Since 1856, Niagara University has been recognized for providing an academic setting that nourishes the mind, body, heart and soul. Founded in the Catholic and Vincentian tradition, the university’s holistic, one-on-one approach to education makes a difference in the lives of its students, and they go on to make a difference in the lives of others.

With more than 80 majors and 60 minors, six pre-professional options, and four master’s programs and a ph.D. program in Leadership and Policy, students begin studying in their major from day one and design a course of study that meets their career goals. All four of the university’s academic colleges–Arts and Sciences, Education, Business Administration and Hospitality and Tourism Management–have received the highest rankings from the top accreditation boards in their fields. The university also maintains an Academic Exploration Program that provides a learning community for students who are undecided about their major.

Niagara University is located in Lewiston, NY, just four miles from the world-renowned Niagara Falls. Its picturesque campus overlooks the Niagara River Gorge and the province of Ontario, Canada. Close to 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in Niagara University programs, on campus and worldwide.

Through its nationally recognized and awarded service-learning program and the newly established Office of Civic Engagement, Niagara students are active participants in the community where they seek to make a difference in the lives of others. In addition to service learning, Niagara offers many internship and related opportunities for students to work directly with individuals in need, both stateside and abroad.

Drawing upon the Vincentian tradition of service to the poor and the community, Dr. Kevin Blair first offered a course that specifically examines the economic and social causes of poverty in 2008. This course has evolved into a minor in Vincentian Poverty Studies (VPS). The goal of the VPS is to educate Niagara students about poverty in an in-depth fashion that fully prepares them to deal effectively with the complexities and challenges that are created by poverty. An essential objective is to bring to life NU’s mission, which states in part, “Niagara seeks to inspire its students to serve all members of society, especially the poor and oppressed, in local communities and the larger world.” To accomplish this, the minor seeks to create a lifelong commitment to combating poverty while providing students—regardless of major—the knowledge, skills and practical experience needed to be effective in combating poverty.

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SHECP Council Member, Academic and Internship Director
Dr. Kevin D. Blair
Professor of Social Work
(716) 286-8516

Program Support
Dr. David Taylor
Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice
(716) 286-8087

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