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American Democracy Project logoThe Institute for Civic Engagement

June Newsletter

Service-Learning · Community Outreach · Research and Economic Development

June 2007 Newsletter
  Annual Report for June 1, 2006, to May 31, 2007
Richard Kendrick, Director

The Institute for Civic Engagement consists of three programmatic pillars:

  • Office of Service-Learning (John Suarez, Coordinator)
  • Community Outreach Partnership Center (Kathy Gallagher, VISTA member, Coordinator)
  • Office of Community Research and Economic Development (Craig Little, Coordinator)

In addition, the Institute works closely with and supports the activities of Main Street SUNY Cortland (of which Craig Little is the Coordinator).  The report that follows is a summary of our activities. (Individual reports for each program area are available upon request.)

The activities on which we report below could not have been accomplished without the significant contributions of the many Cortland students, faculty, staff, and community members who participate in our programs. Many (but not all) have been recognized at our Leadership in Civic Engagement Awards receptions in the spring semesters of 2005, 2006, and 2007. Therefore, the accomplishments listed below are not ours (and certainly not mine) alone.

Major Accomplishments of the Program:

  • Delivered 200 copies of the NY Times each day to distribution points across the campus each day that classes were in session throughout the 2006-2007 academic year (the Women’s Volleyball Team – Pam Hoerup, coach - made the deliveries with funding from the President’s Office for the newspapers).
  • Awarded five stipends for the development of service-learning courses for 2006-2007 to Judy van Buskirk (History), Kim Dutton (Student Affairs), Tim Emerson (English), Elizabeth Fraser (Geography), Homer Mitchell (English).
  • Formed the Western and Central SUNY Service-Learning Coordinators’ group in August of 2006.
  • Enlisted the help of four interns and a graduate assistant over the 2006-2007 academic year.
  • Assisted with coordination of Volunteer Fairs at the beginning of each semester (Aug. 31, 2006, and January 25, 2007); coordinated Service-Learning Project Fairs for community service agencies and SUNY Cortland faculty, staff, and students on Feb. 20 and 21, 2007.
  • Coordinated Constitution Day activities the week of September 18-22, 2006.
  • Received MacDonald Foundation funding for Main Street SUNY Cortland ($100,000).
  • Opened the Main Street SUNY Cortland facility on Sept. 25, 2006 (opening event was attended by over 100 people, including congressional candidate, Michael Arcuri, and our State Senator, James Seward).
  • Opened the Office of Service-Learning in the Learning Commons on Oct. 3, 2006.
  • Obtained “President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll” designation in October 2006.
  • Participated in Young Voters Strategies research project of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the national American Democracy Project during the fall semester 2006.
  • Created a service-learning “Mentor Team” of four students to help service-learning students reflect upon their service projects and experiences.
  • Administered U.S. Election Assistance Commission grant for $13,678 to train students as poll workers during the fall semester 2006.
  • Organized a Civic Education Discussion series (that started with a presentation by Michael Arcuri in October 2006) to promote student understanding of the importance of local politics.
  • Continued the “Shop Talk” series in which students, faculty, and community members discuss and evaluate their civic engagement activities.
  • Revised a proposal for an appropriations earmark that went to members of our congressional delegation ($364,416).
  • Supported the themed speakers’ series of the Intellectual and Cultural Climate Committee by publicizing the talk by Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times on March 6, 2007.
  • New York State Music Fund Grant awarded ($500,000).
  • Recognized 20 students, 10 faculty and staff members, and 6 community members at annual Leadership in Civic Engagement Awards reception on April 4, 2007; awarded Institute for Civic Engagement Scholarship to Amanda Weston (funding from the Office of Institutional Advancement).
  • Working with Admissions Office to establish and award a Civic Engagement Scholarship to an incoming, first year student (funding from the Office of Institutional Advancement).
  • Tim Emerson (English) and his service-learning students were recognized by the Celtic Fest organization for the newsletters that they developed in Prof. Emerson’s professional writing course.
  • Began working with Michelle Cryan (Office of Institutional Advancement) to redesign the Institute for Civic Engagement Web sites.
  • VISTA member renewed for another year; ASC grant obtained to help support VISTA member.
  • Coordinated campus involvement in Community Cleanup Day on April 28 (65 college students participated).
  • John Suarez hired as our first full-time, permanent Service-Learning Coordinator.
  • Appalachian Regional Commission grant ($122,000) received to support a Center for Economic Education in Main Street SUNY Cortland (to be directed by Kathleen Burke and Tim Phillips of the Economics Department).
  • Binghamton University MPA graduate student hired as summer intern by the Institute for Civic Engagement to work on housing policy issues (with support from the Office of Institutional Advancement).
  • Provided oversight for a video on the campus’ civic engagement activities (which was produced by Communications Studies professor Paul van der Veur and two of his students, Sean Walsh and Heather Potts). The video is now being distributed in the community, to the admissions office, the advisement office, local cable access television, and anyone else interested in showing it.
  • Grew the service-learning program to 40 faculty members, 36 courses, and 17 departments.

Faculty and Staff Accomplishments

  • Kendrick and Suarez presented at the showcase poster session at the American Democracy Project’s national conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 16, 2006.
  • Kendrick and Little represented the Institute and the Main Street project at the President’s administrative retreat in Raquette Lake, July 11-13, 2006.
  • Kendrick, Suarez, and Little presented “Civic Engagement, Community-Based Inquiry, and Public Institutions of Higher Education: A Comprehensive Model for Connecting the College and the Community,” (along with Christella Yonta and Jackie Carlton of the Seven Valleys Health Coalition) at a conferences sponsored by Binghamton University in Owego, NY, October 11, 2006.
  • Kendrick published a co-authored chapter (with Jim Perry), “Voter Education,” pp. 13-19 in Electoral Voices: Engaging College Students in Elections, Washington, DC: American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 2006, and was editor for  the three literature review chapters.
  • Kendrick presented “’Electoral Voices’: The American Democracy Project’s Monograph of “Best Practices” for Getting Young People to Vote,” Alliance of Universities for Democracy, Katowice, Poland, November 7, 2006. Little also attended the conference and made a presentation, “Mortality Trends in Eastern and Central Europe.”
  • Kendrick and Suarez recognized at ceremony that awarded SUNY Cortland the Charles Locke award from the Family Counseling Services agency, February 9, 2007.
  • Kendrick represented NY Campus Compact at a presentation on service learning at a meeting of the SUNY Faculty Senate’s Student Life Committee, March 20, 2007, Albany, NY.
  • Suarez co-presented “The GEAR Project: A Corpus-Based Analysis” at Scholars’ Day, April 18, 2007.
  • Suarez, Kendrick, and Little received five Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Outreach Awards at the Provost’s 2007 faculty and staff awards luncheon.

Service Provided Within Community, Region, State, and Nation

  • Main Street SUNY Cortland houses the Cortland Downtown Partnership Office (provided as an in-kind contribution to the Cortland Downtown Partnership).
  • Main Street SUNY Cortland was the site of at least 55 meetings and events that were organized by community groups (e.g., Cortland Downtown Partnership, 40 Below, Seven Valleys Health Coalition) or that were open to the community (including 5 different art shows).
  • Suarez estimates that 11,520 service hours were contributed to the Cortland community by students in service-learning courses in 2006-2007.
  • Suarez has participated in and/or presented at the meetings of a number of community groups, including Cortland Area Communities that Care, the Salvation Army, and New Justice Conflict Resolution Services.
  • Gallagher has worked with Family Counseling Services to initiate our College Connection Mentoring Program and has identified 25 underserved 14- to 18-year-olds in the Cortland community who can benefit from the program.
  • Gallagher works with community agencies, such as the Cortland Youth Bureau, Seven Valleys Health Coalition, Cortland Downtown Partnership, Lime Hollow Center for the Environment, among others, to link community needs with campus resources.
  • Kendrick, Little, and Suarez are involved in the Community Assessment Team and its annual Blue Ribbon Committee meetings.
  • Little is Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of the Cortland Downtown Partnership; is a member of the Board of Directors of the Seven Valleys Health Coalition; chairs the Beard Building Gallery Committee; is a member of the Cortland Community Resource Allocation Committee; and is a consultant with the Zero Adolescent Pregnancy Program of the Jacobs Center.
  • Suarez coordinated the Earth Week observance committee.