Empire State College Community Engagement

Empire State College Community Engagement

A snapshot of Community Engagement and Applied Learning at Empire State College

Exhibit: “Sandy Stories, Organized Labor Rebuilds New York”

This exhibit increased public awareness of Superstorm Sandy devastation and efforts to rebuild and work of the WDI.  SUNY Empire State College hosted “Sandy Stories, Organized Labor Rebuilds New York,” an exhibit of photographs taken by working men and women during and after Hurricane Sandy, and “When the Lights Go Out,” a multimedia theatrical performance about those who helped in the rebuilding. The show and performance were debuted at the college’s Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies in December 2013. Presented by the New York State AFL-CIO and the Workforce Development Institute, the exhibit honored workers and their effort and sacrifices during and after the hurricane and was conceived by WDI Executive Director Ed Murphy.

Academy for Lifelong Learning     

A.L.L. is one of more than 400 Lifelong Learning Institutes (LLIs) in North America, affiliated with the Elderhostel Institute Network (EIN), a branch of Road Scholar. SUNY Empire State College provides office and classroom space as well as some advisory, administrative and financial support. 

Ambassadors for Community Engagement Lecture Series     

The Hudson Valley Center of SUNY Empire State College held Ambassadors for Community Engagement, a lecture series highlighting the college as a regional resource that will partner with local organizations to provide community programming, while sharing with participants the value of an Empire State College education.  Recent lecturers include:  Mike Bennett WHUD radio personality, author of “Don’t Pay the Ransom, I’ve Escaped;” Walter Dean Myers ’84, New York Times bestselling children’s author; and Miriam Tatzel, Ph.D., professor of psychology and author of “Well-Being in the Material World,” whose research focuses on psychological aspects of money and materialism in relation to consumer lifestyles and well-being.

Growing Community: The Impact of the Farmers’ Market on Saratoga     

SUNY Empire State College hosted a panel discussion, led by the college’s Director of Sustainability Sadie Ross, on the economic, environmental and social benefits of farmers markets, with time for audience participation. The panel consisted of three farmers and three market customers. The program aimed to “… bring to light some of the other benefits of shopping at the market, such as growing a sense of community, keeping our dollars local and conserving clean water and open space across upstate New York,” said Porter, a farmers market association board member.

College Credit Program for Corrections Officers

Correction officers serving in New York state county facilities will be awarded 14 college credits upon completion of the New York State Municipal Police Training Council Basic Course for Correction Officers and enrollment at SUNY Empire State College. The opportunity, which comes at no cost to correction officers, is the result of a newly established partnership. The New York Corrections and Youth Services Association, the state chapter of the American Correctional Association, in collaboration with the Empire State Law Enforcement Training Network and the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, first engaged Empire State College to perform a professional learning evaluation of the basic course for correction officers for academic credit. 

Veteran Artist Program Event

Empire State College acknowledged and supported veterans in their artistic pursuits by hosting a week of Veteran Artist Program (VAP) events. VAP is a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for veteran artists to spread their wings in the art world through networking, collaborating and performing with experienced artists and related professionals. At SUNY Empire State College’s Metropolitan Center and The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies event, veteran-artists pitched their ideas to a panel of pros to get feedback and encouragement for their proposed projects.

Veteran Hiring Conference at SUNY Empire State College   

SUNY Empire State College and Saratoga County’s Veterans Employment Task Force collaborated on its first Veteran Hiring Conference. Military officers, enlisted technicians and noncommissioned officers ready to transition into civilian careers were invited to speak with area employers about possible job openings in a private and professional interview setting. Each employer was able to interview up to 10 candidates specifically matched for available opportunities at the college’s Saratoga Springs location.

The Workers Pavilion Art installation

The Workers Pavilion, an ever-evolving art and social action project and showcase, was conceived and executed by The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies’ students, alumni and faculty, and serves both as an intimate forum for dialogue between workers and as a public emblem of unity. The modular, multimedia structure – more than 20 feet long and up to 7 feet high at some points – is a representation of workers and their labor.  It was exhibited at the Queens Museum and also on Workers Memorial Day, honoring those who died performing work duties and fights for the safety of all workers.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station at SUNY Empire State College 

Empire State College, through generous grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the National Grid power company, installed an electric vehicle charging station at 113 West Ave., Saratoga Springs. The charging station is available for use by both college employees and the general public and can charge two cars at once. The station is part of a $50 million Charge NY initiative that will support the installation of 5,000 such stations throughout the state, and reflects the college’s commitment to sustainability.

Free Workshops

SUNY Empire State College’s Empire State Plaza location offers free workshops that are open to the public. A recent sampling includes: “Paying Back Your College Loans – Top 10 Things Every Borrower Should Know,” “Starting and Growing Your Own Business,” “Explore Tips for Investing.” These free workshops are ongoing.

Give Your Heart to Those In Need: A Benefit Luncheon for Franklin Community Center  

SUNY Empire State College’s Center for Distance Learning and School of Nursing jointly hosted "Give Your Heart to Those in Need," a luncheon to benefit the Franklin Community Center Food Pantry. Members of the college community attended in exchange for a monetary donation or three nonperishable items.

Raising Voices, Raising Spirits: A Program for National Poetry Month    

In honor of National Poetry Month, Empire State College’s Long Island Center sponsored a poetry reading at the Walt Whitman Birthplace Historic Site and Educational Center. Mentor Mindy Kronenberg and poet Baron James Ashanti led the reading, which included an homage to Nelson Mandela, honored the legacy of Walt Whitman, and captured the spirit of poetry as personal and community narratives.

“Strong Women, Strong Hearts”      

Empire State College’s Central New York Center collaborated with the nursing staff at Upstate University Hospital and OASIS to present, “Strong Women, Strong Hearts.” The free event was designed to educate women about heart disease and featured health screenings, exercise, nutritional information, reiki therapy and yoga. Three expert presentations were available throughout the event which was attended by more than 400 participants. 

 “The Mountaintop”

To celebrate Black History Month and offer insight into the life of Martin Luther King Jr., the college’s Niagara Frontier Center supported a performance at the Subversive Theater of Katori Hall’s award-winning play, “The Mountaintop,” a portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. the night before his assassination in 1968.

Campus contact:
Michael Mancini, Chief of Staff, Office of the President
2 Union Ave.
Saratoga Springs, NY  12866
518 587-2100, ext. 2977

SUNY Empire State College

2 Union Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
(518) 587-2100