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June Newsletter

Service-Learning · Community Outreach · Research and Economic Development

September 2007 Newsletter

Richard Kendrick, Director
Amy Williams, Graduate Assistant
Contact information: or (607) 753-2481

  • We are preparing an application to AmeriCorps for at least 10 full-time AmeriCorps members to work in the Cortland community (including the campus). These AmeriCorps members will help with projects such as reducing the carbon footprint of the college and tutoring and mentoring the young people of the Cortland community.
  • We are focusing on the political aspects of civic engagement and the scholarship of civic engagement. Two faculty members, Christopher Latimer (Political Science) and Karen Hempson (Education) will be attending a training session at Stanford University on Deliberative Polling later on in September.
  • Kathy Kramer (Art and Art History) attended a conference in Syracuse that focuses on collaborations between colleges and communities to promote the arts. We are planning a book chat (in cooperation with the Faculty Development Center) for the spring semester to discuss the upcoming volume, "Educating for Democracy."
  • In concert with the President's Office, we are co-sponsoring a talk by Katherine Briar-Lawson, Dean of the School of Social Welfare at SUNY Albany, on community-based research.
  • We continue to work with a variety of student groups and organizations to promote student civic involvement. Our new NYPIRG coordinator, Damien Tilliman, who comes to us from SUNY Brockport, has been discussing ways that NYPIRG and the Institute can work together on voter registration, education, and get-out-the-vote projects. Two students, Mark Morrell and Tim Rodriguez, are starting new environmental organizations on campus - one is aimed at promoting energy conservation on the campus (SAVE) and the other is aimed at getting students involved in energy issues at the political level (PowerShift).  

This coming academic year promises to be a very exciting one, and we welcome your participation. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about the Institute and/or participating in its activities.

Office of Service Learning

Service Learning Coordinator: John Suarez
Contact Information: or (607)753-4391
The Office of Service-Learning is located in the Learning Commons, which is on the first floor of the library just beyond the Bookmark Café.

  • Shop Talk: Participants discuss topics that they themselves raise.  Shop Talk has no agenda, no minutes, no committees; it is a relaxed time in which folks can share community service ideas, challenges, and successes. Previous sessions have helped students do well in their community service efforts; sessions have also helped faculty and agency supervisors design service-learning projects.  Shop Talk will meet in Corey #209 on Tuesday, September 25, from 2:50 to 4:00pm
  •  End-of-Semester Reflections on Civic Engagement: Participants will explore “what worked and what didn’t” in community service and service-learning projects during the fall 2007 semester; they develop recommendations for refinements and new projects.  
  • Help promote your Service-Learning Courses:  If you will be teaching a spring 2008 course with a service-learning component, please give John Suarez the course number and name so that the Registrar can list the course with a service-learning attribute.
  • Service-Learning Mentor Team: The Office of Service-Learning is recruiting new Mentors.  Please recommend students who have successfully completed at least one service-learning course.  Team members come from a range of disciplines; they mentor students who are service-learning novices, and they can earn an academic credit through the semester.  Contact John Suarez (see information above).
  • Call for Papers:  Please consider submitting a proposal for a presentation at the April 10 – 13, 2008, Northeast Modern Language Association Conference.  One of the sessions (described below) involves English composition and service-learning.  The due date for this session’s submissions is October 10, 2007.   You can find information about the conference at

Service-Learning and Community Involvement in Composition Classes - This panel invites abstracts that examine service learning as part of composition classrooms. Questions to consider include: How do service-learning composition sections differ from traditionally-taught sections (re design and outcome)?  In what way(s) can we teach and apply reflection? How do students apply specific skills (i.e., paraphrasing) while conducting their community service?  To what extent do you collaborate with agency partners as you design your syllabus and specific assignments?  How do you promote a service-learning composition class?  Papers can be geared for novice and for seasoned service-learning composition instructors.

Research & Economic Development

Community Research and Economic Development Coordinator: Lloyd Purdy
Contact Information:
Or (607) 342-6460
The Research and Economic Development activities are operated from Main Street Cortland at 9 Main Street downtown (directly across from the Community Restaurant).

Lloyd Purdy will be coordinating our Community Research and Economic Development activities and the Main Street SUNY Cortland facility in the absence of Craig Little who is on sabbatical for the 2007-2008 year.

  • “I Live NY” Summit - On September 18th, key stakeholders from across the state will convene at SUNY Cortland to take a comprehensive look at the economic, cultural, and educational forces that help to create job opportunity, promote entrepreneurship, and develop livable communities. For more information and registration:

  • Live from the Heart of New York  Monday September 17th Cortland kicks off the First Lady’s Silda Spitzer’s I Live NY summit with five different music venues on Main Street, as well as five different art exhibits tailored to showcase Cortland, events occur from 6-10pm at a variety of venues along Main Street.

Community Outreach

Community Outreach Partnership Center Coordinator: Kathy Gallagher (VISTA member)
Contact Information: or 597-9212
The Community Outreach activities are operated from our SUNY Cortland Main Street facility.

  • Get Connected to the Community – Visit with Kathy Gallagher, Community Outreach Coordinator on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until noon.  Want to get connected with a service or volunteer opportunity?  This is the place to go – directly behind the Bookmark Café in the Library.
  • Our Community Outreach Partnership Coordinator has been working with us to develop our AmeriCorps grant application, developing a mentoring program for high school students to improve the percentage of Cortland area high school students who go on to college, and coordinating a variety of activities at our Main Street facility. Over the past four months she has recruited 22 community volunteers and 155 SUNY Cortland student volunteers for our Main Street programs.

Upcoming Events of Interest to the Cortland Community

Constitution Day on September 17, 2007

  • 12:30-1:30pm, Old Main 3rd Floor Gallery there will be a Sandwich Seminar on “Constitutional Implications of Same-Sex Marriage in the United States” by Christopher Latimore, Assistant Professor, Political Science)
  • 4:10–5:00pm, in the Library Conference Room there will be a Civic Education panel discussion on “Rights in Conflict: The Battle Over Electric Generators” panelists include Brice Smith (Physics Department), Steve Nicholson (Chair of Tompkins Country Environmental Management Council and Coordinator of the Annual Solar Tour), Don Barber (Town of Caroline Supervisor) and Nick DeCarlo (City of Cortland Alderman, Ward IV).

Cultural & Intellectual Climate Committee – “Earthly Matters” Lecture Series on the Environment

  • Bill McKibben, Environmentalist and Author - September 25 @ 7:30pm Brown Auditorium, Old Main
  • Alfred Crosby, Historian and Professor Emeritus - September 27 @ 7:30pm 3rd Floor Mezzanine, Old Main

Students Advocating for a Valuable Environment (SAVE)

Thursdays 7pm
Next Meeting is Thursday, September 13th at 7pm in Corey Rooms 204-206
New York Public Interest Research Group Meetings (NYPIRG):
Mondays 5pm (Corey 215)
General Interest Meeting Wednesday, September 26th @ 7pm in Corey rooms 204 & 208

Moving In Congregations, Acting in Hope (MICAH): Contact Marie Agen,

One of MICAH’s current projects is to register as many eligible Cortland County children as they can in the state’s insurance program for children. They aim for 100% coverage of eligible children.
  • Student Leadership Training for volunteers: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, September 15th at the Interfaith Center at 7 Calvert St.
  • Public Action Meeting will be held Sunday, October 28, at 4 p.m. at St. Margaret’s Church in Homer