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From scientific research to performances in the arts, 'Discovery Week' showcases UB student achievement


Tue, Mar 29th 2016 05:10 pm

April 7 'Celebration of Student Academic Excellence' highlights university's undergraduate enrichment experience

By the University at Buffalo

The University at Buffalo's commitment to undergraduate research and creative activities sets the stage for a nine-day university-wide showcase of its inaugural "Discovery Week" - exhibits, programs, presentations and events to celebrate the depth and variety of extraordinary experiences available to UB students.

Highlighting the week of activities is the Celebration of Student Academic Excellence from 1-4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the Center for the Arts, UB North Campus. The event honors the achievements of students who have taken advantage of the research and creatively enriched learning opportunities offered to UB's undergraduates.

Included in the Academic Excellence festival are scientific research exhibits, along with theatrical and musical performances.

"UB undergraduates can choose from a universe of discovery-based learning opportunities," said Mara B. Huber, associate dean for undergraduate research and experiential learning, and interim administrative director of the UB Academies - a unique living-and-learning community that connects students with faculty, staff and peers through an extensive portfolio of courses, events and experiential learning opportunities.

"Among research projects, international travel, entrepreneurship and creative experiences, UB students can take their learning in virtually any direction," she said.

The diverse array of Discovery Week activities includes opportunities ranging from programs on Shakespeare, to women in science and engineering, to touring laboratories, to exploring study abroad, to attending the UB Distinguish Speakers Series event presented by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of "The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer."

"There are so many exciting events and programs to choose from," Huber said, "There is truly something for everyone.

"Students can even share their own ideas for discovery through the University Libraries 'My Big Idea Contest,'" Huber said. Students compete for votes through TED-style 10-minute talks and can win a one-on-one mentoring session with UB Provost Charles F. Zukoski and funds to seed their big idea.

The full schedule of activities can be found on the Discovery Week poster at http://curca.buffalo.edu/.

The full schedule for the Celebration of Student Academic Excellence can be found at http://celebrate.buffalo.edu/student.

Huber said Discovery Week is a great way to introduce students to the many facets of research and creative activities, challenging them to go beyond their traditional notions and assumptions, exploring research where they least expect it.

Students who want to take this challenge can participate in the Academies' "Where's Research" program, visiting at least three Discovery Week events and submitting their notes at the closing event on April 8, "Research Across Disciplines: Adventures in Note Taking," facilitated by Andrew Stott, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education. Students are eligible to win prizes including a GoPro camera for recording their own discoveries.

Huber said she hopes to build on this year's Discovery Week with more programming and opportunities to showcase the universe of discovery offered at UB. 

"When students bring their unique talents and interests the world of discovery, virtually anything is possible," Huber said. "We have so much to celebrate and promote, this is truly just the beginning."

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