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Students to Award Local Grants Worth $10,000


SUNY Cortland students will award $10,000 to local non-profit organizations during a ceremony Thursday, May 7, as part of a political science course devoted to philanthropy and civic engagement.

The hour-long awards presentation takes place at 4:30 p.m. in Old Main Colloquium. It is open to the public and refreshments will be served.

Using funds from the Learning by Giving Foundation, students in the Philanthropy and Civic Engagement: Learning by Giving course will distribute four grants to Cortland County applicants. The students’ grant decisions this year are focused on human services with an emphasis on families and children in need.

“In my experience, the students grow up quickly when they learn how difficult it is to distribute scarce resources and how painful it is to deny support to many worthy community groups,” said SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Henry Steck, a professor of political science. “Overnight, these students become thoughtful, serious, careful and mature.”

Steck taught the course this year with Barbara Barton, an assistant professor in the College’s Health Department and a specialist in community health.

Local organizations submitted applications earlier in the spring semester. Final grant decisions were made by the 19 students enrolled in the course and will be announced during the event.

In addition to application review and discussion, students read about foundations and non-governmental organizations, visited application sites and wrote several reflection papers during the course.

SUNY Cortland is one of 40 colleges and universities nationwide to receive the Learning by Giving Foundation’s funding. The course also receives support from the College’s Political Science Department and Institute for Civic Engagement. None of the money from the Learning by Giving Foundation can be used on course-related expenses.

Based on requirements set by the Learning by Giving Foundation, all awards must be $2,000 or greater. In the past three years, three sections of the course have awarded $30,000 to local non-profit organizations at awards ceremonies in the spring.

For more information on the course, contact Steck at 607-753-4807.