Welcome to the College of Arts and Sciences!

Orientation Leaders, with Orientation, Transition and Parent Programs, part of Student Life, gather for a group spirit display on the Spine on North Campus in July 2021.

Welcome Weekend is the official kick-off to the fall semester for new students. During Welcome Weekend, you will prepare for academics at UB, explore resources and connect with other students.

The College's Academics Day program for new students will begin at 10 a.m. in the UB Center for the Arts (CFA). Be sure to attend and participate in order to start off strong with your academic department!

10 a.m. to Noon: VicTalks

Take it from UB’s mascot, Victor E. Bull – there’s a lot to talk about in the College of Arts and Sciences! You can choose your own adventure by selecting which VicTalk sessions you’d like to attend and explore everything that the College has to offer.

VicTalks logo: a photo of UB's mascot, Victor E. Bull.

Mainstage Theater

10-10:30 a.m. | Making it Count: Some Tricks for Getting the Most Out of College

Lance Rintamaki • Communication

Mainstage Theater

10:40 a.m. | A Proposition to Prioritize Your Physical Health for Productivity

Melanie Aceto • Theatre and Dance

Want to be productive, maximize your learning potential, and do great things while you are here at UB?  In this dance performance and talk, Professor Melanie Aceto will embody breath, slumber and physical practice in her solo “Vent”, and share thoughts on how your physical well-being informs your academic success.

Screening Room

10:40 a.m. | What I Wish I Knew as a Freshman

Julia Shapiro • Mathematics

Student Julia Shapiro will share the inside scoop on the where to eat and study on campus, fun activities and more!

Mainstage Theater

10:50 a.m. | Criminal Records, Public Policies and the Stickiness of Discrimination

Allison Dwyer Emory • Sociology

Nearly 65 million Americans have criminal records that make it difficult for them to find work, undermining their ability to support themselves and their families. Frustratingly, many of the policies meant to improve access to employment have failed to increase employment levels. Instead, policies like ban-the-box, employment discrimination laws, and limited criminal record access have been found to decrease employment among young men from racial minorities even if they haven’t come into contact with the criminal justice system personally. This research ultimately demonstrates that ignoring the correlation between racial discrimination and criminal record discrimination makes it hard to solve either social problem.

Screening Room

10:50 a.m. | Keep Your Ion the Prize: UB Chemistry

Meghan Sullivan • Chemistry

Meghan Sullivan, an undergraduate researcher in the inorganic chemistry laboratory of Professor Timothy Cook, will present a taste of the UB Chemistry Department from an undergraduate viewpoint. She hopes a cinematic experience may just open your eyes to how exciting chemistry can be at the University at Buffalo! The field is full of opportunity and UB is the right place for exploration and research. So, “keep your ion the prize," and become part of UB Chemistry!

Mainstage Theater

11 a.m. | Might Makes Right: Should Countries Ever Give Up Power?

Michelle Benson-Saxton • Political Science

Professor Michelle Benson-Saxton will discuss if it might ever be in a country's interest to have less power or control over global affairs. Is it best for powerful states (like the U.S.) to call of all the shots in international interactions? Or, is it sometimes in every state's interest to pursue consensus and collaboration?  

Screening Room

11 a.m. | Breaking the Stigma of Archaeology Being Like Indiana Jones

Mary Dixon • Anthropology

What is archaeology really? Is Indiana Jones the painted picture of what it truly means to be an explorer, or is he an actual archaeologist? To put it into simple terms, it is a bit of both. Student Mary Dixon will break down what archaeology truly is when comparing it to the famous Indiana Jones and also explain the importance of archaeology in understanding how we, as a culture and society, work.

Mainstage Theater

11:10 a.m. | Psychology is the Essential Discipline

Wendy Quinton • Psychology

Professor Wendy Quinton will showcase the breadth and versatility of the field of psychology, illustrate how psychological science is critical to our understanding and response to challenges we face in the 21st century and highlight the work of UB psychologists in these efforts.

Screening Room

11:10 a.m. | Succeeding as a Film Student

Rachel Jennetti • Media Study

Rachel Jennetti, a fourth-year film student, will teach newcomers how to navigate the world of film through the lens of the new student.

Mainstage Theater

11:20 a.m. | Experiential Learning Opportunities

Julia Shapiro • Mathematics
Emma Correia • Romance Languages and Literatures

This presentation will focus on experiential learning opportunities available to undergraduate students of all majors. Students Julia Shapiro and Emma Correia will highlight how to find and apply for experiences that will enrich your academic journey. Early involvement in these opportunities increases your hands-on experience in your field of interest and enhances your professional profile. 

Screening Room

11:20 a.m. | Where Are Photographs?

John Opera • Art

Photography as a medium is often interpreted as a kind of symbolic reflector, duplicating and transmitting faithful appearances of the world. But what’s behind it all? By taking a closer look at the natural phenomena that underlie photography, we can perhaps better understand the profound connections between ourselves, the planet, and the non-human world.

Mainstage Theater

11:30 a.m. | Nothing About Us Without Us

Mike Rembis • History

What do Darth Vader, Harriet Tubman and Franklin D. Roosevelt have in common? They all have different types of disabilities. Disability is everywhere in history and culture. The UB Center for Disability Studies, which has its administrative home in the Department of History, but draws on the work of faculty from across campus, is part of a growing global network of scholars, artists, and community leaders dedicated to studying disability and disabled people in their social, cultural, and historical contexts – from ancient times to the present, in the United States and the world.

Screening Room

11:30 a.m. | Living in the Disinformation Age

David Castillo • Romance Languages and Literatures

While disinformation may be as old as humanity, spreading lies is exponentially easier in our media environment. At its core, the vulnerability of the “information market” stems from the blind trust that the market itself enjoys as the neutral guarantor of democratic freedoms, particularly at a time when “market values” have come to govern just about every aspect of our lives. The very notion that the market (whether the market of goods or the market of information) is a level playing field has proven to be a dangerous liability.

Mainstage Theater

11:40 a.m. | Let's Talk About Social Justice

Alexis Harrell • Sociology

This presentation will discuss the recent social justice focus of society, delving into university-wide and sociology-specific initiatives, including programming, committees, clubs, and courses that address inequalities. You will learn how to create a safer, more inclusive environment for minoritized groups while also prioritizing your mental health. 

Screening Room

11:40 a.m. | Earth Was An Ice Planet For 20 Million Years

Kristin Poinar • Geology

For all of human existence, glaciers have sat in Antarctica, Greenland and sometimes Canada and Europe.  Long before humans, planet Earth got stuck in a strange situation: glaciers entirely covered it, from the poles all the way to the equator.  From space, Earth looked like a giant white snowball, completely unrecognizable. Professor Kristin Poinar will share what Earth was like during this extreme climate, how it got there, and how our planet eventually broke free of Snowball Earth.

Mainstage Theater

11:50 a.m. | Sustainability and Community Resilience

Susan Clark • Environment and Sustainability

Many sources have documented a steady increase in the occurrence of natural disasters as well as an even larger increase in associated economic losses and people impacted. Recent cases of extreme heat, wildfire, hurricanes, ice storms and even the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the urgency and importance of helping vulnerable communities prepare and adapt to future hazards and risks. In her talk, Professor Susan Clark will provide an overview of her research that brings together important issues of sustainability in the context of community resilience. She will discuss some of her local work on climate vulnerability in Erie County, N.Y. as well as her current research that is investigating the impacts of power outages in Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Maria in 2017, as well as the aftermath of Winter Strom Uri in Texas earlier this year.

12-3 p.m.: Afternoon activities

In the afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to eat lunch in any of the campus dining facilities and then either attend a department event, visit our tabling session again or participate in a scavenger hunt for fun prizes.

UB Dining Facilities


Center for the Arts Atrium

Department Tabling and Photo Booth

Center for the Arts Atrium

UB Photo Scavenger Hunt

Complete our photo scavenger hunt and recieve a bundle of College of Arts and Sciences swag! Scavenger hunt teams may be comprised of 1-5 people. Here’s how to enter:

1. Follow @UB_artsandsciences on Instagram
2. Snap all ten challenge photos (list below)
3. Post them to Instagram in a multi-photo timeline post and tag us @UB_artsandsciences. Make sure your account is public or we won't be able to see your post!

The scavenger hunt will run until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 29. We will randomly select the winners and contact them via direct message sometime the week of August 30. 

Various Locations

Department events

Department Time Location
Noon and 1 p.m.
Tours departing from table in the Center for the Arts atrium
Biological Sciences 1-1:55 p.m. 215 Natural Sciences Complex
Communication 1-3 p.m. 3rd floor walkway, Baldy Hall
Economics 1-2:30 p.m. 408 and 454 Fronczak Hall
Mathematics 2 p.m. Tour departing from table in the Center for the Arts atrium
Media Study 1 p.m. Tour departing from the top of the main stairs in the Center for the Arts
Music 1-1:30 p.m. Lippes Concert Hall, Slee Hall
Physics 12:30 p.m. Fronczak Hall tunnel
Psychology 12:30-3 p.m. Walkway between Park Hall and Jacobs Hall
Sociology 1-3 p.m. 427 Park Hall

Face coverings will be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at these events. Review the latest UB Health and Safety Guidelines for the most up-to-date information.