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American Democracy Project logoThe Institute for Civic Engagement

April Newsletter

Service-Learning · Community Outreach · Research and Economic Development


Richard Kendrick, Director
Kathy Gallagher, Community Outreach Partnership Coordinator (VISTA member)
Craig Little, Research and Economic Development Coordinator
John Suarez, Service-Learning Coordinator
Widline Germain, Public Relations Intern

Civic Engagement Leadership Awards: We held our third annual Civic Engagement Awards reception on April 4th, 2007, in Jacobus Lounge, Brockway Hall. The Institute for Civic Engagement presented awards to a select group of students, faculty, staff and community members. Below is a list of this year’s recipients. Congratulations to all of you who have worked incredibly hard to give back to our community.

Civic Engagement Award Recipients

Students: Jamie Auspelmyer, Sally Bien, Brandy Boden, Courtney Brown, Kathleen Clark, Gregory Diller, Lauren Hedger, Nicole James, Kristin Kapela, Grace Kelley, Andrea Licht, Howara Zabii Markao, Cerice Plamer, Sara Richardson, Tim Rodriguez, Adrian Shultis, Ashley Smart, Staci Tedrow, Sarah Voorhees, and Amanda Weston.

Faculty/Staff: Jean Brown, Tim Emerson, Melinda Van Etten, Ray Franco, Karen Hempson, Mary McGuire, Homer Mitchell, Linda Rosekrans, Judith Van Buskirk, and Vicki Wilkins.

Community Members: Manny Lann, Charles A. Maxfield, John McNerney, Amy Simrell, Dennis Wright and Ellen Wright.

Don Wilcox Civic Engagement Award: Alpha Phi Sorority
Judson Taylor Community Scholarships: Katie Boyes, Courtney Brown, and Kathleen Clark
Community Scholarship for Student Volunteers and Interns: Mike Scala
Institute for Civic Engagement Scholarship: Amanda Weston

Earth Week 2007: The Institute for Civic Engagement is partnering with other organizations, especially the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) and the Cornell Cooperative Extension, to orchestrate a city-wide extended Earth Day observance through April 22. Events will take place on- and off-campus, and will be designed and run by people from local businesses, community agencies, government offices, K-12 schools, and SUNY Cortland faculty, staff, and students.
Those events include displays (from children’s environment-based art to alternate-fuel vehicles), presentations (2 showings of “An Inconvenient Truth” and 4 panel discussions), and activities (such as Recyclables Dumpster Diving, Open Mike / Soap Box, and a Bike Parts Art Contest), and entertainment (2 concerts, including a Battle of the Bands, the proceeds from which will go to Citizens for Aquifer Protection and Employment).
Earth Week 2007 is designed to foster sustained improvement in the Cortland-area’s cultural, educational, economic, and physical health, and it should generate a wide range of community service and service-learning opportunities.
Civic Engagement Video in Progress: Two students in the Communication Studies program, Sean Walsh and Heather Potts, are working on a short video to promote the involvement of students in the community. The video should be available for use by the end of this semester.

Community Outreach Office Hours in the Learning Commons:
The Community Outreach Partnership Coordinator, Kathy Gallagher, holds office hours in the Learning Commons, Memorial Library, on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until noon. Stop by and find out how you can get involved in the community.

Scholars’ Week on Main Street is being planned for April 30 to May 4. If you would like to participate by showing your poster or participating in a panel presentation, please contact Kathy Gallagher at 597-9212 or e-mail

Service-Learning Panel Presentation: On April 11, two 2006 Service-Learning Stipend winners, Judy Van Buskirk (History) and Homer Mitchell (English) presented “Reflections on Service-Learning” to an audience of students, faculty, and agency supervisors.

Service-Learning Stipends: The Institute is offering up to 5 faculty / staff stipends of $500 each to develop service-learning courses; these courses would be offered in the 2007-2008 academic year. The Institute for Civic Engagement’s Office of Service-Learning can help you develop projects through individualized workshops. Please contact John Suarez at Ext: 4391 or at for additional information. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

End-of-Semester Reflections on Service-Learning Discussion: Join us on Tuesday, May 15, from 3:00 to 5:00 in the Corey Exhibition Lounge as we reflect on the successes and challenges during this semester’s civic engagement activities. Last semester’s discussion examined a range of communication issues, as well as a list of benefits garnered from students’ written reflections. This year’s discussion will draw on events that include the College Connections project, the February Planning Fair, Earth Week, this April’s Civics Education Panel Discussion, and participants’ observations regarding other projects.

Shop Talk Series: Participants in the 5th spring 2007 Shop Talk sessions included students, faculty, and agency supervisors. Topics included ways of serving Central New York’s immigrant population, community agencies’ need for a grant writer, links between environmental awareness and teens-at-risk, international service-learning, special education, acknowledging students’ community service on diplomas, service-learning methodology, reflective journal topics, plus invitations to students to audit community agency meetings.

Main Street SUNY Cortland: Events at Main Street SUNY Cortland this semester have included an outstanding college student art show sponsored by the Art Exhibition Association and another outstanding display of weavings by our students. Upcoming events include a large exhibit of art by young children and, as we move into the summer, several shows will be sponsored by the Cortland Cultural Council. Be sure to look for the publicity announcing upcoming events and stop by to see what's happening in on Main Street.

The building will also have a full schedule of classes this summer and again in the fall 2007 semester. Reports are that faculty and students enjoy having classes in the facility.

Finally, we have secured arrangements to have a Binghamton University Master in Public Administration graduate student as a summer intern to do housing policy research in Cortland. In conjunction with our own Political Science department, we are taking steps to create a regional consortium of SUNY institutions to coordinate curricula and community-based research. These programs are made possible, in part, through the generous support of the Cortland College Foundation.


Week of the Young Child Art Show: Beard Building Gallery in Main Street SUNY Cortland (9 Main Street) will host the opening of the show on Sunday, April 22, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The exhibit will be open for public viewing from April 23 through 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please stop by.

Downtown Cleanup Day: April 28 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Kathy Gallagher at if you want to help out.