The Biology Service Leaders Program (BSL) is a collaboration between the Office of Undergraduate Biology and the Public Service Center which allows members to develop leadership within the major and gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between science and the world at large. Through BSL, students use their extensive scientific knowledge to implement innovative solutions for community needs. Members engage in long term projects designed to develop partnerships with key community members to generate a lasting impact on Cornell and the Ithaca area.
- To develop leadership and scholarship through meaningful community service integrated with academic study.
- To foster a sense of civic responsibility and understanding of the scientist's role in a community.
- To unite the biology undergraduate community through a common bond of service and help satisfy a community need, either within Cornell or at large.
The program is split into two parts: long-term project leadership and one-time community service events. Any Cornell undergraduate may participate in the one-time service events. The other parts of the program are limited to Biology Service Leaders, who are selected through a competitive application process in the fall semester. During the subsequent spring semester, Biology Service Leaders participate in leadership training and form small, focused groups that identify a local community partner in need of support. Focus groups work with their partners to design a long-term service learning project.
The following fall, BSL members will implement their long-term projects and will remain within BSL for a minimum of one year; members have the option to continue their project within BSL or branch out as a separate organization. BSL is advised by staff members from the Office of Undergraduate Biology in collaboration with the Public Service Center as well as by a group of experienced members who have completed projects and serve on the Advisory Board.