Faces and Voices

James Lenker

photo of UB Associate Professor James Lenker.

James Lenker, Associate Professor in UB's Department of Rehabilitation Science

James Lenker, PhD, OTR/L has been with UB for almost 30 years, as a student in OT and PhD programs before his current tenure track role. His dual background in engineering and occupational therapy gives his research a unique perspective.

“My areas of professional interest relate to technology; sometimes that is wheelchairs and mobility equipment, assistive devices, that sort of thing.”

Dr. Lenker is one of the many faculty voices helping steer IT at UB; he’s active in the Faculty Senate IT Subcommittee, as well as regular UBIT focus groups and technology reviews. He told us about how he uses technology in his teaching and research.

Tools of the trade

“We’re being encouraged to do more and more online teaching activities. Although I embrace this trend, I don’t want to lose the connection to my students either.”
James Lenker, Associate Professor
Department of Rehabilitation Science

“It’s incredible how long it takes to schedule a meeting, even with four people. Outlook is the pivotal tool there, for not only email but calendaring. I really like that you can invite people to meetings so everybody gets the same invite, there’s no confusion.

“I use Microsoft Word in research writing, of course, and I use Excel for everything from qualitative analysis to creating budgets, doing course grades, data analysis etc. It’s such a versatile program.

“EndNote has been huge for research writing. I was a very early adopter of EndNote, beginning around 2000 as I was starting my PhD program. I’ve been using it steadily ever since—now I’ve got around 1,400 articles, organized by topic and easily searchable.”

Teaching is changing

“We’re being encouraged to do more and more online teaching activities. Although I embrace this trend, I don’t want to lose the connection to my students either.

“I’m excited about the potential of Webex to meet my virtual teaching needs since it supports real-time interactions, whether in the form of a lecture or a small-group discussion. And, of course, the capability to record sessions supports one’s needs for asynchronous viewing as well.”

Phone flexibility

I was a late smartphone adopter—I had a flip phone until about five years ago—but the interoperability of my iPhone with my iPad, laptop, and desktop has been a game-changer for personal information management. I can’t overstate how much easier it is to be working with single databases for calendaring, contacts, and notes – all of which sync automatically across platforms.

Now you’ll have to pry this iPhone out of my hands!”

If you’d like to share your tips for using technology to stay organized and accomplish goals with the UB community, send an email to ubit-communication@buffalo.edu.