The Academic Summer Camp on Neighborhood Development is designed to improve the skills of middle school students in reading, writing, research and computer use. By working on a neighborhood development project on the East Side, the students also develop skills in critical thinking, teamwork and problem solving. The camp is hosted annually by the Center for Urban Studies on the South Campus in partnership with the Erie County Youth Bureau, UB’s Liberty Partnerships Program, UB’s Community Relations and Say Yes to Education Buffalo. The summer program has an open enrollment policy for students from across the city, although children from East Side zip codes, highest in need, are its prime target population. The Academic Summer Camp on Neighborhood Development is a problem-based and project-centered learning program. It seeks to reinforce skills in reading, writing, research, computer use, critical thinking, teamwork and problem solving by having students work on real-world projects during an intensive six-week summer program. This program is based on the nationally recognized “Mini-Education Pipeline” program developed by the Center for Urban Studies and has four interrelated goals: (1) stop the summer loss of learning, (2) increase student motivation, (3) build interactive relationships with the students’ parents and (4) instill college-going culture in students and their parents/caregivers.
Students at Waterfront Elementary School, Futures Academy, East High School, and Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts are served by the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) for the purposes of dropout prevention. Staff have engaged at-risk students in grades 5-12 with research-based interventions, including growth mindset/brainology and student success skills curricula, both designed to bolster students’ soft skills and increase academic achievement. As a result of these multifaceted interventions, overall GPAs and standardized test scores have increased, and students’ levels of risk, in terms of dropout, have also decreased across the board. As a partner with Buffalo Public Schools, LPP has established a pronounced and effective presence in the schools and continues to connect students to resources available at UB.
I currently serve as co-chair of the Say Yes to Education Buffalo Postsecondary Pathways Taskforce. In that capacity, I convene a group of education leaders from both K-12 and higher education to examine the barriers facing students as they transition from high school to college, and to develop potential solutions and interventions. As co-chair, I also serve on the Community Leadership Council for Say Yes to Education Buffalo.
This one-credit graded course is intended for Honors College sophomores participating in the Greiner Hall Special Interest Housing (SIH) and will be applied towards their honors experiences. Through team building exercises, guest speakers, reflective responses and community service, students will embark on a journey of self-discovery and learn more about themselves and the many options ahead of them in their next two years of college and beyond.
This one-credit pass/fail course is intended for Honors College sophomores participating in the Greiner Hall Special Interest Housing (SIH). Over the course of the semester, our goal is to deepen students’ thoughtful appreciation of community service and to foster their continued commitment to civic engagement. We also aim to cultivate a sense of community amongst second-year honors scholars through their shared service, monthly meetings and social events in Greiner Hall.
HON 102 is a two-credit service-learning course required by all freshmen honors scholars in their first semester. All students in the course perform 25 hours of service during the fall semester.
Participants engage in research opportunities and scholarly activities throughout the academic year and summer. Research internships are designed to provide a high-quality, hands-on research experience; increase awareness of ethical considerations in research; and increase awareness of the importance of research in addressing social, cultural, political, medical and environmental issues impacting the various communities which these students call home. Effective research experiences and other educational activities (throughout the academic year and summer) require a combination of classroom-based, field-based and off-campus partnerships with a number of unique spaces for research. The Buffalo Niagara Region has been identified as a prime location for state-of-the-art advancements in cancer research, pharmaceutical therapies, medical instrumentation and robotics, environmental issues, and earthquake research, to name a few. This results in diverse experiences for our scholars that often become interdisciplinary in focus. For example, our participants have secured sound research experiences at Roswell Park Cancer Institute where psychology, biochemistry, physics and English majors have worked on the same project, but through the lens of their specific disciplines. The world’s 21st-century thinkers and researchers will need to be able to collaborate and think critically about issues, and our program strongly encourages that approach, where prudent.