The best educational opportunities for SUNY Cortland students happen through community outreach.
Brian Tobin, a 1994 SUNY Cortland graduate, should know.
Mayor of the City of Cortland since 2011, Tobin is also head coach SUNY Cortland’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. Balancing duties both up and down College Hill, Tobin has tried to bring town and gown together for mutually beneficial projects.
On Thursday, April 6, Tobin will discuss several opportunities for engagement at a Community Roundtable. His talk, “Cortland, City and SUNY; Stronger When Working Together,” will be held 8-9 a.m. in the Park Center Hall of Fame Room.
The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will precede the presentation at 7:45 a.m.
Tobin previously coached at North Carolina State University, SUNY Potsdam and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse before accepting his current role at Cortland in 2002. He maintains strong ties to both the College and the Cortland community.
In Tobin’s opinion, local residents should view the nearby presence of college students as a resource.
“Regardless of how long students choose to live in Cortland, they are a part of the community,” Tobin said. “We should all find ways to improve life for those around us.”
Tobin was elected to City Council in 2008 with hopes of improving housing issues in the community that were raised by local residents. He served two terms on the City Council before running for mayor. With Tobin’s help, the city has since established an ad-hoc housing committee that recommended all rental housing in the city be registered and periodically inspected for fire and zoning code compliance.
With SUNY Cortland’s many alternatives for education and recreation, students never need to leave the campus, according to Tobin. Yet engaging with the community can be an enriching experience for everyone involved.
“Even people who have been residents of the community for many years may not realize the opportunities that exist,” Tobin said of the upcoming presentation. “I’d like to see people learn more about areas of interest that may be engaged in the community.”
Indeed, for its remarkable level of student, faculty and staff volunteer activity, the College in 2016 was named to The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll With Distinction. The award recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. The Honor Roll is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service’s strategic commitment to engage millions of college students in service and celebrate the critical role of higher education in strengthening communities.
For more information, contact Samantha Howell, special events coordinator for the President’s Office, at 607-753-5453.
Prepared by Communications Office intern Jamie Winsper