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NIU STEM Café: Canine Science and the Power of Dog-Human Bonds
October 5 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
|We know dogs are “human’s best friend,” but what makes dogs uniquely suited to fulfill that role? This STEM Café explores the rise of canine sciences, the power of positive reinforcement training and what dogs can teach us about being human.Keri Burchfield, Ph.D., NIU professor of sociology, will discuss the Lifetime Bonds program she runs in St. Charles and Chicago — an animal-assisted intervention program that pairs vulnerable youth with shelter dogs for positive relationship-based training. She’ll talk about dogs’ special skills and abilities, the ways in which dogs engender empathy in young people and the power of positive reinforcement dog training. Lisa Boland, a certified dog trainer and head of the Mission Program at NIU, will discuss the process of selecting and training a canine mascot — which is much more work than it might appear! She’ll describe the process of choosing, socializing and training a Siberian husky puppy for the demanding but rewarding job of college mascot. Northern Illinois University STEM Cafés are part of NIU STEAM and are designed to increase public awareness of the critical role that STEM fields play in our everyday lives. They are offered in partnership with the NIU Alumni Association and made possible with support from Thermo Fisher Scientific and Bayer Fund.