academic career. Honestly, I regret not participating in more learning experiences as an undergraduate, as I have seen the value that they add to undergraduate education.

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

A2: I routinely work with undergraduate students on Honors Projects, including one current project where a student athlete is setting up a website to give more information about the effects of repeated head trauma on football players across the lifespan. I also mentor 5-10 undergraduate students per semester as Teaching Assistants. Each semester I work with the students to ensure that their experience matches their goals, which has included having 3 students give lectures in my courses in preparation for teaching or public education careers.

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: I am a gamer (from Pokemon Go to RPGs). I love reading, even though I rarely get the chance anymore. I love cooking and learning about new recipes (and going out to restaurants to try new cuisines).

Q4: What opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculty exist within your courses, research, or ELN projects, if any?

A4: I would be open to any creative opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. Psychology spans so many fields that it really can collaborate with anyone. If you know someone who is looking for a collaborator, but doesn't know how to make the collaboration work, I'd be glad to sit down and come up with connections to my Psychology courses. I am also working on designing a PSY 198 (or 199) seminar called "Let's be students together" aimed at helping students learn about any topic using the principles of learning and cognition from psychology—any sort of collaboration with a department would be beneficial for this course, once completed. I am also working on a project that would be enhanced with translators from various language departments.

Walter Hakala, English & Asian Studies Program

Portrait of Walter Hakala.

Associate Professor and Director, Asian Studies Program

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

A1: As a high school senior, I was selected to participate in my high school's mentorship program. I spent a semester designing an n-body simulation of gravitation interactions in galaxies under the careful and patient supervision of Professor John Wallin of George Mason University's Institute for Computational Sciences and Informatics. Through this opportunity, not only was I able to win first prize in the state science fair but I also gained employment, first in GMU's Department of Physics and Astronomy and subsequently in the Naval Research Laboratory. When I finally arrived at college as an actual college student, I was disappointed when the Director of Undergraduate Studies believed that Astronomy undergraduates should not be involved with faculty research until their final year in college. I immediately switched my major to Asian Studies and went on to spend a life-changing semester abroad in India. My goal now is to help UB students secure funding to learn languages abroad and participate in the kind of intensive faculty-led research that propelled me through my academic career.

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

A2: With funding from the UB Office of the Vice Provost of Research and Economic Development, Humanities Institute, and Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (CURCA), I secured funding in 2015 to employ three students on a project entitled "Words, Verses, and the World: Multilingual Vocabularies and Indo-Persianate Learning in South Asia." Two undergraduate students transcribed dozens of Persian-Urdu children's vocabularies lithographed (printed) in the nineteenth century. A graduate student helped us develop a system for parsing the text generated by these undergraduates’ transcriptions. One of the undergraduate students is entering medical school, the other was able to secure a Boren SAFLI fellowship that supported one year of Urdu language study in India, and the graduate student now works in Silicon Valley. I also worked with a student in 2017 to conduct a survey of early inscriptions (writing in stone, stucco, etc.) in spoken South Asian languages like Marathi, Gujarati, and Urdu. He secured funding from UB CURCA and was able to present in October 2017 the findings of our survey at the Annual Conference on South Asia in Madison, Wisconsin. He has since gone on to win a Critical Language Scholarship to support summer Urdu language study in Lucknow India.

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: Traveling (especially overseas), languages and language history, jogging, English Premier League soccer, and vegetarian cuisine.

Q4: What opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculty exist within your courses, research, or ELN projects, if any?

A4: I will be traveling with a few students this winter to India to study the water delivery systems in the medieval cities of central India's Deccan plateau. I am seeking guidance for this project from faculty in UB's Department of Civil Engineering and the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute for Science, Education and Research in Pune, India. UB’s Asian Studies Program is by its very nature interdisciplinary: my own research combines history, literature, and linguistics.

Maureen Jameson, Romance Languages and Literatures (French)

Portrait of Maureen Jameson.

Associate Professor of French

BY APPOINTMENT

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

A1: Among the most important learning experiences of my college years, several were actually classes: an Intro to Philosophy class, a year-long Shakespeare course, and 20th-century French novels. Outside the classroom, I served as props manager for a production of Samuel Beckett's En attendant Godot, produced and performed by the French Department faculty. I worked all through college in the Circulation Department of the library. And I spent a year in beautiful Aix-en-Provence with the Vanderbilt-in-France program.

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

A2: Back when the web was a new thing, I taught classes in which undergraduates learned to make their own websites, while at the same time exploring new thinking about this new platform and its implications for publication. I am now teaching for the fourth time a course in which the undergraduates collaborate on the expansion of a wiki featuring the works of one of France's most famous historians.

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: I swim with an adult team here at UB. I'm trying to move towards a plant-based diet. I'm a great fan of the works of George Eliot.

Jim Jensen, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

Jim Jensen portrait.

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Environmental Engineering

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).

Q4: What opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculty exist within your courses, research, or ELN projects, if any?

A4: I am happy to collaborate with any faculty for whom my interests in water, sanitation, and educational innovation would help their work.

Jody Kleinberg Biehl, English

Jody Kleinberg Biehl portrait.

Clinical Associate Professor and Director, Journalism Program

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

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.

Q4: What opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculty exist within your courses, research, or ELN projects, if any?

A4: Journalism is inherently collaborative; as journalists, we write about everything. I created the program by drawing from three stellar UB departments—English, Media Studies, and Communications—so students get exposed to a myriad of professors and ideas. I have brought in professors from media studies, pharmacy, library studies, computer science, and social work as guest lecturers or co-professors for my journalism classes. I also invite professional journalists to talk about their work and serve as mentors to students by helping them with course projects.

I also run a study abroad program in Berlin, where UB students from all disciplines learn what it’s like to be a foreign correspondent. In fall 2018, I am collaborating with a South African colleague through COIL for my “Ethics of Journalism” class. Our students will work online together on assignments and discuss how our different countries handle questions like “the president and the press,” “bias in media,” and “can the media be trusted”?

Additionally, I advise The Spectrum, the campus newspaper, for which student reporters interview faculty and administrators from every department.

Jessica Kruger, Community Health and Health Behavior

Portrait of Jessica Kruger.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health and Health Behavior

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

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

A1: As an undergraduate I was fortunate enough to be part of a study abroad opportunity which took me to Kenya. This trip changed my life in many ways, including giving me a global perspective on public health issues. This experience shaped me as a person and a scholar by instilling a passion to help others. Even years later, I still have wonderful memories of the trip and try to incorporate some of the lessons I learned in what I teach students today.

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

A2: I currently work with undergraduate students at the Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic, where students learn how to communicate and advocate for the health of patients that are seen at the clinic. Students provide health education and work on various projects related to the clinic’s surrounding community with the goal of improving health outcomes.

I also advise the new undergraduate public health club, which is for any student that is interested in public health as a major or minor. We focus on health issues on campus and in the surrounding communities.

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: I’m a registered yoga teacher, I love to bike, and I’m learning how to paint.

Q4: What opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculty exist within your courses, research, or ELN projects, if any?

A4: I enjoy working with and learning from people in other disciplines. In the past I have worked with faculty in social work, education, and other health-related disciplines. I’d be interested in exploring collaborations with anyone who wants to improve the health of the community. I have recently started to work on projects that assess different pedagogical techniques and can see many opportunities for collaboration in the future.

Carine Mardorossian, English

Professor, Department of English

Wednesdays, 1-2 p.m.

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

A1: When I was getting a degree in English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, I decided to take a film class that was focused on analyzing the formal elements of film. We spent the semester discussing the meanings created by elements like mise-en-scène, editing, and cinematography. I didn't expect to be assigned, as the last project for the class, the production of our own film. I had no clue how to get started, but with the help of the teacher and many friends, I managed to create a memorable (to me!) 5-minute film about my very anthropomorphized parrot that made me appreciate all the hard work that goes into filmmaking. I now have an understanding of filmic language and structure that I would never have had had this hands-on requirement not been part of the course.

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

A2: "Islam, Gender and Literature": How women writers work around both the anti-Islamic bend of Western feminism and the anti-feminist bend of Islam

"Urban Environments": How to question the opposition between urban and natural environments and show their interdependence

"Sexual Violence and Gender": How sexual violence is discussed and treated differently depending on the sex of the victim or perpetrator

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: Horses, nature journaling, and knitting.

Q4: What opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculty exist within your courses, research, or ELN projects, if any?

A4: As a faculty member whose fields of scholarship are nothing but interdisciplinary and political (feminism, environmental studies, postcolonial studies), I believe there will be many opportunities for collaboration.

Jesse Miller, Organization and Human Resources

Clinical Assistant Professor of Writing, School of Management

Fridays, 1-2 p.m.

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

A1: During my last year as an undergraduate, I got together with a group of fellow creative writers to begin holding weekly storytelling workshops at the Murray Ridge Center, a local day center for people with developmental disabilities. The idea for these workshops stemmed from a sense of frustration I had been feeling in my undergraduate literature courses. I wondered, How might these ideas exist outside the classroom? How could I use what I was learning to do something more than just read books better? Creating activities and telling stories with the clients at the Murray Ridge Center gave me a much broader sense of the effects of narrative and the value of imagination in everyday life. This was also my first sustained engagement with people with developmental disabilities, and I was struck by each participant's humor, creativity, passion, and openness to welcoming me and the other college students into their space. The intellectual pathways that this project helped me begin to explore, regarding the uses of literature and about mental difference, are ones I’ve continued along in my own academic research, which focuses on how people use reading to shape their mental health (a practice sometimes known as bibliotherapy). It has also deeply shaped my approach to teaching both literature and writing—in each of my classes I try to design projects that respond to the frustrations I felt as an undergraduate by providing students opportunities to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom outside of it in order to support the wider community.

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

A2: Arts in Healthcare: For my “Literature and Medicine” course, I organized a collaboration with the Arts in Healthcare Initiative. As part of this collaboration, students were tasked with designing creative interventions at local hospitals in Buffalo. For example, one group visited Women’s and Children’s Hospital to create balloon characters with patients, and then tell stories about them. Another group visited Roswell Cancer Institute to play language games with people in the waiting areas. Through this project, students explored how themes of illness, disability, and ethics that we had been reading and discussing in class could be applied to actual medical settings.

Community Communication Problems: Students in my course “Communication Literacy for Business” were tasked with solving a communications problem affecting a local non-profit organization or social entrepreneur. The organizations offered up an actual communication "problem" that they needed to solve, and students then worked to create and propose an effective solution. For example, students have created promotional materials and an outreach plan aimed at increasing youth attendance at events for Buffalo-Niagara Waterkeeper, a volunteer application form and handbook for the Learning Disabilities Association of WNY, and informational documents to increase public engagement around a social cause for the Coalition for Economic Justice. Ultimately the idea was to give students insight into the importance of communication in the workplace, and experience collaboratively solving actual communication problems. A secondary goal is to expose students to organizations addressing real issues in the Buffalo community, and to the role that effective communication plays in facilitating that work.

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: Modern and contemporary fiction, music (jazz, electronic, indie, contemporary classical), mental health and disability rights, cats

Q4: What opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculty exist within your courses, research, or ELN projects, if any?

A4: For my upcoming ELN project, opportunities exist for collaboration with faculty doing work related to marketing, design, international trade, globalization, US-Mexico Relations, and cross-cultural differences.

More generally I’d be open to collaborations with other faculty interested in finding ways to bring together business, writing, the humanities, and the broader community, in various ways, especially through project-based initiatives. This might be in the form of exchanges between undergraduates in the School of Management and the College of Arts and Sciences to explore themes such as work, consumerism, and capitalism (as a way to help them develop critical and ethical self-reflection). Or it could be by bringing business students’ entrepreneurial savvy to bear on local social justice issues or community-based arts projects.

Bob Neubert, Entrepreneurship

Bob Neubert portrait.

Clinical Assistant Professor and Director, Entrepreneurship Programs

Mondays & Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

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.

Sarah A. Robert, Learning and Instruction

Sarah A. Robert portrait.

Associate Professor and Director, Social Studies Education Program

BY 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!

Q4: What opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculty exist within your courses, research, or ELN projects, if any?

A4: I am an interdisciplinary researcher. My questions and the conundrums they examine demand inquiries that draw on multiple disciplines. Currently my research agenda is built on anthropology, sociology, policy studies, and history. I welcome the opportunity to engage in dialogue, develop projects, and conduct fieldwork with individuals with knowledge drawn from the disciplines and fields listed to understand how education and the work conducted within education settings affects inequality in a society. I am particularly concerned with the ways policy can be leveraged to affect change. I am a Latin Americanist but have conducted research in the USA and the European Union.

Ernest Sternberg, Urban and Regional Planning

Portrait of Ernest Sternberg.

Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Thursdays, 9-10 a.m. | 112 Hayes Hall

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

A1: I graduated from Empire State College, an institution dedicated to alternative learning models.  During my PhD studies at Cornell University, I felt free to have a run of the campus, taking courses in many subjects. My most obscure course title was "hermeneutics," though I was majoring in urban planning. Teaching here in our School of Architecture, I've learned to love the studio/practicum mode of teaching.

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

A2: I have taught courses in the "practicum" format many times in environmental design and in urban planning. If you don't know what that is, come and see me! One project studied and made recommendations for parks and bike paths in Lockport, NY. Another examined the feasibility of wind energy in Lackawanna; as a partial result, the wind towers were actually built, as you can see if you drive by. Still another project studied tourism opportunities in Chautauqua County and Niagara Falls, to advise local communities. In these courses, all students participate with me in researching and debating the public interest, and for presenting a report to the organizations that are our clients.

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: I enjoy (1) reading philosophy, (2) taking long walks and bike rides, (3) the art of nonfiction prose, and hence good writing, (4) sailing, or (in bad weather) reading about sailing, and (5) playing with my children, or rather with their children.

Q4: What opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculty exist within your courses, research, or ELN projects, if any?

A4: I'm open to any subject I can understand. Over my academic life, I've worked closely with art historians, civil engineers, architects, political scientists, and many others, not to mention those in my own field, urban planning.

Barbara Wejnert, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies

Associate Professor, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies

Tuesdays, 2-3 p.m.

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

A1: When in college I participated in the international conference organized by the student association collaborating with the United Nations. The conference in Denmark was extended to visit to Netherlands and both events changed my trajectory of study from planned journalism to international and political sociology. My interest in global issues is one of the results of these exchanges. 

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

A2: A major collaboration with undergraduate students was on project with political refugees that settled in Buffalo, NY. This research project, sponsored by grant from UB, led to an honor thesis of one of the participants, entitled "The Road of Tears: Journals of Refugees from Buffalo, NY." Among my several other projects I mentor are several undergraduate honor thesis on global violence against women, international trade unions and safe motherhood in globalized world. 

Q3: What are some of your personal interests?

A3: I am exited about biking and across Europe from Poland to France and from Poland to Greece. My other passion is downhill skiing, although I am not excellent, and I love hiking anywhere and anytime I can.

Q4: What opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculty exist within your courses, research, or ELN projects, if any?

A4: I mainly teach courses on global issues and on the impact of global changes on women. The courses cover global health and position of women in comparison to men internationally. I aim to focus on global experiential learning as well other courses that may provide opportunities to have joint lectures and to jointly guide undergraduate projects and honor thesis with faculty members who teach languages, international relations and global problems.