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A Note from the Dean

Plutarch tells us “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” A great liberal education lights that fire, teaching students how to engage with a small, flat, inter-connected world. Even more, a great liberal education instills the habits of mind that keep our graduates curious about the world around them, open-minded about what they encounter, and intellectually courageous enough to face up to what is new and different.

In this issue of College Matters, the annual publication of the University at Buffalo’s College of Arts and Sciences, we share with you the good work our faculty and students do in promoting our mission of teaching, service and research. This issue in particular offers a deeper look into the work of our faculty and students beyond the classroom – whether it’s an internship, volunteering, or a research experience. We believe these experiences are transformational and that they differentiate the College as the smart choice for all students. Through these efforts, we are working to build a framework in which all of our students have an opportunity to do something outside the classroom. This will enrich their experience here at UB, giving them a skill set that allows them to go out into the world and be successful.

Affording students an opportunity to engage directly in learning the real-world skills they need as young professionals broadens the scope of their career marketability and increases the likelihood of job placement in their area of study. Our approach not only incorporates faculty involvement but extends beyond the campus to the community and the alumni who are leaders and innovators in their fields, providing students with a competitive advantage when they seek employment in their chosen discipline.

Students engaged in experiential education or other outside-the-classroom learning deepen their relationship to the subject matter, connect what they learn to their own life experiences, develop independence and decision making skills, and more fully participate in the larger society.

I hope you enjoy this issue of College Matters, and I encourage you to read more about the good work being done at

E. Bruce Pitman


Read the 2015 issue of College Matters »