Mara Huber, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education
After obtaining her PhD in cognitive psychology from the University at Buffalo in 2000, Mara worked within schools of education, first as assistant professor at SUNY Fredonia and then as director of special programs in UB’s Graduate School of Education. The latter led to a year-long “residency” with the Buffalo Public Schools (New York’s second largest district), where Mara worked directly with the superintendent, learning about the challenges and vision of the district, which laid the foundation for her current role. Mara is a frequent speaker and consultant specializing in school-university partnerships and strategic approaches to collaboration.
Katie Biggie, Ph.D.
Academic Advisor, University at Buffalo Honors College
With a deep interest in cultures, Katie completed her bachelor’s in anthropology at Buffalo State College in 2001 and combined it with her love of ancient history to achieve her master’s degree in anthropology with a specialization in archaeology from UB in 2005. After some exciting archaeological adventures in both Denmark and across New York State, Katie was asked to serve on the steering committee for His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama’s visit to Buffalo in 2006. As part of the committee, she directed the creation of educational materials about Tibet, Tibetan Buddhism and culture, and His Holiness for local schoolchildren. As her interests in global policy, girl's education, and women's empowerment grew, she combined those into her doctoral dissertation research to study the impact UN Millennium Development Goals have had on national policies in Tanzania.
BTEP was envisioned by Mara and Katie to be an engagement based model where people could get involved in ways that were the most meaningful to each individual. The goal was to harness the strengths our community and match them to the needs and opportunities within Tanzania. Over the years, BTEP has grown from just a few members to over a hundred and the group still continues to grow to this day as more and more people discover the beauty of the country and its people. Our projects have grown as well to include an official study abroad course to Tanzania, the University at Buffalo's first, and UB School of Social Work student placements. Future projects are potentially centered around clean water initiatives, and continued support for the school complex. ''