ABOUT THE EX[L] CENTER

The EXL Center at The University of Akron Experiential Learning Center for Entrepreneurship and civic engagement

EX[L] Directors

EX[L] Center at The University of Akron

Christin Seher, Ph.D.

Co-Director
Associate Professor of Practice, Nutrition & Dietetics

Email | 330-972-6322

About

EX[L] Center at The University of Akron.

Anoo Vyas, J.D.

Co-Director
Visiting Professor of Law

Email | 330-972-6789

About

EX[L] Center at The University of Akron

Carolyn Behrman, Ph.D.

Past Director
Professor, Anthropology

Email | 330-972-5477

About

EX[L] Student Assistants

EX[L] Center at The University of Akron.

Haliunaa Baasankhuu

Haliunaa is a PPE /Philosophy, Political Science, Economics/ Major. She is the Pitch Competition manager at the EX[L] Center. She is passionate, diligent, and funny. One of her best characteristics is her optimism, it makes her challenge the impossible. Haliunaa loves calligraphy and playing table tennis. She is excited to learn more about good leadership qualities, communication and organizational skills.

EX[L] Center at The University of Akron.

Yuvraj Subedi

Yuvi is a Computer Science and Mathematics major. He is the Data Manager Student Assistant at the EX[L] Center and helps with the UA Pitch Competition. He is adventurous, curious and social. He likes to dream and believes in what he dreams. He loves to watch movies, TV series and read novels. He is learning about web development and leadership skills.

EX[L] Center at The University of Akron.

Ebunoluwa Adedeji

Ebun is a Nursing Major and the Akron Community Internship Program Student Manager in the EX[L] Center. She is a Feminist, passionate about women’s rights and mental health. Outside school Ebun’s hobbies are reading, writing poetry, travelling, and crocheting. She is excited to learn about the Akron community partners, networking and professionalism.

EX[L] Center at The University of Akron.

Mitaya Collins

Mitaya is an Anthropology Major and a Psychology Minor. At the EX[L] Center she is the Photography and Design Student Manager. She can be described as creative, wise, chill, and ambitious. Mitaya’s hobbies include writing, videography, and graphic design. She is looking forward to organizing the center.


Learn more about EXL

Student Advisory Council

The Council is reforming for the 20-21 school year:  If you are interested in learning more about the Student Advisory Council, please email Dr. Christin Seher or Anoo Vyas for more information.

Purpose Statement:

The EX[L] Student Advisory Council currently operates differently from other student organizations.  There are no traditional roles such as President, Vice President etc.  Instead, we function as sounding boards by offering ideas, suggestions, or feedback as it pertains to the operations and programs of the EX[L] Center. We also function as project managers who meet to discuss student-driven and collaborative project ideas. We offer each other advice about how to best implement those ideas. We also serve as ambassadors for EX[L] reaching out to new students and faculty.

Faculty Steering Committee

The EX[L] Center operates with a Faculty Steering Committee.

EX[L] Co-Directors:


Faculty Steering Committee, 2020-21

Name Field Term Email

Sarah Hamilton
(co-chair)

Associate Director ZipAssist Spring 2021 shamilton@uakron.edu
Juan Xi
(co-chair)
Sociology Spring 2021 jx@uakron.edu
Carolyn Behrman Anthropology, Past Co-Director EXL Spring 2023 behrman@uakron.edu
Adel Alhalawani Biomedical Engineering Spring 2023 aalhalawani@uakron.edu
Scott Bible Management Spring 2023 scb3@uakron.edu 
Amber Ferris Communications Spring 2023 aferris@uakron.edu
Evi Goroginanni Classical Studies Spring 2022 eg20@uakron.edu
Michael Gentithes School of Law Spring 2023 gentithes@uakron.edu
Jon Miller UA Press and English Spring 2022 mjon@uakron.edu
Nick Glavin UA Research Foundation Spring 2023 Nmg38@uakron.edu
Parizad Dijbord-Sawan Modern Languages Spring 2023 parizad@uakron.edu
Gopal Nadkarni Mechanical Engineering Spring 2021 gnadkarni1@uakron.edu
Jacob Farrar Taylor Institute Spring 2021 jfarrar@uakron.edu
Kara Kvaran Women's Studies Spring 2022 kkvaran@uakron.edu
Heather Braun English Department Spring 2022 hbraun@uakron.edu
Drew Ippoliti Myers School of Art Spring 2023 aippoliti@uakron.edu 
Anne Jorgensen Athletics Spring 2023 ajorgen@uakron.edu 
Bill Lyons Political Science Spring 2023 wtlyons@uakron.edu 
Gary Spring UA SEED Clinic/Akron Law School Spring 2023 gspring@uakron.edu 


Faculty Steering Committee, 2019-20

Name Field Term Email

Sarah Hamilton
(co-chair)

Associate Director ZipAssist Spring 2021 shamilton@uakron.edu
Juan Xi
(co-chair)
Sociology Spring 2021 jx@uakron.edu
Amanda Booher English Spring 2020 abooher@uakron.edu
Hunter King Polymer Sciences Spring 2020 hking@uakron.edu
Evi Goroginanni Classical Studies Spring 2022 eg20@uakron.edu
Rob Peralta Sociology Spring 2020 rp32@uakron.edu
Jon Miller UA Press and English Spring 2022 mjon@uakron.edu
Terry O'Sullivan Political Science Spring 2021 tmo@uakron.edu
Parizad Dijbord-Sawan Modern Languages Spring 2020 parizad@uakron.edu
Gopal Nadkarni Mechanical Engineering Spring 2021 gnadkarni1@uakron.edu
Jacob Farrar Taylor Institute Spring 2021 jfarrar@uakron.edu
Kara Kvaran Women's Studies Spring 2022 kkvaran@uakron.edu
Heather Braun English Department Spring 2022 hbraun@uakron.edu

Faculty Steering Committee, 2018-19

Name Field Term
Parizad Dejbord-Sawan Modern Lan. Spring 2020
Amanda Booher (co-chair) English Spring 2020
Juan Xi Sociology Spring 2021
Hunter King Polymer Sciences Spring 2020
Peter Niewiarowski Biology Spring 2019
Sarah Hamilton ZipAssist Spring 2021
Rob Peralta Sociology Spring 2020
Andy Platt CBA Dean's Office Spring 2019
Terry O'Sullivan Political Science Spring 2021
Christin Seher (co-chair) Dietetics Spring 2020
Gopal Nadkarni Mechanical Engineering Spring 2021
Jacob Farrar Taylor Institute Spring 2021
Jodi Henderson-Ross Wayne Campus Spring 2021

Faculty Steering Committee, 2017-18

Name Field Term
Parizad Dejbord-Sawan (chair) Modern Lan. Spring 2020
Amanda Booher English Spring 2020
Curtis Clemons Math Spring 2018
Hunter King Polymer Sci. Spring 2020
Peter Niewiarowski Biology Spring 2019
Deb Owens Business Spring 2018
Rob Peralta Sociology Spring 2020
Andy Platt Business Spring 2019
Pam Schulze Family Sci. Spring 2018
Christin Seher Dietetics Spring 2020
Dick Steiner Statistics Spring 2020
Don Visco Engineering Spring 2018
Deb Wallace Pan Afr. Studies Spring 2019

Faculty Steering Committee, 2016-17

Name Field Term
Matt Lee (chair) Sociology Spring 2017
Hazel Barton Biology Spring 2019
Curtis Clemons Math Spring 2018
Parizad Dejbord-Sawan Modern Lan. Spring 2017
Brant Lee Law Spring 2017
Peter Niewiarowski Biology Spring 2019
Terry O’Sullivan Poli. Sci. Spring 2017
Deb Owens Business Spring 2018
Andy Platt Business Spring 2019
Pam Schulze Family Sci. Spring 2018
Markus Vogl Art Spring 2017
Don Visco Engineering Spring 2018
Deb Wallace Pan Afr. Std. Spring 2019

Founding Faculty Advisory Committee, 2015-16

Name Field
Bill Lyons (chair) Political Science
Matt Lee Sociology
Carolyn Behrman Anthropology
Hazel Barton Biology
Brant Lee Law
Terrence O'Sullivan Political Science
Andrew Terrence Business
Pamela Schulze Family and Consumer Science
Deborah Wallace Pan African Studies
Parizad Dejbord-Sawan Modern Languages
Peter Niewiarowski Biology/Biomimicry
Deborah Owens Business
Markus Vogl Art
Donald Visco Jr. Engineering
Matt Kolodziej Art
Rebecca Erickson Sociology
Jodi Henderson-Ross Sociology
Charles Waehler Psychology
Robert C. Schwartz Counseling
Kathryn Feltey Sociology

Faculty caucuses

In development.

Mission

The mission of the EX[L] Center is to help students emerge as civically-engaged, adaptable leaders, ready to join in the enterprise of building strong and sustainable communities by promoting hands-on, community-based, problem-centered learning.

Goals

To address this mission, EX[L] seeks to:

  • support, expand, and create new experiential learning programs on campus,
  • assist faculty with barriers to innovative, interdisciplinary, experiential teaching,
  • be a resource for students reaching out from their curricular homes to explore interdisciplinary or other innovative pathways, and
  • sustain existing, and develop new community partnerships that bring UA students and local business and non-profit change-makers together.

Origin

The University of Akron has a long history of strong hands-on and problem-based learning, as well as community-engaged activity by faculty and students; but, many of these activities have developed and function in silos. Founding Director, Jeff Hoffman joined the university in July 2015 to launch an initiative in experiential learning that addressed these silos.

Hoffman, an entrepreneur of global repute, entered the field of higher education "perfectly" according to one faculty member who continued, "He went on a listening tour, meeting with faculty in small groups, exploring the terrain of disciplines, projects, and partnerships that had evolved organically here at UA but which lacked a strong sense of identity and connectedness across campus." Hoffman and EX[L] resource director, Ian Schwarber, then met with the most interested faculty from across the university. Hoffman shared his impressions and enlisted their assistance in advancing the development of the EX[L] Center.

Meanwhile, Hoffman and Schwarber reached out to community and student leaders as well, eventually establishing a three-part structure for EX[L] drawing from the strengths and perspectives of student, faculty and community advisory councils. Schwarber's skill at event conceptualizing and marketing helped raise EX[L]'s profile, opening opportunities for collaborations with entrepreneurs and local secondary schools. Energetic and charismatic, Hoffman and Schwarber sparked entrepreneurial, social entrepreneurial, and community development-oriented events both on and off campus in 2015 and 2016. These included BluPrints to EX[L], entrepreneurial panel discussions held in Akron hotspot the BluJazz nightclub and an immersion week for area high school students. In 2016, they selected a faculty collaboration director, Carolyn Behrman, to join them in overseeing EX[L] activity. Having launched EX[L], Hoffman and Schwarber separated from the University of Akron in Fall 2016.

Behrman and Anoo Vyas were appointed as co-Directors of the EX[L] Center in Fall 2016. A tenured faculty member, Behrman has 18 years of experience in community-based research and service-learning linking University of Akron students with organizations and groups across Akron. At EX[L], Behrman concentrates her energies on academic-community engagement and works with faculty and students to enhance existing and foster new community-engaged experiential learning through the curriculum. Vyas employs his significant experience with business incubation, business law and creative and entrepreneurial community partners to develop new opportunities for students within the greater Akron area.

Contact

EX[L] Center is located in Bierce Library, Room 168 (see map)

Office: 330-972-8153

Email: exl@uakron.edu