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Architecture Honors Scholar Wins UB’s First UK Summer Fulbright

Dylan Burns

Sophomore architecture major Dylan Burns is the first UB student to take part in the U.S.-UK Fulbright Commission's Summer Institute. He will study at Nottingham Trent University.

By Marcene Robinson

Published June 19, 2014

The United States-United Kingdom Fulbright Commission has selected Dylan Burns, a sophomore architecture major at UB, to participate in its Fulbright Summer Institute to study at Nottingham Trent University.

This summer, the commission will send 61 freshman and sophomore students from 50 universities across the U.S. to the UK for a three-to-six-week academic, cultural and social program at some of the country’s top educational institutions.

Burns, a Presidential Scholar in the Honors College, is the first UB student to participate in the Fulbright’s UK Summer Institute.

He will join seven other students from around the U.S. in a four-week architecture and model-making program at Nottingham Trent University. While there, he will explore the architectural culture of Nottingham and work on a design project around it, all while soaking in the history of the Midlands.

“I have lived in Buffalo my entire life and I’ve rarely left. Preparing to study abroad feels like I’m readying for a long-awaited adventure,” says Burns, a City Honors School graduate. “Without the Honors College and my advisers at UB, I would not have pursued his opportunity.”

Conceived by U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II, the Fulbright program strives to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange.

Participating students are chosen not only for their academic achievements, but for their dedication to their local communities and a desire to act as ambassadors for their respective countries.

Burns will join seven other students from around the U.S. in a four-week architecture and model-making program at Nottingham Trent University. While there, he will explore the architectural culture of Nottingham and work on a design project around it, all while soaking in the history of the Midlands.

Burns’ work already has been recognized by the School of Architecture and Planning. He has received the program’s Hyatt Award and Design Excellence Award, both presented to a freshman who displays outstanding design prowess.

“It is rare to see a young man who is so well-rounded and so accomplished,” says Beth Tauke, associate professor of architecture and associate dean for academic affairs. She taught Burns’ first studio course.

“Dylan has been an active advocate for the improvement and welfare of the department, school, university and, especially, his own studio group,” Tauke says. “Because of this generosity of spirit, Dylan is respected here for his warmth and leadership.”

When not spending countless hours in the studio, Burns said he enjoys cycling, skiing and volunteering with community revitalization projects like those undertaken by Habitat for Humanity. His extensive work in Buffalo neighborhoods grew from his interest in how architecture interacts with the surrounding communities.

“Architecture should not be its own entity where buildings are designed and plopped down wherever,” says Burns, who also is pursuing a minor in environmental design. “The environment and culture surrounding the building should be considered as well.”

When Burns returns to Buffalo in the fall, he hopes to have a fresh perspective on the role of architecture and design, and a host of new ideas that he can use to help improve the city.