U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, whose efforts were instrumental in securing continued funding for SUNY Cortland’s AmeriCorps program, toured the College campus and met with students and faculty members on Sept. 28.
During a roundtable discussion, Hanna - a Republican whose 24th Congressional District includes Cortland - discussed a wide range of issues and campus initiatives with President Erik J. Bitterbaum and more than a dozen students, faculty and administrators.
“What a great collection of minds,” Hanna said at the end of the more than hour-long meeting in the Park Center Hall of Fame Room.
Michael Tota, a business economics major who is concentrating in financial management, described his undergraduate research on salary compression among higher education faculty. Kathleen Burke, associate professor of economics, told the congressman about the student-aided research done by the department into the College’s economic impact on the region. Both shared their thoughts on President Obama’s jobs bill at Hanna’s prompting.
Amie Whitlock, a geology major who is concentrating in environmental science, and Christopher McRoberts, professor of geology, talked about Whitlock’s research work and undergraduate research in general. McRoberts described SUNY Cortland’s annual Scholars’ Day program.
Brice Smith, associate professor and chair of physics, talked about the College’s comprehensive plan to reduce carbon emissions. At Hanna’s request, Smith also discussed his view that nuclear power is not an economically viable alternative to fossil fuel.
Rebecca Schwartzman, an athletic training major and emergency medical technician, talked about the student-run campus ambulance service and the assistance it provided to flood victims in Binghamton, N.Y. earlier in the semester.
Jamie Piperato, a kinesiology major who is concentrating in sport studies, who also serves as president of the Student Government Association, shared her thoughts about student activism on campus, and the need to get a greater percentage of the student body involved.
Ashley Mosgrove, an inclusive special education major, talked about her fulfilling work with the Cortland County Youth Bureau as a SUNY Cortland AmeriCorps volunteer.
Pictured, from left to right, are Jamie Piperato, SUNY Cortland Student
Government president; Amie Whitlock, a geology major doing geology
research; Mike Tota, a business economics major doing undergraduate
research; Rep. Richard Hanna; Jennifer Peter, a graduate assistant with
Cortland’s Urban Recruitment of Educators program; Ashley Mosgrove,
an inclusive special education major and Americorps volunteer; and Rebecca
Schwartzman, an athletic training major and volunteer with the student
emergency medical service.
Richard Kendrick, a professor of sociology and anthropology and director of the SUNY Cortland Institute for Civic Engagement, thanked Hanna for his help in securing more than $370,000 in supplemental federal funding for the College’s 2011-12 AmeriCorps program. The funding will allow the College to triple the size of its AmeriCorps program.
Jennifer Peter, a graduate assistant with Cortland’s Urban Recruitment of Educators (C.U.R.E.) Program, described the College’s initiative to prepare young educators to become teachers in high-needs, urban school districts. Peter, herself is a product of the program.
Marley Barduhn, assistant provost for teacher education, discussed SUNY Cortland’s other programs for helping vulnerable student populations, such as migrant family outreach. She expressed the need to continue to align teacher education programs with the changing needs of public school districts.