In 2015 and 2017, 3 UB undergraduates- Matthew Falcone, Danielle Nerber and Lyndsey Cifra- traveled to the Mara Region of Tanzania for a life-changing study abroad course. Now, after completing their academic coursework, they yearn to go back and make a contribution to both our partners and future UB students who will engage through projects, study abroad and research.Thank you for helping to make this pilot a reality! Explore our Updates to learn about our partners.
Danielle Nerber: Anthropology
I have always wanted to be a doctor but I never really knew why or what my passion would be. It was through my study abroad experiences at UB that I was able to discover my interest in global women's and children health issues. When I went to Tanzania the summer of 2017 my eyes opened to the complexities facing women and children around the world. What started as a final class project on the relationship between menstrual health and education quickly evolved into a GoFundMe Campaign and a training for community partners on a new model for reusable pads. Now I dream of returning, helping with the project I started while also interning at local clinics, and working to better understand the challenges facing maternal and children’s health so I can bring that knowledge back to the Western New York Community and specifically to the Refugee community with which I hope to work before Med School. Thank you for helping to make this dream a reality!
Lyndsey Cifra: Biology
As a busy UB student, I always knew I wanted to study abroad but didn't find time until the summer before my senior year. Going to Tanzania was transformative in so many ways- it led me to question my career plans and to further clarify my interest in health. Through my experiences and ongoing reflections, I realized how important community is in shaping our choices and behaviors. In learning about the major health challenges facing Tanzanians, including FGM (Female Genital Cutting), I got to see the amazing work that NGO's are doing to empower girls largely through education. I want to understand these relationships further and hope to return to participate in the work being done. Understanding the intersections between health, communities and education is so important for improving the lives of people all over the world. This is something I want to dedicate my career to and I'm excited to have the opportunity to make a difference. Thank you for your support!
Matthew Falcone: Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
Playing soccer against a bunch of kids under the hot Tanzanian sun, I instinctively reached out for water, only to realize that there wasn't a single clean drop for miles. I had come to Tanzania in 2015 to learn about the technical water and sanitation challenges in the area, but this simple experience humanized my perspective on the global water crisis and inspired me to pursue humanitarian service through my research and engagement with Rotary International. Recently completing my Bachelor's degrees in Environmental and Civic Engineering, I have sought out opportunities to do research and service in Tanzania, India, and Western New York. I look forward to going deeper through my doctoral studies, but first hope to return to Tanzania to address their challenges. Thank you for your donations!