Experiential Learning for Social Impact Summit

Thursday, May 26, 2022
9:00am–3:30pm (Breakfast served at 8:30am; View the Agenda).  
1 Silber Way, 9th Floor, Metcalf Trustee Center Ballroom
Open to current members of the BU community

Register today!

Experiential learning continues to grow as a hallmark of a Boston University education, via both new and longstanding programs across our many schools, colleges, and centers. This day-long summit will bring together BU leaders, faculty, and staff to share models and lessons learned in creating experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to help them find their passion and develop professional skills.

This first summit will emphasize learning that engages external partners and creates opportunities for civic and societal impact. Together, we will dig into the data of what works, workshop ideas for improvement, and forge new intra-institutional partnerships. Discussions and table breakouts will help to summarize barriers, opportunities, and areas in need of future discussion for BU, which will be disseminated as a short report post-summit. 

This event is being hosted by the Boston University Initiative on Cities, Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences, College of Arts & Sciences, Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, School of Public Health, School of Law, School of Social Work, College of Communication, and Government & Community Affairs.


Registration required, please register here.

8:30–9:00: Hot Breakfast

9:00–9:15: Opening Remarks

9:15–10:15: BU Leaders Fireside Chat

BU deans and academic leaders will discuss where experiential learning fits as a strategic imperative within their school or college and how it functions now and in the future. How are today’s operational models working? How are they defining success? How is it funded? What does it look like in five years?

  • Azer Bestavros, Associate Provost, Computing & Data Sciences
  • David Chard, Dean, Wheelock College of Education & Human Development
  • Mariette DiChristina, Dean, College of Communication
  • Karen Pita Loor, Associate Dean for Experiential Education, BU School of Law
  • Moderator: Lucy Hutyra, Interim Faculty Director, Initiative on Cities; Professor, Earth & Environment, College of Arts & Sciences 

10:15–10:30: Break [Coffee and light refreshments]

10:30–11:30: BU Experiential Learning Programs: Leading Curricular Innovation

Leaders of BU’s multi-disciplinary curricular experiential learning programs will share insight on their models, as well as outcomes and impact to date. Which populations of students do they serve? How do they coordinate with other programs, and where are there additional opportunities for synergy? How are they measuring success? What is the cost per student? What barriers to growth endure?

  • Ziba Cranmer, Director, Spark!, Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences
  • David Glick, Faculty Director, MetroBridge, Initiative on Cities; Associate Professor of Political Science, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Sandi Deacon Carr, Faculty Director, Cross-College Challenge, BU Hub; Master Lecturer, Questrom School of Business
  • Pam Templer, Director, BU URBAN; Professor of Biology, College of Arts & Sciences 

11:30–11:45: Table Talk — Summary of Lessons from the Morning

11:45–12:15: Lightning Talks — Internship Placements

  • David Cotter, Assistant Provost for Graduate Enrollment & Master’s and Professional Student Support
  • Elizabeth Leary, Executive Director, Government & Community Affairs
  • Micaelah Morrill, Director of External Relations, Innovate@BU
  • May Perriello, Yawkey Internship Coordinator, Center for Career Development
  • Susan Mizruchi, Director, BU Center for the Humanities; Professor of English
  • David Gross, Program Manager & Administrator, Initiative on Cities

12:15–12:45: Lunch [Lunch provided]

12:45–1:45: Faculty Reflections: Bringing the World Into the Classroom

What different models are faculty employing to bring client-based learning into the classroom? How do they leverage the structure and time-bound nature of courses to deliver value for both BU students and external partners? What challenges are they encountering? What more do they need to succeed?

  • Carrie Preston, Professor, English and Women & Gender Studies, College of Arts & Sciences; Director, Kilachand Honors College
  • Brooke Williams, Associate Professor of the Practice, Computational Journalism, College of Communication
  • Jacey Greece, Clinical Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health
  • Masanao Yajima, Associate Professor of the Practice, Mathematics & Statistics, College of Arts & Sciences; Director, MS in Statistical Practice (MSSP) Program Consulting.
  • Moderator: Paul McManus, Master Lecturer, Strategy & Innovation, Question School of Business

1:45–2:45: Making Practicums Work

Legions of talented BU graduate students learn through field placements. How do coordinators help meet learning objectives and community needs? How do they measure success? How do these roles connect to career pathways? What lessons can we draw for undergraduates?

  • Denita Johnson, Assistant Dean for Field Education, School of Social Work
  • Julia Lanham, Assistant Dean for Career and Practicum, School of Public Health
  • Ryan Lovell, Director of Professional Preparation, Wheelock College of Education & Human Development
  • Jennifer Keenan, Senior Director of Clinical Education Administration, Sargent College
  • Moderator: Mary Churchill, Associate Dean, Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement, Wheelock College of Education & Human Development 

2:45–3:15: Table Discussions — Summary of Lessons from the Afternoon & Rapid Report Out

3:15–3:30: Closing Remarks

    • Lucy Hutyra, Interim Faculty Director, Initiative on Cities; Professor, Earth & Environment, College of Arts & Sciences
    • Katharine Lusk, Co-Director, Initiative on Cities
Register today!


Contact IOC Co-Director Katharine Lusk at klusk@bu.edu.


Boston University strives to be accessible, inclusive, and diverse in our facilities, programming, and academic offerings. Your experience in this summit is important to us. If you have a disability (including but not limited to learning or attention, mental health, concussion, vision, mobility, hearing, physical or other health-related), require communication access services for Deaf or hard of hearing persons, or believe that you require a reasonable accommodation for another reason please contact David Gross at davgross@bu.edu to discuss your needs.